Originally Posted by george nesrallah
I am going to pick up Starting Strength and Power To The People this week; thanks for the suggestion.
I have decided on trying Jim Wendler's 5/3/1/ program. I am going to start it this coming week. However I have a question. I see there is a percentage progression week to week on the program. I was wondering if these percentages are based on your 1 rep max prior to starting the program? To make my question more clear, let's say your bench max. was 200 lbs prior to the program. Week 1 you do 85% for 5. No problem. However as the weeks progress (I know it's only 5 weeks) your max. may have gone up from the initial max. you are using. Now let's say your max. is 210 lbs but you do your third week, 95% for 1, and you use 190 lbs., basing this on your initial strength. However, at this point 95% would actually be 199.5. Maybe I am being odd with this question; not sure. To make my extremely long (sorry about that) question short, is the entire program based on your max. strength levels at the beginning of the program?
Originally Posted by Allen Yeh
You should be using your training max to figure out what weights you will be using during your week. If your max is 200 then your training max is 10% less than that,
so your training max would be 180.
You work all the percentages off the training max and then after a full cycle you increase the training max weight by 5 pounds for upper body movements and 10 pounds for lower body movements.
Allen is correct, though I'd highly recommend buying the book, everything is explained very well in it. Also, if you get stuck, ie, you miss a reps on a top set, take 90% of your training max and use that for your next cycle. Also, the program includes lots of space for conditioning if you want to do it. Just do hard conditioning on legs days, and not real hard conditioning one or two other days. It's a fun program, lots of room to work on whatever goals you might have, aside from just pushing the big three up, though that is the focus.
Also, the last set is as many reps as possible most of the time, but not necessary. To me it's fun to see how many I can do, and I don't feel like I'm ever under-training as you might if you do a "set in stone" set and rep scheme. And don't overcomplicate the assistance work scheme.