T Nation

BBB and/or Joker Sets

Hello there,

I have been doing the “basic” 5/3/1 for some time now and I am very happy with the results so first of all, thanks for sharing that knowledge.

Now, for the next cycle, I want to tweak it by following the guidelines in the book “Beyond 5/3/1”. First, I would like to do the two cycles in a row scheme before the deload week. Second, I would like to try the BBB template two and start the six first weeks with either 30% or 40% of my TM as suggested in the book.

Then, I am wondering if it is wise to add the joker sets on top of that. Yes? No? Yes but after one or two full cycles to get used to the increase of the working volume?

If yes, I guess I should add them between the 5/3/1 and the BBB exercise is that right?

Thanks in advance and please forgive my english, french en english don’t always mix well!

Yes, jokers are supposed to be immediately after your main lift and before the BBB work.

However, jokers are meant to be something you do on the fly, rather than something you program in - if you’re feeling particularly good on a given day and want to handle some more weight then you can go ahead and do them, but don’t plan them.

Don’t do jokers and BBB at the same time. This is said by Jim many times in this forum.

Mixing high intensity and high volume is usually a bad idea. I know there are Smolov and other monster-programs around there, but for majority of people it is a good idea usually do intensity and volume separately.

Jokers can be used intuitively as posted above, but many for many people this kind of autoregulation is too advanced (= they are too eager to do more than they need), and doing jokers in your regular training will do more harm than good.

So, do BBB and Jokers in different cycles. Here’s an example:

6 weeks of BBB
6 weeks of FSL
3 weeks of jokers

I am not expert in training, but I know how easy it is to spoil training by doing too much. Think your goals and plan in advance, so you don’t try to do everything at once.

Thanks to both of you, that is exactly what I wanted to know. My main concern was to not overdo it and get used to the new program while adapting my diet if needed and I really do not want to go into an overtraining path.

Now I have to work on how I will adapt the assistance work to that. I was usually doing:
Deadlift 5/3/1; Good morning; Abs; Shrug.
Press 5/3/1; Dips; Chin up.
Bench press 5/3/1; Inclined dumbbell bench press; Pull up.
Squat 5/3/1; Lunge; Calves exercise; Inclined dumbbell curl.

And I think I will remove the second exercise of each day and put the BBB instead.