Thoughts on My 5/3/1 BBB 5x5 Plan?


I recently started with 5/3/1 and loving it so far. Since I wanted to shorten my time in the gym I want to go with BBB 5x5. My current routine is this:

Squats 5/3/1
Block Pulls 5x5@75% Beltless
Assisted Pull-Ups 3x8-10
Hyperextension w/bands 3x8-10
Incline DB Curl 5x10-12

Bench Press 5/3/1
Squats 5x5@75% Beltless
Weighted Step Ups 3x10-12
Leg extension 3x12-15
RKC Planks 5x10 seconds+

Block Pulls 5/3/1
Bench Press 5x5@75% Beltless
Elevated Push Up 3x10-12
Alternating DB OHP 3x8-10
Tricep Extension 3x8-10

What are your toughts on this routine? Would you swap excersices or do completely different excersises?


I’d also like to note that on my 5x5’s the progression is +2,5kg/+5lbs on a weekly basis. Is this the right thing to do?

You don’t have any BBB sets in your plan to match your title, but more like 5x5 FSL using block pulls instead of deadlifts. I would change your assistance work to have a push, pull, and core/lower each workout day rather than, for example, three pushing assistance exercises on workout C.

1 Like

I did some research regarding the difference between those two, can’t seem to really understand it, but I figure I actually will do FSL. Is 75% TM the right number to start with and how do I progress? Linear like I said?

I figured that some bodybuilding kind of training will aid in conditioning and stuff, but fullbody is the way to go then?

Hi Robin

Welcome to the world of Jim Wendlers 5/3/1 this is almost religion.
I love 5/3/1 and have been doing it for some time.
I would suggest you by one of Jims books. BUT I would say you could get a long way reading some of Jims artikels on T-nation or go to his website, you don’t have to be a member, there are som free stuff there as well.

That being said 5/3/1 is NOT rocket science it’s a simple linear progression model, not as aggressive as many linear progression programs that’s why I like it a lot.

Let me try to explain the principles of the philosophy.

You start with the warm up, you throw in some mobility stuff and some full effort jumps and throws about 10 – 20 that could be all jumps or all throws or it could be a mix.
This fires up your engine so to speak gets the blood flowing and make your muscles ready.

THEN you do your 5/3/1 program this is the basic program 4 lifts 4 days a week, and a week is not strict 7 days it could be Monday Tuesday Thursday Friday. Or et could be Mon/wed/fri/mon or every other day.
You do 3 weeks equal to 1 cycle with the same TM (training max). The TM is what you calculates your lifts off. At the moment TM is 85 % of your 1 RM or the weight you could do 5 solid reps (NOT grinders). The Original was 90 % or 3 solid reps.
1 week (5) you do some warmup sets then 3 working sets at 65/75/85 % of TM
2 week (3) warm-ups 3 working sets of 70/80/90 %
3 week (5/3/1) 3 working sets af 75/85/95 %
You then raise your TM with 5 pound upper body lift, 10 pound lower body.
In the original the numbers referred to the number of reps week 1 555+, week 2 333+ and week 3 531+. The little + meaning do a rep max (RM) almost identical to a AMRAP set. BUT not quite you should leave at least a rep in the tank and the reps should be fast and strong.
These days Jim uses 5’s pro a lot meaning all working sets is 5 reps with no RM.
After this it’s time to do the Supplemental wich these days are 5 sets of 5 reps at FSL weight meaning First Set Last week one is 65 % week 2 70 % and week 3 75 %.
The main and supplemental is where you put all the effort.

Then comes the assistance, this is where most people screw things up. THIS is ASSISTANCE and should not be planned or done with any progression.
You do the 3 categories wich is
PUSH: dips, pushups, DB press bench/incline/decline/standing triceps puch down. Easy stuff.
Pull: pull up, Chin up all kind of grips, Band pull apart, Facepulls, All kind of rows (beware of BB stuff) curls.
Single leg/Core: Lunges, split squat, step ups and I think goblet squat would do, Ab wheel, Hanging leg raises, crunches something for the ABS.

You do 25 – 50 each workout with the leader cycles and 50 – 100 with the anchor cycles.
Leader being 2 cycles of 5 pro FSL 5x5 then you do 1 week of 7th week deload.
1 cycle of anchor which could be the original with RM on the final set and 3 sets FSL.
1 week 7th week test.

You would raise the TM after each cycle in the above example that would be 3 raises.

