T Nation

Joker Sets and Assistance

Hey Jim
I’m a great fan of your work and have been doing 5/3/1 for the last six months. I just finished BBB and am looking to get some more heavy work in. I came across joker sets in your beyond 5/3/1 book and loved the idea. However, it doesn’t address the issue of assistance work that I can tell. I am only doing joker sets on the lower body days (2 days a week). Should I only do abs, or should I incorporate other things based on how I feel?

Thanks
JY

I know Jim had an article a while back saying that Jokers should only be incorporated on days that you’re feeling extremely solid, such as days you hit PRs on. After you hit a couple joker sets (5’s, 3’s, or 1’s), you then continue your day as normal. It just adds a bit of extra intensity.

I think joker sets should be auto-regulatory, that is only do joker sets when you are feeling good. I usually end up doing jokers once or twice per movement on a given cycle. Also how many jokers I do varies as well; sometimes one joker set other times multiple. Again this is based on how I feel. I believe I read somewhere that Jim say joker sets are a way to take advantage of a good day.

With 5/3/1 number one priority is always the PR set, then do jokers if you feel up to it. And I pretty much always do my assistance whether or not I did jokers.

I think joker sets should be auto-regulatory, that is only do joker sets when you are feeling good. I usually end up doing jokers once or twice per movement on a given cycle. Also how many jokers I do varies as well; sometimes one joker set other times multiple. Again this is based on how I feel. I believe I read somewhere that Jim say joker sets are a way to take advantage of a good day.

With 5/3/1 number one priority is always the PR set, then do jokers if you feel up to it. And I pretty much always do my assistance whether or not I did jokers.

Thanks for the help guys

I can only guess, But I think the reason joker sets do not adress assistance are becuase they are for the main lift. Assistance are based of plan and feel and not necessarily percentage. I use joker sets only as singles. I know in the beyond program they are used as 5s and 3s in those weeks, but just personally even in those weeks I only do them as singles.

I.E last bench day I did 245 for 14 medium grip. Felt good so afterward I did 255 for a single, then 275 for a single. Couldve worked up more but found it counter productive. By the time I got to 275 it felt “light” compared to the last time I did It. Thats all I need with these sets.

For bench, at my current max, I can gage my progress based on how 275 feels, if it comes off the chest fast i know im doing well…in a couple cycles my new gage weight might be 295…If that blasts up off my chest im good I do not need to do more singles even though I can probably get 320 for a single…Little vague but hope that helps

[quote]Jathan.young wrote:
Hey Jim
I’m a great fan of your work and have been doing 5/3/1 for the last six months. I just finished BBB and am looking to get some more heavy work in. I came across joker sets in your beyond 5/3/1 book and loved the idea. However, it doesn’t address the issue of assistance work that I can tell. I am only doing joker sets on the lower body days (2 days a week). Should I only do abs, or should I incorporate other things based on how I feel?

Thanks
JY [/quote]

Nothing changes. It’s just a few sets of heavier weights so continue on as RX’ed