T Nation

Joker Sets, FSL, and BBB - Assistance on Top?


Hey Jim,

Especially on upper body days with the endless pressing and rowing I don’t have the energy left to bring up lagging body parts. Example: Bench today, too drained to bring up my triceps.

Should I find a different template, trust the BBB to eventually bring my tri’s up to speed, or pull myself up by the testicles and do that shit anyway.

Thanks for anyone’s input.


These kind of posts pop up at time to time here.

I’ll recommend your to use little time for searching some Jims posts/recommendations from this forum. You’ll soon figure out where the problem lays.


If I wanted a condescending response, I would go talk to my dad.


Sorry for sounding like a jerk, this is just quite clear thing if you have read any of the Jims texts.

Your workout should consist:
speed work (jumps, throws)
Main work (5’s pro OR 3/5/1 OR 5/3/1 etc)
Supplemental work (FSL OR BBB OR something else, not simultaneously!)
Assistance (it is ok to feel tired now, you should be giving your energy to the main work/supplemental. Just pick 2-3 excersises and do 2-3 sets of each)

Jokers only now and then (in some cycles). Do not use them with BBB or other high vol. work.

Also, this is not probably best program to “bring up biceps” or “lagging bodyparts”, this is program to become big and strong and athletic.


I’m not sure what the question is. Never, ever have I EVER mentioned doing Jokers, BBB and FSL. In fact, nothing I’ve ever wrote could be interpreted as that. I assume that you want to do all three? if not, I wouldn’t do that.

“Weak areas” is the biggest con, right next to “confusing the muscle” or “changing the exercise” in the training world. Real weak point training looks at the bigger picture: Strength, mobility, conditioning and recovery. You figure out where you are weak in those four areas and you’ll solve 99.99999% of your training problems.

I would advise a balanced and well-programmed training template - periodized for 5, 5/3/1 cycles. There are numerous examples on this forum of how to properly structure a program using the basic ideas that Rattus listed above. Not everything exists on “11” in training. That is how you overtrain and get weak.


Ok, that makes more sense and thank you @Jim_Wendler and to @Rattus for his info as well that was really helpful.

What I did was take the section from Beyond 5/3/1 on Joker Sets and took it to mean that it should be done as a part of regular 5/3/1 training, and then move onto whatever template was being done (BBB in this case). Obviously this was incorrect.

A rough draft, but I think this may be a program more consistent with my new understanding. I’ll just do squats for the sake of being concise:

  • Agile 8

  • Box Jumps 3x5

  • 3/5/1

  • Pick one: Joker Sets, FSL, BBB

  • GHR/Good mornings (few sets/some reps)

  • Hard Conditioning

Looking better? Thanks guys.


Looks good. Great that you did put the conditioning in also.

Now check the 5/3-principle and periodize your training like Jim suggested and you’ll have nearly perfect training program in your hands.

Good luck!


Thank you, @Rattus, very helpful.