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Combination of BBB + FSL?

Hello Mr Wendler,
Can BBB be combined for the upper part - bench and press and 5x5 FSL for DL and squat. I also want to ask BBB and FSL if they are doing “+” reps of the last series - 5 +, 3+, 1+. I’ve read somewhere that they don’t. As far as I remember I read it in your article, but I could be wrong.
Thank you!

Not Jim but:

  1. Yes. Jim has written many programs with different supplemental protocols for different lifts.

  2. It depends on lots of factors like what your goals are, what your recovery is like, etc. I believe Forever 531 covers this in plenty of detail, however I don’t own it yet.

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I don’t speak English very well otherwise I would have bought the books right away. As I write and read here, I often get help from a translation program. And as far as I know, books are paper-based, but even having them translated electronically using a translation program can lead to fatal confusion because Jim has specific copyright terminology. I can learn something the wrong way.

Short answer then: it depends on recovery and assistance.

For upper body BBB, if you push main work (plus sets) and supplemental work, you should cut assistance right down to almost nothing and expect your recovery protocols to be on point. Put something in, take something out.

For lower body, if you push main work (plus sets), you will be able to do more assistance as your supplemental exercises are easier, but still not push it hard.

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And do you need to make a “+” on the last main set.

I’m not clear what you’re asking me here so I’ll answer the question I think you’re asking. Your “main work” will be done with either plus sets or 5s PRO.

5s PRO is every set done for 5 reps. Its “easier” and would usually be used when you’re pushing assistance and/or supplemental work hard

Plus sets follow normal 531 layout (5s week, 3s week, 531 week) and the last set is a plus set. It’s usually more difficult and is therefore often used with easier assistance/supplemental work.

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I will try to make the question clearer. I ask this because in the beginning I said that I have a memory of not doing 5+, 3+, 1+ when you are doing BBB or FSL but I may be confused.
I’ll give you an example:

85x +

5x10x50 BBB


5x10x50 BBB

But you have already answered that you need + the last series.
I understood, thank you.

The answer is dependent on the rest of your programming and recovery. The reason I’m not giving you a simple yes or no answer is that there isn’t one, sorry. I’m trying to give you the tools to make the correct decision for yourself.

If it helps: the Original 531 had plus sets for BBB whereas newer versions use 5s PRO. They both work, so in a way it doesn’t matter too much as long as you manage recovery effectively.

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Understood. You will have to experiment with different options.
Thank you for your time :slight_smile:

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I remember reading it somewhere I said, not to make extra repetitions at 5x10 BBB. And today I accidentally saw the article in one other topic and read it. Here’s what Jim says:

The Big Lifts
The first part of the Boring But Big Challenge is that you’ll continue to perform the squat, bench, press, and deadlift with the 5/3/1 set and rep scheme. The one thing that you’ll change is that you will not go for any extra reps on the last set. You’ll only do the required reps and then move on to the 5 sets of 10 reps.