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No Pump When Doing 5/3/1

Hello I am doing 531 with BBB this is also my first time following a program
Basically each workout day goes like this:
-Do the main lift for the prescribed weights and reps
-Do a 5 x 10 with 50% (first month), 60% (second month), & 70% (third month) of my training max
-Pick two assistance exercises and perform a 5 x 10 for each
-Work on core

I don’t really feel a pump when I workout now and I understand it’s not bodybuilding but I guess I kind of expected a pump.
Should I just keep going with the program as is or add some more assistance etc?

I wouldn’t worry about it.

Just make sure you keep a good log so you can objectively measure your results. In addition to the exercises, weights, sets, and reps you might want to also record rest periods, perceived effort on a set, and factors that may have hindered or improved your training session.

This will make it easier to pinpoint what kinds of things you want to keep, discard, and possibly add at a later date.

Just take a look at some of the training logs of some the more successful and experienced lifters on this site to get a good idea of the kinds of things relevant to lifting logging.

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how can’t you get a pump doing 5x10 ?!


Stupid question but are you performing the movements correctly? Focus on mind muscle connection and doing slow eccentric and explosive concentric. When I tried BBB I had a hell of a pump off the 5x10 accessory work.


Sorry i should clarify
The pump is there but because the volume i’ve done previous to starting this program is much higher so it didn’t feel that intense

but this is in your head, you don’t need to do tons of volume to gain muscle, sometimes too much volume can kill your gainzz

As long as you’re progressing I wouldn’t worry about it. 531 is an odd beast in that the linear progression has the long term health in mind. Other programs that pack on 5-10lbs per training day are short sighted and don’t last as long in gains. 531 forces you to take it slow and look at rep records. Take things slow and you’ll get to where you were and even farther than that. People want to pack on tons of weight for their ego but end up plateauing or even getting injured. Slow and steady definitely helps to win this race in my opinion.

But, as Fletch stated above, keep a log and shoot for some rep records. You can get stronger without taxing your body on 90-100% 1rm all the time. The weights will get heavy soon enough.


I always got a pump of 5x10. Maybe you need more preworkout carbs

You also might want to consider measuring the body parts you want to pump/grow. Do a few cycles of BBB and then measure again. Assuming you’re eating like Jim says you should, the results you are looking for should be in the numbers.

this is BBB Challenge and NOT recommended by JIm at all as an introduction to 5/3/1.
Start with something like original BBB from the book or triumvirate and really learn to push and rep out the +/top set for the main lift. Once you “get” the system then you can add some pump work as a finisher one or two days a week


Not a well known thing but if you rub one out the night you did your BBB work, it is as good as getting a pump.


Going for aggressive pumps is only sustainable long term if you’re on the juice anyway. Mitochondria and steroidal hormones downstream from cholesterol will get out of whack. Embrace the slow grind or crash yourself.

Big is a byproduct of strong. Focus on getting stronger.

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