T Nation

BBB Bodybuilder Template?

Have never done programs with machines/bodybuildingesque but considering this to try something different.

Training History: Age 46, 320 BP, 415 SQ, 525 DL. Endurance athlete background thus walking around untrained, slight frame of 150/5’10. Started lifting around age 36. Hovering around 200 lbs. Have really enjoyed running lots of 531 templates over the years, many repeated (BBS challenge ,BBB challenge, Monolith, SST, BBB). Stalled out over the past year and thus the consideration of the bodybuilding program to try some new accessories to see if it helps breaking through the plateau.

Has anyone with several years of experience run the BBB Bodybuilder program with great results?

Anyone with a similar age/experience have another template suggested to breakthrough?

Would greatly appreciate informed input. Thank you in advance.

I’m about your age and have been running 531 programs for some time. I’m a bit smaller and my numbers are a bit less, but close enough to help perhaps.

I have run many of what you have (BBB, Monolith, BBS, Bigger yoke, and others). I responded well to the Widowmaker Circuit, which has you do a PR set (around 20 reps) at FSL weight after your 531 sets, then doing an assistance circuit. Try doing a weight-vested circuit (Walrus-style) which you could easily do at your strength.

1 Like

Thank you for this antiquity!

just looked this over. Yeah, the 20 rep finisher is a definite gut check. Did you use the assistance circuit recommended in the book? If not, what did you put in the circuit?

I did use the circuit recommended, but later when I’ve run it I have used a weight vested circuit:

45 lb weight vest: 5x12 push ups 5x5 pull ups, 5x15 squats or some similar variation.

I like this program because, even though the widowmaker is hard, you get through your barbell work pretty quick. So still having a challenging circuit isn’t so bad. Since we are similar ages, I can tell you some changes I now often make:

  • For squats, I do zercher or front squats for the 531 work, and switch to back squats for the widowmaker. This keeps me fresher, and the change has lead to positive results.

  • I don’t do high volume DL’s, unless they are with a trap bar. Another option with be to run the 531 sets as traditional DL’s, and switch to RDL’s for the widowmaker.

  • For a tweak to a three days a week programs, I will just do 5x2 sets of DL’s before the OHP day. Start with 135 lbs and make big jumps in weight: 135, 225, 315, 365, ?? however high you can pull a clean double. Keeps you strong on that lift, but doesn’t wear you out.