Please note: This is not official 5/3/1 advice and is not associated in any way with Jim Wendler. If you want official 5/3/1 advice, buy the book.
What is Second Set Last?
Second Set Last (SSL) is a variation of the 5/3/1 training program. It applies the training max percentage used for the second set of main work to the supplemental work for 5 sets of 5 reps.
Second Set Last is similar to First Set Last, both of which appear in 5/3/1 Forever. Both SSL and FSL are examples of leader cycles.
Second Set Last Example
A vanilla 5/3/1 load scheme looks like this:
|Week 1||Week 2||Week 3|
|60% x 5||70% x 3||75% x 5|
|75% x 5||80% x 3||85% x 3|
|85% x 5+||90% x 3+||95% x 1+|
Using this as an example, this means that after the main work is completed, the supplemental lifts would be performed for 75% of the training max in week 1, then 80% in week 2, and 85% in week 3. The supplemental lifts are performed for 5 sets of 5 reps.
So, for example, let’s say the training max of a lifter’s squat is 100 kg. On week 1 of our vanilla 5/3/1 example, they’d perform 3 sets of 5 reps for their main work (65% for set 1, 75% for set 2, and 85% for set 3).
After that, they’d perform 5 sets of 5 reps at 75% or 75 kg (the training percentage used for their second set).
If they used the first set last protocol, they’d use the 65% percentage or 65 kg.
If they used the last set last protocol, they’d use the 85% percentage or 85 kg.
5/3/1 Second Set Last (SSL) Resources
Here are some helpful resources about 5/3/1 SSL:
- Second Set Last Question (Reddit)
- Second Set Last Question (T-Nation Forums)
- Here Jim Wendler states that SSL should only be used immediately after a reset and it should be run for two cycles.
Learn about other 5/3/1 terms in our 5/3/1 glossary.
5/3/1 Forever Book (Recommended Reading)
To best utilize the 5/3/1 training framework, the book is highly recommended. It’s a small investment for a lifetime of training knowledge.
The most up-to-date and complete collection of Jim Wendler's 5/3/1 programming framework. Contains dozens of templates to keep 5/3/1 fresh and adaptable.