T Nation

Leader/Anchor for Beginner


Long time reader, first time poster!

After playing around with weights for some time, I finally started getting serious with training.

I have done 3 cycles of 5/3/1 now, as suggested in numerous posts by Jim I did 5’s PRO with 5x5 FSL and bodyweight assistance (I do 25 reps of every category for the moment, not quite ready for 50-100, but working on it).

My current lifts are nothing to write home about, like I said I just started and just did 3 cycles. This is what I did on my last week of my last cycle:

Squat 145x5
Deadlift 200x5
Bench press 110x5
Military press 75x5

My question now would be, seeing a lot of the leader/anchor stuff mentioned here, is that something that would apply to me right now, or should I go on for some time with what I’m doing now and earn the right to the more cycled programming?
Sorry if that’s a stupid question, I guess too much reading on the internet is never a good thing. I know that 3 cycles is nothing, I’d just like to start right.

Thank you for your help,

Guy (yes that’s my first name :blush:)


Leader: 5’s PRO, 5x5 FSL, 50-100 of the three categories
Anchor: 3/5/1, PR’s on weeks 1,3 - 3x5 FSL, 25-50 Assistance



Thank you very much for your response! I’ll do that then!
Not to be a jerk or something, just to understand, isn’t the usual recommendation for assistance the other way around? Like 25-50 for each category during Leader, and 50-100 during Anchor?

Thank you very much!


It can be - for your program, it isn’t. I’ve taken your prior experience, based on what you wrote and wrote a program that you can easily do/perform and that will allow you to understand the “total programming”. It is a very basic model but once you understand some of this, it becomes a breeze.

I just wrote a very basic conditioning primer for my forum which touches on how to program specific conditioning into an overall program - the gist is this: have a point to everything, push/pull and TRAINING is NOT TESTING!



Great I’ll shut up and do it then!

Thank you for your time and for all you do, even for your patience!



@Jim_Wendler, you ever mess with nutrition (carb wise) during lead/anchor or stay pretty steady?


I do not - I just have basic eating habits that I’ve had for years and it seems to work pretty well with great effort and bar speed.


Jim (and others of course),

Sorry to bother you again, I have a quick follow-up question.

When choosing one assistance lift per category, would I be better served doing the same lifts every time, or should I rather do different ones on different days?

For example push-up/chinup/KB swing twice per week, and DB bench/DB row/hanging leg raise twice per week?

Also another question, at my current (inexistant) strength levels, I could do 50-100 reps of DB row and DB bench with 35 lbs. (per side evidently), would that even count or should I stick to push-ups/chin-ups plus swings or HLR until somewhat stronger?

Sorry I know it’s only assistance, just not sure how to proceed.

Thank you very much in advance