T Nation

BBB Questions


#1

First, thanks to Jim for 5-3-1 and beyond 5-3-1, both are excellent books. I've been around weights on & off for many years (I'm 45 now), but I don't think I have ever followed a percentage-based program - it was always been "if you can complete X number of sets, then its time to add weight".

I jumped in to the "BBB, Variation 1" template - I'm only in the 2nd week, but I find they way the program makes me push myself is very refreshing.

This template requires, basically, that the 5x10 sets be done with the first-set weight, instead of the 50% weight. Week 1, on press day, the 5x10's were difficult, and week 2, I had to break it up (10,10,8,8,8,6, to get 50 reps). Worried about what week 3 will be like.

I don't feel the weight is to heavy, the 3's were easy, with 8 on the AMRAP set followed by 4 reps joker at +10%.

questions:
1) is it normal that one muscle group would not be able to perform as well as others in the 5x10 part of the template, even though the strength/work sets were fine?
2) is it a good idea to follow the 'rule of 50' when I can't get the true 5x10? or just stop at 5 sets?
3) do I need to decrease weight when 'failing' the 5x10's, or only when missing 5-3-1 sets?

thanks!


#2

Hola. Not Jim clearly, though I have run this template.

first off, 86 the jokers!

  1. yup. Squats always seemed to be the easiest for me.

  2. Ideally, you should be taking long enough rest periods to where you can get 5x10. If it’s really not working then consider utilizing rest-pause or rule of 50. Variation 1 isn’t rule of 50, it’s BBB Variation 1.

  3. You should never be missing your 531 sets. If you are, your training max is out of whack and needs to be adjusted. If you’re failing on the supplemental work, again, take longer rest periods. Or perhaps you may need to cruise your way into Variation 1 by doing, say, Variation 2 first, then Rule of 50, and finish off with Variation 1.


#3

Hi TX Iron, you contribute a lot to this forum, thanks for your response. I think deep down I knew the jokers were a bad idea. I like that last ‘heavy’ set, but - if they aren’t helping me complete the template, I should drop them.

Next week, no jokers, and I will rest a bit longer to try and get the 5x10 done per the plan (happens to be a good article on T-Nation today about rest between sets lol).

now that I think about it - I got an app for my phone that helps track BBB, and it puts 2:00 minute rest between each set - so that’s what I was trying to stick with, even on the 5x10’s - but I’m actually not sure I read this anywhere in the books.

-thanks


#4
  1. is it normal that one muscle group would not be able to perform as well as others in the 5x10 part of the template, even though the strength/work sets were fine?

I think you mean “movement” not muscle - yes. Certain movements will be easier than others.

  1. is it a good idea to follow the ‘rule of 50’ when I can’t get the true 5x10? or just stop at 5 sets?

You need to do the original BBB program - 50% of your TM. Don’t get too fancy when you first start out. As you can see, it can wear you down.

  1. do I need to decrease weight when ‘failing’ the 5x10’s, or only when missing 5-3-1 sets?

If you are doing BBB, dump the joker sets. You are serving two masters.

By the way, dump that app. Despite me being able to sue the fucker for a nice chunk of money, any idiot that writes 2:00 as a rest interval knows dick about this program. So you are going to trust this thick-tongue with your training? I have written about rest intervals many times. The answer is simple: You rest enough between the sets to get the desired training effect you need. It’s simple! My best advice is to go the program as written by the ONE person who has been doing this, writing about this, working with hundreds of people, etc. That would be me.

The amount of “experts” out there are few and far between on training. Trust me. Too many privates think they got stars on their shoulders.