Question: Just wanted to say thanks for everything you've done for us with the program, your Q/A's, articles, etc. I just had a question regarding missing reps. I've done about 5 cycles of 531 now and love it. Some odd days I might mess my final set up by having a bad starting position or something small. I usually end up repeating the final set again properly, not sure if this is wise.
In the future, if I miss the # of required reps should I:
(a) punch a hole in the gym wall, rip my hair out and worry about it for the next 4 weeks
(b) suck it up and do it again
(c) forget about it and continue to assistance work
(d) kill myself
Answer: I appreciate the comments - thank you. I think you are doing the right thing by redoing the set and getting it right. But I also think that if you can do it right THAT time, you need to really get it right the first time. And you've shown that you can do it correct. There is no trick to doing it "right the first time", no exercise or assistance lift that is going to help you. The thing that will help, and seems to help 100% of problems, is training maturity. You will get there soon (soon does not always equal "next week" rather it could be "next year").
Take your sets seriously, even the wimpy warm-up sets. I always have a routine for each set and I take my time. I am not a slave to a stop watch; I believe in doing things correctly. Each set, no matter what the weight, is treated with respect. In the training world there is such an emphasis on WHAT you are doing. What kind of squats? What program? How many reps? People seem to forget the importance of HOW they are doing them. I'd rather do ONE thing, one exercise correctly in a workout rather than do a bunch of piddly stuff half-ass and wrong. Don't rush what is important.
The other option, and this is something you can tweak with programming, is doing something similar to the Rhodes 5x5/3/1. This seems to help this very issue and, as you can probably guess, something that Matt Rhodes came up with. This can be done as a Leader or an Anchor, depending on how you program your training. Whatever you choose, make sure you do each and every rep with purpose. I see a lot of half-ass reps made by lifters that can't figure out why they can't do it when it matters.