T Nation

Options After the Last Set?


After completing the last set of AMRAP there are a few options of what to do next, has anyone found certain ones work best depending on the relationship between TM and 1RM. For example after you reset maybe joker sets are good because of the lighter TM you can go up further on percentage, over 100%. When you begin to stall out then FSL might be good since you didn’t get many reps on the AMRAP set. Another option would be something like the advanced template with no AMRAP but you do 5 sets of the same weight.

I’m looking for a way to structure maybe 6 cycles to have some planned variation and if it works good can be repeated.


I don’t plan so many cycles ahead because how I feel in 6+ months might not be how I feel today. I typically go through a cycle and adjust my next cycle based off the experience I had previously; but I typically run a template for 2 total cycles before changing it up (unless it’s working, then I don’t change anything).

With that said, for Bench and Press I’ve found that FSL AMRAP RP works very well for me, but I’m currently trying SSL on those lifts to see how I adapt.

For Deadlift, I’ve found that 5s Pro + 5x5 FSL works well for me; for squats, I do a widowmaker at the end of 5/3/1+ around 55-65% TM depending on which week it is; I do a lower % widowmaker on the 1+ day, and a higher % on the 5+ day, for example.

I’m 38 years old and I know what works for me. I think with your training experience you’ll start to find what works best for you. My suggestion is to try the 28 weeks of training template in Beyond 5/3/1 which will expose you to many different templates.


I’ve found FSL 5x5-8 works best for everything except deadlift; for DL, I do best hitting the PR set and then going to assistance, or doing 351. Jokers I do when I feel good.

I’m going to see how 5s Pro with FSL works for me in the new year.


I think this is a great question and one I have often wondered. The only person who has definitive answer is Mr. Wendler. It may be a slightly different answer for different people with their own individual goals.
I’m 57 and have been training over 40 years. I plan usually 4-5 cycles as it fits my schedule best. I plan my deloads around trips when I am away from my home gym. I do 1-2 PL meets a year for a local charity, sometime I try to peak, often I just show up.
The principles of the training can be found in all the books.
So currently, I’m doing
2 cycles 5 progressions with FSL, 5x5-8
2 cycles 351 with a PR set ( I keep this under 10 reps) and a set at my TM for reps ( usually 3-5) with FSL 3x5


So I am a big FSL person. If you do enough " good work" at the top , I think the back off sets add some nice volume for me.
I have used sets across before, my experience was excellent. It works volume well, but it lacks in the ability for me to work up heavy , and then hit multiple sets at that weight. I didn’t find I could hit much for down sets after the multiple top sets, and didn’t try to .
Good luck on your journey, there are a lot of good options to work with.


Some of these might depend on the assistance work too. Like 5 progressions with FSL 5x5-8 could easily be replaced with just the regular routine followed by something like DB bench press for lots of sets and reps. I will probably do a lot of FSL type stuff but probably always keep the 5/3/1 AMRAP (not do 5 progressions). One thing I like about that set is tracking long term progress as its the one thing that never changes, anything after that is assistance and can be changed month to month and anything before that set is basically just a warmup


It seems in general the upper body can take more volume and still be recovered well for your next workout where as lower can take a little longer.

Personally I love the high intensity of the amrap set and everything after that is based on feel, and for the most part it’s fsl sets. Either one all out or multiple. Jokers are used very sparingly.

What attracted me to 531 in the first place was the mentality of get in do your business and get out. And not having to jerk off to a bunch of stupid exercises that waste time and energy


I like the simplicity of using the same template for each left on a cycle but I agree with the upper/lower thing and on the original program I got the best results on DL without doing anything extra. Squats I might just do FSL. Pressing is probably where I will add more variation