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Old 02-04-2010, 09:13 PM   #1
Tim Luby
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Default 531--too many reps?

So I'm on my second cycle of 531 and I've begun to wonder whether the number of reps is too high on my 5+, etc. sets. For instance, this week I got 11 reps on the bench and squat for the +5. Pretty sure my starting weight was not underestimated. Anyway, I'm enjoying the challenge of these high-rep sets, but I'm wondering whether they're conducive to strength gains
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Old 02-04-2010, 09:22 PM   #2
Donald Lee
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I think 5-3-1 is a funky form of linear periodization. It works for some and doesn't work for others. Is it optimal? No. Is it simple? Yes. Many like simple and go that route.

Edit: It obviously also has weekly undulating periodization.
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Old 02-04-2010, 10:19 PM   #3
Ryan Secor
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For 5/3/1 11 reps on a 5+ day doesn't sound super crazy high to me. Did you increase all your workload maxes in your 2nd cycle?

I know 5/3/1 has been getting some hate from Welbourn and I think Wolf said he tried it at his gym with bad results. I'm running my second month of it so I'm kinda still testing it myself, but here's the thing... (and I have nothing but love for John and Robb both and I'm not sure how long or extensively they tested it).... Jim Wendler has talked about how the point of 5/3/1 is consistent long-term goals. It quite apparently works too for strength gains - Jim has lots of anecdotal evidence up on EliteFTS of both advanced and beginner lifters making some pretty awesome gains with it. Jim and Dave both talk about how much time it takes to get strong and they've very anti 8 or 12 week programs. In fact they typically run long training blocks (at least 16 weeks). Read their new article on t-nation here. My point being that maybe you're knocking a ton of reps out right now but in a month or two (or more) that will probably slow down pretty significantly. Enjoy it while you can.

This is probably stuff you've already heard or know and like I said I'm still working on forming my overall opinion about it. From what I've seen and done - I like it. It's simple, but effective. I feel good and plan on running it for a while before I make any judgment calls. I really don't see how you're not going to get stronger doing it. On an semi-unrelated topic maybe if John or Robb read this they can expound on what happened with their 5/3/1 experiment.
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Old 02-04-2010, 11:10 PM   #4
Donald Lee
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I think they tried mixing it with metcons. There's a thread on the CrossFit board with Jim Wendler answering some questions about mixing metcons with 5/3/1.

http://board.crossfit.com/showthread.php?t=55257
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Old 02-05-2010, 04:47 AM   #5
Garrett Smith
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11 reps isn't outlandish on a 5+ day, especially if you pushed hard and felt good that day.

I've done 12 reps before on a 5+ DL day, that was pushing a bit hard and messed up two DL max attempts I had to do in the next month after that.

I just started a cycle of 5/3/1 with power cleans. I originally estimated my max at 87 kg (80% of my 108kg C&J max, but I can likely clean more than this). I did an easy 10 reps on my 5+ day, and 10 reps again on my 3+ day (with a bit more in the tank). So yesterday, I decided to use my "5/3/1" day to test my real PC max. It came out to be 100kg.

So, this next cycle I'll be basing my numbers on that.
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Old 02-05-2010, 04:52 AM   #6
Derek Simonds
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Tim, I think that I am in my 8th or 9th month. I am a big proponent of 5/3/1 for the simplicity and flexibility that it gives me. During my first run through I reached a point where I was not hitting my required reps on the last set so I reset my numbers. I reset them down a lot on press to work on some shoulder issues and 10 percent on everything else. My first month of my reset I was doing the same thing so I moved up 10 LB's across all exercises.

I told Gant that I felt like 5/3/1 was a self limiting hypertrophy to strength program if followed the way it is laid out. How many reps did you get on your last set during your 3 week and 1 week? Are you moving up 10 LB's each month?
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Old 02-05-2010, 05:16 AM   #7
Chris H Laing
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryan Secor View Post
I think Wolf said he tried it at his gym with bad results.
Actually Robb said he got great results from it.

http://robbwolf.com/2009/10/12/my-tr...renal-fatigue/
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Old 02-05-2010, 05:50 AM   #8
Júlíus G. Magnússon
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It was Welbourn who said that Wolf didn't get good results from it. I'm guessing he's talked to Robb about it since he wrote that blog post.
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Old 02-05-2010, 05:58 AM   #9
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Kelly Moore loves it too.

My guess is that the intermediate and up folks like it, while beginners and some intermediates still do just fine on linear progression.
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Old 02-05-2010, 06:31 AM   #10
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In the little critique Welbourn wrote, it sounded like he had no idea of what the program consisted of. I've been trying to lay off criticizing his stuff, since Robb respects his opinion, and I respect Robb's opinion, but there's a significant number of things that he has been unable to sell me on and it's often because he doesn't seem to know what he's talking about, or he reverts to that "I wuz a pro and I know how proz train!" attitude.

The Crossfit Football stuff is, in my opinion, too random and, while it's barbell based, I'd need about 3-4 weeks of run up time to make sure any high school kids who did it could do the lifts skillfully enough to get any benefit from it.

I did the strength program for a small school last summer, and it was a bit of a nightmare and a clusterfuck due to varying skill levels, strength levels, and a very minimal weight room.
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