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Beginner Program Review: Cutting with Boring But Big

Hi Guys,

As most of you advanced lifters already know, planning is the key to success and in the past I have been spinning wheels when it comes to bodybuilding and get fit. After a lot of research and hours reading I have come to the following plan.

My plan is to body build and look good. At the moment I am 155lbs (70.5kg) and 5ft 9 (175cm) and 23yrs old. I have used a very rough body fat measurement using calipers and I think I am around 22% body fat (will verify later with my brother taking measurements for more accurate results).


Anways my plan is to cut to 140lbs (63.5kg) and reach approx 15% body fat at 0.55lbs per week (0.25kg per week) lose. This will take me around 28 weeks (7months) to reach this goal.

While I am doing this, I will be using the 5/3/1 strength training program with Boring but big assistance work out to improve my strength. So thats the normal 5/3/1 program + two assistance work outs tacked on for 4 days a week

I have read it is better to start with a strength training program and then switch to body building (hypertrophy) program, 6 months down the track. Hopefully my beginner gains will offset the cut and improve my strength and once I reach 140lbs in 7 months, I will start a clean bulk with a hypertrophy program for god knows how long till I do a final cut. What do u guys think of this plan? Anything I am missing or fucked up bad?

At 155 pounds and 5’9" why in the actual fuck are you cutting? You ever heard “abs on a skinny dude are like big tits on a fat chick?” Sorry that was harsh. But i would absolutely in no way, shape, form or fashion do bbb on a cut especially at 155 pounds. You’ll get more hypertrophy gains from bbb than you would a “hypertrophy program” anyway. I’d bet my left testicle on that.

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Comments on Reddit are saying to cut.

The logic is if I am around 20% body fat and that is not a good point to start bulking, body fat by the time I finish bulking will be too high to do a proper cut. U have to remember I am not 155lbs at 6ft 1, I am only 5 ft 9. If bbb doesn’t not work with cutting, anyone know a program I can follow?

What are your maxes or training maxes? How long have you been lifting? It’s not that it won’t work. It’s that You’re going to sabatoge your hypertrophy gains by being in a deficit. The whole point of bbb is to get big. Hence the name.

Your missing everything, but that’s ok. Your just starting out and its to be expected that you will have plenty to learn. Here are a few tips:

  1. Pick a simple, basic beginner program and follow it AS WRITTEN. If your going to do 5/3/1 I recommend doing Triumvirate. Very simple, very easy. You will make progress. If you committed to following this methodology, I recommend buying 5/3/1 2nd edition. Excellent starting point.

  2. Focus on cleaning up your diet generally, and don’t worry about calories and macronutrients just yet. Just make sure your getting enough to eat from whole food sources. If you really have a handle on your diet already, that is awesome, but my guess is if your posting pictures on reddit asking for advice you probably need to develop good BASIC nutrition habits first.

I would go ahead and probably just forget about this. Once your start getting some consistent lifting in, your body composition will change and this will all be pointless. Even if you did try to follow this plan if you were 15% bodyfat at 140 lbs that only really leaves you with 119 lbs of lean mass. My guess is your really not going to look much different, considering on a caloric deficit your going to lose some muscle mass as well.

Once you start adding some muscle you will likely see a drop in fat as your metabolism bumps up, or at least your body fat % probably won’t increase as you add lean muscle.

To sum it all up, focus on building a base of strength and technique in the big lifts, eating lots of healthy whole foods, and have fun.


If you have the 5/3/1 Forever book and want to follow a program then I strongly suggest the Beginner Prep School program.

Bench - 50kg
Squat - 75kg
Deadlift - 100kg
Overhead - 35kg

Thats my one rep maxes I reckon

I have been lifting for about a month now, used to lift like 2 yrs ago but gave up due to spinning wheels, getting nowhere and losing motivation to gym

Thanks for the reply.

I have the 5/3/1 2nd edition, I will have a look at the triumvirate, I just went with bbb cause it seemed to have a lot of fans, but saw a post where a newbie asked the same question about bbb and Jim wendler said “BBB is not for beginners”. So I will try the triumvirate instead.

I have been dieting and clean eating pretty well, for the past month or two. 6 servings of veg, 2 of fruit, wholemeal fibre, the whole shabang. I still need a plan. From what you said it sounds like you are saying, just eat healthy and bulk? I wont gain much fat? and then just cut when it feels appropriate?

