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FSL as Leader and Anchor?

I believe I have a very easy question to answer & it may have been in the Forever book, but I didn’t see it.

My wife wanted a break from traditional Wendler 531; she said she wanted to just go to the gym and hit some numbers. I figured FSL would be best. For FSL, it says it can be used as a Leader or an Anchor. So does that mean she literally does the same thing for her two leaders and then the same for her anchor?

So literally:
FSL Leader 1 week 1, 2, & 3
up weights
FSL Leader 2 week 1, 2, & 3
7th week deload
up weights
FSL Anchor 1 (which is the same as the leaders)


Hopefully that makes sense and if I’m wrong, what would an anchor be?

I’ve read all of Jim’s books and I don’t see anything wrong with running FSL indefinitely. I honestly never bought in to the whole leader/anchor setup and just run a setup until I either get bored or max out.


There are a few ways laid out in Forever how one could structure a Leader/Anchor with FSL.

some examples for Leaders:

  • classic 531 & 5x5@FSL
  • classic 531 & 1x20@FSL (Widowmakers)
  • 5s Pro & 5x5@FSL
  • 5s Pro & 5x10@FSL (basically BBB)
  • 5s Pro & 5x10@FSL (basically BBS)
  • etc.

not all of them can be found under the FSL section (e.g. BBB or BBS) but the basic concept is pretty simple.

There also is a list of possible Anchors on page 63 (PR Set & FSL, PR Set & Jokers & FSL, Original 531, etc.)

Ahhh, so the widowmakers, etc are examples of anchors. That makes some sense. Thanks!

Leader cycles is used as volume fase and anchor as more intense workout.
So for a very simple leader anchor setup.
leader 2 cycles
main lift 5 pro
FSL 5x5
assistance about 50 reps of each category
7th week deload or any kind of deload
Anchor 1 cycle or
main lift 5/3/1 with pr on top set
FSL 5x5 or 3x5 reduce volume a bit because of the higher intensity of the main lift
assistance about 50 reps of each category
7th week test week.


If the question is to do ONLY FSL without the main lift of the day the answer is well it’s not 5/3/1.
I would say the intensity is to low or the TM is to high

Well now I feel like I’ve messed up. I thought the FSL part (the 5x5 @ first set weight) replaced the “push hard” last set of 531. Am I mistaken?

For instance:

Deadlift (week 1) would be
5 reps @ 65
5 reps @ 75
5 reps @ 85 (instead of pushing for a PR)
then FSL 5x5.

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This is absolutely right.
That is the 5’s pro all weeks you do 5 reps on all sets.
meaning last week would be
75% x 5
85% x 5
95% x 5

So you’re right. I just reread your post and thought that you would only do the FSL work.

I guess you could also do just the prescribed reps


and then FSL but I would think Jim would say do 5’s pro.

If you have the right TM that should not tax her doing 5’s pro and then for the anchor push the weights on the main lift.
On the anchor I guess she could do the prescribed reps and follow that with joker sets on week 3 that would be 3 reps on 90% then 3 reps with TM if she gets 3 reps go to 110% do 3 reps if she gets one or two call it here. Same on 5’s and 1’s week.

There are many ways to skin a cat :slight_smile:

That makes some sense, mort. Thanks a bunch!

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