What do you do with 5/3/1 template after big PR

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tomcornhole
tomcornhole Posts: 1,084 Member
Today was "1" day on 5/3/1 for deadlift. I was supposed to pull 1x305 and felt great so I decided to do a 1RM day. 1x315. 1x345. 1x365. 1x390. Ran out of plates. Form wasn't perfect on the 1x390 so I would have stopped anyway even if I had more plates. Yeah me.

Here's my issue. My previous 1RM actual was 335. All of my 5/3/1 progression is based on 335 1RM. Do I now reset the whole template for next week for 390 1RM or just keep progressing as scheduled? I wish I knew what made today a kick *kitten* day because last week I could barely pull 5x275. I did switch to sumo style. Maybe I need 2 separate templates. One lighter for standard DL, one much heavier for sumo DL.

Thoughts and advice greatly appreciated as always.

Tom

Replies

  • MonsterToBe
    MonsterToBe Posts: 244 Member
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    I think it'd partly depend on how many weeks you have left in this cycle. If it's only one or two more weeks, might as well finish and then test. Switching pulling style mid-cycle makes it hard to know what's going on -- it could be that once you got in some good practice with sumo, you've discovered that you're stronger pulling sumo than conventional. Or it could be that your squat and deadlift have both advanced more than you expected and a major squat PR is in the offing as well.

    I think if I were in your shoes, I'd probably take a week of very light work (like during the week leading up to a meet) and then test all my lifts and start a new cycle based on the new numbers. A 55 lb PR is a huge jump. On the other hand, if you feel like the programming right now is right for your squat and bench and you suspect it's just the switch from conventional to sumo behind the awesome PR (which, btw, CONGRATS!!!! :oD ), I'd say stick with it till the end of the cycle. As you progress your squat, your deadlift should go up more anyway even if you're not pulling as heavy as you really could.
  • Sarauk2sf
    Sarauk2sf Posts: 28,072 Member
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    Is it 3s week or 5/3/1 week next week? Also, how long have you been pulling sumo and do you usually do sumo or mix it up with conventionals?
  • tomcornhole
    tomcornhole Posts: 1,084 Member
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    It was 5/3/1 week. Next week is deload week. I just tried sumo last week ("3" week) based on a post of yours I read. Liked it and felt it was easier than conventional DL. This is only my second week of trying sumo, ever. I like it because I can get into and maintain a better back position because my lower legs are freakishly long. And I think it engages the hamstrings and glutes much more which may help my pathetic squats. I think the conventional DL did a better job of engaging the traps and delts so I want to continue doing both but alternating somehow.
  • tomcornhole
    tomcornhole Posts: 1,084 Member
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    I think it'd partly depend on how many weeks you have left in this cycle. If it's only one or two more weeks, might as well finish and then test. Switching pulling style mid-cycle makes it hard to know what's going on -- it could be that once you got in some good practice with sumo, you've discovered that you're stronger pulling sumo than conventional. Or it could be that your squat and deadlift have both advanced more than you expected and a major squat PR is in the offing as well.

    I think if I were in your shoes, I'd probably take a week of very light work (like during the week leading up to a meet) and then test all my lifts and start a new cycle based on the new numbers. A 55 lb PR is a huge jump. On the other hand, if you feel like the programming right now is right for your squat and bench and you suspect it's just the switch from conventional to sumo behind the awesome PR (which, btw, CONGRATS!!!! :oD ), I'd say stick with it till the end of the cycle. As you progress your squat, your deadlift should go up more anyway even if you're not pulling as heavy as you really could.

    Any ideas on why my squat is so pathetic? The sumo DL starts out a lot like the bottom of a squat. At least for me. I can pull 390 lbs off the floor starting from the bottom of a sumo DL which indicates my legs are strong, right? Then why can I only manage 225 lbs 1RM on squat? I think I have form issues on my squat that are holding me back.
  • MonsterToBe
    MonsterToBe Posts: 244 Member
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    Any ideas on why my squat is so pathetic? The sumo DL starts out a lot like the bottom of a squat. At least for me. I can pull 390 lbs off the floor starting from the bottom of a sumo DL which indicates my legs are strong, right? Then why can I only manage 225 lbs 1RM on squat? I think I have form issues on my squat that are holding me back.

    For me, the limiting factor in squat has never yet been leg strength. It's always been something else -- not understanding how to keep my upper back tight, letting my shoulders round forward (which lets my elbows fly up behind me like I'm a chicken or something and compromises upper back position), having an arch in my lumbar spine during part of the descent, losing glute tightness in the hole, and those are just the ones I can think of off the top of my head. As soon as I address one weakness in form and start progressing again, another weakness is revealed to work on. Watching videos of my squats has been a major tool for improvement. I can compare my form on light squats to heavier ones and see what's beginning to break down, or spot what's going on during a set that I couldn't feel during the set because I was just focused on lifting the weight.

    The key to improvement is that during every single rep, you're focused on deliberately getting better, and to do that you have to have a specific improvement in mind that you're working on. To that end, watching videos of elite squatters and paying attention to their technique is helpful, too. The main thing I've noticed is that the great squatters make every rep look exactly the same... their form doesn't change, even when the weights get heavy and the bar speed slows down. That consistency is what I'm striving for now.

    Anyway, I'm tired and tend to ramble when I'm sleepy. All that was to say that if you post form check videos, people here may be able to help you dial in on what may be holding you back at the moment.

    Another option is to do front squats. Many strong squatters train front squat specifically to reveal where their weaknesses are in terms of stability and mobility during the squat, because the back squat is more forgiving and can mask those weaknesses, but the front squat will shine a light on them. Then they can work to address those weaknesses, strengthening their back squat.
  • tomcornhole
    tomcornhole Posts: 1,084 Member
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    Thanks Monster. Will get videos up when I can. I've had 2 trainers look at my squat but neither one seemed helpful. Neither one wanted to see me with the bar. I accept that because I had some issues with stance and balance.

    I did reward myself today by getting 2 more 45lbs plates and a new plate rack. Can't wait to run out of plates again. I was tempted to get two 100 lbs plates instead of 2 more 45 lbs plates, but didn't.

    Tom
  • tomcornhole
    tomcornhole Posts: 1,084 Member
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    Got the answer to my question from Jim Wendler's Beyond 5/3/1 book. What I did were joker sets and do not reset the entire template. He highly encourages these joker sets. I like them, too. On days when I'm just feeling it, I can push to whatever max I want. Me like.