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5/3/1 Boring But Big
16,602 athletes joined
BBB is one of the most popular 5/3/1 versions with a focus on high volume accessories for size gains
4.31
(1649 ratings)
Program Description

5/3/1 Boring But Big (BBB) is a popular variation of Jim Wendler's famous 531 method for intermediate lifters to gain size and strength. It focuses on high volume accessories to induce hypertrophy after the main strength sets.

5/3/1 BBB is based on Jim Wendler's original article and is also free on the Reddit r/fitness wiki. Be sure to check out Jim's 5/3/1 Forever book, which collects all of Jim's methods.

5/3/1 BBB is free on Boostcamp App. You can also find other 5/3/1 templates like 5/3/1 for Beginners and 5/3/1 Building the Monolith in app format.

Read the full 5/3/1 program guide below.

Program Overview
Level
Novice, Intermediate
Goal
Powerlifting, Powerbuilding
Equipment
Garage Gym
Program Length
4 weeks
Days Per Week
4 days
Recommended Days
Mon, Tue, Thu, Fri
Time Per Workout
90 minutes
down_app
Week 1
Week 2
Week 3
Week 4
Day 1
#
Exercise
Sets
Reps
Intensity
1
Overhead Press (Barbell)
1
1
1
5 Reps
5 Reps
5+ Reps
65%
75%
85%
2
Overhead Press
5
10 Reps
50%*
3
Lat Pulldown
5
10 Reps
* 1RM of Overhead Press (Barbell)
Day 1
#
Exercise
Sets
Reps
Intensity
1
Overhead Press (Barbell)
1
1
1
3 Reps
3 Reps
3+ Reps
70%
80%
90%
2
Overhead Press
5
10 Reps
50%*
3
Lat Pulldown
5
10 Reps
* 1RM of Overhead Press (Barbell)
Day 1
#
Exercise
Sets
Reps
Intensity
1
Overhead Press (Barbell)
1
1
1
5 Reps
3 Reps
1+ Reps
75%
85%
95%
2
Overhead Press
5
10 Reps
50%*
3
Lat Pulldown
5
10 Reps
* 1RM of Overhead Press (Barbell)
Day 1
#
Exercise
Sets
Reps
Intensity
1
Overhead Press (Barbell)
1
1
1
5 Reps
5 Reps
5 Reps
40%
50%
60%
2
Overhead Press
3
10 Reps
50%*
3
Lat Pulldown
3
10 Reps
* 1RM of Overhead Press (Barbell)
Day 2
#
Exercise
Sets
Reps
Intensity
1
Deadlift (Barbell)
1
1
1
5 Reps
5 Reps
5+ Reps
65%
75%
85%
2
Deadlift
5
10 Reps
50%*
3
Abs Crunch (Weighted)
5
10-20 Reps
* 1RM of Deadlift (Barbell)
Day 2
#
Exercise
Sets
Reps
Intensity
1
Deadlift (Barbell)
1
1
1
3 Reps
3 Reps
3+ Reps
70%
80%
90%
2
Deadlift
5
10 Reps
50%*
3
Abs Crunch (Weighted)
5
10-20 Reps
* 1RM of Deadlift (Barbell)
Day 2
#
Exercise
Sets
Reps
Intensity
1
Deadlift (Barbell)
1
1
1
5 Reps
3 Reps
1+ Reps
75%
85%
95%
2
Deadlift
5
10 Reps
50%*
3
Abs Crunch (Weighted)
5
10-20 Reps
* 1RM of Deadlift (Barbell)
Day 2
#
Exercise
Sets
Reps
Intensity
1
Deadlift (Barbell)
1
1
1
5 Reps
5 Reps
5 Reps
40%
50%
60%
2
Deadlift
3
10 Reps
50%*
3
Abs Crunch (Weighted)
3
10-20 Reps
* 1RM of Deadlift (Barbell)
Day 3
#
Exercise
Sets
Reps
Intensity
1
Bench Press (Barbell)
1
1
1
5 Reps
5 Reps
5+ Reps
65%
75%
85%
2
Bench Press
5
10 Reps
50%*
3
Lat Pulldown
5
10 Reps
* 1RM of Bench Press (Barbell)
Day 3
#
Exercise
Sets
Reps
Intensity
1
Bench Press (Barbell)
1
1
1
3 Reps
3 Reps
3+ Reps
70%
80%
90%
2
Bench Press
5
10 Reps
50%*
3
Lat Pulldown
5
10 Reps
* 1RM of Bench Press (Barbell)
Day 3
#
Exercise
Sets
Reps
Intensity
1
Bench Press (Barbell)
1
1
1
5 Reps
3 Reps
1+ Reps
75%
85%
95%
2
Bench Press
5
10 Reps
50%*
3
Lat Pulldown
5
10 Reps
* 1RM of Bench Press (Barbell)
Day 3
#
Exercise
Sets
Reps
Intensity
1
Bench Press (Barbell)
1
1
1
5 Reps
5 Reps
5 Reps
40%
50%
60%
2
Bench Press
3
10 Reps
50%*
3
Lat Pulldown
3
10 Reps
* 1RM of Bench Press (Barbell)
Day 4
#
Exercise
Sets
Reps
Intensity
1
Squat (Barbell)
1
1
1
5 Reps
5 Reps
5+ Reps
65%
75%
85%
2
Squat
5
10 Reps
50%*
3
Abs Crunch (Weighted)
5
10-20 Reps
* 1RM of Squat (Barbell)
Day 4
#
Exercise
Sets
Reps
Intensity
1
Squat (Barbell)
1
1
1
3 Reps
3 Reps
3+ Reps
70%
80%
90%
2
Squat
5
10 Reps
50%*
3
Abs Crunch (Weighted)
5
10-20 Reps
* 1RM of Squat (Barbell)
Day 4
#
Exercise
Sets
Reps
Intensity
1
Squat (Barbell)
1
1
1
5 Reps
3 Reps
1+ Reps
75%
85%
95%
2
Squat
5
10 Reps
50%*
3
Abs Crunch (Weighted)
5
10-20 Reps
* 1RM of Squat (Barbell)
Day 4
#
Exercise
Sets
Reps
Intensity
1
Squat (Barbell)
1
1
1
5 Reps
5 Reps
5 Reps
40%
50%
60%
2
Squat
3
10 Reps
50%*
3
Abs Crunch (Weighted)
3
10-20 Reps
* 1RM of Squat (Barbell)
What People Are Saying(1649 ratings)
Only ratings with written feedback are displayed here.
4.31/ 5
Boostcamp UserMan
6 days ago
3 weeks complete
3 years of prior experience
Less than expected strength gains
Less than expected muscle gains
Significant modifications
Just ok
Neil N.Man
6 days ago
3 weeks complete
1 year of prior experience
Less than expected strength gains
As expected muscle gains
None modifications
Squats and dead’s had great progress. Overhead press had expected progress. I lost bench strength and had to swap this bench day with other programming to be effective.

