deload needed when starting 5/3/1

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robertscott
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deload needed when starting 5/3/1

Post by robertscott » Tue Sep 14, 2010 9:11 am

ok so I'm going to start doing 5/3/1, everyone else is raving about how good it is so I figured I'd be in idiot not to. I must confess that I am NOT doing the program exactly the way Wendler prescribes (sorry Jim) but rather just using the percentage system on the only lifts I care about max strength in, namely deadlift and bench. My logic for this is:

1. Low rep, heavy squats do ZERO for my legs in terms of muscle development, so I'd rather just keep doing high volume squats/lunge variations.

2. Low rep, high intensity shoulder presses make my shoulder cry like a baby.

3. Deadlift and bench are my favourite lifts to do at a high intensity. I think they're the most satisfying, it's really just about my personal enjoyment.

I've been doing 5/3/1 for my deadlifts for the last couple of months and I love it, feels good breaking a PR every time you get into the gym. Thing is, having just worked out my percentages for the bench, the first couple of months are going to be downright easy, and a little embarrassing. Now I understand it's taking two steps back to go a hundred miles forward so I'm ok with it, what I was thinking though is that at that intensity I doubt very much I'll need a deload every 4 weeks. Probably only every 12. I haven't deloaded my deadlift yet, just been doing 3 week cycles missing out the deload week.

Did anyone else have a similar issue when starting? Did anyone skip the deloads til it started getting hard? Or are you all just following it the way Wendler prescribes?


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Post by KPj » Tue Sep 14, 2010 9:33 am

I'm not sure you're understanding it fully.

Any true "rep out" should make you want to die.... You get that from week 1, cycle 1. Infact, when I done it, the first 3 months were the hardest because the high reps on the big lifts were such a shock to my system. I was used to doing squats in the 1-3 rep range, with the occasional 5. So, rep outs going up to 15/16 reps were complete hell for me.

You also have his Boring But Big assistance template which includes 5 x 10 squats AFTER the rep out with the heaviest weight for that day.

Other than that - Yes, I done the deloads as described from month 1. 'Cause Wendler said so :wink: . However I pretty much always deload every 4th week and have done for a few years now. Although the deloads on 5-3-1 were a little easier than most deloads I would normally do.

I don't think there's anything wrong with only doing it for certain lifts on certain days and doing something else on the other days.

I would say that when I first read the 5-3-1 I didn't like the look of it. However, that was pretty much the deciding factor in doing it. Some of the best sessions/programs i've done have looked "easy" on paper, only to be humbled when I actually do it.

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Re: deload needed when starting 5/3/1

Post by Proper Knob » Tue Sep 14, 2010 10:36 am

robertscott wrote:Low rep, heavy squats do ZERO for my legs in terms of muscle development, so I'd rather just keep doing high volume squats/lunge variations.
The beauty of the program is that you can adapt it to what you need. You can still get in your high volume.

Example -

5/3/1 Squats

5 x 10 Squats @50-60% of your training max.

3-5 sets of lunge variations at 10-15 reps.

You can adapt it how you want.

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Post by KPj » Tue Sep 14, 2010 10:43 am

Or do 5 x 10 front squats (in my view hit your quads more).

Then add some BB Bulgarians afterwards...

Then Cry.

Then limp home.

....It really is what you make it.. :grin:

EDIT: Just remember increasing strength in the horrible low rep ranges "eventually" allows for increased volume with heavier weights for higher reps, too, which will eventually lead to world peace. Or bigger quads. Can't remember which...

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Post by stuward » Tue Sep 14, 2010 11:26 am

I find that after the 3rd week, I really need the deload week. Your rep out is suppossed to be with a weight close to your max. I never make it past 2 reps and it takes a lot out of you since you know that last rep is going to be a grinder.


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Post by robertscott » Wed Sep 15, 2010 2:59 pm

hmm, i think it probably has to do with you guys lifting far heavier weights than me.

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Post by KPj » Thu Sep 16, 2010 5:12 am

I'm not so sure. A rep out is a rep out, ya know... They should never be easy... I done 5-3-1 along side 3 beginners, too. Between 4 of us, squat load varied from 120-ish lbs to 300-ish lbs in the first cycle but, everyone felt like death after that last set. We also chose the higher percentage option for the other sets which is something that I occasionally regretted, particularly once we were a few cycles in.

We got quite competitive with it. I felt it was a great option for us because it meant, for example, that I could "compete" with even the beginner who had been training for only a few weeks before it. However a lot of the times the "rep out" would basically turn into "breathing squats" because you would be so desperate to either beat your last rep out or beat the other people you're training with.

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Post by robertscott » Thu Sep 16, 2010 12:02 pm

KPj wrote:I'm not so sure. A rep out is a rep out, ya know... They should never be easy... I done 5-3-1 along side 3 beginners, too. Between 4 of us, squat load varied from 120-ish lbs to 300-ish lbs in the first cycle but, everyone felt like death after that last set. We also chose the higher percentage option for the other sets which is something that I occasionally regretted, particularly once we were a few cycles in.

