Dialing in on Sub 5lb Increases Dialing in on Sub 5lb Increases

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Thread: Dialing in on Sub 5lb Increases

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2020
    Round Rock, TX

    Default Dialing in on Sub 5lb Increases

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    When one stops making progress with 5lb increases on an exercise, what increment do you drop down to in NLP?
    I am on week 6 of NLP and my both my press and bench have stalled with 5lb jumps
    I see 2.5lb advances often referenced here on the forums, on PPST 3rd ed p 88 specifies 1/2, 1, and .1.5lb fractional plates for loading at sub 5lb increments.

    My question is where do you start when 5lbs is too much? Drop to 3lb jumps, and if that fails, then try 2lbs and so on? Or start in the middle?

    For a female, same question (as my wife will be hitting this soon as well).

    FWIW, I already have fractional plates in .25, .5, .75, 1lb pairs. (It was a set).

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2019


    I always liked 2.5 pound jumps after 5s. For women, older folks, upper body stuff should probably go as low as 1 pound or even less than that.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2019


    Ideally, the most you can do under 5lbs (4.5, then 3.0, then 2.5, then 2.0, etc), although 2.5 sure makes it easier on the brain in the middle of a training session, which means that most of our fractional plates sit on the rack right now.

    For my wife, we went 2.5lbs at about the same time that we went with sets of 3—5x3 instead of 3x5—for her. That combination change really changed her outlook on her training sessions.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2020

    Thumbs up

    I'm of the viewpoint that it really does not matter what pound or percent increase it is, as long as it is indeed an INCREASE. There's no mystery or magic to it. Attempt to move greater amounts of weight than last time. Whether it be 0.5 lbs or 5 lbs, it's a different stimulus. Take it as a win if you can push or pull 1lb more each training session. The biggest factor is consistency governed by discipline. Don't overthink anything. Just think MILO.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Akron, OH


    I like using 2.5lb jumps for men when I think reps are going to start failing on the press/bench, but I don't usually use them on the squat/deadlift. After switching to 3s, women need 2.5lb jumps pretty quickly on the upper body lifts.

    I wouldn't use them at all if you train in a commercial gym unless you're starting very weak. The variation between plates is too high. One session you might intend to press 127.5, and you actually pressed 126. The next session you might intend to press 130, and you actually pressed 131.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2021


    starting strength coach development program
    Thanks for this - it's exactly what i was looking for. Just too lazy to dig through my blue book for it!

    I've gotten up to 65kgx5 on my press and it's looking extremely unlikely indeed that i'll be able to get 5 at 67.5. But fortunately i have fractional plates so based on what i've read in this helpful thread, i'll go for 66.5kg next time.


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