T Nation

Increasing TM After Anchor Deload?


My understanding is that an entire 2 leaders and 1 anchor program looks like this:
start with 85% TM (or whatever the training max should be)
leader cycle
increase 2.5 - 5 kgs (2.5 kg for upper, 5kg for lower)
leader cycle
deload - 70% x 5, 80% x 3-5, 90% x1, 100% x1
increase 2.5 - 5 kgs (2.5 kg for upper, 5kg for lower)
anchor cycle
deload with testing maxes - 70% x 5, 80% x 5, 90% x5, 100% x3-5

Now, few questions to make sure I don’t screw up:

I am about to calculate TM this week and I wanted to use 1RM. For deadlift I got 1 rep that was pretty strong and fast and then 1 rep with higher weight that was not a huge grind but the bar speed was noticeably lower. Which would be better to use for the TM calculation?

The deload after the anchor cycle - should I increase TM after that week?
My understanding is that I use that week to test TM from the anchor cycle which means that I try to get 3 or 5 strong reps with anchor TMs. If I get 5 it is good for programs that require 85% TM (3 for 90%). Or should I increase TM after the testing maxes week if I hit 5 reps?

Thanks in advance

What leader/anchor did you just finish and what one are you planning on doing?

For the last 12 months I was using a program from Chad Wesley Smith (from his book “The Juggernaut Method 2.0” to be exact). I finished that last week.
I wanted to run pervertor from 5/3/1 Forever book.

You could increase it that week or the week after. As long as your TM ends up correct its not a big deal. Use your performance during the Anchor cycle as an indicator of if you feel your should test your current TM or increase it.

If you do some Jokers using your TM during the Anchor you should have a rough idea if you are where you should be before you run your test week.

If it were me I would run the Pervertor Leader for 3 cycles, do a 7th Week Prototcol: Deload, then 2 cycles of Pervertor Anchor, then another 7th Week Protocol Deload followed by increasing my TM and doing 7th Week Protocol: TM Test.

Reset your TM when you start 5/3/1 then when you finish the anchor you can either reset again based on your estimated 1RM or adjust according to what leader/anchor your doing next, lower/increase/same depending on 1) how well you did the last time and 2) if then next program looks easier or harder.

So… during the last week of the Anchor I get some idea of where my TM is based on the PR sets (and possibly Jokers)?
Let’s say that on the last week of the Anchor I do 8 strong reps 140kg deadlift. That gives 177kg (14080.0333 + 140) estimated RM so I use 150kg during TM tests (85%*177)?
Is that correct?

Hmm, then again I should never increase TM by more than 5-10lbs so if I can get a many strong reps on the last week of Anchor then increase by 5-10 lbs and test that max?

For example:
Anchor deadlift TM = 147kg
PR set on the last week of Anchor: 140kg (95% of 147kg)
I do more than 5, say 8, strong reps with 140kg.
Then I increase by 10lbs (4.5kg) to 151.5kg and use that as a TM during 7th week protocol TM test week?

This is answered IN THE BOOK, IN BOLD, on page 20.

Please read the book.

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Yeah, the book says to not increase it more than the normal amount :slight_smile:

The way I understand it is:

  • Calculate TM
  • Leader cycle 1
  • Increase TM by standard amount
  • Leader cycle 2
  • 7th week protocol deload with TM from leader cycle 2
  • Increase TM by standard amount
  • Anchor
  • Increase TM by standard amount
  • 7th week protocol TM test to make sure that TM is correct for the next program

Does that make sense?

Why do you suggest incrementing TM AFTER the deload during leader but BEFORE the deload during anchor? I would think it should be after the deload on both so that if you fail your TM test you don’t bump it

My understanding, which may be wrong, is that on the deload after Anchor I test that TM is correct for the next training program. So if I get 5 reps then it’s good to use that weight for programs that call for 85% TM (3 reps for 90%).
My thinking was that if I increase after “TM test week” then I am no longer sure that the new weight is correct for a next program.

Hmmm I guess I interpreted it as confirming that your TM from the anchor cycle was valid so you wouldn’t increase it until after the 7th week protocols.

It is possible that I am getting it wrong and during 7th week protocol TM test I just use the TM from Anchor and don’t increase TM after Anchor but before the testing week.

I searched the forum before asking the question but I got even more confused because the recommendations were:

  1. Test with Anchor TM and increase then.
  2. Increase Anchor TM and use that weight during testing week.
  3. Use Anchor TM during testing week and do not increase, just use Anchor TM for the next program (i.e. for the next leader).

