T Nation

Beyond 531 Questions


#1

Finally got Beyond 531 and just have a few clarifications anyone could clear up with me.

I love the idea of a 531 pyramid, setting the PR on the last set, (a possible Joker set), and the down sets (AMAP on the last set). It would look something like this, ex. week 3 %'s.

Warmup 3x5 @40,50,60%
75%x5
85%x3
95%xAMAP (PR set)
105%xAMAP (Joker set)
85%x3 (down set)
75%xAMAP (FSL set)

This really seems to me like the absolute best way to lift, especially with the basic template.

As a beginner and 5’s Progression being the recommended template, at least for my first cycle, how much of “pyramid 531” scheme can I apply as a beginner and 5’s PRO?

  • Is it best to cap my last set at 5, and not shoot for a PR? Meaning take advantage of the Joker set?
    I’m a little confused here because what I really liked about 531 is training sub-maximally because I’m not strong and had a hard time ever dropping the weights and progressing. I’ve always stalled and quit. I know if I set my TM at 85-90% I have room for a Joker or two but I really am pushing my max. Can I still shoot for a PR on my last set or is it really best to just cap at 5 reps and hit a Joker?

-Can I apply the pyramid scheme to 5’s PRO? Taking my middle set to 5 reps and then a FSLxAMAP, or is it better to just skip the down set and just drop straight to a FSL for 3-5x5?

Setting a PR on the last set, a Joker and taking the first set x AMAP is a lot of work. I ask these questions and imagine the original 531 template is the only way to do that much.

As I said above I really think the original 531 template with the newer “beyond” principles (joker/pyramid), is the best way to get strong. I want to run 5’s PRO for 6 weeks and deload and want to know how or if I can apply any of these principles.

Last question. After my 6 week cycle of 5’s PRO and a deload can I switch to 531 with the PR set, Joker (if possible), down set and FSL? Seems to me like the most optimal way to train. I could see myself training that way forever. All I would need in the weight room would be some body weight work and Rows, and I like the simplicity of that.

Thanks ahead of time.


Beginner Bodybuilder
#2

The problem you are encountering is trying to find the perfect template and run it forever. We don’t do that. We break things up. For example, I have put up a number of long term programming in this forum.

What this does is allow for longer progress and avoid burnout. “I’ve always stalled and quit.” - imagine if you programmed things! By planning for progress you avoid this. Essentially you are trying to run “in the red” and trying to push 100 pounds of sand in a 10 pound container.

Please follow what I’ve mapped out - I have made all the mistakes so you don’t have to.


#3

I get what you’re saying. So instead of trying to take all the principles into a “perfect” template, I’m better to take a template for a cycle, do nothing but follow it to a T, and move on to the next template of my liking versus combining all of the principles. For example:

6 weeks: 5’s PRO/5x5 FSL
deload
6 weeks: Original 531
deload
6 weeks: 531 Pyramid
deload
6 weeks: 531 Full Body

Or I could just stick with a template for a few months.


#4

We work with 5 forward/3 back.

So that gives us 5 full cycles to work with. So we generally do 3 of them with a certain template, then 2 of them with another one.
It all works out very well because it forces people to learn about how to program and not shit the bed.

I have outlined this a number of times on this forum - check them out!


#5

Okay, so would something like this be more appropriate?

6 weeks: 5’s PRO
deload
6 weeks: 5’s PRO
deload
6 weeks: 5’s PRO
deload
6 weeks: 531
deload
6 weeks: 531
deload - new TM, go back to last week of 5’s PRO’s?


#6

I’m not sure you read what I wrote or looked at the examples in this forum. Please take the time to read my responses and read this forum; it’s free and there is a lot of great information. I don’t know what else to write to make it more clear.

"So that gives us 5 full cycles to work with. So we generally do 3 of them with a certain template, then 2 of them with another one. "

The example you listed above does not follow these guidelines.


#7

[quote]kingbrady wrote:
Okay, so would something like this be more appropriate?

6 weeks: 5’s PRO
deload
6 weeks: 5’s PRO
deload
6 weeks: 5’s PRO
deload
6 weeks: 531
deload
6 weeks: 531
deload - new TM, go back to last week of 5’s PRO’s?[/quote]

A cycle refers to going through the full 5/3/1 rotation ONE time (so 1 5s week, 1 3s week, 1 5/3/1 week). The 6 week method you’re describing would be TWO cycles.


#8

Okay, thanks for that clear up.

Cycle 1: 5’s Pro
x5
x5
x5
+5/10 lbs.
x5
x5
x5

Deload

+5/10 lbs. 5’s Pro & 5/3/1
Cycle 2:
x5
x5
x5
+5/10 lbs.
x5
x3
x5/3/1

Deload

Cycle 3: 5/3/1
x5
x3
x5/3/1

Deload

Back to where I was at “cycle 2”