T Nation

Supplemental vs Assistance in 531


#1

Jim, how is supplemental work specifically defined in the 531 program? Obviously down set stuff is supplemental, while stuff like curls, push-ups, abs lunges are assistance. But what about less obvious stuff like front squats, mat pulls, incline bench, etc. Tate and some other coaches seem to define these movement-oriented lifts as supplemental, and I was hoping to get your take.


#2

I’m not Jim, but at least front squats should be treated as supplemental lift in my opinion. Many athletes even use it as a main movement.

PS. I’m also interested about Wendlers definition.


#3

That’s sort of my thought as well, but whenever supplemental work is mentioned it always seems in reference to fsl or something.


#4

[quote]Rattus wrote:
I’m not Jim, but at least front squats should be treated as supplemental lift in my opinion. Many athletes even use it as a main movement.

PS. I’m also interested about Wendlers definition. [/quote]

ive used front squats as my main movement for about 8 years now. i know its not considered a replacement for squats in this system but for my goals i feel it has thr greatest benfit/cost


#5

I’m also considering to use it as my main squat in future. It is currently only squat I do, because there is issues in my back squats which are hard to get rid of (old injury causing problems, working on it).

My physiatrist and weightlifter friends told me to try FS instead. It worked perfectly. The movement feels just much more natural fo me, and I’m making good process and not hurting my self constantly.

Actually there is apparently many individuals who use it as a main movement in 5/3/1. Jim even has a template where it is treated as such.

And about the subject - I think that FSL work has become a crucial part of the program. For most trainees it is more beneficial just to do more with the same exercise. Doing 5 sets of 5 of squats has probably more carryover to your squatting than doing 5 sets of 5 of FS. But I assume Jim does not judge of using the variations as supplemental lifts, even though he uses more just regular FSL with the guys he is coaching.


#6

[quote]Rattus wrote:
And about the subject - I think that FSL work has become a crucial part of the program. For most trainees it is more beneficial just to do more with the same exercise. Doing 5 sets of 5 of squats has probably more carryover to your squatting than doing 5 sets of 5 of FS. But I assume Jim does not judge of using the variations as supplemental lifts, even though he uses more just regular FSL with the guys he is coaching. [/quote]

I’m still hoping Mr.W has some time to weigh in, but this sounds pretty spot on.


#7

[quote]TX iron wrote:
Jim, how is supplemental work specifically defined in the 531 program? Obviously down set stuff is supplemental, while stuff like curls, push-ups, abs lunges are assistance. But what about less obvious stuff like front squats, mat pulls, incline bench, etc. Tate and some other coaches seem to define these movement-oriented lifts as supplemental, and I was hoping to get your take.[/quote]

That’s about correct - a barbell movement that is similar to the main movements: multi-joint, etc. Of course, this is a loose interpretation as you know and can imagine how people will take this entirely out of context and shit all over the bed.

In general though, that is the basic idea: FSL, BBB, BBS, SSL, HH5, SST - there are dozens within the program itself and ALL involve a big movement. Of course, and I think you are smart enough to understand this, if you aren’t sure if the movement is a supplemental movement, its probably not. Too many people turn their every lift into a main movement. You see this with chins, pull-ups, barbell rows, dips, dumbbell work or whatever article they just read on a certain lift that makes them change their entire persepective just because some “fitness authority” wanted to get some hits to their website.

Anyway, if in doubt, there is no doubt.

FSL is a part of the program but it’s not an important part: the important part is the principles. PRINCIPLES win.


#8

[quote]Jim Wendler wrote:

[quote]TX iron wrote:
Jim, how is supplemental work specifically defined in the 531 program? Obviously down set stuff is supplemental, while stuff like curls, push-ups, abs lunges are assistance. But what about less obvious stuff like front squats, mat pulls, incline bench, etc. Tate and some other coaches seem to define these movement-oriented lifts as supplemental, and I was hoping to get your take.[/quote]

That’s about correct - a barbell movement that is similar to the main movements: multi-joint, etc. Of course, this is a loose interpretation as you know and can imagine how people will take this entirely out of context and shit all over the bed.

In general though, that is the basic idea: FSL, BBB, BBS, SSL, HH5, SST - there are dozens within the program itself and ALL involve a big movement. Of course, and I think you are smart enough to understand this, if you aren’t sure if the movement is a supplemental movement, its probably not. Too many people turn their every lift into a main movement. You see this with chins, pull-ups, barbell rows, dips, dumbbell work or whatever article they just read on a certain lift that makes them change their entire persepective just because some “fitness authority” wanted to get some hits to their website.

Anyway, if in doubt, there is no doubt.

FSL is a part of the program but it’s not an important part: the important part is the principles. PRINCIPLES win.[/quote]

I sincerely appreciate you for taking the time to answer so thoroughly Jim. That clears it up perfectly. Although, I suppose this means that I’ll have to drop the blindfolded landmine squats on a bosu ball.


#9

[quote]TX iron wrote:

I sincerely appreciate you for taking the time to answer so thoroughly Jim. That clears it up perfectly. Although, I suppose this means that I’ll have to drop the blindfolded landmine squats on a bosu ball.
[/quote]

Technically speaking, if you did that particular “lift”, I’d ask that your first set would be your last set. And your only set. Thus, FSL with an asterisk.


#10

Sorry guys to come in this tread, but I still don’t understand. Maybe it’s a problem from speaking (french guy). But why it’s important to make the difference between assistance and supplemental? I’ve read the three books (and I’ m thankfull for the author, someone bless you, maybe god), and I didn’t see where such difference was made.

I train two days a week. Two lifts each days, and some cycles with FSL, some with BBB. Why should I do a difference between sup and ass?

Thank you if somebody could explain me the challenge here.


#11

[quote]Jim Wendler wrote:

[quote]TX iron wrote:

I sincerely appreciate you for taking the time to answer so thoroughly Jim. That clears it up perfectly. Although, I suppose this means that I’ll have to drop the blindfolded landmine squats on a bosu ball.
[/quote]

Technically speaking, if you did that particular “lift”, I’d ask that your first set would be your last set. And your only set. Thus, FSL with an asterisk.
[/quote]

Should the day ever arise that these are incorporated, I hope for the sake of my dignity that someone loves me enough to put me out of my misery.

[quote]littlemilo wrote:
Sorry guys to come in this tread, but I still don’t understand. Maybe it’s a problem from speaking (french guy). But why it’s important to make the difference between assistance and supplemental? I’ve read the three books (and I’ m thankfull for the author, someone bless you, maybe god), and I didn’t see where such difference was made.

I train two days a week. Two lifts each days, and some cycles with FSL, some with BBB. Why should I do a difference between sup and ass?

Thank you if somebody could explain me the challenge here.

[/quote]

Google “Dave Tate Supplemental.” That should answer most of your questions.


#12

I could be wrong here but here is how I classify supplemental and assistance when using Bench Press for example (even though Jim himself explained it previously)…

Bench Press: 5/3/1 (Main Lift)
Incline Bench Press: 5’s Pro / SST (Supplemental)
Rows or Chins: 5x10 (Assistance)

or

Bench Press: 5/3/1 (Main Lift)
Bench Press: BBB / FSL / SSL (Supplemental)
Rows or Chins: 5x10 (Assistance)

I have always looked at it like the Supplemental Lift needs to be another barbell movement that has carryover to your main 5/3/1 lift. Assistance is for symmetry and building muscle which will also help your main 5/3/1 lift.


#13

Thank you guys.

After having read an article from Tate, I think I’ve seen the point.

I’ll go to bed with more informations, a good day.