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One Cycle = 3 or 6 Weeks?


Quick question… I have all 3 books. Love them and the explanations. I’m just a bit confused when it comes to programming… Leader, leader, anchor: these are each three weeks long or six weeks long?

I’m sure it’s obvious to sound, but I’m getting it confused so thank you in advance for the help!


3 weeks for nearly every template (there are exceptions, like God is a Beast).

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2 leaders and an anchor means you do 2x3 weeks of leader and 1x3 weeks of anchor… each is 3 weeks, so 2 leaders and an anchor = 9 weeks total.

Wouldn’t there be a 7 week protocol in between the leaders and the anchor, making it 10 weeks total?

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i ment total as of what he asked about… yes, probably there would be a 7th week after 2 leaders…

im not really into Forever, i find that it got a bit too much complicated and takes away the fun of being simple - Beyond is my favourite book.

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Forever is definitely my favorite book, but for the life of me I can’t grasp the 7th week protocol. I just stick with deloads and use 5 forward/3 back for TM management.

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i think i understad the 7th week protocol - i cant grasp the leader and anchor stuff… i just like to do Original 531 and then i do back and assistance 3x10-12… which basically means smth like BBB only i change exercises and i dont do 5 sets, i just do 6 sets of different ones.
i have read Forever 10 times and i just still dont understand how to set it all up… but also, i am pretty much a newb at this so i believe i can progress on original 531 for a bit more, and when i will feel that im stalling i will take a really serious look at leader and anchor stuff.
For my crappy numbers i really feel i dont need to complicate stuff - i think i just need a year more on the original.

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Leaders and anchors are just renamed accumulation and intensification blocks. Jim has a way of taking the complicated and making it simple. Same way he turned speed work into jumps and throws


Thanks, all. All of this is very helpful.

Glad to see that I’m not the only one (albeit different parts of the program) with some questions on the architecture. It’s a great program and I’m really enjoying it… now I’ve got a little more information on how to set it up.

I just read it as a bunch of deload options. One of which can be used to calibrate your training max at the start of a new program: My training max for next cycle is 100kg and I lifted it 5 times without entering into a parallel universe, cool I’ll go with that.

Or my training max is 100kg:
20kg x 10
40kg x 8
60 kg x 6
70 kg x 5
80 kg x 5 ← damn, harder than I thought,
90 kg x 5 ← tough set but last rep still okay

I’ll set the TM to 90 for this cycle instead of 100.

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i do this in my 95% day… if my top set at 95% week is not 5 reps, i start looking into reset of 3 steps back.

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In my experience, 531 (especially as laid out in Forever) is either the simplest, most direct explanation of a training program, or an opaque collection of words and tables that leaves one baffled on how to even begin.

It’s just like a “Magic Eye” poster: you either see it with complete clarity or you just see an indecipherable mess.