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Would 5/3/1 BBB Be Junk Volume?

However let me state that I don’t believe that sarcoplasmic growth can happen independently from myofibrillar growth.

Again, I think what a lot of guys see in that is nothing more than cellular volume/swelling that occurs from an increase in training volume, or through metabolic stress (which doesn’t drive growth without mechanical tension either).

What can happen in those modalities is that there’s a higher degree of nutrient partitioning in the muscle which makes it swell due to cell volumization. But there’s no real “growth” that happens.

It’s called Boring But Big, though. It’s not a strength-building template.

Boring But Strong does actually exist, and it’s 10x5 at higher intensity.


Id die doing 10x5


There’s a name I haven’t heard in a while.

What I have found based on my own experience:

When I have run 531 programs that use BBB sets (which is commonly what I do), I also superset every 5x10 barbell set with a pretty challenging assistance move. Like weighted dips, weighted pull ups, goblet squats, etc… I am no where near failure on the barbell lift or assistance, but instead focus on clean, explosive reps. I have found this helps keep me primed for sports, activities, and life in general. I sleep well, feel great, and have increased competitiveness on the field.

When I have run programs that take sets to failure, add intensifiers, etc… I feel run down, don’t sleep as well, and have no interest in competitive sports. Perhaps as a result, I don’t like these programs at all.

That said, if muscle growth and aesthetics are the main goal, it may well be much more effective to train the latter way. Obviously, Paul (and many of you) know more about maximizing muscle growth than I do.


[quote=“antiquity, post:25, topic:262236, full:true”]
When I have run programs that take sets to failure, add intensifiers, etc… I feel run down, don’t sleep as well, and have no interest in competitive sports. Perhaps as a result, I don’t like these programs at all. [/quote]

Lots of variables missing from that statement. What was your frequency and volume like per day and week using such programs? Which exercises did you use such techniques? Diet and recovery optimal? Any program could result in someone feeling overtrained and run down if the main 3 variables and recovery aren’t properly accounted for.

But just outta curiosity, where can I find the challenge for this?

It’s on the forever book. And I think the beyond book

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I’ve several programs like that. For example, CT’s program where you do low volume, but high intensity (like about 6 reps to failure, then do a drop set or something). Even 531 programs that have PR sets and widowmakers, where I am pushing sets to failure. I have trained 3-5 days per week with these methods. I can do them for a couple of weeks, but not long term.

I am currently doing the Waterbury method for the first time. It involves 10x3 of a big lift (squats today) at ~85% max, then some 4x6 sets of weighted dips, rows, and other stuff. I like this program quite a bit, but I’m also glad I’m on the last week of it.

Hey @Paul_Carter I’m interested in implementing this but I’m having trouble understanding how to set it up in a program. Do any of your programs (or all of them?) program this way? I’m always looking for the best bang for my buck with training because of time constraints. Thanks!

Most all of my programs look this way dude.

I’m not writing out a program in here for that. There’s a metric butt ton of info in all my articles here about this.

And literally every time some guys relays that to me, and I’m able to look at what he’s actually doing, it’s still TOO MUCH OR TOO OFTEN.

A guy usually just goes “well I’m going to train to failure to grow now” and leaves things like frequency and volume the same. Then goes “oh that doesn’t work because I felt run down.”

No shit, Sherlock.

“OK Paul, but I did reduce my volume.”

And frequency too?

Look man, I talk to people ALL DAY about this and guys are scared shitless to “lose their gains” by reducing frequency or volume.

Even Thibs frequency recommendations are TOO MUCH for 90% of guys IMO, even though he’s scaled back the volume. 6 days a week? Fuck outta here.

IF you’re training 6 days a week when does your nervous system have time to recover?

It doesn’t.

3-4 days a week, and hell no fuck no you don’t need to hit muscles twice a week for a training split to be optimal or even ideal! Not everyone can do that and make progress.

You guys need to quit being scared of losing gains by scaling back. Most likely what will happen is that you’ll SEE GAINS.


Yeah, this so-called sarcoplasmic hypertrophy is basically just a pump. Technically it’s an increase in lean mass, but there is no tissue added.

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But is 5/3/1 a bodybuilding program or a strength training program? Is it a sarcoplasmic hypertrophy-oriented program?

Thanks Paul, I wasn’t expecting a written program just a recommendation of one you’ve already put out. I’ll look through your articles again.

His GMM might be what you’re looking for. It has lots of high intensity 3 days a week and no fluff.

Thank you I’ll check it out

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Can anyone that is really familiar with all the 5/3/1 programs recommend a 5/3/1 program that already applies Paul’s principles?


Why not follow a 5/3/1 program that abides by 5/3/1 principles or a Paul Carter program that abides by Paul Carter’s principles?


Lol ok
I just started BBB.