T Nation

How to Use 7th Week Protocol with Original Spinal Tap?


So I am currently in week 5 of the original Spinal Tap and have been microloading with 2.5lb increases each week. I want to incorporate the 7 week protocol into my training, but am a little confused about the best way to approach this. I have read that 5/3 is a great way to progress with this template, which would reset my 6th week TMs to what I was lifting in my second week. If I followed this progression, would it be best to lift my 3rd week numbers during my 7th week, or go back to my high TM for the cycle?


I admit not understanding this question. Let me know if you can rephrase it.


So the Spinal Tap from the Beyond book has you go 6 weeks with a 5lb or 10lb increase to your TM each week instead of every cycle, so at the end of the program your TM will have increased 6 times (30lbs for press and bench, 60lbs for squat and deadlift.) In your case, you are only increasing 2.5lbs each week, so the numbers will be different. I’m guessing the “5/3” you are talking about is the 5 forward, 3 back method of increasing and decreasing your TM. Normally you used to increase your TM by 5lbs or 10lbs after each cycle for about 5 cycles, then drop it back to what it was 3 cycles prior. As far as I know, you didn’t do this for Spinal Tap; you just go the 6 weeks (if you can, which is why it’s not for everyone) with the 6 increases. Going 5 forward/3 back in the middle of Spinal Tap doesn’t make sense to me, but I could be wrong.

If you did make it through the full 6 weeks of Spinal Tap (congratulations) I would think a deload for the 7th week is worth consideration.


We ditched “5 forward/3 back” in favor of the 7th week protocol/deload as it is far superior. As mentioned in the book, it can be used in any number of ways and be done after 1 or 2 cycles.


Thanks Jim! For the 7th week, would you recommend going up another 2.5lbs or staying with the TM used for the 6th week of ST?


No need to increase your TM for week 7, so just use the week 6 one. Part of the reason for doing the 7th week protocol is to make sure your TM is right, so make adjustments after the 7th week, not right before.