Do not cut. Whoever advised that on Reddit is mentally handicapped. Get your lifts up. Double them all and you’ll be far bigger. And at your numbers it’s probably not unreasonable to double them in 12-24 months if you eat and follow a decent program. Dont worry about the scale. Measure around your chest or shoulders to gauge size progress if you like. Start with starting strength or a full body 531 template. Building the monolith is fantastic and so is bbb

BBB is fine, Jim probably talking about ‘bbb challenge’
Eat at maintenance calories not deficit and really push for rep PRs -at your level will gain muscle and lean out at the same time.

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Don’t even think in terms of “bulking” and “cutting”; think in terms of getting stronger and eating a diet that fuels your strength and performance gains. You’re far too weak and small to think of cutting, and those on reddit that advise this are likely high school kids that can’t bench their own bodyweight and want to look like Justin Beiber.

I think pretty much any 531 template will get you going in the right direction, but I second the recommendations for Triumvirate and Beginners Prep School.


Jim is talking about beginners not being able to do 5 x 10 at BBB weights without form falling apart. If you’re able to do this, then BBB is fine.

I agree man.

OP - don’t think of cut and bulk. Eat for PERFORMANCE in the gym.

Paul Carter in an article on elitefts said:

If you’re a skinny and weak stick dude and you work up to handling 315 X 10 in the squat, 405 X 3 in the deadlift, and 275 X 6 in the bench and can do a crap load of dips and chins, you will be significantly bigger

I would add much stronger. If you eat clean and eat well you are going to be HAPPY with your body no matter what your weight if you work up to those weights as initial goals. You might not even need to hit those high of numbers to be happy with your results.

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I am also a 5’9 athlete and I started lifting at 155lbs. It’s a light bodyweight for that height.

I would not bulk or cut if you have only been lifting for a month. Jim recommends not manipulating diet for 6 months in his “Help a Friend Get Stronger” article, and it’s great advice. Focus on eating quality food, but don’t force yourself to manipulate your bodyweight, because right now you’re just learning the movement patters and making neurological adaptations. Wait until you NEED to force growth to occur before you try to do that.


Thanks heaps guys. So just to be clear, the takeaway is its too early to think about cutting or bulking. I should eat to maintain. Eat healthy. Focus on a strength program like 5/3/1 Triumvirate and Beginners Prep School. Double my PRs I mentioned above. Come back after I achieve that and then look at bulking or cutting.

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That because it is awesome. But it won’t be awesome if you don’t have a well developed technical base and work capacity, and if your afraid of shoveling necessary calories down your gullet to recover. My guess is in about 6 months to a year you will be ready to BBB. It will come faster than you think.

I am saying stop thinking in terms of bulking and cutting. YOU ARE NOT A BODYBUILDER…at least not yet. But you could be down the road if you focusing on developing good training and basic eating habits now. The only time I would tell you to disregard this advice is if you have a experienced bodybuilding coach in your corner guiding you. If not just keep it basic.

Also it would be a good idea to define a number of goals. (ie. achieve and maintain a double bodyweight squat, add 25 lbs, don’t eat junkfood more than twice a week, rep PR’s on lifts), try track as many metrics as you can, don’t just focus on body fat. Weigh yourself and take measurements once a week. Measure bodyfat once a month maybe, but only if you want. Just focus on lifting, eating to recover, and having fun. I think if you do this for 6 months you will learn lots about yourself and the nature of lifting.

Thanks for the reply. When you say add 25lbs is that to my body weight or my lifts?

I don’t know how qualified I am to be shelling out advice as I’ve only been lifting a little over a year, but I started out at a tiny 175# at 6’ 1". I thought I was “skinny fat” but it turned out I just had zero muscle. I have been doing base 5/3/1 with fsl for quite a while now, and eating slightly above maintenance and let me tell you- it works. And I haven’t gained any appreciable amount of body fat other than the two month span I ate like an idiot because I wanted to “bulk”.

I don’t measure body fat percentages or take measurements but I can visually see the drastic changes since then.

Again this is just my opinion, but unless you are morbidly obese just starting out, adding the base strength and muscle is what will really help. It also helps to light a fire under your ass and gets you motivated to really start pushing yourself during the program.

I was referring to bodyweight. But it was just an example. You don’t have to track bodyweight at all if you don’t want. Just pick some goals that matter to you and monitor them.