Rep/Set Schemes for Assistance

Which kind of set/rep schemes do you prefer to reach te total reps prescribed on your assistance excercise?
Do you use the classic 5x10, 4x8, piramyd schemes or you use something different?

I avoid pyramid schemes… theyre illegal!


I swap it weekly. I aim to hit the total with fewer sets in week 3 than week 1.

I tend to change things up, unless the program advises something specific (like Krypteia or Widowmaker circuits).

My favorites, in no particular order:

  1. Superset alternating 5x10 assistance between the main/supplemental lifts. This is time effective, and great for building lifting endurance. This is the protocol of Krypteia, but can be used for most FSL or BBB templates.
  2. Do jumps/throws during the warm up sets, do only face pulls or an easy move during the 531 working sets, then start with the assistance alternating between supplemental sets. Then finish with 3-5 sets x10 reps for whatever assistance categories I didn’t finish.
  3. Do the assistance as a circuit. Example (I did this today, after 531 squats): 5 rounds of: 10 weighted pull ups, 20 push ups, 10 dumb bell snatches (5 on each arm). This is fun, great conditioning, and takes about 20-25 minutes. This is the protocol for the specific program I am running (Widowmaker Circuits), but could be used on other 531 programs as well (I wouldn’t try it with BBB or BBS, though. It would be too long and taxing of a workout). A benefit of this is you focus more of your strength on the main lift, without the super-setted assistance. I’ve gotten more PR’s with this method, and mentally I like the workout break up.

This is something I find interesting. It varies workout to workout for me. I’m following the triumvirate template so I have the discretion/freedom to cherry pick my assistance a little, which has led to some good gains on the main lifts! On press days, I’ll do the bodyweight dips/chins supersetted with 2min rests between. I stop about 2 or 3 reps short of “failure” on each set, which lands me in the 8-12 range usually. However, I focus on slow eccentrics and quality contractions/reps to make it an effective hypertrophy focus. You’d be amazed at how well bodyweight dips are at increasing bench press numbers. As for my other days;
bench day; chest press movement w/row movementx8-12x4or5
squat day- plyometric drills w/light leg isolation exercises
deadlift day- active rest day, (I stopped deadlifting due to recovery issues. Since removing dead-lifts from 531, my other lifts are benefiting big time!

Where do you think good morning or SLDL should be optimal, squat day, deadlift/press day or bench day?

You’re overthinking this a bit too much man.

Just grab a weight and start training. I personally aim for 12/10/8 when doing assistance but it really doesn’t matter that much.

You can literally do SLDL & GM on any day. There’s no real ‘optimal’.

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Depends on the program but I usually try to pair up in superset a big-ish assistance exercise with main and supplemental work, then superset the remaining two assistance exercises and go home.
I.e., in the program I’m doing I pair chins in set of 5 with press, about 5 sets of press main work (warmup+working sets) and 5 sets of supplemental nets 50 total reps.
Same for deads and leg raises. For the bench, I pair it up with barbell row - I use the same weight and reps of the bench for the row, then I might or not throw in 20 db rows to finish it off.
Front squats, I only pair them with small stuff cause they grind me out - cable laterals or pushdowns in sets of 10.
While the remaining stuff after supplemental work I simply pick a weight and pyramid up in sets of 10 until I reach the prescribed reps. I.e. 5x10 pushdowns pyramiding up superset with 5x10 rope curls pyramiding up, or something like that.

But I don’t really break my head over it, when it comes to assistance I want to perform decently when doing chins, rows, leg raises and dips, everything else is extra.