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BBB 5x5/5x3 Variation, and Assistance Question


#1

Hello

I approach the end of my current cycle of 5/3/1:

Bench 5/3/1
Bench BBB 5x10 50%
Lat work 5x10
Triceps 3x10

Deadlift 5/3/1
Deadlift BBB 5x10 50%
Abs 5x

Press 5/3/1
Press BBB 5x10 50%
Lat work 5x10
Biceps 3x10

Squat 5/3/1
Squat BBB 5x10 50%
Abs 5x

Im really love the 5/3/1 philosophy and especially i like the BBB idea, but this time i want to change BBB 5x10 to 5x5 80%TM and after that to 5x3 90%TM. I’d like to see how my body would react to this changes. And i have a few questions:

  1. There are two BBB templates -same lift, and opposed lift.Which is better for BBB 5x5 and later 5x3
    I found a similar topic here: BBB Variations from 'Beyond'

So its better to do same lift, same day. May I ask why?

  1. Assistance question - when I was using BBB 5x10 I do not feel the need to do any more work, 5x10 was really enough, at least for me. But with 5x5 and especially 5x3 volume will be way lower, so that’s why I would like to ask an expert ,Is it good idea to add some higher rep direct assistance work for main lifts? What would you recommend?

Thank you for your time. Regards


#2

When you say direct assistance work for the main lifts, do you mean supplemental work? If so, then I wouldn’t. You’re increasing intensity, reducing the volume is a good idea - unless your goal is to burn out or get injured.

If you mean chins, rows, curls, dips, neck, core work, etc then yes.


#3

Thanks for the answer.

Maybe I defined it wrong. After main lift 5/3/1 + same lift BBB 5x10, I felt big muscle fatigue and pump, and i felt that more work for that muscle group is really counterproductive. For example:

Bench 5/3/1
Bench BBB 5x10 50%
Lat work 5x10
Triceps 3x10

After this workout i felt that if i add one set of bw dips or other exercise it will be too much. But with 5x5 and especially 5x3 BBB, volume will be way lower and maybe its good and smart to add some light sets, for example here, dips 3x10 or db bench press 3x12, something like that.

Similar situation is with lower body, after main 5/3/1 + BBB 5x10 deadlift i felt that im really done. But with 5x5 or 5x3 maybe it is smart to add light 3x12 good mornings or other light exercise for lower back or hamstrings?

I’ve never been a person who needs dozens of of different exercises with hundreds of reps. I can do only bench 5/3/1 + Bench BBB and be done with the workout, but its good and smart to add some lat work and some light triceps extensions


#4

Why don’t you try BBB 6 weeks challenge? It is exactly as you did except your BBB sets are done at your first set weight. For example if your workout for today is 3x3 (70%, 80%, 90%), you do 5x10 @ 70%. Next week you do 5x10 @ 75%.

This challenge is only 2 cycles over 6 weeks without deload in between. It is a brutal challenge but gains are awesome. I’ve just finished the challenge and in my deload week, preparing my self for 12 weeks challenge.


#5

It’s very simple. Doing 5x10 bench at 50% of your TM with mostly recovered muscles is insanely light and without very short rest periods, will not even result in a good pump or anything. Doing it after an AMRAP set with 85%, 90% or 95% of your TM is a whole other thing.


#6

Adding in volume for 5x5 or 5x3 even in the form of assistance would not be a good idea. When you increase the intensity you MUST decrease the volume. Keep your push/pull/core 50-100 reps for assistance, but no more.

The push/pull of training: push something in/pull something out. Trust that the program will work.


#7

hanymamdouh
As I said before, I really enjoy BBB idea, and i know pretty good how my body react to 5x10 scheme, and now i want to see how my body will react to 5x5 80% cycle or two and then 5x3 90% cycle or two.

Furius
Yes with 5x10 50% but here im curious about BBB 5x5 80% TM and BBB 5x3 90% TM.


#8

Jim wrote 25-50 reps of each Push/Pull/singlelegcore assistance per day with BBB. I guess this applies to all BBB Variations.


#9

If I’m not mistaken, there is a 5/3/1 assistance version with volume progression like that instead of the regular 5x10. The Beyond 5/3/1 book has something about volume progression on assistance work and the book is generally very well worth the money.


#10

I have beyond 5/3/1 and 5/3/1 2nd edtion book. But still cant found answers to my questions.


#11

What even is the question? You don’t add any extra work when you do 5x10 assistance so why would you add with 5x5 or 5x3 assistance either?

