T Nation

BBB Challenge: TMs and 5x10 Percentages?


I always hesitate to ask thinking you will reply with some smart ass comment that makes me feel dumb, but here it goes:
I re-read your borning but big 3 mo challenge that recently showed up on my fb feed and got to thinking, do the training maxes stay the same for 3 months and only increase the 5x10 main lift percentages? Or do i follow normal 531 protocol and increase upperbody lifts by 5lbs and lower body lifts by 10lbs, and rerack 60% in month two, and again the same in month 3 for 70% at new training maxes each month?



5/3/1 principales have not changed. Ever.


I think I read somewhere at one point that Jim says to stay at the same TM for the full 3 months. It would be absurd to think that in month one if you squat 400 your BBB sets would be 200 the first month, you up the TM, and then near 300 in month three. (420*.7=292) You could try this, but I highly doubt you’ll be able to keep up if your first month is tough. Just stay at the same TM imo


Oldbeancam, thanks for that. That was my thoughts as well. If someone keeps
increasing their TM, then its not a true 10% increase between months.


You increase your TM after each cycle - this is why this challenge is so hard and why you must EAT.

Plenty of people have tried this an succeeded, so it’s doable.


Still my favourite of all the 531 routines. I’d stick to it for life if I could–but better follow Jim’s advice and throw in some variety.
Anyway, if, to use the above example, your squat TM is 400lbs, then you increase the weight by 10lbs on the main 531 sets as per usual. The first month of BBB (at 50%) would then be 5x10 with 200lbs; second month would be 5x10 with 246lbs; third month would be 5x10 with 301lbs. My diet was all over the place and I managed to do it. At 6’ 1" and weighing a Herculean 135lbs before I began weightlifting, believe me, with genetics like that, if I can do this anyone can. Just be careful with that TM and make sure it’s on the money.



Well, guess I’m an idiot. Good luck OP


Thank you all, especially the Man Jim Wendler for taking time out of your
day to share the knowledge. I know the article states not to worry about
gaining weight but as Active Duty Coast Guard, i het weighed-in every April
and Oct. Im already 16lbs over my max allowable of 175 since I began
Starting Strength in Oct 2014 and graduated to 531. Waistline is alright as
I still pass my body fat percent limit, but just barely. Nutrition is my
weakness and something i am working on.