I just finished the Krypteia program in the 531 Forever Book, and wanted to give my thoughts and results for those considering the program. The program lasted 17 weeks: 6 “prep” weeks + deload, 6 “leader” weeks + deload, 3 “anchor” weeks.
Background and stats: 44 years old. 5’9" 172 lbs (started about 2-3 lbs heavier). I’ve been lifting and working out most of my life, but focused more on bodyweight, sports, and boxing for much of my 30’s.
Starting TM’s (set at 85%): BP 250 lbs; DL 350 lbs; Squat 265 lbs; OHP: 145 lbs
Assistance choices: weighted pull ups (+25 lbs); incline DB press (75 lbs DBs); SLDL (45 lb DBs); Goblet squats (85 lbs DB). All were done with sets of 10, and were super-setted as described in the book. I obviously don’t want to give the program away, so I won’t give more details.
PR’s I set: BP 245 lbs x 6. Squat 305 lbs x 2 (joker set); DL 340 lbs x 7. Keep in mind this program has you doing very tough assistance work, so by the time you get to your PR set on the Anchor week you’ve done quite a bit of work.
Conditioning: Soccer 1-2X a week, jog 1x a week, Airdyne 0-3 days a week as needed.
Mobility: yoga class 1x a week, Agile 8 or similar (~10 minute routine) 5-7 days a week.
Supplements: Vitamin D and Fish oil
Diet: Fruits, veggies, lots of raw nuts and seeds, meats, rice/potatoes, some yogurt/cottage cheese, some pasta/bread. Did not eat for aesthetics, but for overall health and performance. I don’t count calories or measure anything.
Splurges: Usually have dessert of chocolate or ice cream 2-5 days a week, pizza maybe 1 time a week. I’m not super strict, and want to be able to enjoy things when I want them. I’m not prepping for a show or anything like that.
Thoughts: This was a very fun program, but also very challenging. The Phase 2 of the program (Leader phase), where both supplemental volume is increased and assistance work is pushed, was among the most challenging 6 weeks of workouts I have done. It’s only 3x a week, though, and I was able to keep up my sports and yoga without a problem. You will have to be in quite good shape to get through these workouts in the prescribed time, and the “squat day” would push right up to this time limit for me.
This program is amenable to all types of lifters, and is great for beginners because of the faster pace of the workout and the built-in conditioning you get along with the barbell training. I like this type of training, and allowed me to get the benefits of barbell strength training will retaining the conditioning and tough bodyweight/DB-style training I am very fond of. I also like that it gets you stronger, while not encouraging excessive weight gain and “bulk” that can come along with only doing barbell-focused compound moves.
At my age, I am interested in well-rounded fitness and strength. I don’t want to add weight to the barbell at the expense of losing mobility, conditioning, and overall well-being. This program fit my needs and training preferences perfectly.
-I did no direct ab work for the 17 weeks of Krypteia.
-I did not take any marketed muscle-building supplements. No powders, intra-workout formulas, etc…
-I would have a banana and coffee for my pre-workout. Sometimes I would have an almond butter sandwich instead.
-I would have normal food after my workout.
-I did the program as written, except had to ramp up the DL’s slower so I could get the prescribed supplemental work in. So I would go from 5x5 to 5x7 to 5x8, etc … to get up to 5x10 sets.
For those interested, here’s how a 44 year old looks after completing the program. Let me emphasize again that I eat for health, enjoyment, and performance without specifically trying get to a desired body fat %, and without counting or measuring anything.