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BBB 5x5 and Jokers


I apologize if this has been asked before as I'm sure it has. I scrolled through the forum and couldn't find it. So I'm on my Deload week after doing BBB 5x10 for 6 weeks and am going to go to the 5x5 version next week and continue on to 5x3 and 5x1. My question is when should I start adding jokers in to the main lift? I just did the 3x5 , 3x3 , 531 for the main lifts, set rep pr's and then went to the BBB sets. Now that I'm on 5x5 can I start adding jokers and FSL? Thanks guys much obliged


FWIW, you shouldn't do BBB & FSL in the same session.

BBB is a size based program, Jokers are for strength.

I'd pick one or the other to do based on your goals


Definitely don't do FSL with the BBB 5x5, you'd be surprised how taxing those 5x5's can get @ 80%. That being said, since you are moving out of that hypertrophy type of block, maybe adding a joker or 2, that you KNOW you can crush, at the end of the normal 5/3/1 work, wouldn't be a horrible idea since even the 5x5 is getting more strength oriented anyway. I'd do this based off feel. Another thing to consider is switching the BBB work with different 5/3/1 work ex: Bench + BBB 5x5 with press, Squat + BBB 5x5 with deadlifts, etc. This might make it easier for you to really push that first movement harder since you'll be moving on to a different motor pattern. Just some ideas brotha, at the end of the day do what feels right in your gut and what gets you excited to train.


I get what you're saying but after 5x10 doesn't it get to be more of a strength oriented program anyway? 5x5, 5x3, 5x1 are all more in the strength parameter than hypertrophy aren't they?


Yeah and I'm saying get in more strength practice with an extra joker or two as you progress through those strength blocks, as the volume gets lower and lower. I'm also saying go for the Jokers that you know 100% that you can get. You'll get a feel for that on the particular lifting day.

I only say this because if you're following the 5 steps forward 3 steps back approach, when you take those 3 steps back, 5x5 @ 80% might not be all that crazy hard. I may be wrong for adding Jokers in a situation like that but I feel like it's been working for me.


Definitely shouldn't do FSL.

5X5 is a significant stimulus for strength and hypertrophy. Getting your PRs on the top set and doing that volume will take a lot of focus and energy. (Yes, the 5X5 is RELATIVELY more strength-oriented than 5X10, but that doesn't necessarily mean you should insert jokers into it. Just because you're building strength doesn't mean you have to test it.)

I did back-to-back cycles of 5X5 BBB at 80% and at the beginning had thought about trying heavier singles. But when I actually was going through the cycles, the 5X5 ended that idea. If you begin the cycle with a "three steps back" (as USCZach was explaining), then maybe. The best approach I've seen is to just do a cycle as written and then experiment with the next cycle if you really wanted to.


Thanks for the advice guys. I'll drop the jokers and FSL and just do it as written for a few cycles. When my 3 steps back cycle comes up I'll test out some jokers and see how I feel.


Once again, don't do BBB and FSL - this is nowhere in the book so how this confusion happened...I have no idea. FSL, BBB, BBS, etc - these are all supplemental programming done after the main lift. So, as explained before...

Main lift
Supplemental lift (not mandatory)
1-2 Assistance lifts