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531 Forever - Why Do a Test Week?

Before reading 531 forever my understanding was that at the end of each anchor cycle you did a test week (7th week protocol) to make sure your TM was correct.

I was under the impression you would work up to try and get 3-5 reps at 100% of your TM and then, based how many reps you get, you would see what your new 1RM was. You could then use this to calculate a more accurate TM to start the next cycle with.

However reading the book JW says that regardless of how many reps you get in the test week, you’d still any only increase your TM by the usual 5-10lbs.

My questions are…

  1. What’s the point of going to the effort of running a test week if you’re just going to increase by the default 5-10lbs for the next cycle regardless?

  2. Is the anchor cycle which usually comes before the test week (531 with AMRAP sets) not basically acting as a test week anyway?

So confused!!

How did you get this impression?

You do the test week to make sure your TM isn’t too HEAVY: not too light. If you can’t hit 3-5 reps, you REDUCE the TM. If you can get 3-5 reps, awesome: stick with normal advances.

Thanks for responding.

I guess it came from the fact that before you start 531, you test your 1RMs and the work out your TMs from there. I suppose I assumed that when you did a test week every few months it was to do the same thing. My mistake, thanks clarifying.

Is a test week necessary though? On the final week on an anchor using 531 eith AMRAP you’re working up to 95% anyway. Would the fact that you coukd/couldn’t push out 3-5 good reps at 95% not tell you essentially the same?

The Forever book gives you options for the 7th week protocol and the when and why you’d want to use each option.

Yup, 5 reps at 95% is a good indicator.

Yes this is true but the TM test week is there in case you had a bad day on one of your lifts. So kind think of it as you essentially have two times to test your TM, one time during the 531 week of the Anchor during your PR set and another time during the 7th week TM test week.

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Fairbjosh1, never looked at it like that. Thanks mate