Lower Training Max Calculation
Crow wrote:Wendler also states nowadays that one should be able to do 5 strong reps (with good barspeed) in 5/3/1-week.
I would recommend a lower TM, either a new calculation (taking 85% instead of 90%) or going back 3 cycles and go from there.
This is an excellent point.
With that stated, let me add to it.
Training percentages are not carved in stone, they are a guideline.
Explicitly following the training percentage designated can be counter productive in obtaining your objective.
That means if the if the training guideline you are using is too hard/demanding, you need to DROP the weight down.
The Training Objective
The true training objective is to max out in the final week of your training program.
The weeks preceding you last all out max out week are what I term...
Warm Up Weeks
Warm up weeks are no different that warm up sets.
A minimal amount of work needs to be performed with warm ups sets. This ensures you greatest amount of strength and energy is reserved for you top, all out max effort set.
With that said, here how Warm Up Weeks need to be applied to...
The 5/3/1 Program
Sets of 5 Reps Week: Think of this as the your first Warm Up Week. This workout should be fairly easy. You should be able to complete your sets of 5 reps with room to spare.
If your are struggling in this 85% week, it's going to impact the following week.
Sets of 3 Week: Think of this as your second Warm Up Week. This workout is more taxing. However, you should still be able to finish your set of 3 reps with room to spare.
If you are struggling with a 90% week, it going to impact the next week.
Set or Sets of 1: This is your all out max week. This is where you push it to the limit.
This is where inroads are made with strength.
Active Recovery Week
This is your Reset Week in which your training load is light and easy.
This is where you start back over with Sets of 5 Reps. It NEEDS to be fairly easy.
When I trained with 5/3/1 and was in your situation, unless I had really bad days, I decided to go back 3 cycles. This always lead to stronger reps with better technique and a better training-effect.
And you can always try to go for a new rep-record with the lower weight
Again, think of each week as a Warm Up Week like a Warm Up Set.
Preforming rep-records with Warm Up Sets kills your top set.
That same analogy applies with Warm Up Weeks.
If you really have a problem (with your ego) grinding out reps on the plus-sets (also a problem I had in the beginning)...
This is a common problem with ambitious individuals.
No one wants to do less than they have been doing.
What end up happening is common sense is overridden by emotion.
Always remember, you want to build strength in training... training is not the time to test your strength.
Another excellent point.
Everyone determine their own luck for the most part.
"Chance (luck) favors the prepared."