T Nation

5/3/1 + Jokes + FSL Auto-regulation

Hei Jim, got this question

In your book you mention a couple of things about auto-regulation with jokers such as; i need to earn my jokers when i hit a for example rep PR, so that i know i’m ready to do a joker set.

Also if feel energized enough i go for FSL AMRAP and/or Multiple sets of 8. Should i consider FSLs also as a auto-regulation tool? is this recommended?

The Rest of the split si pretty basic.

Bench 5/3/1 + Jokers + FSLs auto-regulation Style
Dips 3-5x6-8
Seated rows 5-10x15

Deadlifts 5/3/1 + Jokers + FSLs auto-regulation Style
Front Squats 3-5x10
Hanging Leg raises

OHP 5/3/1 + Jokers + FSLs auto-regulation Style
Dips 3-5x6-8 or Bench Press 3-5x10 50-60%@TM
Lat Pulldowns 5-10x15

Squats + Jokers + FSLs auto-regulation Style
American Deadlifts 3-5x10
Hanging leg raises

Training Days - Walking with dog while wearing a weight west (20kg)
Wed & Sat - 10 sprints with weight west (no hill)
Sunday no activity

For the accessorie work i go with a progressive overload style (reps & weight increase)

thankfull for any Thoughts

FSL is your main supplemental work to bolster the 531 sets. In general it should be standardised like the 531 sets to ensure continued volume and progression. I.e. I would advise picking either FSL AMRAP or FSL Multiple Sets and sticking to it. Otherwise you could have a scenario where you do:
Week 1: FSL AMRAP 65%x18 reps = Total Volume 11.7
Week 3: FSL Multiple Sets 75%x3x8 = Total Volume 18
Week 3: FSL AMRAP 85%x10 = Total Volume 8.5

The volume is skewed and inconsistent = bad progress.

Pick one and do it and autoregulate the jokers. You want as much of your training as possible moving consistently forward. Jokers are just a tool to have some heavier weight on your back.

so if my goal is strength then i think the AMRAP is a better option, if i like more hypertrophy then better go with multiple sets, cause more sets with 8 reps are more volume, right?

I think i will try both for a whole cycle and decide wich i like more. Maybe also try to go for FSL AMRAP + BBB 5x10.

No, just no.

What you have suggested has been discussed to death.

Choose 1 or the other.


Jims said a million times not to do jokers and FSL together. And I’m also pretty positive that he’s also said not to do FSL with BBB as well, but I could be incorrect on that one. You’re trying to do too much at once and that defeats the entire purpose of 531

Edit: Jim confirmed in another thread today that FSL and BBB together are a no-go

this i understand and i confirmed it too, tryd it yesterday, its not a joke.

this one i have to disagree, he has mentioned it i his book (site 13 and 31)

Reading comprehension? Holy shit. I Just Checked those pages on some off chance I had tumor and lo and behold - I’m not the one who can’t read. Beyond frustrating.

Do the damn program.


Then what do these excerpts mean:

“I can’t recommend this variation [of FSL] enough. When combined with joker sets it combines the PR set, heavier weights and lighter back off sets”

“If your goal is to get stronger, these three things should be present in your training: PR set, joker sets, “First set last” down sets…”

“This is how you would break up yout training day: warm-up barx5 reps, 135x5 reps, 185x5 reps, 235x5 reps, 285x3 reps, 335x1 rep, 350x3 reps, 400x3 reps, 450x5 reps (PR set); Take 5-10 minute break, 500x3 reps, 525 for 1 rep [I suppose these are joker sets]; take 5 minutes break, 3-5 sets of 8 reps at 350 [these are FSL sets]”


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In your training - doesn’t mean DO IT EVERY SINGLE DAY. You can do PR set, followed by limited Jokers/ and some FSL work as PART of a total training program. A training PROGRAM is larger than a training day.

Again, as stated clearly in the book, this is for highly advanced lifters. Usually 15+ years of consistent training AND great decision making.

I love this “Gotcha” journalism that takes snapshots and thinks it’s the entire picture.

ONCE AGAIN, there is NO MENTION of doing FSL/BBB in the same day in any of the books. I know this because I’m not an idiot.

The new book gives NO QUARTER to anything and tells everyone EXACTLY what to do. I have found that I have to spell everything out EXACTLY or people fuck it up. This forum is exhausting.


Quoting your book again: “This is how you would break up yout training day…”

You’re right, and that’s not what I was talking about. I mentioned joker sets and FSL, but no BBB.