We got quite competitive with it. I felt it was a great option for us because it meant, for example, that I could "compete" with even the beginner who had been training for only a few weeks before it. However a lot of the times the "rep out" would basically turn into "breathing squats" because you would be so desperate to either beat your last rep out or beat the other people you're training with.

KPj
yeah I see what you mean, what I meant was the difference between like good and elite. For example I've heard of elite lifters who can only edadlift every 2 weeks or so because it takes them that long to recover, whereas a beginner could deadlift twice a week no problem. I'm a lot closer to the beginner end of the spectrum than you guys so I think I can recover faster

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Post by pdellorto » Thu Sep 16, 2010 3:48 pm

Deload anyway. It can't hurt to slow up a little and let your body recover, but it can hurt to push a little too hard, too fast. That's especially true on 5/3/1 if you're really going hard on the AMRAP sets. That'll be three weeks of close to 100% maximal efforts, why not take a week to recover? I do that with beginners, who theoretically don't need to do it. But it helps them and they make steady progress and don't get hurt.

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Post by KPj » Fri Sep 17, 2010 3:02 am

robertscott wrote:
yeah I see what you mean, what I meant was the difference between like good and elite. For example I've heard of elite lifters who can only edadlift every 2 weeks or so because it takes them that long to recover, whereas a beginner could deadlift twice a week no problem. I'm a lot closer to the beginner end of the spectrum than you guys so I think I can recover faster
I think you give me too much credit, :smile: . I'm far from Elite and deadlift atleast once every week, sometimes twice...

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Post by robertscott » Fri Sep 17, 2010 5:47 am

pdellorto wrote:Deload anyway. It can't hurt to slow up a little and let your body recover, but it can hurt to push a little too hard, too fast. That's especially true on 5/3/1 if you're really going hard on the AMRAP sets. That'll be three weeks of close to 100% maximal efforts, why not take a week to recover? I do that with beginners, who theoretically don't need to do it. But it helps them and they make steady progress and don't get hurt.
yeah I guess you're right. I just have a target of a 2xbodyweight deadlift for reps by xmas, and if I have a deload at the end of every cycle I'm not sure I'll make it in time.

goals for the end of the year are 160k deadlift, 110k bench. Deadlift is currently around 140, bench has been stuck at 95 for eternity

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Post by robertscott » Fri Sep 17, 2010 6:36 am

KPj wrote:
robertscott wrote:
yeah I see what you mean, what I meant was the difference between like good and elite. For example I've heard of elite lifters who can only edadlift every 2 weeks or so because it takes them that long to recover, whereas a beginner could deadlift twice a week no problem. I'm a lot closer to the beginner end of the spectrum than you guys so I think I can recover faster
I think you give me too much credit, :smile: . I'm far from Elite and deadlift atleast once every week, sometimes twice...

KPj
pansy!

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Post by KPj » Fri Sep 17, 2010 8:32 am

haha :grin:

Pansy?? I'm 185lbs of Spartan! lol. I wrestled with mutant wolves to prove my manhood before I was 8 years old.... Jeeeeez

Anyway. Excuse my nonsense, I seem to have that Friday feeling, despite working all weekend.

Deloads can be a difficult thing to get your head around when you've not done them or not really used them properly. You know you're on the right track when you get into the 4th week and you're pretty much good for nothing anyway. Should really be feeling slightly burnt out. Then on the new cycle, you should be re charged and ready to break records/take-over-the-world.

The truth is EVERYONE deloads. This is atleast in my opinion, anyway. I used to have this arguement with this big freak I trained with for a while who pulled over 600lbs almost every week and sometimes twice. He never "believed" in any sort of fancy programming, and especially deloads. He would just go as heavy as possible all the time. After a few weeks he would be moaning about not been able to lift what he lifted the previous weeks. Then he would moan about how he felt like crap, and felt banged up. A few weeks after that he would be all over it again, feeling great. To me, those few weeks of crap are your body forcing you to "deload". When I suggested this, though, he would just call me things like "baby gap" and other terms of affection like that. I would much rather be in control of when this happened, atleast to an extent anyway... You want to slightly over reach yourself (during the first 3 weeks), then under-reach yourself (deload/low volume) to get maximum recovery.

Remember you actually make yourself WEAKER in the gym. You get strong when you recover. Also, on the deload week, you should still get a good training effect from the assistance work so, shouldn't really feel like you're not doing anything.

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Post by pdellorto » Fri Sep 17, 2010 12:24 pm

If your goal is so critical, start with that goal and work backwards to establish your training maxes and starting point. Still include the deloads, for all the reasons KPj listed.

The other option I'd suggest is to just work forwards, with deloads, and pick a day right around your goal date and just work up instead of doing AMRAP. Get 5/3/1 and then work up until you pull a double at your goal weight. Two reps is still "reps."

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Post by Jungledoc » Sat Sep 18, 2010 11:59 pm

I've been away for a couple of days. Are we STILL trying to convince robertscott that he needs to deload? Do we need to go over there and deal with you in person? Huh? Be a good boy, and do it. You'll be happier, and we'll be nicer to you.


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