T Nation

BBB 3 Month Challenge First Impressions


#1

Today was first day of my challenge. At first i thought that it will be wayyyy too easy. Come on, 50% of 90% for assistance work? Of course, i was wrong.
First was military press. I was used to do it seated, so now my legs were shaking on the last set, and pressing itself was way harder than seated.
Then 5x10 bench press with weight that i used to warm up with. At first it's easy, but then burn is unbelievable, i even failed to get last rep of last set.

Earlier i did heavy weights with low reps using nearly maximal intensity, so i think that changing to low weight and high volume is what made me struggle.
Chin ups - couldn't even do 5x10 so switched to lat pulldowns (which i hate). Curls, tricep extensions was much harder than expected too, had to use weight that is a lot smaller than usual. I finished workout in 30 minutes, had awesome pump, but didn't feel tired at all (i was used to feel tired as fuck after my heavy days). I think muscles worked more than cns, so that should lead to some good hypertrophy, but not sure about strength gains.

Let me know if it's unusual to experience what i experienced at my first day of this routine.


#2

I’m starting week 8 of the BBB challenge. I thought it may be easy at first as well which it was until I made the jump to 60% 5x10. Whats great is just as you are getting use to the 60% 5x10 it is time to bump up to 70% and the workouts get that much tougher.

Im surprised you were able to bang out the workout in 30 minutes. Im not sure if I take longer between sets or do a few extra warm up sets but Im still spending an hour with assistance to complete the workout.


#3

I did short rest intervals. Probably that’s why i struggled with light weights.
How is your size and strength gains after 8 week?


#4

I just wanted to chime in… as I am on week 2 of the third cycle (starting today)…

The first week I was able to get the sets pretty easily, and me and my partner rotated with zero rest on the assistance (so possibly < 1 minute), very controlled reps with pause, etc.

The second week, was able to pretty much do the same, but upper body lifts were harder (always had more difficulty here), and I think I may have even missed a rep or two on the last set of bench/military press…

Third week just started, and I am mostly fine for deadlift/squat… as well as OHP, but 5x10 on bench is a pain lol… I am just happy I took an actual conservative 1RM, and then 90% of that for my TM… my top sets tend to still be pretty high-rep except for Squat which is falling closer to the actual RM that the week calls for… has anybody else experienced the same?

Just to offer some insight on my bench 5x10 at 70%… I thinks reps were at like 10,10,8,7,6… not sure if I should lower to 65%… or even just by a few pounds to get closer to rep range… I think I am going to try again at 70% tonight as I am sure those last 3 will gain a few reps at the very least…

Pretty happy so far, but not sure what to do when I’ve completed the challenge… pondering the bodybuilding template or just basic BBB…

Edit: Oh, worth mentioning that I am doing a very conservative diet (at least in the beginning, hoping to jump back into maintenance/bulking for the winter once my RM sets more accurately reflect the 5/3/1 that the program calls for… and I am very happy with how I am looking… cannot wait to start adding back food in and hopefully it will help me out a bit…


#5

If i miss reps on assistance lifts, do i decrease weight, add more sets to finish the reps or what?

Edit: does anyone have ANY idea how much size i can pack on in those 3 months?


#6

I did BBB 3 month challenge over the winter. It was tough, way tougher than it looks on paper. By the time I got done with it, I was pretty beat up, but a lot stronger. The 70% weeks were really hard. I had no problem with squat and deadlift. OHP wasn’t too bad but I did struggle on the bench some. When I couldn’t get 10 reps (usually 4th or 5th set) I would do rest pause. So if I got 8 on bench, I’d rack the bar, wait 30 seconds and then try to get the last two.

You’ll get big on the program. I did a bodybuilding show last September and have one coming up in 3 weeks. I’ll be at least 10 lbs heavier than last time. Back is a lot thicker and wider and legs are a lot bigger as well.


#7

Ive definitely made progress in strength and size (I am eating close to 5K calories a day, so that is part of it) I have set new 1 Rep PRs in all 4 main lifts.

Im not sure if it is in the 531 Book or where I read it but Jim W definitely says for the 5x10 just get the 50 reps in. Even if you end up doing a few sets of 3 at the end break it up anyway you want.


