Level 9 Valued Member
That describes many of the recent Strongfirst programs (lift between 65% and 85%) of your max most days, and they seem to work for many. It's almost a necessity for kettlebells, but many barbell programs are just like that. Even 5/3/1 is within this range: your training max for a 200kg lifter would be 170. In your first and second cycles, you would not lift anything heavier than that, and most of the time would lift lighter. Do you have an idea why they don't work for you and give an example of what you do instead? This is not a critique. I am just interested in learning what others are doing so that I can incorporate this in my training.
At first I thought about writing 65%-80%, but then I thought many programs do occasionally visit 85%. I didn't want to write a too small range so I went up to 85%. But the 85%/170kg lifts comprise a minority of the lifts, so I think my original critique is still justified.I'm obviously not @Antti ,but I think he just came up with those numbers on the fly without noticing that 170Kg would be 85% of 1RM, which is a proven percentage range to increase 1RM.
The recommended training max for a 200Kg lifter on 5/3/1 would actually be 180Kg (TM = 90% of 1RM), not 170Kg, but that's just me being a smartass here .
5/3/1 is a great program, but for everyone who makes great progress on it there's probably another person who doesn't progress at all, because either the frequency and/or the intensity is too low. If you go for the original template you only do each lift once per week and only at submaximal weights. Considering this it's not surprising that I've read a lot of times that people didn't progress or even regressed on 5/3/1.
Not to turn this into a "5/3/1 pro vs. con" thread, but over the years Wendler transformed it into something that's not 5/3/1 anymore IMO.
5/3/1 was all about rep-maxes/high reps at submaximal weights. Now it's all about Joker sets, 5x5 FSL and stuff like that. For a lot of variations he now even recommends to stop your 5, 3 or 1 set after reaching 5, 3 or 1 reps respectively and actively avoiding the rep-max, which (like I just said) once was basically the main point of the routine.
Also, one must take note that I specifically mentioned peaking. I think a program with the aforementioned intensity range can work well in certain phases of the training year. Like after a competition and a new 1RM. But if one seeks a new max I think a proper peaking program is in order.
And of course there was the original question of the feel of the lift. I find that 85% feels so much lighter than the heavy weights that trying a new PR will be much harder without experience what a heavy weight feels like. This phenomenon is amplified in lifts such as the squat or the bench press, where you start with an eccentric. One may straight out bail out due to the feel of the weight, especially if no un-rackings or walkouts have been practiced.