I'm finishing my first run through a Pendlay 5x5 program and I think I've followed it exactly as it was meant to be followed...at least I tried to anyway.
I started out with the 4 weeks of 5x5 and I was worn out a bit after the fourth week of that. It is tax season and I'm an accountant so that could have had something to do with it.
So then I go to the 3x3 phase by starting out with the same weight I went 5x5 with for the first week, ratcheted it up a bit in the second week, hit PR's in the third week, hit PR's in the fourth week, and now I've hit PR's in the first two workouts of the fifth week.
As the program is written I should be dropping back to the 5x5 at a weight around 80% of my PR on the squat, deadlift, and bench press...basically start it up all over again.
But my question is, if I'm seeing PR's come through the fifth week of 3x3, why would I want to deload or cut back to the lighter first few weeks of the 5x5? Should I extend the 3x3 out until I start to get shut down on PR attempts? Might be a week, might be more...don't know. But it seems like, rather than go back down right now, if I can grab 20 more pounds on a bench, squat and deadlift PR now, why not take it? Or does that screw me up for the next 9 week training cycle? (I'm not feeling that overtrained, nagging injury/joint pain feeling right now...I feel very healthy when it comes to that.)
As it is my plan is to continue with 3x3 until I get stuck on a PR attempt. Then, instead of restarting with the 5x5 because I'll have gone heavy longer than the prescribed duration, I might go with a pure deload week (3x3 with significantly less weight than I'm moving now.) But I really don't know what I'm doing and am just starting to learn that programming is very important, so I don't wanna screw things up. I realize that a lot of the reason for the 3x3 success is that I've set things up by going through the 5x5. Long term is what is important to me...matters more to me where I'm at a year from now versus where I'm at next week or the week after.
As a point of reference (and not to gloat because I realize I'm not that strong,) where I'm at (naturally) is 315x3x3 on the olympic squat, 395x3x3 on the deadlift, 280x3x3 on the bench press, 210x3x3 on the shoulder press, and 190x3x3 on the barbell row. I estimate I'm up 30lbs. on each of the big three plus the shoulder press and about 15 on the barbell row.
If anyone can offer me some advice it would be appreciated. I've been a lifelong supercompensation trainer and probably spent 3 years without making a bit of progress because of that...and to continue trying to hit PR's feels a little bit like I'm falling back into that trap.