T Nation

Assistance Work During Reload Phase

Do you do any assistance work during reload phase?

If so, do you use half the weight, or do you just use less sets and and/or reps?

Sorry if this is a dumb question…

Do you mean deload? If so, I think this is up to you. If you are keeping the barbell work, and even testing TM’s, I would do little-to-no assistance work. If you are minimizing or eliminating the barbell work (which I do), I keep in the assistance. I prefer to take a break from barbell work and focus mostly on bodyweight or weight-vested work. It gives me both a physical and mental break.

I didn’t know that testing TMs was part of the deload week, I thought it was just doing 3 sets at 40% 50% and 60%, for the big 4, which is extremely light weights.

I think that I might try to keep the barbell work light, but try for an AMRAP set on 1 assistance exercise per session, like an incline dumbbell press, leg press, barbell row, etc.


You’re not wrong on the 40/50/60. However, Jim rewrote his deload approach in Forever (latest book).

The 40/50/60 is fine! I’d just do some light assistance like pushups, pushdowns, light rows and or pulldowns, bodyweight squats, yadayada.

Let yourself recover.

How did he rewrite his deload approach?


I’m sorry but you’re gonna have to buy the book for that.

Based on your comments you have either 531 2nd edish or beyond 531. Which is FINE. But Jim revised his stance in forever.

Deload details don’t matter.

The next 3 times you deload, try no assistance, half weight assistance, and half rep assistance. If one of those approaches seems to work better, do that. If they’re all the same (probably this) then just do whatever you want.

If you want to be told exactly what to do so you have nothing to worry about, buy Forever 5/3/1.