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Boring But Big...And Really Sore

Jim Wendler Blog - Boring But Big...And Really Sore

The Boring But Big program is probably the most popular, the easiest and the most widely talked about assistance protocol for 5/3/1 Training. There are numerous ways to do Boring But Big and here is one of the worst/best. Like always AND especially for this BBB variation, I highly advise you to start with a weight that is too light. Your body will thank you. I really only recommend this variation for the squat. There is something to be said about doing some insane lifting/volume for the squat every so often. It will build muscle mass and mental mass; two things that are often missing in all of us.

  • Cycle 1 – 5 sets of 10 @ 30-50% of training max.
  • Cycle 2 – 5 sets of 12 @ 30-50% of training max.
  • Cycle 3 – 5 sets of 15 @ 30-50% of training max.
  • Cycle 4 – 5 sets of 20 @ 30-50% of training max.
As you can see, this Boring But Big variation builds up into some INSANE volume and your recovery ability will be sapped, tapped and sucked out of you. I would even venture to say that you can cut out the deadlift days, or at least just do some bodyweight assistance work (or really light work) in place of the deadlift. High rep squatting is nothing new but this was inspired by reading an article by Benny Podda on how he moved up a weight class in a few short months of VERY high rep squats. Here are some basic notes on how to do this.
  • The first 2 cycles should be pretty easy so don’t worry too much. You want to let your body get used to the volume of the squatting.
  • I recommend you use the same weight for all the sets through all the cycles.
  • I recommend training 3 times/week when doing this; using the 3 day/week training program outlined in the book (alternating upper and lower body). I wouldn’t use this on a 4 day/week program.
  • As said before, drop the deadlift or really lower the training max. Squatting is going to be the focus.
  • You HAVE to eat when you do this; this is no time to be a diet queen.
  • Make sure you are taking lots of Vitamin C and protein. This will help your soreness.
  • Don’t go for max reps on your final sets of squatting – just get the minimum.
  • This is not the smartest thing to do. But…sometimes you have to stoke the fires of stupidity.
  • On the deload week, do not do the high rep squats. Just do the “normal” deload workout and leave.
  • Don’t do any other assistance work other than some ab work (if you want).


For more information and variations of 5/3/1 training, read the 5/3/1 Second Edition Book available in both paperback and eBook.





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