Accessory Work on Full Body 5/3/1

I have been trying to find accessory work that helps build up my lifts and focuses on weakness. I have been running 5/3/1 for some time now and used mostly band and dumbbell work. I have recently been trying to do more barbell work as I use a home gym with some equipment but feel I would get more bang for my buck with a barbell then some dumbbells. While I understand not all dumbbell work would be pointless but I think some extra work on the barbell would help me.

I have been running the Full body BBB program and trying to focus on the 5/3/1 lift for the main work and some repetition type work for the barbell supplemental. For example, On the Deadlift day I would be doing some light box squats. Press days I would follow up with floor presses.

My question is has anyone tried this and if so how do they like it/ faired by doing this type of set up?

It all comes down to how you recover. So on DL day you also would do pretty heavy Press supplemental. Can you add box squats and also be ready to squat in a few days?
Since it does allow you to do 50-100 reps assistance for everything i would :
1)Stick to easier exercises on CNS for your assistance
2)Not do the opposite movement assistance that day, as in - on heavy deadlift day only do deadlift accessories, then do press supplemental and be done with it.

I really dont like the whole concept of deadlifting twice a week, and i think you will have enough volume as it is… 10x5 for deadlifts… you really think you need that much more?

Keep in mind im not Wendler, and i am a piece of garbage compared to him… just my opinion since i am very easy overtraining :
I would do the 5s pro as heavy lifts but on the other day when it calls for supplemental work i would do a lighter exercise.
So one day is Deadlifts 5s pro, and the next time instead of 10x5 of deadlifts i would do - good mornings or sumo deadlifts of higher reps(so you dont need to go that heavy).
I would do bench and - maybe incline… squats AND box squats…press and dumbbel press or spoto press.
But its just me - i seem to not be able to recover from anything.

What weaknesses do you have that make you believe that? In the 531 books Wendler says you essentially need to justify doing whatever accessory lifts your doing.

When running BBB 4 days a week I’ve used the approach of getting supplemental lifting on alternative main lift days whilst also changing supplemental BB lift based on hypertrophy needs.
So when doing OHP on main lift I’d do incline bench, squat I’d do RDL etc.

As Hank said it’s all about what you can recover from

I guess thinking about it I’m not too sure where my weaknesses is. My press has always been low and sucked. The deadlift, squat and bench are always achieved for the recommended reps and sets. I would say a weakness for the squat would be dropping into the bottom position properly or coming out of the hole with the chest up. I’ve struggled with the squat some due to arthritic knees.

The big issue for me is trying to fill in the assistance work following the push, pull, single leg/core requirements and having limited equipment. I have a rack, barbell, weights, some bands, and some Olympic dumbbell handles. I know there’s ways to make progress with what I have but it seems I do the same accessory work every workout and I get bored and don’t see any progress with it. For example, I know Jim’s a fan of dumbbell rows or Kroc rows which I’ve tried but I feel I get better results with a barbell row or pendlay row. I’ve been trying to up my pull up strength so I’ve been trying to train the pull up every workout if I can. One day I’ll do banded pull ups the next workout I’ll do inverted rows.

Single leg/core I usually try to do Ab work which is usually a sit up or a side bend. For push I go with a banded push down.

So you’ve got access to DB’s basically but guess from a functionality perspective your limited as can’t see you being able to put 20’s on?

If your press is weak, again do you know why?

Tried paused or speed squats?

How do you programme your accessory work? Is it linear progression? Have you tried main lifts using simplest strength template?

Personally I’m a fan of including some unilateral work for all body parts, they’re a great way for addressing strength imbalances that we all have somewhere

Have you considered buying a landmine attachment or making your own cable pulley to attach to your rack? These low cost solutions take up little space and can add some versatility to your training options.

I think my press could be due to a form issue. I also got done with 1000% awesome template and was only pressing once a weak so it could be somewhat due to that.

