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5/3/1 Big But Boring - what the government doesn't want you to know

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  • #16
    Originally posted by sbhikes View Post
    This is what I thought I would try 5/3/1. Thing is, once you have added enough weight over time, you're back up to your heaviest weights again.
    Yes, but only for the last set of the main lifts. The other 5 sets for the main lifts aren't at your heaviest weights, and the assistance work can be whatever weight you want.

    Originally posted by sbhikes View Post
    Also, rep % calculators are pretty inaccurate for women.
    Are you saying that formulas for calculating your 1 RMs based on your rep maxes aren't accurate, or do you mean that doing sets at say 65%, 75%, and 85% of your max doesn't provide the right amount of resistance?
    "Don't go in there, General, it's a trap! That's a grain chamber. It makes people like you into people like me."

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    • #17
      Originally posted by sbhikes View Post
      This is what I thought I would try 5/3/1. Thing is, once you have added enough weight over time, you're back up to your heaviest weights again. Also, rep % calculators are pretty inaccurate for women.
      That's called progress.

      Any progressively loaded strength training program will have you lifting heavier weights, that's the idea.

      But the theory is, that as you progress on 5/3/1 you may be lifting heavier weights than you did before, they are not the HEAVIEST weights you can lift. You're still only doing 86% of your actual 1RM on the 1+ set.

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      • #18
        Originally posted by PrimalHunter View Post
        I think I'll just take a longer rest before the big set for now. I don't plan on tampering with the sets in the near future, with the possible exception of eliminating some deadlift sets.



        It makes my lower back hurt, and sitting down between sets takes the load off. The only thing with my form that I know some people won't like is that I don't drag the bar up my legs. I let the bar hang naturally, so it's slightly in front of my legs most of the time and only touches them at the very bottom and the very top. I know it's supposed to be easier on your lower back if you're actually scraping your legs, but I never did that because it seems like a good way to get bruises. I guess I can try it though.



        That could be true, though it conflicts with what some people say. Anyway, if it works, it works. I just think it's a bit inconsistent with the idea of rep maxes. Jim Wendler talks about finding your new 1 RMs after the 5/3/1 sets by doing just the prescribed reps, then testing your max. But obviously whatever you can lift after the 5/3/1 sets is not really your max!
        Your lower back hurts because you have the weight too far forward and you're stressing the spinal erectors. Read the SS chapter on deadlifts, it explains why you want to drag that weight up your shins. Bar over mid-foot, hips back, weight back on your heels, chest up, back arched and drive with your legs.


        I think what he means is to estimate your 1rm based on the 1+ or 5+ reps. It's been pretty accurate for me thus far.

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        • #19
          Originally posted by maclrc View Post
          Yes, it is standard protocol to start with a relatively light weight. However, your numbers are a little unusual, as mentioned previously. Either your 1RM is relatively low or your endurance at reasonably high percentage of 1RM is relatively high.

          To give you an idea of what is more standard (knowing others with similar ratios etc,). At 75kg bodyweight my 1RM is 165 when last tested (maybe 170 now), so if I take 90% of that (start point for 5/3/1) and then 85% of that I get 125kg to the nearest 2.5kg (rounded down obviously). I could maybe get 10-15 reps at that tops when fresh and almost certainly with heavily compromised form in the later reps. Ability to do high rep work though is largely determined by endurance levels and previous training, as opposed to outright maximal strength.

          Some points to be aware of:

          1) At high rep ranges, the relationship to 1RM is almost impossible to determine e.g. knowing someone's 3RM gives a very good idea of likely 1RM, whereas knowing there 15 or 20RM doesn't
          2) The 5+/3+/1+ sets assume good form for all reps and that a couple of reps should be left in the tank
          3) The first cycle will feel very light, in a few cycles time when the weight is potentially 15kg heavier, it won't
          4) Wendler explains that it is much better to start too light, than too heavy, which may cause you to stall prematurely.

          EDIT: Speaking from personal experience, the program is extremely effective.
          Ok, agree with my 1 rep should be a bit higher I think it's mainly as I have not really been training lower reps than 5 for the 2 years . Aiming for 3 reps x body weight x2 this year


          London UK

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          • #20
            Originally posted by CE402 View Post
            Your lower back hurts because you have the weight too far forward and you're stressing the spinal erectors.
            Yes, that was exactly it. This article helped me figure it out. Rippetoe says put the bar an inch from your shins. I had been more like 3 inches away. Tried it an inch away today, and deadlifts were an absolute breeze - no back pain at all.

            The "bar over the middle of your foot" cue that everyone says is very misleading. I thought I had been keeping it over the middle of my foot, but I found that your perspective is completely different when looking down. "Shins an inch from the bar" is perfectly clear.
            "Don't go in there, General, it's a trap! That's a grain chamber. It makes people like you into people like me."

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            • #21
              I place my feet so the bar is over the middle of my foot when standing up, and when I get down in position, my shins touch the bar.

              Sent from my GT-I9300 using Tapatalk 2

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              • #22
                My husband and I are starting the 5/3/1 training and was wondering if I should be doing anything different than him during this training? I'm already fit but looking to bump things up a little.

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                • #23
                  This is what I want to know:

                  Decades ago, they already had descent cookie cutter routines that were tried and true, routines such as 20 rep squats and 5x5. People continued to use them, often recommending them to newbies, and good results were always reported.

                  And many people had their own different versions of these routines. Some even had their own different routines. It just goes through cycles.

                  And now days some fat slob who got his results from training WSB style AND taking steroids AND wearing powerlifting gear, makes up a new cookie cutter routine (for raw lifters even though he lifted in gear), and now that's the new thing that everyone is doing? As if 5x5 and supersquats never worked or existed? And now that I'm older, been there and done that, competed in powerlifting and eventually got out of it, kids are going to come up to me in the gym and recommend for me to do 5/3/1?

