T Nation

Opinion on Some Assistance Work Every Day?


I am currently running a 2x2x2 deal with my TMs being 80% because I’m focusing on getting my basketball skills back. I’m either using skill training or lazy distance runs as easy conditioning and a few 200-400m runs as hard conditioning. Also, I’m doing the Elite 11 and Supple Six 1-3x a day.

My 2 lifting days break up to be:

Day 1

DL: 5s PRO and FSL 5x5
Press: 5s PRO and FSL 5x5
(3 med ball throws of either Chest, Overhead, or backwards are done between the warmup sets and first 2 FSL sets to give me my 20; well, 21 reps of throws/jumps)

Day 2

Squat: 5s PRO and FSL 5x5
Bench Press: 5s PRO and FSL 5x5
(3 med ball throws of either Chest, Overhead, or backwards are done between the warmup sets and first 2 FSL sets to give me my 20; well, 21 reps of throws/jumps)

Also, on both days, I superset my assistance work between the FSL sets with the exception of doing Kroc Rows after my main lifts. and 100-200 face pulls after my main lifts.

The assistance exercises I’ve been doing are pushups(I tried weighted, but stupid me had a weight drop on my foot so I’m just doing a ton of BW reps now.), dips(weighted and unweighted), pullups(weighted and unweighted), BW inverted rows, weighted 45 degree back raises, hanging leg raises, ab wheel, one handed KB swings, neck extensions and neck flexions. Mind you, I don’t do all of these one workout, but pick one of the aforementioned to get my rep numbers on each of the assistance areas.

I am thinking of for my weight days of adding weighted assistance work like good mornings, plate raises, DB military presses, DB squats to the rotation IF given a green light to my question.

The question for Mr.Wendler is what is your opinion on doing assistance work everyday. By everyday, I mean 5-7 days/week and 50-100 reps of Upper Body Push, Upper Body Pull, and Single Leg/Core? Also, 50-100 reps each of Neck Flexion and Neck Extension as well?

I know you have to figure it out for yourself, but I just wanted some feedback.


And what is the purpose of any of this? I don’t get it.


Ah, you responded.

I bought 531 forever a while ago, and was studying the book. Pretty much, I’m just trying to build my own optimal mousetrap. To make a long story short, I noticed that in the Beginner Prep School program you mentioned it was ok for people to do some light assistance work on days off.

Now, I’m doing 2x2x2, and you brought up how it’s fine to do extra mobility and easy conditioning. You’re probably thinking I’m trying to combine two programs, and thinking, “JUST DO THE PROGRAM AS WRITTEN!!!(slams fists)”.

Actually, I’m not intentionally trying to do that.

I was just wondering if for 2x2x2 it would be fine to take the notes from Beginner Prep School about extra assistance work on “off days”/days away from lifting and doing some light assistance work on the non-lifting days would be fine or not.

Example: on a “conditioning” or “mobility day”

50-100 upper body push(pushups, dips, plate raises; not all three done for 50-100 but combined to make that total)

50-100 upper body pull(pullups, inverted rows, kroc rows w/KB; not all three done for 50-100 but combined to make that total)

50-100 single leg/core(one are KB swings, hanging leg raises, ab wheel, KB goblet squat, lunge; not all four done for 50-100 but combined to make that total)

50-100 neck TOTAL(neck extension and neck flexion)

Let me give you an example of my lifting days. I just did this today: weight is in LBS

DL:135X5, 170X5, 200X5, 235X5, 270X5, 300X5, 235X5X5
(In between 7 of these sets, 3 med ball throws either overhead, chest, or behind; for a total of 21 reps)
(In between the FSL, 15 raises with a 25 lb plate)

KB Kroc Row: 50 reps each hand with a 24 kg bell

Press: 65x5, 80x5, 95x5, 115x5, 135x5,145x5, 115x5x5
(In between the FSL, 15 goblet squats with 24 kg bell)

BB Curls: 85x10x3

Neck Flexion: 25x50, 25x30
Neck Extension:40x50, 40x30

An easy conditioning session of a 3 mile jog and then a cool down made up of hanging for 5 mins from inversion table and a few total body stretches.

Pretty much, I just want to see if I’m on the right track or screwing up somehow.

The purpose is:

Maintenance or maybe even slight improvements in strength

Improvement in conditioning(YES, I know a prowler and hill sprints would help, but no hills where I’m at and I have no prowler, so it’s intervals and sprints for me, making due with what I have)

Maintenance or even improvement in mobility

Improvement in basketball skills(the easy runs are when I don’t have time to get to a court)

Finally, if you got through the whole thing, I know you’re a metal head, and maybe these bands aren’t your cup of tea, but have you ever heard of two groups out of Toronto called Cauldron and Skull Fist? I try to recommend them to anyone. When you get a chance give them a listen.


So your goal is to become a better basketball player? I still don’t get it. I’d rather you do SPP and use any extra time for Active Recovery work. This will help your GPP.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that your training doesn’t match your goal - I work with basketball players and I would never do anything like this. But as I’ve learned: if you think this is what is going to lead to your goal (to become a better basketball player), then by all means, do it.


All right, Mr. Wendler, I’ll go back to the drawing board. Perhaps I’m overthinking all of this.


Bumping this because I have a quick question for Mr. Wendler.

About the explosive work(jumps or throws), would it hurt to increase the reps to five reps rather than three? This way I do the jumps ONLY during the warmup sets and first work set vs warmup sets and four of the work sets.

Or, perhaps I just do multiple warm up sets until getting to 21 with sets of three(multiple sets at the highest warmup percentage, 60%).

This just was a passing pondering thought and I was thinking in terms of efficiency.


Yes, you can do sets of 5 reps of jumps/throws - just make sure that every single rep is explosive and not done for conditioning. Understand that what is being taught as “strength training” or “fitness” or “training” or whatever umbrella they are putting their hefty bowl of shit salad under, is simply wrong/stupid/idiotic.

You jump to be explosive, not to condition.


Thank you, Mr. Wendler. One more question came to my mind. Since I’m doing 2x/week weights with 5s PRO and 5X5 FSL as a leader, should I go ahead and switch to normal 5/3/1 with a PR set and 5X5 FSL as my anchor after the 7th week deload or keep it at 5s PRO and 5x5 FSL? I just wanted your opinion. Thank you in advance if you answer this.


Since you are in-season, which I assume you are, I would limit the PR sets.