Then again the book says that I should increase TM after each cycle which makes me believe that either 1 or 2 is what I should do.

Making sure your Training Max is important, but its really not that complicated. We are starting to get into the realm of paralysis by analysis.

Just go lift the weights. If you want to keep the TM the same as your last Anchor before you start your new Leader, that is fine. Your going to be increasing the TM in the upcoming cycles anyway. Remember that progressing slowly is a core principle of the program.

Or bump your TM up the recommended amounts and see if you set a new 5 rep max. Setting PR’s is also a core principle 531.

Try doing it both way and see if one works better.

Me personally, if I am running a TM Test I am going to be increasing my TM. I like pushing it and setting PR’s.

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Alright :slight_smile:

Since I need to make a decision I will do this:

  • use 85% TM
  • leader
  • deload
  • increase TM
  • leader
  • increase TM
  • anchor
  • increase TM and test TM. If I can get 5 strong reps use that TM as 85% TM. If I can get only 3 strong reps assume that this is 90% TM and calculate 85% out of that.
  • use another 5/3/1 program (most likely with 85% TM)

I meant:

  • use 85% TM
  • leader
  • increase TM
  • leader
  • deload
  • increase TM
  • anchor
  • increase TM and test TM. If I can get 5 strong reps use that TM as 85% TM. If I can get only 3 strong reps assume that this is 90% TM and calculate 85% out of that.
  • use another 5/3/1 program (most likely with 85% TM)

I hope that this is how the program is intended as I don’t want to change/invent anything and just run it as written.

I might have missed something, but you want to deload between the leader phase and the anchor phase - basically, go through 2 leader cycles without deloading (3 weeks + 3 weeks), then on the 7th week you deload (that’s why it’s the “7th week protocol”).
So this would be the sequence:

  • Before starting the program, find the TM. 3RM is 90%, 5RM is 85%. If you just, for any reason, worked up to your 1RMs and those 1RMs were clean strong reps (no grinders) take 85 or 90% of those if you want
  • Leader 1 with the TM you just picked
  • Increase TM
  • Leader 2
  • Deload week
  • Increase TM
  • Anchor
  • TM test

Now, you can either test the TM you just used in the Anchor and eventually increase it when you start the next program (provided you “pass” the TM test), or increase the TM the usual amount and test that one. I’ve done both things and really - it doesn’t change much, for one simple reason: the Anchor phase will most likely give you a good amount of feedback with heavier sets/PR sets.
Other than that, keep in mind that your next program starts with another Leader phase - and that the Leader phase has a lot of submaximal work. This means that if you test the lower TM you used in the Anchor, then increase it and start a new Leader with the higher TM, the intensity is dialed back, so the actual increase you’re handling is low. And you’ll get stronger in the meanwhile before the next Anchor phase.

you end your Anchor with a TM of 150kg on the deadlift.
You TM test 150kg, get 5 good reps. So you start a new program with a TM of 154kg.
Most often, the main work in the Leader is 5’s Pro. With a TM of 150kg, 95% (heaviest set) is 142kg x5. With a TM of 154kg, 95% is 146kg x5. You just got 150kg x5 clean reps in your TM test, so you know you have those 146kg x5.
Supplemental work goes pretty much the same way.
Now,this stays true as long as you’re honest in your TM test, if you got 5 clean reps. If you got, say, 3 clean reps, a slower one and then a grinded one, it’s a whole other story and you might want to keep the same TM you used in the Anchor for the next program, or scale it back of 1-2 cycles.

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Thanks for a long response. I found a couple for your earlier posts so it’s a bit more clear (e.g. Doubt About Leader/Anchor Setup in Forever).

So it looks like my understanding to use 7th week TM test after Anchor to test TM for the next program is correct.
It can be either the TM from Anchor or TM from Anchor increased by the standard amount depending on how Anchor was going.

Searched the forum even more and found this thread: How and When to Reset When Stalling

If I understand correctly then the suggestion from that thread is:

  1. If on the last week of Anchor (95% 1+ PR sets) I get 5 strong reps then increase TM by standard amount.
  2. If not then recalculate/lower the TM.
  3. During 7th Week Protocol week after Anchor test the TMs calculated using the method mentioned above.

This is more or less the same I wrote in the previous post but it is more concrete on what “depending on how Anchor was going”.

I hope that this makes sense/is correct (?).