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 Posted: Wed Nov 09, 2011 7:03 am
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You gain strength from those 75, 80, 85, 90, and 95% reps, every one of them. You're not just gaining on the last set, or the last rep of the last set. And you gain more from the last good rep then you do from the grinder. The grinders cost you a lot more in terms of potential for injury and in greater need for recovery. Heck, look at Steve Justa (not that you see lots of people doing his programs), who at least claims great gains from a program involving no more than 70% lifts!

And Rik, the 90% of max is just the starting place for the first cycle. He doesn't want people starting the program already stalled. It doesn't take long until the last set on 5/3/1 day is pretty close to your true 1RM, though it's 96% of your current "training max". The real progress is not from the 5s day to the 3s day, but from one cycle to the next.

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 Posted: Wed Nov 09, 2011 11:45 am

Joined: Sat Nov 20, 2010 10:48 pm
Posts: 1415
Location: New York, USA
Jungledoc wrote:
The real progress is not from the 5s day to the 3s day, but from one cycle to the next.

This is an important point. You are making progress through the cycle but it is very hard to measure. The reason is simple arithmetic.

If you make 9 reps on 5+ day, you can safely expect 7 reps on 3+ day. But if you do the arithmetic you'll see Wendler's formula (taken with a suitable grain of salt) says you are standing still at 7 reps. But that is only because we cannot measure fractional reps, 7 appears the same as last week's 9, but 8 would be too much of an improvement to expect in 1 week.

The magic happens when you get to the next cycle, the weights all go up, and you look at what is happening on the all-out sets. That's when you begin to see how the improvement is coming along.

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 Posted: Wed Nov 09, 2011 1:27 pm
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Joined: Tue May 06, 2008 1:47 pm
Posts: 458
Location: Nottinghamshire U.K.
KenDowns wrote:
Jungledoc wrote:
The real progress is not from the 5s day to the 3s day, but from one cycle to the next.

This is an important point. You are making progress through the cycle but it is very hard to measure. The reason is simple arithmetic.

If you make 9 reps on 5+ day, you can safely expect 7 reps on 3+ day. But if you do the arithmetic you'll see Wendler's formula (taken with a suitable grain of salt) says you are standing still at 7 reps. But that is only because we cannot measure fractional reps, 7 appears the same as last week's 9, but 8 would be too much of an improvement to expect in 1 week.

The magic happens when you get to the next cycle, the weights all go up, and you look at what is happening on the all-out sets. That's when you begin to see how the improvement is coming along.

Yes, I totally agree and i'm not disputing this. I think i'm being misunderstood. You'll have to bare with me, one of my problems is I dont articulate in writing very well

Coming full circle here, what i'm saying is that I dont think its important to 'beat' your total reps cycle to cycle. It's important to get over the minimum, not to kill yourself.

Last cycle, week one I'll squat 100kg for 10 reps.
This cycle, week one I dont need to squat 102.5 for 11 reps, 10 would be fine also. The weight is heavier, so thats progress. Depending on the maths, 9 reps might still be progress too.

I 'might' be able to squat 102.5 for 13 reps, but at what expence? Crappy form, or I might hurt myself, or be tempted to jump the weight too much next cycle.

Obviously i'm not arguing the effectivness of 531. I'm seeing great gains. I worry that people get wrapped up too much in the 'beat' the reps senario, at the end of the day where do you stop? 15 reps? 20 reps....etc...

Personally, seeing the weight go up each cycle and being able to do at least the same number of reps is progress, i'll take it.

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 Posted: Wed Nov 09, 2011 1:42 pm

Joined: Sat Nov 20, 2010 10:48 pm
Posts: 1415
Location: New York, USA
Last cycle, week one I'll squat 100kg for 10 reps.
This cycle, week one I dont need to squat 102.5 for 11 reps, 10 would be fine also. The weight is heavier, so thats progress.

Exactly. That's the magic. Sometimes you do get 11, which is a nice surprise, and sometimes you get 9 and say, "hmmm, no progress?" But the broad median is same reps with higher weight, which is progress.

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 Posted: Wed Nov 09, 2011 1:45 pm
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Joined: Tue May 06, 2008 1:47 pm
Posts: 458
Location: Nottinghamshire U.K.
Jungledoc wrote:
You gain strength from those 75, 80, 85, 90, and 95% reps, every one of them. You're not just gaining on the last set, or the last rep of the last set. And you gain more from the last good rep then you do from the grinder. The grinders cost you a lot more in terms of potential for injury and in greater need for recovery. Heck, look at Steve Justa (not that you see lots of people doing his programs), who at least claims great gains from a program involving no more than 70% lifts!

And Rik, the 90% of max is just the starting place for the first cycle. He doesn't want people starting the program already stalled. It doesn't take long until the last set on 5/3/1 day is pretty close to your true 1RM, though it's 96% of your current "training max". The real progress is not from the 5s day to the 3s day, but from one cycle to the next.

