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  • #16
    To be honest OP. 5/3/1 just wasn't designed to work with the kind of numbers you are lifting. The program is primarily used by intermediate to advanced lifters who are already posting fairly large numbers and who cannot easily make gains on more standard programs e.g. starting strength.

    Whilst I understand you don't want to give up your place on the rack, if you are simply OHPing the bar for as many sets as you can, you aren't doing 5/3/1 anymore. I would simply do the whole press part using DBs and/or set weight BB if available. Do this until you can do the proper progression with the 20kg bar.

    All that said, I imagine there are probably more suitable programs out there for you...

    EDIT: re-reading this, it could sound a tad condescending, that is not my intention.
    Last edited by maclrc; 04-22-2013, 04:09 PM.

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    • #17
      I just am not able to make any progress anymore with Starting Strength on my upper body lifts. I thought I would try something different. Also, since the constant progressing of Starting Strength led me to injure my back doing squats and deadlifts, I thought a program that didn't have me always at the leading edge of my ability might be safer.
      Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.

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      • #18
        Originally posted by sbhikes View Post
        I just am not able to make any progress anymore with Starting Strength on my upper body lifts. I thought I would try something different. Also, since the constant progressing of Starting Strength led me to injure my back doing squats and deadlifts, I thought a program that didn't have me always at the leading edge of my ability might be safer.
        Have tried doing Advanced Novice and microloading your presses?

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        • #19
          Microloading with 30 gram magnets may be worth a try, and when stalling change to 20 grams and then 10 grams magnets etc... Except from that, the advice from maclrc is not a bad one though...
          "All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident."

          - Schopenhauer

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          • #20
            You dont have to use 5/3/1 for all of your lifts. I had to find different templates for presses. My squats and deads progress quickly and are fun. Presses are frustrating with little progression for me.

            I now use a 10x3 methodology for my presses and supplement with frog stands, tuck planches, and hand stand negatives... occasionally cart wheels. Much less frustrating.

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            • #21
              Originally posted by Gorbag View Post
              Microloading with 30 gram magnets may be worth a try, and when stalling change to 20 grams and then 10 grams magnets etc...
              Nice strawman, Gorbag.

              To the OP: in case it wasn't clear, we're talking about fractional plates, such as 1.25lb. If your press is 50lb, jumping to 55lb is a 10% increase, which can be quite difficult. Heck, it can be difficult making 5lb jumps even if your presses are much higher on Starting Strength after you've been gaining for a while. 2x1.25lb = 2.5lb jumps, which would be a 5% increase for a 50lb press. If your gym doesn't have them, you can get them online for ~$10.

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              • #22
                I am starting 5/3/1 in May. I would suggest that you buy (or borrow) the book. The why is just as important as the how.

                I have done a lot of reading and already planed my first cycle based on 90% of my current 1RMs. My OH numbers are only a little heavier than yours so I don't need to use the dumbbells - but I absolutely would if I needed to. The program runs the way it does for a reason (again, why you should read the book) and I would follow it first to determine whether it was working before tweaking it.

                If you are serious about the program than I would highly recommend investing in a set of fractional plates. Looking at my cycle, there are a lot of small incremental jumps in weight that require plates much smaller than 2.5 lbs. Since 2.5s are the smallest my gym carries - I bought my own set of plates. In my opinion, a woman needs a set if running 5/3/1.

                OP, I am interested in following your progress on the program if you do decide to run it. I am running it to bulk/gain strength (duh!) and eventually (hopefully) compete in power lifting. I think a lot of women are intimidated by it and usually stick with Starting Strength, NROLW or Strong Lifts - but the 5/3/1 really can be run with smaller numbers. The program is a concept and will work for someone squatting 100 or 1,000.

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                • #23
                  I have washers that I use for microloading. Even when using those, I might have a success in making tiny progress, then next time I will fail to be able to lift more weight or the same weight again. I might even fail to lift less weight. I've tried lifting with sets of 3 instead of 5. I've tried lifting less and working back up. I've tried doing presses once a week and twice a week. This might be all I am capable of. The 531 2x week schedule seems pleasant enough. Leaves me room for my olympic weight lifting class and practicing overhead squats and maybe if I get the courage to make an ass of myself, practicing high pulls.
                  Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.

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                  • #24
                    OP, I'm currently on Week 3 of 5-3-1, and while my beginning 1RM is different than yours, I also do the 4 day spread on it. This could be the change that you need as well. In addition, I regularly piss the guys in my gym off by hogging the rack for 30-45 minutes. Especially on squats. My squat day has me doing the 5-3-1 squats, 3 sets of 10 lunges (where I am still using the rack), 3 sets of 10 front squats, aand 3 sets of calf raises. Walk in, grab the rack, throw your bag/towel/whatever down, grab the dumbbells you need and head back to the rack with them. From what Rich Mahogany ran for your numbers, you can get those or close to those with preloaded bar-bells or dumb bells. Alot of my lifts had those small (2.5) increments as well, so when I programmed my workouts, I made it make sense. For example, my Week 1 Squats had me ending on 5 sets of 97.5 I did 100 because I was feeling good on my way up to it.

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                    • #25
                      Since the schedule has me doing press and deadlift, I think what I will do is see how much I can get away with lifting the fixed bars. They have a no weights over your head rule after somebody did something stupid. Shit like that makes me really mad. Punish everybody for something one stupid person did. But I've noticed that they only enforce it sometimes.
                      Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.

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