T Nation

Chest/Triceps/Shoulders and Back/Legs/Biceps

Hey! I am a Novice lifter, lifted since january, and my lifts have increase well. But i am thinking about changing it a bit.

Will it work to do Chest/triceps/shoulders and then back/legs/biceps? Doing it 4 times a week, Monday-Tuesday-Off-Thursday-Friday-Off-Off? Would that work?

I’m not personally a fan of pairing legs with anything else. I find it too taxing. I suppose you could do a little arms or something after legs, but certainly not something like back.

Really, you just have to try it and see.

There are hundreds of fully written programs on this site. I dont get it.

Some reckommendations on program?

Like i said i am a Novice lifter, and have very very little muscle, so my goal is to add musclemass fast. I am currently using the upper/lower one, but i dont like to train the lower seperately two days a week, because i feel that i then dont get enough pump on the upper part.

So is it a program out there which is 4 day/week, trains ur musclegroups 2 times/week, but involves the upper part 3/4 days in the gym?

do the original 5/3/1 or WS4SB.

Both of those programs will get you where you want to go. Neither of them satisfy your criteria, but both of them are awesome.

As a novice this is definitely doable…as an intermediate or beyond doing back + legs (within a bbing routine) might be a bit much/lead to an overcrowded routine. Just keep the volume within sensible bounds.

Ok, thanks. But what do u think about the 531 BBB program? https://www.t-nation.com/workouts/boring-but-big-3-month-challenge

And why do i need to do just 50% of my max the first month? If i reduce the sets, can i do 100% of TM? I am doing it currently at my upper/lower Routine, and have no problem adding more weight every week. This program looked even better.

it’s damn good. Another very popular variation is called “Building The Monolith.” It’d be very good for you goals so you might want to look into it.

Because the guy that wrote the program is a genius who has not only lifted near blasphemously heavy weights, he has coached countless others to do the same. Just do as he says without questioning his methods.


Hey, i have been inspired from the 531 BBB program made by Wendler. This one, https://www.t-nation.com/workouts/boring-but-big-3-month-challenge.

What do u think of this one, inspired from him, made by me? Am currently using a simple upper/lower program, but i want to mix it up a bit. Would say that i am a novice lifter, but the upper/lower routine suits me very well.

Monday: Benchpress, Military Press, Chins, Curls, Pushdown, Face pulls, Side lateral raise
Tuesday: Squat, Deadlift, Leg press, T Bar Row
Wednesday: Off
Thursday: Benchpress, DB rows, Militarypress, Flyes, Pushdown, Face pulls
Friday: Same as Tuesday
Saturday and Sunday are off. 3x10 on every excerciese, will try to increase in weights every week.

Its, as u can see, almost the same as Wendlers routine, But i have added on Flyes/Side Lateral Raise aswell, and have reduced the sets from 10x5 to 10x3. Will perform every excerciese with 100% of my TM, and not just 50%.


No. Don’t butcher his program. And doing every lift at 100% TM? That’s not 531 at all and is a recipe for disaster. You say you are a novice, so it should be clear to you that Jim Wendler is better at designing an effective program than you are. If you don’t like the 531 BBB challenge, then pick another program and run it as it’s laid out.

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That’s not even a program. It’s just a list of exercises. There’s zero point in doing what you wrote.

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Sorry, but doing excercies 50% of what i can do, every week is not my thing. When I go to the gym, I need to push myself really really hard.

It is. Its very very similar to the Fierce 5 upper/lower routine. I have just added some more excercies.

How’s that worked out for you so far? What type of results have you achieved by taking well established programs from professional coaches and completely changing them?

So, to summarize, you would like to do a 531 program, but you assume it will be easy and not generate results. So you, a novice, have “improved” the program by keeping the same “list of exercises” but removing the built-in progressive overloads of the 531 main lift, the usefulness of the supplemental work (which you’ve turned into max sets at your TM) and added new assistance exercises for some reason. Yeah, that sounds like a smart approach to training.

If you can do 10 x 3 with 100% of your TM, your TM is wrong.


Like i said, i have used the upper/lower routine, and for me personally it has worked very well. I train mon/tue and thu/fri. My bench has increased from 88 lbs to 165 lbs, the same with the other big compounded excercies. I do 10x3, but reduce it to 3x5 when the lifts gets heavy as fuck.

Changing them? Have i changed my routine? The routine i use have I not changed at all, have just added some more back excercies, thats all.

But i would like to train my bicep/tricep more often, therefore the program i made over.

First off you did put this in the 5/3/1 forum
Secondly- you mean 3x10 right? because sets of 3 are easier than sets of 5

No- but you’ve completely fucked up 5/3/1 BBB
also this

Ok, I know you’re new and I will be polite. You’re missing the point of the 531 programming, and don’t understand the difference between exercising, training, and testing.

Main lift is the 531 barbell compound lift. These are your heavy “working sets”. The program has built in cycles where you will progressively add to your lifts. Your lifts should be clean and explosive, and not grinding at or close to your TM.

The supplemental lift (for example, the BBB sets which are 5x10) is to get volume in. These will be challenging, believe me, especially as you progress. This is a big driver of hypertrophy, and gettin you better and better at these compound lifts. The supplemental lift is usually the same as the main lift.

The assistance exercises are body weight movements, curls, ab work, etc… done at higher volume and NO WHERE NEAR your max. These are not pushed as hard as your barbell lifts, but are done to get the work in. Some 531 programs call for specific assistance exercises, while others will give you the chance to choose from categories.

My suggestion: get a 531 book (Beyond or Forever), and learn about how philosophy of progressing using the 531 method. If, after learning more, you still want to train at near max sets of 3’s, then pick another program that uses this type of training.

If you give a 531 program an honest try and stick with it for several cycles, you’ll be more than happy with the results. If you bastardize it and make it something it’s not, you’ll keep spinning your wheels and get nowhere.


Thanks for a well written answer. Appreciate it, but the thing that i dont like about the program is that the progress is a bit slow, many critics there on both reddit and here.

Does someone have a good 4 day split routine that works every body part twice a week? The bro spilt is good, but it hits my musclegroups only once in a week.