T Nation

5/3/1: Ramp Up Set w/Assistance Exercises


Is it ok to do ramp up set with assistance exercises on 5/3/1
ex: dumbbell press 3 x 10
40 x 10 reps, 50 x 10 reps, 60 x 10 or more (the last set, I do as many as I
can without going to failure)
also how many ramp up set should I do: 3, 4, 5 ?
good idea or bad?


You can do whatever you want for assistance work.

What style of ramping you use and how many sets you (for assistance work) is also up to you... Just play around with it and see what you like best/what works best.


I think the only parameters for assistance is don't let it compromise your main lifts and make sure you include some balance. Wendler says don't major in the minors.


I would base it per lift and just see what works best for you. My main suggestion is to first do the program as designed then try ramping so you compare it to not ramping. Also don't do it on all assistance, I usually have 1 main assistance lift which I consider more important, for Bench day this is rowing, for Pressing its pullups, basically opposite movement of the 5/3/1 lift. If you ramp do it on that lift but keep the others more simple.


I basically ramp up on the work sets anyeays its just how 5/3/1 is set up. I would imagine most people warm up and kinda work up to their work sets anyways, this whole ramping up thing plays in nicely, I just think it helps to being ready for work sets in 5/3/1.

By the time you get to assistance on 5/3/1 you should be warmed up.


So if I stay with the same weight without ramping (ex: 4 x 10 with 80lbs),
on my last set should I stop at the prescribed reps (in this case 10) or could I continue if I feel
capable to do a few more (without going to failure).


Ya man that can work. Like others have said, just dont let it interfere with your main lifts. The beauty of 5/3/1 is its variety.