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Old 03-01-2010, 02:51 PM   #17
Donald Lee
Senior Member
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 620

I postd a bunch of calculations but the post got deleted. If you're basing your weights off your 1RM, you'll end up overshooting the weights by using the 100% BW calculation. If you're basing back-off sets off your top set of the day (for example, 95% of your top set), you'll end up undershooting the weights by using the 100% BW calculation.

The difference between using 100% BW and 85% BW is small though, about 2-4 lbs. With 5/3/1, it probably won't matter, since you're undershooting your 1RM anyways. If you're working with higher intensity and lower reps, the difference could mean a missed rep or an extra rep, grinding when you didn't mean to grind or a set being easier than it's meant to be. I don't think you need to be this accurate with the lower body, but I find that being more accurate with the upper body tends to help.

Some food for thought...
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