T Nation

5 Up, Back 3


my question is regarding a post i read on Jim Wendler website (written by Kevin Deweese), that goes like this:

“Letâ??s say you start 531 with a 300lb actual squat max so you set your TM to 270. You use a basic 531 format with some programmed resets, up 5 back 3. After 10 weeks of training you would be using a TM of 310 (up 5=320, back 3=290, up 5=340, back 3=310)”

so if i have a deload week, one cycle is 4 weeks long (5s,3s, 531, deload)

270 4 weeks
280 4 weeks
290 4 weeks
300 4 weeks
310 4 weeks
320 4 weeks


290 4 weeks
300 4 weeks
310 4 weeks
320 4 weeks
330 4 weeks
340 4 weeks

so this is already much more than 10 weeks, and my question is what am i missing?

I’ve been using 531 quite some time with great results, and it changed how i view training completly! So thank you Jim!


We use 3 week cycles, 6 weeks before the deload - deload is up to you. So Kevin was basing it on the programming from the Beyond book with no deload.


Tnx Jim for quick answer, so if i get this right:

270 3 weeks
280 3 weeks
1 week deload
290 3 weeks
300 3 weeks
1 week deload
310 3 weeks
320 3 weeks
1 week deload

290 3 weeks
300 3 weeks

at least i hope i got this right

but still, i’m missing those 10 weeks he is referring to…


It’s 5/3 back - not 6.

So you do 5 cycles forward. Then go back 3 cycles. I don’t know how else to put this? Just do 5 cycles and then go back 3 cycles. Then do 5. Then 3 back.


ok, tnx Jim


Jim, Squat 1’s day on 4th cycle and got 5 reps but last 2 were grinders should i reset and go back 2 or continue to 5th cycle then back 3? Reason i ask is you say 5 reps should be fast and explosive on 1’s day.


For people that we train here - we would reset. In fact - it would never get that far. But that is just how we train people here and it seems to work 100% of the time.

If you are asking, you probably know what you need to do. You are smart; you seem to understand shit based on what I’ve read. So read my advice but trust your instincts and experience.

We keep bar speed high, plateaus to a minimum, and raise relative strength. That is our goal in weight room.


Thanks Jim will take that on board your advice is greatly appreciated


You are a breath of fresh air - I appreciate you doing the work.


Pretty sure he meant 10 MONTHS not weeks! Even if each training cycle was 3 weeks instead (with no deloads) of 4, the minimum time 10 cycles would take is 30 weeks.