Which Wendler book should I read ?
There are currently three books from Wendler available. I personally have read 531 and beyond 531 and not the most recent adaptation especially for powerlifting. Short answer to this question is to read both. Reason behind this is that both books are entertaining, informatrive and make you a better lifter as you get insight into a lot of experience. If you are limited for time, even though the books are not long, here a bit more help.
I personally think the 531 book is more suited for poeple who are interested in general strength development and are bored with a common 5x5 template of any kind. You get introduced to the 531 concept at an intermediate stage, there diet recommendations and an entertaining frequently asked questions part, which in my opinion is the best part of the book. If you are only interested in the lifting mechanics refer to my explanation of the Jim Wendler calculator, however you will train harder for longer without getting injured if you soak up Wendler's own knowledge.
The Beyond 531 book introduces concepts like Joker Sets and Volume Sets to the program. Generally I think this book is more appropiate for upper intermediate lifters which have been lifting for more than two years and already done several programs. If you read the Tnation and bodybuilding.com content on a regular basis, you will most likely already know the basics of 531 and better off with the beyond 531 book. I had the impression, that Wendler assumes for this book, that you have already done 531 or have been lifting for longer. There are alot of tables in this book with only abit of explanation. You need some background knowledge to make it through and find it entertaining and useful, which is not always provided in the book itself.
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