Leader/ Anchor 4 Day Forever Templates 2 Days a Week

I recently hit the big 4-0 and reviewing my training notebooks from the last few years it turns out that recovery is something that always comes up as a theme for me. I’ve also found that trying to do all four lifts in one week does not usually work well for me (I have run Limited Time, 2 day option 1 etc.)

I’ve committed to trying a stretch of running programs 2 days a week ala Option 2 (1 upper body day, 1 lower body day). I’m also experimenting with running some of the 4 day Forever templates on such a schedule. For example, I’m midway through a cycle of SVRII on a 14 day training week. So far so good.

I feel like this stays true to the 5/3/1 principles and is something that may work well for me. Seems like im reaching the part of my 5/3/1 journey where I can start to use some discretion.

I haven’t seen a post that directly addresses the concept of running the 4 day programs on a longer cycle. I’m curious has anyone had success doing this ? And if I was to run it this way is it still advisable to do 2 leaders and 1 anchor or would this be different because of the longer cycle and maybe make sense as 1 leader and 1 anchor ?

Because there is nothing really to adress about this. Just do stuff how you can - it doesnt really matter.
I believe there was like oldschool story, maybe by Dave Tate who said that in some old old days they would only have sunday free, because of family and work, and they would do all the training in 1 long ass sunday. Not ideal but still doable.
Lilliebridges also train squats and deads once every 14 days. And they have heavy bench and rep-bench day once every 14 days. Their program was 2 day split, and if it was 3-4 days then it was only the assistance exercises done on the next day.

I am doing 4 day 531 original in 8-9 day cycle. I like doing EOD as i want to get my HIT cardio and stretching in on seperate days and if i do strenght training 2 days in a row i will have an excuse that i need a rest day now, and will end up not doing my cardio. And sometimes i just take a day off if i wanna. So its 8-9 days, or sometimes 10, because i dont deload, i just take extra rest days here and there through out the cycle.

The idea of leaders and anchors is that you have the volume part which is basically like TRAINING and GROWING part, and then the intensity part, that is somewhat of a testing also.
For example, my leaders and anchors dont differ much - its just that on leaders i AMRAP my last set, but if i decide to have an anchor, i cap the top set rep at 1-3 reps, and just add Jokers for singles. Depending on how well i do, i might skip an assistance exercise, especially on 95% week, as i would do a joker of 100% and a 105% which would be somewhat of a testing my strenght. But thats it.

Anyways, i think that the leader is when you grow and train. The anchor is more of adapting that new strenght to more intensity.
The more leaders, the more potential to a good anchor.
If doing 4 day split for 2 days i think maybe you dont even need an anchor as such.

btw - why dont u like the 2 day option, doing OHP/DL and BP/SQ ? You could do one training once every 4-5 days, for example.

Also, keep in mind that squats and deads are what take the most out of your recovery. Capping top sets and reducing volume on those might change the whole training plan for you.

I also overtrain super easy, and i always mumble to myself what Wendler said on his last podcast with Bell - “its better to undertrain a bit than to overtrain a bit” and i just quit, especially lower body days, if i feel im getting too fatigued.

I really appreciate this perspective. It’s well thought out.

I like the idea of EOD / additional rest days and have toyed with that with some success. Similarly, capping / limiting squats and deads is something I should consider more often.

Couple reasons I don’t prefer Sq/B, Dl/P at the moment. One is that I was finding that even without much volume or intensity I was having a hard time recovering. And yes I’m aware recovery in itself is a whole other topic which I am taking seriously. The other issue at the moment is that I play hockey (goaltender) once a week which is demanding so I’ve needed to schedule around that a bit.

I like your take on the leader / anchor portion. It became a philosophical thing I wondered about at which point does frequency alter the structure of the programs or does it need to. I’m always worry a bit about going by feel for when to do an anchor just because I know I may err on the side of pushing it too often.

There’s been a few posts where people have ran the 4 lifts over 9 days and had success. I.e. m/w/f…m/. I think some people have done it over 2 weeks as well.

Also you can run 2 days a week with all four lifts but only go heavy on 2 and do supplemental for the other 2 and then swop the next week.

Then there’s the 75/85 method which is in beyond. Which is good because it’s never too heavy or light.

They’ve all worked for me at 40+ and doing other things. But I ain’t that strong.

Also I think there’s 2 and 3 day versions of krypteia.

Lots of options I’ve heard being successful.

Thanks for the response.

I’ve considered that supplemental approach and was thinking that after a time on the 14 day rotation I might work back into work that. I’ve enjoyed templates that have 2 lifts a day and am certainly not ruling them out forever.

I’ve also run the full version of Krypteia with very good results in the not so distant past. So I’m not saying that I forever cannot recover or that I won’t move back to 3/4 day templates in the future just that at this point what I can handle timing and recovery wise is less frequency. 5/3/1 and Jim specifically have helped in the realize that one needs to weigh out all of the life, training, goals etc. in determining training snapshots.

On the topic of Krypetia I am very interested in the 2 day version. But it begs the original question, would one run an anchor in that scenario ?

Haven’t ran krypteia myself so can’t answer. I think it’s on his ugss presentation on you tube. I think there’s another couple of versions on his website as well.

Sounds like you’ve got a better idea than me. All I know is BBB is to much for me with other sports.

Sure, I don’t see why that would change. You would just extend out the anchor the same way you did on the leaders.

On another note related to your “recovery”, have you considered using WALRUS-style training? Jim has been big on this lately, and I think it’s a great way for us older guys to stay strong and fit without beating us up. One great way to do this is do 5’s PRO of one barbell lift, then throw a vest on and do the rest of the workout as a weight-vested circuit (taking care of both the supplemental work and assistance work).


Another very good suggestion. This I hadn’t considered but might give that a run for a couple cycles.

For my current cycle I’ve decided that since the SVRII leader and anchor are quite similar that I will just run one leader and one anchor.

Since I reset all my maxes prior to this I might move into a 2/1 leader anchor approach building up using 5s pro 5x5 FSL or maybe weight vest for supplemental then do PRs.

Of note, I certainly haven’t lost any strength so far training ‘only’ twice a week one upper and one lower.

I’m a fan of Krypteia Redux (on his blog page/Google) which is essentially this. Do your main lift first, then a circuit with supplemental work and 2 accessories chosen appropriately.

Yeah, I agree with you on Redux. Having been trying many of these types of workouts, you start to realize they’re all kinda the same thing with nuances. It’s interesting that circuits are gaining popularity. I think for most people, where top-end strength and mass are no longer the main goals, circuits are ideal. You can throw on a weight vest and get in pretty high reps, or do strength circuits with big lifts and 3-6 reps, or do it Redux-style where you have one big lift and the others are assistance. I think all are great, and mixing-and-matching keeps it interesting. Getting in conditioning and strength training simultaneously and finishing more work in a shorter time are all bonuses.

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Certainly for me, I think this has been the big mindset change recently. I’ve noticed the same in many others, but that could easily be because I’m looking for it.