You are doing a 3 days a week full body program, there are plenty of them.

Try this
One big lower body exercise
One big upper body exercise
Assistance 3 categories 25 – 50 reps each category.

One big lower body exercise
One big Upper body exercise
Assistance 3 categories 25 – 50 reps each category.

One big lower body exercise
One big upper body exercise
Assistance 3 categories 25 – 50 reps each category.

Feel free to put some of the assistance between the main and supplementel lifts. Saves some time.
Or do the assistance as a circuit.

Do 2 cycles then do 1 week 7th week deload.

Now go do your own traning do your own experimenting.
try your own template if it works thats fine, if you find you lack something try something different.
If you do 531 stay with the priciples start ligth progress slowly. It’s not about putting 50 pounds to the BB in 2 months. It’s looking at the big picture, getting in the weight room frequently, doing mobility, doing cardio, taking care of the family and all that important stuff.

Good luck with Jims great programs.


well well well you like doing rack pulls over Deadlift.
Then do the rack pulls instead :slight_smile:

So, 5’s pro basicly means 3x5? Or do you do 5-5-5+?

Yes 3x5 no + set.
Save the + set for the anchor cycle.

BUT if you like to push your main sets feel free to do it.

I would try 2 cycles 5’s pro, deload, 1 cycle (or 2 cycles) where you push the main sets.

That is Jims recommodations now, they change as he evolves.
Nowadays he is training high school kids and that affects his programming i think.
If you are young, then “The Krupteia” program seems to be a favorite. Please don’t ask me how to do it. As JIm says “it’s all in the books” :slight_smile:

It’s your body your training. Doing something you like and gets you to the gym is always the better choice.

Cool, I really like the + sets though…

Guess it will look like this from now on:

Main Lift 5/3/1 with + sets
Main Lift FSL 5x5
Push Excersise
Pull Excersise
Core/Lower Excersice

1 Like

Changed to program to this:

Squat 5/3/1
Block Pulls 5x5 FSL
Elevated Push Up 3x8-10
Incline DB Curl 3x10-12
Step Ups 3x10-12

Bench Press 5/3/1
Squat 5x5 FSL
Kneeling Tricep Extension 3x8-10
Chin-Ups 3x8-10
RKC Planks 3x10+

Block Pulls 5/3/1
Bench Press 5x5 FSL
Alternating DB OHP 3x8-10
Hyperextension w/bands 3x8-10
Leg Extension 3x12-15


Go for it
At least 2 cycles. Evaluate during the deload.

When doing 3 days a week, i like doing 1 big lower body and 1 big upper body each day.

I like the overhead press it’s awesome.

What to do with the FSL sets during deload? 40%?

Mortdk, in your first post you put up a template that’s so far only been on the private forum and in the new book… It’s a great one, but does not seem appropriate here. I’m all for encouraging people and clearing things up, but I don’t think this forum should become a crutch for people to avoid buying the books and fully understanding the system. It’s obviously not my place to say what does and doesn’t go on here, but I would say not giving away book/forum content (that hasn’t been widely posted by Jim already) is a reasonable line (as you referenced not giving away the Krypteia program).

Deload is, well up to you.
The original had you do 3x5 with something like 40-50-60 if you where really beat up.
If you like som heavy weight 3 x 65-75-85
and no FSL work.
The BBB template had you do BBB sets in the deload, so it all depends.

Then som light assistance from the 3 categories. This week shold NOT be taxing.
But i would suggest that you buy some of Jims books, they are actually very good. I have the Original (OG) and Beyond. Shipping to DK is to espensive for me.
At least if you find 531 for your liking you should buy one.

Hi FormerlyFast
I am absolutely sure i have seen it here on T-nations Forum.
If not, i am very sorry, I will edit the post right away.

Its edited now. Hope It’s ok.

Just found the old beyond book. In the section with full body, one of them is very close so it’s not very special like the Krypteia and others.

I know I’ve seen questions on it, but really don’t think I’ve seen the program posted. Thanks for editing it, sorry to come across as the forum asshole, not my intention just always works out that way.

1 Like

What book would you suggest since there are a couple out there? Does Beyond 5/3/1 cover them all?

Beyond doesn’t quite cover them all, but between that and the articles Jim has on this site you’d be fine. Can’t recommend it enough.

I’ll go ahead and will use the 7th week as a deload at 3x5x50%. When the weights get high enough I’ll go ahead and use the deload on the 4th week.