#8

[quote]creatinejunkie wrote:
If i miss reps on assistance lifts, do i decrease weight, add more sets to finish the reps or what?

Edit: does anyone have ANY idea how much size i can pack on in those 3 months?[/quote]

Remember this from a day ago?


#9

[quote]Jim Wendler wrote:

[quote]creatinejunkie wrote:
If i miss reps on assistance lifts, do i decrease weight, add more sets to finish the reps or what?

Edit: does anyone have ANY idea how much size i can pack on in those 3 months?[/quote]

Remember this from a day ago?

What?


#10

Just do the challenge and see how you respond to it. There is no way you won’t make improvements.


#11

[quote]creatinejunkie wrote:

[quote]Jim Wendler wrote:

[quote]creatinejunkie wrote:
If i miss reps on assistance lifts, do i decrease weight, add more sets to finish the reps or what?

Edit: does anyone have ANY idea how much size i can pack on in those 3 months?[/quote]

Remember this from a day ago?

What?[/quote]

Jim’s saying this has already been answered.

In all seriousness, and I don’t want to be harsh here, there is a reason why the word “simple” is in the title of 5/3/1. You shouldn’t need to be asking this many questions.


#12

[quote]creatinejunkie wrote:
If i miss reps on assistance lifts, do i decrease weight, add more sets to finish the reps or what?

Edit: does anyone have ANY idea how much size i can pack on in those 3 months?[/quote]

If you miss on the assistance exercises, it usually means you are using the wrong variation. Always put 110% effort in the assistance lifts.

From what I have gathered, you can gain about 1.5 lbs of mass per month with this program, so maybe 4.5 lbs over 3 months if you eat well and put 110% into your assistance lifts. If you truly want to maximize your mass gaining, my wife always uses Kris Gethin DTP workout for a few cycles and puts about 10 lbs of mass over 2 4-week cyces and she typically wins at her bodybuilding competitions.


#13

Help! I need quick answer. Week 4 starts today and i don’t know what to do. Deload? If so, how much?

I feel so energetic today, and there is fucking deload coming in my way :confused:


#14

Whats the book say?


#15

[quote]creatinejunkie wrote:
Help! I need quick answer. Week 4 starts today and i don’t know what to do. Deload? If so, how much?

I feel so energetic today, and there is fucking deload coming in my way :/[/quote]

How energetic do you think you’ll feel in week or 2 after not taking the deload (despite it being EXPLICITLY written in to the program you are supposed to be following)?


#16

[quote]Rednose wrote:
Whats the book say?[/quote]

I don’t have the beyond book.

[quote]jampot1 wrote:
How energetic do you think you’ll feel in week or 2 after not taking the deload (despite it being EXPLICITLY written in to the program you are supposed to be following)?
[/quote]

Nothing’s written about deloads in BBB 3 month challenge article.

I know i’m supposed to take deloads with regular 5/3/1, but i wonder if it’s different with 3 months challenge. Jim, could you help me here?


#17

The 13 week BBB challenge doesnt call for a Deload until week 7. Why dont you just spend the $10 and get the book?


#18

[quote]Sheed3K wrote:
The 13 week BBB challenge doesnt call for a Deload until week 7. Why dont you just spend the $10 and get the book? [/quote]
I would, if i wouldn’t be so broke


#19

Sorry, i just had to torrent the book now to be sure. But got even more confused.
Article says:
Month one.5 sets of 10 reps at 50% of Training Max ™.
Month two.5 sets of 10 reps at 60% of TM.
Month three.5 sets of 10 reps at 70% of TM.
Book says:
Can’t copy it because formation fucks up, but it’s different.

In article version, i increase 5/10lbs every month?
How about book version? Cycles is not 4 weeks nor it’s 3 weeks. Wtf?

Article version of the challenge is like BBB 6 week challenge of the book, but expanded to 3 months.

I would do 3x5 (main) and 5x10 @ 60% (assistance) today, but i don’t know if i have to add 5/10lbs to my lifts. I’m just too OCD about my lifting.

Btw, if i follow the book, it means i’ve done 1 week extra of 50% on assistance lifts


#20

So you decided to come on here and say you just illegally downloaded the book and expect Jim to still help you?