Bigger, Faster, Sronger Program Help

Hi, this is my first post here at T-Nation. I am 18 and started lifting weights in the beggining of the school year when I took weightlifing class. I am enjoying the gains i have been getting so far. After the semester is over I plan on continuing lifting weights on my own time and hopefully for the rest of my life. I am currently on the Bigger, Faster, Stronger program and my problem is I don’t know what other excercises I should add to it. They have a list of sport specific auxilliary exercises but I don’t play a particular sport.

These are the core lifts of my routine. I need help in adding 2 or 3 exercises.


Bench Press
Parallel Squat


Power Clean


Towel Bench
Box Squat

All help is greatly aprreciated.

Do you know of any auxilary lifts?

Rear Delt Row
Upright Row
Behind Neck Press
Military Press
Shoulder Press

Cable Pushdown
Close Grip Bench Press

Preacher Curl
Barbell Curl

Barbell Shrug
Dumbbell Bent-over Row

Incline Bench
Decline Bench

Side Crunch
Dumbbell Side Bend

Barbell Lunge
Hack Squat
Barbell Step-up

I am not sure which ones I should pick and which ones I should do on each day.

my school also uses this program. i didn’t do it, but i remember guys who did. i know for wednesdays they were recommended to do curls of some sort as an auxilary if time permitted. i would assume u could do a good tricep exercise (tricep extensions, skull crushers, etc.) and leg extensions or leg curls for auxilary on mondays and fridays. ask your coach though, he might have some suggestions on which to use with this program.


To be quite frank, BFS is an “okay” program for beginners, but crap once you build your foundation strength. I suppose it can still be used, but only if you supplement with other assistance lifts to train your body more completely.

I coach the throws at a local high school where the football team uses BFS. My athletes always complain that they hate BFS and when I get them doing a more diversified and comprehensive program they grow like weeds.

Here is what I would recommend doing to compliment (if that’s possible) your BFS lifts.

BFS: bench and squat
add: a weighted ab movement, such as hanging pikes, decline crunch, etc. Don’t to 3 sets of 100, train it like your upper/lower body - add some weight! Also, hit a posterior chain developer like pull-throughs or glute-ham raises.

BFS: “FOOTBALL” clean and DL
add: doing heavy cleans and DL in the same day can over-work the lower back, so pick another ab movement and hit an upper body aux lift like military presses and lat pull down.

BFS: towel bench (this is a bouncing bench press, correct?) This is basically an upper body plyometric. Plyos should be used sparingly through the year, not weekly. I would suggest you NOT do these and instead…
add: either close-grip bench or dips. For the lower body, you BADLY need an isolateral movement. You need to single leg squat or do step-ups. Do a search on this site for specifics. Lunges are only semi-isolateral, but can be used as well. AND, add an ab movement - try the bar twist. Stand an Olympic bar on end in a secure corner. Place hands at eye level, arms straight, knees bent, and twist the bar right to left, while keeping the lower body stationary. Seperate the shoulders from the hips - this works the entire core (abs, obliques, and erectors).


These are a waste of time and WILL negate your gains on your compound lifts. Remember, sport is a multiple-joint, compound movement. Your lifting doesn’t need to be “sport specific”, but it needs to be compound movements. You want to train movements, not lifts. Curls and tricep presses do almost nothing to help you prepare your body for sport. They will place too much stress on smaller muscle and put you at risk for injury. Not to mention, I find you can get just as big, if not bigger by sticking to heavy duty complex presses and pulls. Hypertrophy gains are greatest when the maximum loads and leverage is used.

Finally, if you are not in a sport and the BFS program is not required for a class, DO NOT do it! Find another program here at T-Nation - all of them are superior to BFS.

Certified personal trainer and coach

I employ the BFS system with modifications. A lot like TopSirloin, we do a lot of compound movements with no isolation movements. It is a great system in the sense of organization and motivation.

Great answer Top Sirloin. Can I ask why you suggest Lat pulldowns instead of Chins?

Even though chins and lat pull downs are in about the same plane, chins do tend to activate more pulling muscles. Not to mention the abs must stabalize the lower body as well. Chins are definitely a better over-all developer.

However, I usually suggest lat pulls since the weight can be adjusted in an infinite range. If a facility doesn’t have a chin assist machine, then the trainee might have to work too close to his/her max, and in some cases the trainee might not be able to even pull their body weight (often in women). If chins aren’t challenging enough for the trainee and they start strapping on weights, I think loading the spine in tension has to be done VERY carefully.

Further, that was just a sketch - if I trained that individual, they would do a diverse complex of lifts and angles. From lat pulls with different grips, chins, bent rows, pull-overs, etc. I was simply suggesting a vertical pulling motion that opposed the military press.

Feel free to build off what I posted, or post a totally different take… the more opinions the better.

Certified personal trainer and coach

Thank you TopSirloin for the great reply. You really hit the mark. The BFS stronger program was good for me in the beginning. Now though since I have built my strength foundation, BFS really has not been working for me now. I have been doing isolation lifts for the past weeks and they have been hampering my core lifts (did curls and tricept pulldowns, etc). Just today I did my bench press and I lost 10 pounds of strength…I was so fucking pissed off. Your right about the towel bench…I always thought it was crap.

I have found that complex presses and pulls are best for me because I find isolation lifts to be too boring (i am the only one in my class that actually loves to do power cleans). Since I don’t plan on playing sports I will find a program here on T-Nation and do that instead. Anyone here have any links to programs here that they could suggest for me would be greatly appreciated. If it helps, my goals are to be stronger and bigger. I am not worried too much about being lean.

By the way, thank you to all of the replies.

Quick, slightly off-topic question. I thought that the towel bench was simply a board press with a different medium, are you really supposed to “bounce” it?


I was just browsing the site on what people think of the BFS program. Actually, I have a friend who wants to get set up on a good program, and I am recommending this one to him. Sure, it could use some modifications for someone who isn’t playing a sport…but damn…this is the program that I built all my strength on, not to mention getting a hell’uv a lot faster at the same time, while gaining a lot of weight! M, W, F full body lifts. Changing sets reps weekly, using a four week cycle. Sprints/plyos on tues and thurs. I started on this program after my junior season of football and by the end of the summer, before senior season started I had gone from 175 to 195, increased bench from 235 to 300. Clean went from 230 to 270. Squat went from 265 to 350. Speed agility went up, got down to a low 4.7 40. Gpp was way up from doing 2 hours of tire flipping, agility, heavy rope work before all lifting sessions! High school football was crazy and the BFS program works!


Maybe you should start with something like the Chad Waterbury “Total Body Training” program.

Towel bench is NOT bouncing.

Towel bench is just a board press with an object that you can’t rest the weight on.

Plyos are done on the ‘rest’ days.

I think a BFS beginner would transition perfectly into Westside. I’m looking at doing BFS myself for a few months.