That’s great, because as you can see your writing style leaves a lot of room for interpretation. We are not idiots either. We read what you write and use every piece of information available to try to understand what you said, but sometimes what you give us isn’t enough. If you are writing instructional books, please give clear instructions.

You need better reading comprehension. You are twisting everything and trying to make yourself sound smart. Failing miserably, I might add.

His book IS simple. You just chose to complicate your life after not reading it properly.

The instructions are clear. You are muddling it with your own interpretation.


The entirety of every book he has written is clear man. It’s people such as you that don’t understand how to just do a damn program man. The fact that Jim even RESPONDS to everyone on here, for FREE mind you, should suffice. I understand your confusion to an extent, but I also don’t get why you can’t just try 531 sets, do jokers when they make sense and do fsl and if it doesnt work or leaves you run down, take something out or change it.

And before I get called a Jim dick suck, I just appreciate the work he puts in and majority of it is for free. For people to not appreciate that to me is not only disrespectful, but shows you’re just a jackass who doesn’t understand hard work and effort.

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Also this, is fucking ridiculous. What is it now, FIVE FUCKING BOOKS ABOUT THE SIMPLEST WAY TO GAIN STRENGTH and you still don’t get it? Sorry man, but you probably never will then

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One word. Overkill.

No I don’t, I can read pretty well. I’m not trying to sound smart, I’m trying to sound reasonable. The book is simple and maybe that’s the problem: he may assume the readers have some previous knowledge they maybe have not. I’m reading it properly and that’s why not just me but other folks got confused, because things are not explained properly. Every act of reading is someone’s own interpretation, that’s how reading works.

Then it’s ok to do PR sets, jokers then FSL? Because it’s still not clear. You guys are very good at saying we have comprehension problems but not at really explaining shit.

I do appreciate that. Jim has answered several questions of mine for free in facebook and instagram. He must be a great coach and I doubt he’s a nice guy, but I recognize he’s helped us a lot. I never said I don’t appreciate that, did I? But that means I can’t criticise some passages of his book I (and others, obviously) found to be unclear?

Other than what is shown in the Beyond book, NOOOOOOOOOOOO. Just do main work, Jokers and FSL. Only LB work is abs and back raises. All other UB work is done like page 34 shows.

This is exactly from Jim’s mouth if you search this exact forum question on the search bar from three years ago. I do not know if he trains like this. If you are feeling really good after running 531 for a handful of cycles, cap you pr set, do jokers, then do back down sets. It really isnt complicated and has been said before. Again, what Jim says is not an end all be all. If you want to do pr sets jokers and fsl, then do exactly that man.

Also, he said this and you still didn’t comprehend anything so I don’t understand the confusion. Try and do a whole a cycle where you do your pr sets jokers and fsl. You’re body will break down before the end of it. You can’t go that heavt, that many times a week, with that much volume. It just doesn’t build strength like that. And you are unappreciative by your comments man. You have an attitude towards someone who is trying to help you and wonder why people are attacking you for it. Jims right man, sometimes this forum is exhausting.

Sorry, but you need to go back to grade 10 English. You just described religion, not reading comprehension.

5/3/1 philosophy has not changed since the first book and you are arguing it. Nice.

Good luck with everything, do as you wish and keep blaming everyone else on your lack of comprehension. Or learn and stop thinking you are the absolute.


I have a master’s degree in Linguistics, I know what reading is.

I never argued Wendler’s training philosophy or his principles. I showed that what he said not to be in the book actually is in the book, any children can read it, it’s fucking there. “Here’s what your training day should look like: 531 sets with PR, then joker sets, then FSL”. Then people come and say “no, it’s not like that, you can’t do that and you probably can’t read”.

I’m sorry I really read the book and pointed you to the pages of said book where it’s written the things you deny to be there.

Let me paste that part here again, in case you didn’t see it yet: “This is how you would break up yout training day: warm-up barx5 reps, 135x5 reps, 185x5 reps, 235x5 reps, 285x3 reps, 335x1 rep, 350x3 reps, 400x3 reps, 450x5 reps (PR set); Take 5-10 minute break, 500x3 reps, 525 for 1 rep [I suppose these are joker sets]; take 5 minutes break, 3-5 sets of 8 reps at 350 [these are FSL sets]”. So I’m not answering any of you again if you do not have something better to say than “you can’t read”, right? I can read, I can comprehend really well, I can even copy and paste the parts of the book saying what I claim to be there. Can you?