T Nation

5/3/1 BBB While in a Deficit?

Hey guys! My first post on this forum.

I’m currently on my second cycle of the program, however, I am in a deficit. In the article written by tNation Jim clearly states you need/should be in a caloric surplus for this program. Despite of me being in a deficit ( eating about 2200 calories a day ), I’ve gained strength and manage to hit the desired reps for the 5/3/1 part, as well as the 10 reps.

I am enjoying the program and have never been on a program using percentages and what not, and I love it. Every time I go out of the gym I feel I’ve accomplished something.

Just wanted to hear what your opinion is on me being on the program while cutting.


Just be smart about it. You may feel okay now but being in deficit adds up over time until one cycle everything turns to shit.

As has been stated many times, eat to perform and you will be well served.

Thanks for the reply. For now I’m good, and I don’t have more than 5 more weeks on my cut before I eventually reverse diet in may, and start bulking slowly in June.

I’ve had reasonable results over the last 3 months, although truth be told I’m far from advanced so that helps. I’m down to around 98kg from 103, and my lifts have gone up:

Bench: 1rm 70kg - 80kg
Deadlift 1rm 120kg - 135kg
Squat 1rm 60kg - 80kg
Press 1rm 50kg - 60kg

My arms and shoulders also look noticeably more muscular. I think the key is not using too much of a deficit and ensuring your nutrient needs are met. For what it’s worth I have struggled to even maintain strength in the past trying to lose 2lbs+ a week. When my lifts are still increasing it feels much less of a chore losing weight although I feel eventually I will have to focus on one thing at a time.

Been using the BBB variation with the alternate lift, and 6 weeks of 5x10, then 2 weeks 5x5, 5x3, 5x1. Just finished my third cycle.