T Nation

BBB Training Max & 5/3/1 Cycles


Good afternoon. I have a few questions about the cycles on 5/3/1 when combined with BBB. I have my Squat examples listed below the questions.
(A) Is the 5/3/1 BBB always a 3 cycle routine?
(B) Should the 1RM be retested after 3 cycles of 5/3/1 or just continue with +5/+10 methodology on 5/3/1 portion and then reset the weights on 50/60/70% after 3 months?
© For the 50/60/70 BBB, is that based on the TM from month 1 only or increased with the new TM for the current month?

Month 1
5/3/1 1RM = 300 ; TM = 270
BBB 50% TM= 135.

Month 2
5/3/1 1RM+10 = 310 ; TM = 280
BBB 60% = 162 (if 270TM), 168 (if 280TM)
© Which is the correct calculation for BBB?

Month 3
5/3/1 1RM+20 = 320 ; TM = 290
BBB 70% = 189 (if 270); 203 (if 290) = Correct number would be answered above.

Month 4 Question:
(B) Do I retest 1RM ~OR~ keep adding 10? 1RM+30 = 330 ; TM = 300 (B)
BBB would then reset to 50% (either 150 based on 300TM or whatever my 90% of my new max is if retested.

Thank you for your help with this.


From the article:

Month one: 5 sets of 10 reps at 50% of Training Max ™.

Month two: 5 sets of 10 reps at 60% of TM.

Month three: 5 sets of 10 reps at 70% of TM.

Your training max increases like every 5/3/1 program - 5/10 pounds after each cycle. All % are based on your current TM. You do not retest your 1RM at any point during this challenge - even if you did, it would not, in any way, change your training max or how you progress.

What you have listed is a very specific program - the BBB Challenge. This is in the Beyond book and here:



Thank you for prompt feedback and looking forward to starting this very soon!


Best of luck, just starting on the final cycle and have gained more lean mass in two months than the preceeding 6!


Thank you Smaul.

After reading another article from Jim online, I have purchased the book (in-transit already) and am modifying my initial program (already created in Excel).

5 cycles of BBB - starting at 30% and increasing 10% per month.

Plan the work, work the plan.


Please clarify: Do we use the same TM for the entire 3 months for the BBB-3 Month Challenge?

IF that’s the case, we must use the same weights for the 5/3/1 foundations for 3 months, and we only increase the assistance work month to month (50%, 60%, 70%). CORRECT?


Answer has already been stated.