T Nation

Assistance Questions on My 5/3/1 BBB

Run it and see what happens - make changes if it doesn’t work or keep it up if it does. Maybe it doesn’t fit the 5/3/1 template perfectly but if it gets you motivated to be in the gym and train hard, go for it, it’s pretty friggen close.

running and weighted vest walks wont make your calves grow? Lets see - 1 mile walk = 2300 steps (reps), 1 mile run = 1000 steps (reps).

Running increases the force of each step 3.5-7 times. So a 150 pound person running basically makes each step feel close to 500-1000 pounds. So, are you doing 500 reps per leg with 500-1000 pounds? I think not. Go for a 1 mile run and ditch the calf work.


Thanks for everything I’m following BBB with my slight modifications I’m happy with it for now :slight_smile:

I just have a last question (which is not really topic related): as I am currently running 5/3/1 BBB on an hypo caloric diet, I am having a lot of trouble to beat my PR (which is not an issue), but as the TM are increasing month by month, I may be not validating a set one day. If that occurs, what I am supposed to do ? (I believe that I have to reduce my TM, but how do I estimate them ? trying to estimate 90% of my 1RM again ?)

Prepare yourself. BBB isn’t meant to be run while dieting down (Big is in the name so…)

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Don’t do BBB on a hypo caloric diet, simply.
It’s not meant to be done while in a caloric deficit, you’ll hinder your goals whatever they are, so either eat plenty or move to another program.

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As others have noted, this is probably a bad idea.

I suspect it would be better to use an 85% TM, which is roughly what you can do for 5 reps. So, when you reset, just look at your workout log and see what you recently successfully used for 5 strong reps with solid bar speed (not grinders). Be conservative here, and only pick a weight that you really did get a solid set of 5 with. It does not have to be a true 5 rep max. Set that weight as your TM. If you want to use 90%, the same strategy applies but with 3 reps, but, again, 85% is probably better.

Do what Atlas said: push/pull/1 leg or core - every workout and after the BBB sets. This makes virtually every workout a full body - sort of.
This gives you so much flexibility to mold the program to what you need.

If you a fatty like me- do step ups holding kettle bells for your single leg movements.

Sometimes i front squat for my core exercise- there’s so much space to work in what you need it’s hard to believe some of these questions.

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Also - fat man rows with a vest have helped my chins tremendously. Got that from reading the book too.

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Hy I’m not that fat this is what I look like right now : https://i.imgur.com/GYvUSmb_d.jpg?maxwidth=640&shape=thumb&fidelity=high
(sorry for the douchebag selfie in my bathroom… I feel retarded)

I’ve been doing 5/3/1 bbb (with my slight modifications) for two cycles and a half now, I wanted to be shredded, but I think it won’t happen… so I will just put some calories back and try to grow muscle while lifting always heavier weight… but honestly I feel like I have very poor chest when I compare my BP scores to other in my gym which have more developped pectorals muscles… I don’t know if 5/3/1 bbb will make me reach a good physique but at least increasing the weight keep me motivated so I’ll continue with it for now.

No disrespect, but to me it sounds that you do not understand the basics of 531 or should i say basics of bbb. This is not bodybuilding, this is supposed to get you big and strong, like a man. Not to wear speedos, shave your chest hair and hang by the beach all day.

And if you decide to stick with bbb, Marc 4497 nailed it pretty good in the first post. Do that or bbb from 2editon or beyond without changes.

But where do I find a good routine with progression in order to look like Steve Cook ? :frowning: (and without steroid use, so basically a smaller Steve Cook… Which means optimizing muscle growth and reducing fat.)

But yeah for now I’ll stick with 5/3/1 bbb with calorie surplus in order to grow some mass, I’ll check the progress in one year

So, I’m back to the routine with a correct diet, but this week (which is the 3x3 of the cycle) I’ve struggled to hit the 3rd rep on the bench press day on the last set (whereas other exercises I managed to do at least one rep above of the min should I keep increasing TM until I fail for real or should I lower my BP TM before I fail ? (now that I’m eating correctly I have hope that my strength comes back / increase, but I don’t know how much time it will take…)

Btw am I the only one having a lot of trouble to recover between the 3 working sets ? because if did the last set (the “+” one) first, I would probably do 6 reps whereas I did 3 on that bench press day. Whereas doing the two working sets before, even taking 5 mins rest, I have a lot of trouble to push it. should I take even more rest than 5 min before the final set ?

5 minutes should be plenty rest, unless your bench is quite advanced

I would lower the TM personally.

I’d expect to hit up to 10 on the 3+, maybe 5 clean later on into the cycles
Definitely shouldn’t be struggling hitting 3 though, you should be able to hit your TM for 3-5 depending on if it’s 85 or 90%

Yeah it sounds like your training max is way too high. You should be hitting 5 reps minimum on your 1+ week, and those should be strong, fast reps. . I always try to hit 8 or 9 minimum on the 3+ week.

When I started 5/3/1 BBB 3 cycles ago I think I did around 7-8 reps on the “5+” week, 5-6 on the “3+” and 3-4 reps on the “1+” I took 90% of my 1 RM… the thing is TM has grown since there but my strength has not (probably because I wasn’t eating a lot as I was trying to cut for 3 months… now I’m eating good to become big)

but yeah maybe I should recalculate my TM to 85% of my current RM. (for the bench press of today I did 3 reps @ 102.5kg wolfrose, I don’t think it’s “quite advanced” lol)

Normally when I run BBB at 50% and higher of training max, the + sets are just done as prescribed and not AMRAP.

I would say this is an overall example of why Jim has been recommending running 5’s progression with BBB for 2 cycles, then some sort of PR based cycle for the anchor. 5’s progression allows focus on the BBB (lots of variations in the Forever book if you’re interested), then the volume is dialed back to allow that work to hit PR’s in the anchor cycle. Just like Marc recommended way back in this thread. Sounds like PR work plus BBB work has just run you into the ground. Nothing wrong with that, just learn and approach it differently next time. Also if you’re looking at using a program to drop weight, there’s a few of those too in the new book.

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Well I’m a bit lost right now… I am the kind of guy who just want to run a program knowing it will work to achieve my goal (which, right now is grow as much muscle mass as possible)

So, in the routine that Marc described, 2 cycles 5’s + BBB@FSL + assistance 0-25 pull/push/core-leg and one cycle PR + 5x5@FSL + assistance 25-50 p/p/l-c

  1. Is it really more efficient in term of muscle mass than running bbb@50% all the time ? (If I struggle with PR each week I could for instance just try PR on the 5/3/1 week)
  2. Isn’t it awkard to work the same muscles 4 days a week with the assistance stuff ? because, for instance if I follow the routine I could do 25 dips monday, tuesday, thursday and friday (which are my working days) aren’t we suppose to let muscle “rest” to allow growth ?

And just to be sure… 5’s pro, % of tm remain the same it’s just that it’s 3x5 each week ? (so I’ll definitely have to lower my tm :slight_smile: )