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Pervertor Program Questions

Hi all,

I decided to run pervertor from the forever book and have few questions.
Here goes:

  1. Getting TM.
    What I did in the past was to get to a strong 1 rep max and take 90% of it. The book says that I should take 85% TM so should I do the same - find a strong 1 rep max and take 85% of it as my TM?
    I am asking because the book also suggests taking a strong 5 rep max as the estimate of 85% TM (if I understood correctly).
    Does it really matter which one I chose? In my experience “starting light” is very important for making progress so I don’t want to screw that part up.

  2. Jump/throws.
    Can I just stick to very few variations (box jumps, broad jumps, medicine ball throws) or should I try to get some variety?
    Should I try to progress somehow between weeks or can it be, for example, (for the leader) in total 10 broad jumps as far as I can?
    Basically: for box jumps should I try to increase the height of the box over time?

  3. Do I understand it correctly that in the first week of the leader (10x5 @ FSL) we are talking about 16 sets (around 3 warmup sets, 3 5sPRO, 10x5 @ FSL)?
    I am asking because that will take a lot of time :slight_smile:

  4. Assistance.
    As everyone, I have a lot of questions :slight_smile:
    The book has recommendations for total reps and exercises per type but does it matter how I spread them during the workout?
    For example, can I do giant sets (push + pull + core/single leg) after the main lift? Like: 5 sets of 10 dips + 10 pullups + 10 KB swings (to get 50 reps of each)?
    Could I do giant sets with the main movement? E.g. during squats do 10 pushups + 10 KB swings or just superset?
    Would KB clean and press work as a press movement? The book mentions DB press and KB clean but I am wondering whether I can use the combined move for push assistance.
    If I don’t have access to very heavy dumbbells could I use 2 dumbbells or 2 KBs for DB squat for assistance?

  5. FSL and SSL in the anchor.
    Since FSL is in the 3rd week and SSL is in the 2nd week, the weight for supplemental is the same in the 2dn and 3rd week. Did I get that right?

  6. 2 leader/1 anchor - do I increase between every cycle?
    My understanding is that I do this:
    start with 85% TM (my first question is how exactly get that)
    increase 2.5 - 5 kgs (2.5 kg for upper, 5kg for lower)
    deload - 70% x 5, 80% x 3-5, 90% x1, 100% x1
    increase 2.5 - 5 kgs (2.5 kg for upper, 5kg for lower)
    deload with testing maxes - 70% x 5, 80% x 5, 90% x5, 100% x3-5
    Is that correct?

Thanks in advance

Both ways are fine. Either work up to a strong 1RM and use 85-90% (whatever the program calls for) or test a solid 5RM. I prefer the 5RM cause I usually TM test at the end of a program, so instead of working up to a heavier 1RM I’d rather work up to a 3-5RM in the TM test week that also acts as a deload.

Don’t overthink the jumps/throws. Just get 10 of whatever you want done without worrying too much about variety or progress. Focus on landing properly and safely (on jumps) and moving/throwing as far as you can. The goal is to get your body ready for lifting, not to win a jumping competition.

Yes 10x5 takes some time but can usually be done with shorter rest periods between sets than, say, 5x10. Also, it’s easy to superset with assistance exercises, which saves up time

What you do for assistance and how you spread the work really depends on your current level of fitness/shape/whatever.
Superset - giant sets - circuit stuff for assistance is fine. Supersetting main movements and assistance is fine.
In both instances, the bottom line is that your assistance work doesn’t have to impair the quality of your workout (leading you towards shitty technique, form breakdown and too much fatigue) and even more importantly it doesn’t have to bury you to the point you can’t properly recover.
As you can see, it’s a very personal thing, if you have the capacity to work that way while keeping good performance levels and while recovering properly, go for it. If it slows you down and messes your recovery, back off.

I’d make it count for both single leg/core and pushing

Using 2 KBs in front rack and “front squatting” sounds like the best option. I tried using 2 DBs in front rack position and didn’t really like the way they positioned, same for keeping DBs on my sides when squatting, they scratched against my knees. Just my 0.02 but double KBs in front rack position sounds like the ideal way.


Yep, you got that right.
If you’re using kgs, you might want to increase +2/+4kgs on each cycle, since 2.5 and 5 are respectively 5.5 and 11lbs. Probably a minutia, but I feel it has helped me making progress for a longer time, you’ll have to reset your TM often between programs

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Yeah man with that program the assistance work shouldn’t matter that much since you’re already doing a bunch of supplemental. Just make sure it doesn’t interfere with your main and supplemental work. I’ve done the dumbbell clean and press and counted it towards both push and single leg/core reps.

Thanks for the responses!

One more question.
My understanding is that in the anchor assistance should be a bit harder than in the leader due to lower supplemental lifts.
The templates already provide different reps between leader and nachor (change from 25-50 to 50-100). I am wondering whether I should be looking at using more weight/harder variations (e.g. weighted dips vs dips, etc) or just increase the reps?

Assistance doesn’t really matter, just keep it in the lower range. The intensity is really about the PR sets in the main lift, the assistance is just lower to not wear you down on top of that.

And few more questions.

When I travel I always find a gym with a barbell and a squat rack. That usually is not a problem.
However, the less important stuff changes per gym a lot. Some have DBs, some KBs, some both, etc.
Should I be consistent with the assistance movements or should I use replacements when I travel?
E.g. substitute DB snatch/swing instead of KB snatch/swing?

Another thing I am wondering is this - it is easier to know that assistance was too much if, for example, the next lifting day you feel that your main lift was affected but knowing up front is harder.
On one hand I don’t want to ignore assistance on the other hand I don’t want to push it too hard.
I suppose the answer is that I need to figure this out on my own but any tips on what to look at? Bar speed is something that Jim mentions in the book but I am not 100% sure I can always assess that.

Just go off how you feel at the time you’re standing in the gym. You’re overthinking the least important part of 5/3/1 programs, get in the assistance however you want and you’re good.

It doesn’t matter if your exercises change every week or two, or if you alternate weighted and unweighted exercises, whatever.

If you’re that worried about assistance, pick easier movements (bodyweight, bands etc) and stick with them. That way you’re getting the work in and know you won’t be wearing yourself out unnecessarily.

If you’re pushing your main lift you’ll progress. You won’t be overdoing it AND you won’t be just ignoring assistance because you’re still getting reps in with good quality movements.

It’s all to assist the main lift - if that’s going up then do whatever else you feel like within the rep ranges. And lastly, they’re just a guide! You can do more than 50-100, or less, just think of the reps and sets adding up slowly over months and years. It’s all progress.