Yes, I see what you're saying.

This is still a learning curve for me, this lifting lark! I'm starting to learn that gains can be made with submaximal weights.
Maybe i'm starting to move from novice to intermediate. Leaving behind the 5x5 type programs, adding a minimum amount of weight for linear gains v's more advanced systems is testing my logic. Maybe this is where people decide to stop lifting, because the 'logic' doesn't sit very well in thier minds.

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 Posted: Wed Nov 09, 2011 2:43 pm

Joined: Sat Nov 20, 2010 10:48 pm
Posts: 1415
Location: New York, USA
This is still a learning curve for me, this lifting lark! I'm starting to learn that gains can be made with submaximal weights.
Maybe i'm starting to move from novice to intermediate. Leaving behind the 5x5 type programs, adding a minimum amount of weight for linear gains v's more advanced systems is testing my logic. Maybe this is where people decide to stop lifting, because the 'logic' doesn't sit very well in thier minds.

You said a mouthful. I had to completely re-learn how to think about the numbers when I went to 5/3/1.

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 Posted: Tue Nov 22, 2011 3:31 pm
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Joined: Sat May 14, 2011 12:27 pm
Posts: 257
I don't get this 5/3/1 at all. Are you all power lifters?

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 Posted: Tue Nov 22, 2011 4:00 pm
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Joined: Tue May 06, 2008 1:47 pm
Posts: 458
Location: Nottinghamshire U.K.
CorlessJohnJ wrote:
I don't get this 5/3/1 at all. Are you all power lifters?

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 Posted: Tue Nov 22, 2011 4:19 pm
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Joined: Thu Feb 07, 2008 7:11 am
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Location: Kudjip, Papua New Guinea
John, 5/3/1 is easily used by power lifters, general strength trainers, body builders or whatever. It gives a basic to plan your training and progression, but the details of the assistance work individualizes the training.

I started training too late in life to become a real power lifter, but I can fantasize!

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 Posted: Tue Nov 22, 2011 5:52 pm
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Joined: Sat May 14, 2011 12:27 pm
Posts: 257
Jungledoc wrote:
John, 5/3/1 is easily used by power lifters, general strength trainers, body builders or whatever. It gives a basic to plan your training and progression, but the details of the assistance work individualizes the training.

I started training too late in life to become a real power lifter, but I can fantasize!

Don't you train for what you want? Muscle hypertrophy occurs between 8 and 10 reps?

I couldn't do a 5/3/1 workout if thats the rep range and actually feel like im working out unless it was for simply increasing your one rep max. Which matters if you are COMPETING.
I just see everyone here salivating at this workout and it doesn't look appealing to me at all.

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"Opportunity does not knock, it presents itself when you beat down the door"

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 Posted: Tue Nov 22, 2011 6:02 pm
 In Memoriam: TimD

Joined: Mon Dec 19, 2005 8:04 am
Posts: 3129
Location: Va Beach, Va
John, READ the link Doc or someone sent to Wendler's 5-3-1. Yes, 8-10 or a TUL between 45-120 sec with a 75 % 1 RM might be better for hypertrophy, but the 5-3-1 is geared towards using a major function lift, be it push, pull, squat in the 5-3-1, then following it up with auxilliary exercises done in what you could determine as the hypertrophy range, as per your definition. For example (and I haven't read the article or his books in a while), a push exercise could be focus lift, BP, done 5-3-1 in the prescirbed %'s, reps plus the finish set with a + or don't stop, go for it. Then, your auxes might be DB Inclines, Pullups or assisted pullups, P-Bar Dips and DB rows done quickly (like I've seen from your workouts) for 5-10 sets of 10 or so, with moderate to moderately heavy weights. The point being, as I believe it was Doc, that said earlier, it can be tailored to whatever you want it to be, but you do focus on one major lift for the session.

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 Posted: Tue Nov 22, 2011 6:26 pm
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Joined: Sat Mar 10, 2007 5:44 pm
Posts: 6593
Location: Halifax, NS
The other great thing about it is that it has a 4 week cycle built in so those that don't make linear progress anymore can still progress without overtraining.

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Let thy food be thy medicine, and thy medicine be thy food.~Hippocrates
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Thanks TimD

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 Posted: Tue Nov 22, 2011 7:04 pm
 Deific Wizard of Sagacity

Joined: Thu Apr 24, 2008 7:20 pm
Posts: 4424

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 Posted: Tue Nov 22, 2011 10:10 pm
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Joined: Wed Dec 28, 2005 6:40 am
Posts: 2003
Location: Texas
and you aint getting stronger without getting bigger.

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Thanks TimD.

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 Posted: Wed Nov 23, 2011 7:12 am
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Joined: Thu Feb 07, 2008 7:11 am
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Location: Kudjip, Papua New Guinea
and the other way around, too.

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Our greatest fear should not be of failure, but of succeeding at things in life that don't really matter.--Francis Chan

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