T Nation

Post-Anchor Questions (TM Changes, Running a Challenge)

Right now I’m running 2 Leaders of 5’s Pro + BBB FSL, followed by 1 Anchor of 3/5/1 PRs + 5x5 FSL.

First question: if I get to the 7th week TM test, and find that my theoretical next-cycle TM is too heavy, should I just maintain the same TM into the next cycle, use whatever number I CAN hit for the TM guidelines (in my case, 85%), or deload back (something like 5 forward 3 back, or 3 forward 2 back)?

Second question: I really like my current Leader/Anchor rotation, BUT I quickly get bored with things. Have any of you ever run one of Jim’s 6-week challenges between your leader anchor cycles? I’m thinking of doing something like Building the Monolith or the Beachbody Challenge (or alternating them) after my Leader/Anchor cycles.

Bonus question: I’m finding increasing my TM by 10/5 is fine for a few cycles, but then suddenly everything feels REALLY heavy. I know I gain strength very slowly (alternatively, my conditioning/endurance is built simply by thinking about it), and I’m thinking I might benefit from TM increases of 5/2.5. Slower strength gains, but at least I won’t be resetting all the time. Thoughts?

Thanks everyone!

Usually Jim recommends we plug the reps @ weight into a 1RM calculator, then back-calculate a new TM from that.

You could try a highly variable program like Pervertor or SVR (version 1 or 2) IPO a challenge here.

Slow and steady gains are the goal with 5/3/1, going slower to keep the gains steady is a sound strategy. Alternatively, how’s your diet/recovery? And did you start with really honest TM’s? Even though it feels really heavy you shouldn’t be stalling within the first few cycles with the right TM’s.

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Diet and recovery have never really been an issue; if I were to be REALLY honest, diet is probably the weaker of the two over the last year or so. But that’s been fixed by upping my calories.

It is possible that I overreached my TM in previous cycles; I specifically reset my TM when I started this Leader/Anchor cycle, because I had a habit in the past of continually messing around with the minutia of my programs, and wanted to make sure I started nice and low to benefit from a slow and steady gain this time around.

I think it’s pretty hard to overreach now with the 7th set protocol (when done right), which is nice. I’ve noticed that with 4 day per week training I have to pull back on my training max a decent amount. When I did 2 day per week training from Beyond (1 lift per day) I think I went like 9 cycles before having to reset. When I switched to 4 day per week training I think I dropped my TM’s like 10% at least to get used to the extra frequency and it paid off. I had tried switching to 4 days a week a few times before without touching the TM and it failed real bad.