Assistance Work BBB Questions

I don’t want to major in the minors, but I also don’t want to make changes to the program if there a reason for it. Hopefully this is a relatively simple question…

Given two BBB options

Deadlifts 5/3/1 sets
Assistance = Deadlifts @50% 5x10


Deadlifts 5/3/1 sets
Assistance = Squats @50% 5x10

Would it be okay to split the two? Meaning

Deadlifts 5/3/1 sets
Assistance = Deadlifts @50% 2x10
And Squats @50% 3x10

Basically, I want to do a couple ‘back off sets’ of the main lifts, without adding additional work (such as in FSL)

Total work over the week would be the same, but I’d be losing the 5x10 of any one specific movement.


In my experience the 5x10 is where the Big part of Boring But Big comes from. So if you split DL and Squat you are going to be too fresh for each exercise and not do enough volume for the GAINZ you want. Give the 5x10 squat a try at 70% of your training max. They absolutely suck! So I doubt you could come anywhere close to accomplishing what BBB sets out to do by mixing up the 5x10 hypertrophy sets.

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I’ll comp this. Don’t mix anything.

The stuff works. If you want to do something else, do something else. But the BBB is very effective just the way it is.


Wendler gives two basic templates for BBB. One with 5/3/1 sets + same move 5x10 OR 5/3/1 sets + corresponding movement (e.g. deadlifts after squat, overhead after bench and vice versa). Either is fine, IMO.

Thanks guys…exactly what I’m wanting to know.

I will do BBB as written w/ corresponding movements.

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If 5x10 @50% doesn’t do it for you, do 5x10@55%, or 60%. Find YOUR groove. Do the program as written, but you can mix up the BBB percentages based off your strength and recoverability. EAT.