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Old 12-27-2011, 12:36 PM   #1
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Default 5/3/1 Assistance

I am refining my assistance work ready for starting my 11th cycle of 5/3/1 and thought I'd open it up to experienced opinion. My recent max lifts are: 165kg squat, 110kg bench and 200kg deadlift at 90kg. This is the assistance I have followed for the last 3+ months, it's simply taken from one of the e-books.

Quote:
Push press, 5/3/1 sets/reps
Bent over(Pendlay) rows, 5 sets of 10 reps
Weighted dips, 5 sets of 10 reps
Barbell curls/rear laterals, superset these two exercises for 35 sets of 1020
reps

Deadlift, 5/3/1 sets/reps
Good morning, 5 sets of 10 reps
Abdominal wheel, 5 sets of 15-20 reps

Bench press, 5/3/1 sets/reps
Dumbbell bench press, 5 sets of 10 reps
Dumbbell rows, 5 sets of 10 reps
Triceps push-downs/face pulls, 3 sets of 15-20 reps

Squat, 5/3/1 sets/reps
Squat, 5 sets of 10 reps
Hanging leg raises, 5 sets of 10-20 reps
For my push press day I planned to switch dips out for BBB behind the neck presses.

On bench press day, I was going to switch the dumbbell presses for CGBP in a lower rep range.

As for deadlift and squat day, any input would be greatly appreciated. I'm sure I could continue to make gains using BBB but if anyone has any thoughts as to whether another approach would be more effective at my current maxes/experience level please chime in. This goes for all the days, not just squat/dl.
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Old 12-27-2011, 01:09 PM   #2
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Looks good.

If your squat is more of an olympic squat than it is a "powerlifting" squat, you may consider replacing the BBB back with front squats; really hammers the quads, and does a good job at strengthening the entire back which will help you stay upright in the back squat and can also aid the deadlift in the same respect.

Good mornings are a good choice but if your looking to do something else you also have RDL's, sumo deads, conventional deads, paused deads, etc. Though if you choose conventional deads, make sure you start light!

When I did 5/3/1, I personally liked doing BBB squats on deadlift day as squatting just once a week left me feeling like I almost needed to relearn the lift every week. Good mornings after squat.

Just a few simple ideas. The assistance work is important, but not to the extent that some think it is. Unless you push assistance too hard, you really can't go wrong with any of the big lift's variations.
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Old 12-27-2011, 02:57 PM   #3
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Thanks Pull. I completely forgot about front squats, haven't used them in quite some time and they've been a favourite in the past. Would you still go for the 5x10 with these?
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Old 12-27-2011, 03:06 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JTurner View Post
Thanks Pull. I completely forgot about front squats, haven't used them in quite some time and they've been a favourite in the past. Would you still go for the 5x10 with these?
I'd personally drop down to between 6-8 reps as it gets pretty difficult to keep the bar in place for that many reps/sets and your already lifting a lot less weight than you would be with the back squat. If you go with 6 reps, you can probably add a 6th set if you wish for a little more volume. The 6-8 will allow some more weight on the bar too. I've found the closer I am to my back squat, the more I get out of the front squat. So keeping the 5/3/1 mentality of assistance... 6-8 should do you well.

Thats just me though... 5x10 is certainly doable but may require starting pretty darn light.
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Old 12-27-2011, 04:24 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pull14 View Post
I'd personally drop down to between 6-8 reps as it gets pretty difficult to keep the bar in place for that many reps/sets and your already lifting a lot less weight than you would be with the back squat. If you go with 6 reps, you can probably add a 6th set if you wish for a little more volume. The 6-8 will allow some more weight on the bar too. I've found the closer I am to my back squat, the more I get out of the front squat. So keeping the 5/3/1 mentality of assistance... 6-8 should do you well.

Thats just me though... 5x10 is certainly doable but may require starting pretty darn light.
This is my thinking. I know last time I used them I tried to stick with the 5x10 approach and it's probably the reason I stopped too. Thanks again for the advice Pull.

As for deadlift day, it's a toss up between BBB deads and sticking with good mornings. I'm leaning towards BBB deads as I've never used them before, it would be interesting to see how the deadlift volume affects my overall strength. It's been a while since I hit 10 reps for deadlifts.
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Old 12-27-2011, 05:11 PM   #6
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I'm also a big believer in squatting and benching more than once per week. Maybe do bench volume after OHP and squats after pulls. Not a fan of BBB dead's as I feel it encourages sloppy form. I'd just do singles for 10-15 minutes with around 60-70% of your max.

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Old 12-27-2011, 05:35 PM   #7
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Thanks for the input LtL.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LtL View Post
I'm also a big believer in squatting and benching more than once per week. Maybe do bench volume after OHP and squats after pulls.
LtL
So from this would it suit to then switch BTN press to bench day assistance and then CGBP to OHP assistance? Also would it be sensible to go low rep with the CGBP, I was thinking more heavy tricep work would be beneficial.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LtL View Post
I'd just do singles for 10-15 minutes with around 60-70% of your max.

LtL
This is an idea I really like the sound of, I've used 10 minute singles for deadlifts once before when I didn't really know what I was doing, but still enjoyed them. Any idea what a sensible goal at this percentage for 10 minutes would be? These would follow squats with the switched assistance right?
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Old 12-27-2011, 05:59 PM   #8
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For CGBP I would work up and aim for between 5-8 rep's.

The routine that Steve gave me with timed deadlifts was either 10 in 15 minutes or 15 in 10 minutes Maybe we'll get him to clarify...

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Old 12-27-2011, 06:18 PM   #9
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Thanks LtL, I'll check back in the morning

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For CGBP I would work up and aim for between 5-8 rep's.
Sorry for being slow tonight, work up to a heavy set rather than using straight sets across?
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Old 12-27-2011, 10:03 PM   #10
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All good suggestions so far. The fun of assistance lifts is finding what works best for YOU and brings up your main lifts. I find that doing BBB sets after my press helps it a lot, but it has the opposite effect on my bench.
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