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Thread: 5/3/1 Big But Boring - what the government doesn't want you to know page 2

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by boomingno View Post
    Try the Bastard option for work sets order.
    I might end up doing that. However, instead of doing say 85%, 75%, 65%, I'd want to do 85%, 85%, 85%. Or maybe drop the weight 5-10 lbs if I didn't think I could get all the reps again at the same weight.

    Quote Originally Posted by boomingno View Post
    EDIT: Stronglifts only has you deadlifting for 1 set of 5, but it also has you squatting 3 times per week for 5 sets. I think it evens out in the end, but I've always liked deadlifting more than squatting. YMMV
    I've always liked squatting much more. Deadlifting has always been mostly a grip test for me, and now with six total sets it also hurts my lower back.
    "Don't go in there, General, it's a trap! That's a grain chamber. It makes people like you into people like me."

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by PrimalHunter View Post
    Three warm up sets and three 5/3/1 sets. You really think it's a form problem? I thought "Oh, this is why StrongLifts only has you doing one set of deads."
    Thanks for the clarification. I guess the first two sets do take some out of you, especially on Week 3. That's one reason I kinda like the BBB 3-month challenge I'm doing right now: you just do the prescribed reps instead of going for a rep max. I think it still makes sense to sufficiently warm up. I don't know. Maybe try doing triples or doubles instead of sets of 5. Or just rest a little longer before your big set.

    You may have prefect form, I don't know. When you say it's hard to stand up, why is that? Just that you're gassed, or does your back hurt? If it's back pain/tightness, I'd definitely check my form. If not, maybe you're fine. Either way, I think you can do as many reps as you want as long as you maintain very good form for all your reps. I know I used to do too many reps on DL and would let my form get sloppy just so I could finish my sets or set a new rep record. I'm done with that. Form is paramount.

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by PrimalHunter View Post
    I did what the program calls for - three warm up sets and three 5/3/1 sets. The problem is that every set takes something out of you. Not the warmups so much (they're a bit light, even for warmups), but the first two 5/3/1 sets definitely count. Your performance on the last set will be somewhat hindered by the previous sets. Maybe it only costs you a rep or two, but doesn't that matter if we're going for PRs?



    Three warm up sets and three 5/3/1 sets. You really think it's a form problem? I thought "Oh, this is why StrongLifts only has you doing one set of deads."


    That is the idea; your muscles are pre fatigued from the earlier volume. Run a few cycles and see what happens. Remember, as a novice you sometimes need more sub-maximal volume in order to induce growth and progress. The whole theory behind 5/3/1 is you don't have to be lifting your heaviest weights every time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CE402 View Post
    The whole theory behind 5/3/1 is you don't have to be lifting your heaviest weights every time.
    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.
    Female, 5'3", 49, Starting weight: 163lbs. Current weight: 135 (more or less).
    I can squat 180lbs, press 72.5lbs and deadlift 185lbs

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    Quote Originally Posted by yodiewan View Post
    Maybe try doing triples or doubles instead of sets of 5. Or just rest a little longer before your big set.
    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by yodiewan View Post
    When you say it's hard to stand up, why is that? Just that you're gassed, or does your back hurt? If it's back pain/tightness, I'd definitely check my form. If not, maybe you're fine. Either way, I think you can do as many reps as you want as long as you maintain very good form for all your reps. I know I used to do too many reps on DL and would let my form get sloppy just so I could finish my sets or set a new rep record. I'm done with that. Form is paramount.
    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by CE402 View Post
    That is the idea; your muscles are pre fatigued from the earlier volume. Run a few cycles and see what happens. Remember, as a novice you sometimes need more sub-maximal volume in order to induce growth and progress. The whole theory behind 5/3/1 is you don't have to be lifting your heaviest weights every time.
    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!
    "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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    Quote 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.

    Quote 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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    Quote 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.

  8. #18
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    Quote 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.

  9. #19
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    Quote 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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    Quote 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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