                  Please? The phrase "commercial hype" comes to mind. And that's exactly what it is. I'm sure it works, just like all the other routines. But it also seems unnecessarily complicated to me. Chose a simple routine, lift hard and heavy, add weight to the bar, and you'll get big and strong. Simple as that.

                  Oops? Apologies to the author. I know we all have to make money. I get it. But he didn't invent anything new. Progressive resistance always worked.

                  Sorry, had to get that out. I hate 5/3/1.
                  Peace folks.

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                  • #24
                    Great, hope you feel better having gotten that out of your system. Though in the book Wendler comes out and admits that back in his powerlifting days, he was a fat slob who could only waddle up to the bar and do squats, and pretty much nothing else. And I agree with the OP that there are a bunch of contradictions in the book - probably due to is being a mash-up of blog posts. But it is an interesting program that allows a lot of people to make steady progress with intense workouts that don't take a lot of time.

                    So, who else is doing 5/3/1? How is it working for you?

                    I am at the end of my fourth 4-week cycle, and have been doing Boring but Big assists for three cycles now. During my deload week last time around I did the Cosgrove's Evil 8 complexes a few times, but this time around I am feeling pretty wiped, and am going to do nothing besides some walking during my deload week.

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                    • #25
                      Want to start . But the starting weeks seem to be so light so not sure to give it a go or not.


                      From London England UK

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                      • #26
                        I did it from December and until sometime in June with great success. I imagine I'll go back to it again at some point.

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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by Ripped View Post
                          This is what I want to know:

                          Decades ago, they already had descent cookie cutter routines that were tried and true, routines such as 20 rep squats and 5x5. People continued to use them, often recommending them to newbies, and good results were always reported.

                          And many people had their own different versions of these routines. Some even had their own different routines. It just goes through cycles.

                          And now days some fat slob who got his results from training WSB style AND taking steroids AND wearing powerlifting gear, makes up a new cookie cutter routine (for raw lifters even though he lifted in gear), and now that's the new thing that everyone is doing? As if 5x5 and supersquats never worked or existed? And now that I'm older, been there and done that, competed in powerlifting and eventually got out of it, kids are going to come up to me in the gym and recommend for me to do 5/3/1?

                          Please? The phrase "commercial hype" comes to mind. And that's exactly what it is. I'm sure it works, just like all the other routines. But it also seems unnecessarily complicated to me. Chose a simple routine, lift hard and heavy, add weight to the bar, and you'll get big and strong. Simple as that.

                          Oops? Apologies to the author. I know we all have to make money. I get it. But he didn't invent anything new. Progressive resistance always worked.

                          Sorry, had to get that out. I hate 5/3/1.
                          Peace folks.
                          apparently you do not understand basic principles of training programming. How long do you think a trainee would last on a progressive linear program? A few months maybe. 531 is simple, basic, almost minimalist in nature. You hit your prescribed numbers on the main lifts making MONTHLY progress, and then your assistance work is up to you and your specific goals. It is by far one of the best programs out there from powerlifters to your weekend warrior fitness buff type.

                          Who cares where the source came from (even though Jim Wendler IMO is great), the information he has laid out is gold.

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            Originally posted by colobb View Post
                            apparently you do not understand basic principles of training programming. How long do you think a trainee would last on a progressive linear program? A few months maybe. 531 is simple, basic, almost minimalist in nature. You hit your prescribed numbers on the main lifts making MONTHLY progress, and then your assistance work is up to you and your specific goals. It is by far one of the best programs out there from powerlifters to your weekend warrior fitness buff type.

                            Who cares where the source came from (even though Jim Wendler IMO is great), the information he has laid out is gold.
                            So nobody ever got strong before the invention of 5/3/1?

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              Originally posted by Ripped View Post
                              This is what I want to know:

                              Decades ago, they already had descent cookie cutter routines that were tried and true, routines such as 20 rep squats and 5x5. People continued to use them, often recommending them to newbies, and good results were always reported.

                              And many people had their own different versions of these routines. Some even had their own different routines. It just goes through cycles.

                              And now days some fat slob who got his results from training WSB style AND taking steroids AND wearing powerlifting gear, makes up a new cookie cutter routine (for raw lifters even though he lifted in gear), and now that's the new thing that everyone is doing? As if 5x5 and supersquats never worked or existed? And now that I'm older, been there and done that, competed in powerlifting and eventually got out of it, kids are going to come up to me in the gym and recommend for me to do 5/3/1?

                              Please? The phrase "commercial hype" comes to mind. And that's exactly what it is. I'm sure it works, just like all the other routines. But it also seems unnecessarily complicated to me. Chose a simple routine, lift hard and heavy, add weight to the bar, and you'll get big and strong. Simple as that.

                              Oops? Apologies to the author. I know we all have to make money. I get it. But he didn't invent anything new. Progressive resistance always worked.

                              Sorry, had to get that out. I hate 5/3/1.
                              Peace folks.
                              I prefer 12/8/6 myself

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                Originally posted by Ripped View Post
                                So nobody ever got strong before the invention of 5/3/1?
                                You need to re-read what I said. LINEAR (weekly or daily) progression is impossible after a certain point with any trainee. After this point is met a person has to implement other principles; block periodization, wave training, RPE, ect. 531 is one of many great programs out there that can yeild good results over a long period of time.

                                Is 531 the best program out there? Depends on who you ask and what their goals and preferences are. IMO it's a very versitile training program that almost anyone implement properly.

                                To say you hate a well thought out training plan is just plain stupid when most people who work out have no plan, no idea of where there strength is, and no real goals. God forbid someone go into the gym and hit prescribed numbers in a progressive fasion...

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