T Nation

Intro and BBB 3 Month Challenge Question


Hi all, I’ll keep,this brief. I’m 43 year old construction worker that found myself way overweight two years ago. Been busting my ass ever since to change my life. Started with the typical cardio, counting calories, light weight high rep cookie cutter routines. 8 months ago discovered this wonderful 5/3/1 powerlifting thing that has truly changed my life. Decided it was time to sack up and really challenge myself.

So here’s my question. I’m doing the alternating BBB, so for example OHP 531 with BP 5x10 what should the tempo be for the BBB work? I’ve read that with lighter weight the more explosive tempo will help with the higher weight, but slower more controlled creates more time under tension which is more suitable for muscle growth. So should the 5x10 work be more explosive reps or slower more controlled or a happy medium between the two? Thanks in advance for any replies.


Lower the weight under control (not slow, just controlled) and move it up as fast as possible. Always.


I agree with MarkKO.
Jim has an article on his blog about this, where he compares bar speed for 5x5 FSL and BBB

You are doing the challenge which ends up being pretty heavy so it is probably a good idea to start with a low TM.


This ^ try and start with 80-85 percent TM instead of the usual 90. Make sure to be explosive, but controlled, and when possible, pause reps are always beneficial. When I’ve ran BBB I pause the first and last rep always and sometimes multiple throughout the set. They’re meant to help you gain mass, but more importantly, to practice getting really good at all your lifts. Good luck brother!


Thanks all for the advice. 1st week down of the challenge. Looking forward to continuing this journey.


Control on the way down, explode on the way up.

Simple as that.