531 basically tells you to train four barbell lifts for strength, based on a specific percentage progression, and then add other lifts to fill out the program. So the answer is ‘not necessarily’.
However, if you really don’t care how much weight you can move, 531 may not be for you since it is really built around enjoying steady strength improvements.[/quote]
I’ve seen this sentiment a lot and I find it really odd. 5/3/1 is the program that had the most radical impact on my physique, allowing me to put on 15lbs in 6 months. The change was dramatic enough that one of my wife’s co-workers who hadn’t seen me in since I put on the weight thought that my wife had divorced and got remarried in that 6 months time.
The top set for as many reps as possible paired with the assistance work (I stared with BBB and used variations from there) can have a pretty drastic impact if followed with some eyeball popping intensity. Meanwhile, I didn’t really see the greatest strength gains on it.
I think the reason people consider it a “strength” program is that the basic idea behind the % loading of 5s, 3s, 5/3/1s followed by a deload is designed to enable longterm progress / weight increases on the main lifts. Which is obviously a good thing, in many ways, but goes against the common idea of “building muscle” in 4 or 8 or 12 weeks. Of course, BBB is specifically designed as a hypertrophy / mass gain protocol, and includes a lot of additional relatively low-intensity volume for that purpose.
I’ve never done BBB myself but would like to at some point, and consider it a good recommendation for a lot of people looking for a new routine. Perhaps including the OP, if his goal is mass.