We are coming up on our fifth week of following a 3×5 linear strength progression in our classes.  Most of you (if you haven’t already), should be at a point where you are struggling to complete all the sets and reps for some of the lifts.  This is good!

In order to get the most out of the linear strength progression, you need to make sure you follow a couple of rules I’m going to highlight below.  Failure to follow these rules won’t necessarily hinder your progress, but there’s a good chance you won’t get the maximum benefit out of your lifting.

3×5 Rules:

  • Continue to add 2.5#, 5#, or 10# to your lifts (depending on the lift) each session until you cannot complete all 3 sets of 5 reps during a session.
  • If you failed to complete the 3×5 at your last session, try to complete the 3×5 at the same weight you failed at during the prior session.  If you complete the 3×5, continue to add weight at your next session.
  • If you failed to complete the 3×5 for a second time, RESET TO 80% OF THE WEIGHT YOU FAILED AT and start the linear progression over.

The last rule is the most important to your success.  Your body needs time to adapt to heavier weight, and you need to get the repetitions and volume in at the lighter weight in order for this to happen.

We will continue to periodically test our 5RM, 3RM, and 1RM for all of our lifts.  So for now, try to avoid maxing out every time you touch the bar.