I have in the past done paused squats and tempo squats. Unsure if that is what your referring to as speed squats. Paused squats aren’t bad but tempo squats definitely hurt my joints.

I plan my accessories based off the push, pull, single leg/core and the 25-50 rep range or 50-100 rep range depending on the template. I plan the day before but also change it to be flexible for the day and time constraints. As for a type of progression I usually focus on getting in the rep range with a weight that’s heavy. I’ve never been good at trying a progressive overload with things like banded tri push downs or banded face pulls. I started with a 65lbs band and upgraded to a 75lbs band but it seems like I can do the same amount of reps with the bands. I have not tried the simplest strength template yet.

I have a cable attachment for my rack but the issue I have is setting it up takes a while and my space is limited so I have to stand outside the door and slightly angled to get it to work. I hope I move to a bigger space one day and can add it into the routine but now it’s not a great help. I have been trying for a landmine attachment but had no luck yet finding ine.

I stopped trying to find weaknesses when I read “Everything is Weak” by Wendler:

A seemingly (but not actually) different way to look at it is how Mr. Mythical Strength puts it:

  • the assistance exercise you don’t want to do and/or suck at is the one you probably should be doing, and your pet favourite that you look forward to is probably what you least need to be doing.
  • muscles are almost never the weak point, but rather the mind.

If you’re not one for analogy you might be thinking “yeah that sounds cool but what do I actually do?”

I think the most straight forward way I can put it is don’t try to be “balanced” / symmetrical with your training/programming/body/etc. If in a few years you need to bring up X because it’s holding back Y, then worry about it then. Key word: “need”. Don’t worry if the press volume is not proportional to the pull volume. Don’t worry if the front dents and rear dents aren’t getting equal work. Don’t worry if the quads might be getting more work than the hams. Etc.

This was a bit of a mind vomit, could have been more concise but my worth break is over in a minute.

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What I was trying to say was just focus all your mind on the stuff you know will get you strong, and don’t worry about what you might be “neglecting”.

It seems like “making sure” can’t hurt, and will save you hassles later, but actually it does hurt because your training becomes super clinical and devoid of the violence and brutality that is more and more being forgotten in this age of “optimal” (sterile) internet lifting advice.

@T3hPwnisher seems to be getting around.

Yeah I’ve so far tried not to link to his website because this is Wendler’s forum, but I’m starting to see his material as “necessary”.

Wendler made 5/3/1, which tucks all the intelligent programming stuff under the hood so you can just follow simple 1, 2, 3 steps and focus on lifting - because people just needed something simple and effective.

But today the people who do lifting are also the guys who set up their computers to look like The Matrix / h4ck3r code so that they can use the terminal to write “shutdown now” instead of just clicking the button that says “shutdown”.

@T3hPwnisher is kind of like Wendler pushed to 11. Instead of tucking the intelligent stuff under the hood, he acts he’s never read a book in his life (even though he’s read pretty much every lifting book, almost as much philosophy as a philosophy major, and knows all the scientific studies) and does the opposite of what The-Scientific-Literature types THINK is correct (but actually they are wrong) yelling JUST SHUTUP AND PICK UP HEAVY SHIT IT’S NOT A VIDEO GAME.

Ironically, T3hPwnisher identifies with the “barbarian” in a world full of “min-max” players, but actually he is the smart one because he realises that when it comes to TRYING TO HAVE THE BODY OF A BARBARIAN, being dumb is smart, and being smart is dumb.

Just imagine if this were false: The AHKCHTUALY-pubmed guys would be the muscle heads, and the brute-force-square-peg-into-triangle-hole types would be the “hardgainers”.

Basically this: YouTube: Monty Python Philosophy Football


I’ve tried in the past and links get removed, understandably.

I agree, by the way. I think @T3hPwnisher and Wendler have had equal impact on my training.

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Ya’ll are going to make me blush. Glad it’s been helpful!


As a Linux user I feel personally offended (jk).

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