BBS 3 Month Challenge Review

Hi all,
I just completed the BBS 3 Month Challenge, and decided to do a full review on reddit.
Here’s the link to the full review:

A summary of my progress:
Incline Bench: 70kg x 6 → 70kg x 12 (technically got a 13th, but it was a little grindy)
SB Squat: 100kg x 6 → 100kg x 20
OH Press: 55kg x 6 → 55kg x 12
Deadlift: 150kg x 6 → 150kg x 18

I go over my reasoning for substituting incline bench and SB squat for the regular bench and squat in the full review.
Anyway, thanks Jim, for the awesome program. I’m super happy with my results, and greatly look forward to trying out loads of the programs in Forever.


What is an SB Squat? I must be getting old

Safety Bar Squat. I believe you listed it as one of the possible supplemental lifts for the squat in Forever.

Its interesting to see this posted, as I just finished something similar. I ran BBS for 3 back to back cycles for Squat, Bench, and Deadlift. I used BBB for Press. After the 3 cycles I deloaded, then did a Training Max Test Week, then ran 3/5/1, then worked up to my openers week before the meet, then only did a 5’s week of bench and squat the week of the competition (this last Saturday on January the 20th).

I last competed about 8 months ago and for this meet I was roughly 15 pounds lighter.

Bodyweight: dropped from 250 to 233.

Deadlift: 570 ----> 605, like yourself I found that my deadlift responds very well to this type of volume. I have actually ran BBS before this and found I responded well to it, so I was excited to see if it would continue. I think part of this success is due to better technical setup at the bottom of the lift due to fat loss, but regardless the higher volume helped.

Squat: my best is 560 in a meet, however at the start of this programming cycle I could only squat 500 for 1. At the meet I hit 550, and felt I could have gone heavier. BBS actually helped me relearn how to squat. Losing weight seemed to change my leverages and it basically felt like I had to relearn how to squat. The volume helped me grease the groove so to speak and figure out what felt best.

Bench: I matched my all time PR of 325. I screwed up on my second attempt, but I now see it was purely technical and again felt I could have gone a bit heavier. I am not sure where my strength level was exactly with bench press but I started BBS with a 85% TM of 275lbs. I don’t feel like my Bench responded particularly better, and I found the training sessions particularly boring. Probably will try something else here in the future.

Press: Here I ran BBB. I hit a 215 for a single before the meet. My best is 230 at a higher bodyweight, but I think at the time I started the programming I could barely push 190 for a single. My press day was more of a bodybuilding day and trying to build up the smaller muscle groups with hypertrophy. Not amazing progress, but I didn’t expect it to blow up.

All in all it think my squat and deadlift responded best to this level of volume. The bench press I am not so sure about.

I will echo you in that Deadlift day is vicious. Particularly when you are doing 80% of your Training Max for 10 sets of 5. That is without a doubt the most challenging lifting I have ever done.

@bigbadbombs: When you did the 5’s week right before the meet, what % did you use? Or was it a 5’s pro, or ? Thanks.

It was 65%, 75%, 85%.

Regular 5’s week with no PR set, just minimum reps. I did squat and bench both on a Tuesday then competed on Saturday. I liked this approached because it meant quite a few days of full rest to heal up before the meet.

Very cool to read this - glad you are kicking ass!