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When Shall I Rotate Main & Assistance Lifts?

Hi everyone,i hope everyone is good.
I have a little questions about rotating lifts for longevity,injuries and strength gains.
I dont like a lot variations for exercises,but 2-3 cycling variants its good for longevity and strength gains(Like Bench press to incline press or Floor press etc.). So i wondering,i do normaly periodization volume and intensity work too (ex: 6 weeks volume stuff like fsl 5x5 then deload,six week intensity work like restpause or FSL for amrap)

So when should i do rotating my main lifts and assistance work too ?

Thank you.

I think rotating volume and intensity and program layout is enough but if you want a change its probably not a huge deal

Personally, I do a close variation for supplemental work which I rotate ever 2-3 cycles.

Assistance work, I rotate every cycle or two (sometimes more often, just because)

How many Volume&Intensity cycle is superior for joints and gains btw ? I mean 6 week volume, deload6 week intensity,deload or 6 week volume to 3 week intensity etc.

Have you read Forever?

I have Forever Book,but i havent read compeletly yet,and also i wondering your experiences or suggestions sir.

I’d suggest revisiting the Programming Your Training section and choose one of those recommendations. If your joints have felt fine alternating 6 weeks of volume and 6 weeks of intensity thus far you might notice 2 leaders/2 anchors is among those recommendations.

Thanks for all answers guys.

Not answering to 531 guidelines, but I would say rotate them when you are not making progress on those lifts, or you are anticipating (or already have the start of) issues with joint health.

For example, if my elbows and shoulders are getting a bit irritated, I’ll swap my standard squat for a more shoulder and elbow friendly option like buffalo bar or SSB squats. If bench is bothering my joints, I’ll do something like narrow grip to a block press, or a spoto press.

Thanks again.

One last question for Volume(leader) and Intensity(anchor) . I think 2 leader and 1 anchor cycle is more optimal for me.

Im thinking like adding 5s pro + FSL 5x5 for my Leader cycle to Main lifts.
And 5/3/1 Pr sets+FirstSet Percentage Restpause/Widowmaker for my Anchor cycle to my Main lifts

Am i doin right? I love Restpause work,2 years ago doin DC Training and i gain a lot of muscle with them but burn my cns a lot so for that reason i wanna cycle like 5/3/1 Forever.

Btw That Leader and Anchor cycles i wanna also cycling asst. exercises for Straigth sets to Restpause sets that cycles. (Straigth sets for leader cycle,RP for Anchor)

I wondering your replys guys. We can share ideas,experiences and opinions so


I have never run 531, but for me, I also seems to do better with volume phases being longer than the high intensity work. Maybe I just need that extra time to add some muscle to make the high intensity work pay off. For me, this might be 8 weeks of volume, 4 weeks of moderate load (many would still call this volume as reps are around 5 per set), and a high intensity period of 4 weeks.

Try it out and see how it feels, and how you progress. If you feel good and are making progress, great. If not, revise.

No, broadly speaking you never go to failure(or beyond) on main/compound moves with 5/3/1.
…for Biceps/isolation moves at the end of workout…whatever, just not every workout

Saying flat out “no” isn’t something I’d do. Clearly, as per the above, rest-pause and 531 can be combined. It just can’t be tacked onto every template.

If I were to gel the two during my anchor I’d do it differently, but that’s just me.

I’d stick with OG 531 for the main lifts, do no supplemental work and 2-3 assistance exercises with a preference towards machines/isolation that’d run

Week 1: to failure
Week 2: rest-pause
Week 3: double rest-pause.

yeah well that was written 8 years ago for shits and giggles and is a 6 week/really short term approach.
If you see Jim’s lectures over the last couple of years he is VERY clear about not having his athletes miss lifts.

Saying that I think doing 5/3/1 for 6 months and then doing a 9-12 week blast of Doggcrap proper is a great way structure things