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Squat/DL Assistance Programming


I'm currently running 5/3/1 Boring But Big as supplementary work but also have 2-3 additional assistance movements.

My problem is that I can't decide what to do on Squat and DL days to cover all my bases without over-complicating my workout. I'm also finding it hard to decide which day to do hamstring/glute work.

Here is what I'm doing on lower body days:

Squat 5/3/1
Front Squat 5 x 10 (BBB Work)
Reverse Lunge 4 x 12
Unilateral Hamstring Curls 4 x 12

Deadlift 5/3/1
Sumo Deadlift 5 x 10 (BBB Work)
Pendlay Rows 4 x 8
Pull-ups (Using a pull-up program for weak pull-uppers...I'm still a novice)
Kroc Rows 2 x 15 Warmup, AMRAP (>15 Reps) for a Working Sets

As you can see, there is currently no direct glute or hamstring assistance work in my programming and I'm already using several movements that I've grown fond of. I'd like to add weighted hip thrusts, pull-throughs, back extensions, and glute-ham raises, but not sure where they fit into my program.

Should I do them anyway? If so, which day should I do posterior chain work? Is there anything in my current assistance that I should drop in favor of something else?

I'm expecting some of you to ask about my weaknesses, which I would have to say are my lower back (injured it a few months ago) and my glutes (very poor activation and, as bodybuilders like to say, I am unable to "feel" the muscle working under 90% of my TM).


Wow. I'm not sure if you realize that squatting and pulling are movements that involved the glutes and hamstrings.
Strength is built through movements. That is what main work and supplemental work is for. Assistance work is for balance. This should take around 10 minutes per workout. Maybe a bit more.

The point is you are looking at training for strength with a very limited lens. Your body isn't composed of individual muscles that work seperately. It's made to work as a unit. That's why there is no such thing as "leg" days. Or the fallacy of "upper and lower body dynamic" has long been extinguished.

For the most part, if you use a full ROM on the main lifts, and add in with some pulling work, you'll be fine. Don't "Frankenstein" your body if you wish to get stronger.


Except for the squats, deadlifts, lunges, leg curls...

IMO... the sumo squats. The more upright pulling position reduces the stress on the back, which will leave your back less developed than if you used a full-range pulling motion (such as a conventional deadlift or straight-leg deadlift).

I made the same mistake. Conventional hurt my back so I pulled sumo... which lead to a weak back... which lead to me having to go back and re-train conventional to fix my weakness.

You're training a movement, not a muscle. If you're able to squat down and stand back up your glutes are working. Whether you can feel them working or not is inconsequential (IMO).


I agree with what these guys say. BBB with sumo deads would just about end it for me.

If I were working with your brain and logic though, I would drop the "Unilateral Hamstring Curls 4 x 12," and maybe the lunges too - though I do like them on occasion - and 1 of the 3 back exercises and add some ghr's, back raises, whatever, instead.


Thanks for the replies. I guess I've been reading into a lot of the accessory work I''ve been seeing without really considering that not all of them are necessary.

I think I'll drop the leg curls for GHR's and alternate Kroc Rows and Pendlay rows while adding back extensions. I have never liked sumos, but I like the idea of training a variation for BBB. Maybe I'll just do conventional deads for BBB instead.