T Nation

Doubt About Leader/Anchor Setup in Forever


I have a doubt, actually two doubts, about this - mostly semantic/reading comprehension issues:

  1. It’s explained that Leader/Anchors are done 3/2, 2/2 or 2/1. Most Leader templates have a specific recommendation, i.e. “it’s better done as Leader for 2-3 cycles”. When there’s an exception, it’s specified, i.e. “this program will have six cycles”.
    I’m looking at the Leviathan (Leader) and it isn’t mentioned for how many cycles should be done, what’s the correct setup:
    -1 Leviathan Leader/1 Leaviathan Anchor
    -2 Leviathan Leader/1 Leviathan Anchor
    -1 of any other Leader - 1 Leviathan Leader/1 Leviathan Anchor

  2. About the 7th Week Protocol, at page 19 it says: “will be used as deload between the Leader and Anchor templates”, then at page 23 it says "Between every Leader and Anchor Program: 7th Week Deload"
    I can’t figure out how to set it up:

  3. Leader - 7th Week deload - Leader - 7th week deload - Anchor - 7th Week TM test - new program

  4. Leader - Leader - 7th Week Deload - Anchor - 7th Week TM test - new program

I totally got a feeling it’s option 2 but wanted to make sure.

Thanks in advance for clarification

  1. I would say you run Leviathan leader 2 or 3 times, depending on how long you entire leader/anchor program lasts. If your doing anchor once then I assume your doing the 2/1 so it would be Leviathan for all 3.

  2. I was confused about one of the 3 deload options too, I think the one where you do 3-5 reps with training max or something. The way I plan to do 5/3/1 the other two methods work so I will be using those only. There might be an exception to this but I think you do all leaders -> 7th week deload -> all anchors -> 7th week TM test so you know where to start on your next program. For most people this means deload every 6 weeks or less which is what he has been recommending for years. For a beginner if you start the program light I don’t see a reason why you can’t do 3 leaders in a row before deload, but that’s not me so I’ll always be doing 2/1 probably.


2-3 cyles of leader, 1-2 cycles of anchor. When you’re in doubt, just do the 2/1 ratio (leader/anchor).

leader (3 weeks)
up training max 5-10 pounds
leader (3 weeks)
7th week deload / up training max 5-10 pounds
anchor (3 weeks)
7th week PR or TM test
new program




Marc is correct.


Sorry for the thread bump but I have a doubt about this part here:

After the Anchor, shouldn’t I increase the TM 5-10 pounds and then do the TM test? This way I start the new program with the new (tested) TM


Increase the TM 5-10 lbs AFTER you perform the 7th week protocol (unless you can’t get 3-5 STRONG reps @ your TM) this ensures that you have the correct TM and that you can increase it for the next cycle.

The TM test shouldnt necessarily be a 3-5 rep max, and it should NOT be taken to failure. If you follow that rule when doing the 7WP then you’ve got the green light that you’re on track and can increase the TM by no more than 5-10 lbs for the next program that you’re going to do.


This is my doubt: I finish an Anchor, then do the 7th Week TM test with the same TM I used in the Anchor.
Let’s say I get 5 solid reps, regardless of how many I could be able to do with that weight, which puts the TM at 85%. Then, I want to start a program that requires “85% TM”. I pick the TM I just tested with 5 solid reps, increase it 5-10lbs, and start the program.
What I’m unsure about is - I picked the 85% TM I tested and upped it 5-10 lbs, this means I’m no longer using an 85% TM.
Not sure if I’m just overthinking or if I suck at maths, probably both, but this gets me confused.
Would it make more sense to increase the TM 5-10lbs, test it and THEN consider it greenlighted for the following program?


You’re confused because your new 7th Week TM after anchor is supposed to be 5/10 lbs more than what you just did for your anchor. Assuming you meet the goal for the 7th week TM test, that means your next template will be fine to have the new TM. If you fail to complete the required reps for the new TM, you then calculate your 1RM with what you did and then find 85-90%.


Thanks, that’s what I meant.
So to get this straight, the full cycle would be:

leader (3 weeks)
up training max 5-10 pounds
leader (3 weeks)
7th week deload / up training max 5-10 pounds
anchor (3 weeks)
up training max 5-10 pounds > 7th week PR or TM test with the upped TM
new program



Ah, shit I am the worst. This is what I thought! But I just saw that Jim Wendler himself actually confirmed that Mac was correct. Perhaps the reason we do not increase the TM after the anchor is because the anchor phase is more intense (with PR sets and what not), which increases the chances of people shooting themselves in the foot (like doing more hard conditioning than they should or eating poorly or something, or perhaps even making the reps but not doing them with good speed). Then what matters is not whether you can do the next cycle’s TM but whether you could even do the current TM with good speed. Then it would make sense not to increase the weight for the 7th Week TM Test after the anchor phase

Fudge, I am really sorry for confusing you. I read someone say what I told you but this was wrong. I’ll have to find the post and figure out whether I misread it or whether the person needed to be corrected.


Okay, so my post was based on this: 7th Week Protocol TM Test Question. I’m confused now because the same guy who Jim said was correct said in this current post said something in the aforementioned post that seems contradictory. Maybe I’m missing something :frowning:


After the anchor you want to test or confirm your current training max, there is no point in increasing because the test may confirm it just needs to go down before starting a new program. I think the recommended option is to test for a new TM so you basically go into the 7th week as if you were starting the program for the first time and didn’t know what your TM is. Obviously you will have a TM that is mostly correct going into this week so you can use the number as reference for what weight you want to test with, but even starting the program for the first time most people have a rough idea of their lift numbers.

What I plan on doing personally is an anchor with PR sets and just calculating a new TM based on those results, then on 7th week I’ll just do a regular deload. Not all anchors have PR sets so I won’t be able to do that every time.


Thinking about it, it might not be so relevant.
Let’s say you finish an Anchor and want to use an 85% TM for your next program.
You up the TM 5-10 pounds from the Anchor TM:
-if you get 5 solid reps, you’re good to go, that’s your 85% TM
-if you get 4 solid reps, stick with the TM you used in the Anchor
-if you get 3 solid reps, that’s your 90% TM, take 5% off and you get the 85% TM (you could test it at the moment, after you get 3 reps, take 5% off, rest and see if you get 5 solid reps)

As sufiandy said, even without PR sets you’ll get some feedback about your numbers during the workouts, so you should never end doing only 1-2 solid reps with your TM - if that happens, you fucked up badly, at that point I guess it would be better to go back 2 cycles with the TM and possibly re-test the lower TM at the moment.

Sounds like a reasonable approach enough?

Will 5/3/1 Forever Come to Kindle?
Increasing TM After Anchor Deload?