Set/Rep Manipulation, Extrinsic Motivation and In-Season Programming
Question: Jim, I'm trying to find where you wrote about adding extra worksets... although you don't much recommend it, I know. I've got the Powerlifting 531 and 2nd Edition ebooks, but can't find it. I appreciate it if you could direct me to it.
Answer: Just run the sets/reps up and down. For example, on the “3x5” week, your training would look like this:
Other weeks follow suit. You can do +Reps on the “big set” of the day and the final set of the day (if you wish).
Question: I just got the 5 3 1 program and read the book in one day. Im 19 years old. I weigh 190. I just started competing and have seen a HUGE decline in my bench since Im doing the new competition form. I was wondering if you have any tips for comp bench. Also i noticed your program has no bicep workouts in it. Does that mean to forget em? haha
Answer: Sounds like whoever taught you how to bench sucks – especially if it is a huge decline in your performance (unless you lifted your ass off the bench in the old days). My advice is to strengthen your chest, shoulder, lats, upper back and arms – and work on developing your own form over the next 5-10 years.
Question: First off, as everyone else does I need to thank you for 5/3/1 and, most of all, your philosophy on lifting and life ("getting shit done"). Strength gains aside, it's actually had a profound change on my life in many aspects -- so thank you.
My question is on the OH/Military Press. While all my lifts have consistently improved the year and a half I've ran 5/3/1, my OH Press has hit some inconsistencies the last few months, and I'm not sure why. I started the PL'ing version a few months ago, which has helped tremendously. However, on OH Press I don't do the singles. I still follow the template as is (switching weeks 1 and 2 and not going for max reps in the 5s week) but I felt singles weren't necessary for me on OH Press (never really heard of people going for singles on strict presses, but then again I train in a semi-commericial gym so I'm probabaly just blind to it). One workout I'll press beautifully and the next I'll miss a weight that I've done for 3 or 4 before. I'm very inconsisent (sometimes I lose balance on the way down, or my grip isn't set right).
I realize that the Press will increase the slowest but, until recently, I was consistent on it and it was one of my (relatively speaking) "better" lifts.
Have you ever experienced inconsistency with your press, when even your bench was improving? Should I start doing the singles?
Answer: I wrote an article on the Press recently. http://www.t-nation.com/free_online_article/most_recent/my_favorite_upper_body_lift
“sometimes I lose balance on the way down, or my grip isn't set right” – Sounds like you need to take care of the things you have control over rather than start doing singles. Start performing set up rituals before each lift to make sure your mind and body are ready for the task at hand.
Question: I really like the idea of training with separate bench, squat and deadlift days - "push/pull/legs" style. I've been training steadily for years and being 49, my recovery isn't what it used to be, so full body with squatting multiple times a week isn't that great for me. Would it be a bad idea for a trainer like myself to implement 5/3/1's parameters into that type of routine like something like this:
- bench 5/3/1 (alternate with press for 5/3/1 focus)
- press 5x10-15
- JM's 5x10-15
- deadlift 5/3/1
- good mornings 5x10
- weighted chins 5x10
Answer: It’s not a bad idea except I would pick different assistance exercises. Especially the JM Press.
- squat 5/3/1
- squat 50% 10-15
- SDL/RDL 5x10
Question: My training has been lagging in recent weeks. I am going for my first competition in December. Maybe you could throw some inspirationally insulting insulting words to help me get back on track.
Answer: Extrinsic motivation is for poofs.
Question: Thanks for the great work. I've been using 5/3/1 in some form for over a year now after two years of pointless program hopping. The clarity of the program and simple measurable goals make it awesome.
One quick question, do you have any advice for people training for weight class sports? Also, how do you get the best idea of what weight you should compete at if you're someone who can control their weight pretty well.
Answer: You will have to manipulate core lift volume, assistant work volume, and diet. Sub max training, smart exercise selection and calorie manipulation without the removal of carbs: that is what you are going to have to do. You will have to come to the realization that your gains are going to be limited because you are limiting yourself.
Question: Hey Jim I was wondering if you could shed some light on adjusting the 1RM. I started 5-3-1 two months ago and my 1RM for deadlift was 370. Yesterday my estimated 1RM is 480. Should this be my new 1RM or should I keep working with the weight I started with two months ago??
Answer: So your predicted 1RM went up 110 pounds and you want to change things? Really? Remember your training max changes every cycle. Don’t be in such a rush to not make progress.
Question: I'm 39yrs old and compete in raw powerlifting a couple of times a year. In february I lifted 170kg-115kg-190kg for a 480 total which I really wasn't that satisfied with as my PR total is 500.
Anyway, my conditioning sucks and I began boxing twice a week to fix it and also to feel awesome.
This, of course, has an impact on my lifting. I train boxing for 1hr 15minutes Tuesdays and Thursdays at 7am because that's when the classes are and with family it's impossible to make it any other time. This week I lifted Monday (bench, deadlift) and Wednesday (squat, press) and I planned to continue like this.
How would you program strength training and boxing? I know it's far from optimal for strength training/powerlifting but I don't care about that right now.
Answer: Strength train two times/week:
Day One - Squat/Bench
Day Two- Dead/Press
Assistance work is minimal and done with time and efficiency/recovery in mind.
Get in/get out and have a good time. I have written extensively about in-season training and sport on EFS, in the 531 Football book and on this website. Check it out.
Got a question for Jim Wendler? Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org
. Legitimate questions will be answered via the website/blog. All older questions will be answered in time via www.JimWendler.com
If in doubt, ask yourself, “What Would Conan Do?” And I can guarantee you that 100% of your training questions will have answers. Unless you are part eunuch.
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