I would understand changing a program if you A: actually know what you are doing and know for certain that these changes cater to your specific needs, limitations and goals better than the pre-written program in which case you wouldn’t be asking here or B: you modify a program like Westside to run it as a RAW lifter.

In your case however, I simply don’t see why you’d have to change anything.


#12

5x5 and 5x3 (higher intensity and lower volume) is a new ground for me. With 5x10 i dont care too much about assistance movements because i felt that main lift + 5x10 is enough for everything. But now with way lower supplemental work volume maybe i should add few sets of assistance exercises (for example leg curls or dips). Or i should just change rep scheme in my plan and dont add any more assistance, for example:

Bench 5/3/1
Bench BBB 5x3 90%
Lat work 5x10
Triceps 3x10

Deadlift 5/3/1
Deadlift BBB 5x3 90%
Abs 5x

Press 5/3/1
Press BBB 5x3 90%
Lat work 5x10
Biceps 3x10

Squat 5/3/1
Squat BBB 5x3 90%
Abs 5x


#13

The basic Boring But Big template has deadlifts + deadlifts + abs and squats + squats + hamstrings, not abs.

The Triumvirate has deadlifts + goodmornings + abs and squats + leg presses + hamstrings.

Periodization Bible has deadlifts + hamstrings + quads + abs and squats + hamstrings + quads + abs.

BBB with the volume approach would be squats + volume squat + hamstrings.


#14

I dont want to be rude or anything, im more a humble student of 5/3/1. I know basic templates from the books, but 5x5 and 5x3 are only variations and book cant have all anwers. Before starting this thread I was looking for answers for few hours but without success. Thats why i decided to post this thread.

I need help with finding optimal assistance work plan for precisely this variaton - main 5/3/1 + BBB 5x3 (or 5x5) And maybe the basic template is still optimal, but maybe with BBB 5x3 variation it is worth to change something with assistance work plan, i dont know that, thats why im asking here.


#15

Open the book Beyond 5/3/1 and check out pages 35 to 37. It lays out how you would progress with BBB template with 5x5 variation of the assistance and 5x3. In a nutshell this would mean:

Squat 5/3/1
Squat 5x5 / 5x3 / 5x10 assistance variation
Hamstrings

Page 39 has a plan that incorporates all 5x10, 5x5, 5x3 and 5x1 to a one big peaking cycle. There’s also the 13 week challenge with 5x5 and 5x3 volume work incorporated.

Personally I would use the Periodization Bible approach in conjunction with this meaning that deadlift day would have 5/3/1 deadlift, 5x5 or 5x3 deadlift and some quad work + abs and squat day would have 5/3/1 squat, 5x5 or 5x3 squat and some hamstring work + abs. You’re really overcomplicating this about as much as possible. The pages I mentioned lay out exactly how the program is supposed to be run and there’s even the Beyond 5/3/1 20 week challenge in T-Nation.com which I personally consider far superior to the basic 4 day template.


#16

I think we just dont understand each other.

For example
Squat 5/3/1 <- Main work
Squat BBB 5x3 <-Suplemental work
Rest exercises <- Assistance work

I have Main work and suplemental work planned as it is in the book, and i dont ask about that part, i ask about optimal assistance work when using 5x5 or 5x3 suplemental work.


#17

Just do leg curls for hamstrings, leg extensions for quads, pushdowns for triceps, leg raises, cable crunches or ab rollouts for abs and you’re done. You’re really overcomplicating shit if you want to optimize something as trivial as whether you should do leg curls or hip thrusts for hamstrings.


#18

I don’t even know what’s going on or how this became so difficult.

In general 25-50 of the three categories: don’t do back raises or anything similar (low back work) or single leg work. Many times we do 0-25 if person is really pushing beyond what they normally can.


#19

Sorry Jim, but i must ask how then assistance work should look like for plan below:

Bench 5/3/1
Bench BBB 5x3 90%

Deadlift 5/3/1
Deadlift BBB 5x3 90%

Press 5/3/1
Press BBB 5x3 90%

Squat 5/3/1
Squat BBB 5x3 90%


#20

etris, since you’ve done BBB before, use the assistance that you have at the beginning of this thread. Don’t add anything until you’ve done the cycles at the higher percentages, then look back at your logs/notes and adjust in the future, if you feel you need to. I just finished the 27 weeks of BBB and the 5x3/5x1 took more of my recoverability than the 5x10 work (but that’s me); if I added more assistance work, I would have screwed myself and then not known what impacted me - the supplemental work or the added assistance.