5/3/1 BBB APP INSTRUCTIONS

Setting your Training Max

During app program onboarding, enter your Training Max (TM), which is ~90% of your current 1 Rep Max (1RM). Be conservative with choosing your starting weights to ensure long-term progress.

Using 5/3/1 on Boostcamp

Each program cycle lasts 4 weeks, with 3 weeks of increasing intensity, followed by 1 week of deload. 5/3/1 BBB is designed to be done for multiple cycles as long as you are able to make strength gains. You an run BBB for months and years.

Adjusting your Training Max

Once you complete 4 weeks, input new TM to start a new cycle. Generally speaking, below are the recommended increases to your TM for each new cycle:

• Squat +10 lb / 5 kg
• Deadlift +10 lb / 5 kg
• Bench +5 lb / 2.5 kg
• Overhead Press +5 lb / 2.5 kg

For the full 5/3/1 BBB program guide, click here.


5/3/1 BBB WORKOUT SCHEDULE

Day 1 (Monday)
Overhead Press – 5/3/1
Overhead Press or Bench Press – 5x10
Lat accessories

Day 2 (Tuesday)
Deadlift – 5/3/1
Deadlift or Squat – 5x10
Abs accessories

Day 3 (Thursday)
Bench Press – 5/3/1
Bench Press or Overhead Press – 5x10
Lat accessories

Day 4 (Friday)
Squat – 5/3/1
Squat or Deadlift – 5x10
Abs accessories


5/3/1 BBB PROGRAM FAQ

What is 5/3/1 BBB?

5/3/1 Boring But Big (BBB) is perhaps the most popular of Jim Wendler's 5/3/1 training templates. Jim calls it the "most popular, effective, and brutal accessory plan". 531 BBB workouts start with the main strength compound exercise of the day, followed by 5 additional sets of 10 reps per set of the same exercise...hence the Big and Boring.

Who is 5/3/1 BBB for?

531 BBB is for intermediate lifters looking to gain both strength and size. This routine would be perfect for those who've completed a few cycles of 5/3/1 for Beginners, or another beginner/novice program on Boostcamp. You should already have a baseline level of technical proficiency in the compound exercises.

Why do Wendler 5/3/1 BBB?

5/3/1 BBB is for those intermediate lifters who want the fastest way to get strong, especially in the core compound movements. If you prefer more variety of exercises every workout, choose a different program. If you just care about the fastest way to gainz, then 531 Boring But Big is for you.

Which 531 program is best for me? 5/3/1 for Beginners vs Building the Monolith vs BBB.

If you’re relatively new to barbell weight training (<1 year of consistent training experience), start with 531 for Beginners. This will allow you to make faster progress. If you are a novice to intermediate (1-2 years of consistent training experience), do 5/3/1 Boring But Big. If you are a late stage intermediate or advanced (2+ years of consistent training experience), do 531 Building the Monolith.

What assistance exercises for 531 BBB?

5/3/1 Boring But Big has built in accessories. Day 1 and 3 has lat work, and Day 2 and 4 includes abs work. Given the high volume of the compound movements, it is not recommended that you add more accessories.

Stuck or plateaued on 5/3/1 BBB?

If you stall on Wendler 5/3/1 BBB, assess whether it is just an off-day (poor sleep, didn't eat, stress) in which case continue to the next workout. If it happens for consecutive sessions, lower your Training Max in the app program settings to a more realistic number then continue.

How much to eat on 531 BBB?

531 Boring But Big is an incredibly physically demanding program. It is recommended that you eat at a calorie surplus, gaining 1-2% body weight per month. If you are cutting on 5/3/1 BBB, we recommend starting at a more conservative training max to not burn yourself out.

5/3/1 BBB reviews and results

You can find 5/3/1 Boring but Big reviews below or on Reddit r/weightroom. It is a popular programs that many lifters have used to gain size and strength.

5/3/1 BBB App on Boostcamp

5/3/1 Boring But Big app is free on Boostcamp, the last lifting app you'll ever need. This is 5/3/1 BBB App V2.1. Boostcamp is not affiliated with Jim Wendler. For more info on Jim Wendler's training philosophy, be sure to visit www.jimwendler.com for his free writing, books, and store.