5/3/1 and Handstand Pushups

Anyone here replaced 5/3/1 Press with HSPU? Both movements develop max. strength and can be made as difficult as one likes.

I wonder what the results were and how this impacted his/her Press. Also was Press 5/3/1 replaced altogether with HSPU or HSPU were incorporated into the training program somehow?


I would just do regular OHP and handstand pushups as assistance with however you feel its best to train them. You can regulate regular pushups too and you never hear about those being substituted for bench press on this program. Is there a reason for asking this? Usually you should have a good reason for making a substitution, for example asking to log press instead of OHP if you do strongman or something but this one seems kind of random and pointless.

Yes. All you have to do is use it as one of the “push” movements in the assistance exercises. Please don’t be silly and take out the press. Let’s use our heads here.


I have done Ross Enamait’s program where he often combines calisthenics with weight lifting exercises. Often one movement is replaced by another for some time. The only reason I was asking is because I want to maintain calisthenics skills that I have developed and still do 5/3/1.

Another reason is Jim’s comment from Full Body Template. I may need clarification of this one, because it seems that I misunderstood it.


• Press – 5/3/1 sets and reps (or do another pressing assistance exercise in its place)"

Read the statement carefully. Jim indicates to replace the assistance lift with another pressing movement. He does not state to replace the main lift.

This might seem like an argument, but that is not what I am trying to do. The way I read it is: or do another pressing assistance exercise in its place

“In its place” to me means in the place of the main lift.

But English is my second language, so please forgive my ignorance.

No worries.

Jim answered in this thread. I’d take that as his answer.

I get your confusion with the wording. I would read it as such as well. Jim did, however, answer your question which should be the takeaway. You need the ohp instead of the hspu because of overload. It is very difficult to progressively overload the hspu while the ohp you can add a few pounds a week or whatever. Just focus on the hspu, but still do your ohp with the 531 system. Just start about 10- even 20 below your TM so your shoulders don’t get extremely fried if you plan on doing both in the same day. Thats how I would do it

oldbeancam, that is a great idea of manipulating TM to fit both exercises in the same workout! I was thinking of doing a light day (HSPU Full ROM) on Monday and heavy day (Press 5/3/1 with 90% TM with several handstand holds for time) on Friday.

I think lowering TM will allow me to practice the movement more often and recover better.

My goal is not sport oriented. I just like to do calisthenic exercises, but certainly derive great benefits from 5/3/1 strength training program. So I was trying to see how I could combine both to eventually accomplish the ultimate goal of freestanding HSPU with full range of motion.

My personal experience is that strength training has helped me a great deal. Before I was able to do around 15 regular HSPU, but struggled with doing several with full ROM (from parallettes, nose touching the ground). A few days ago, after several months of strength training, my Press has greatly improved and I was able to do 6 reps of HSPU with full ROM.

My handstand, on the other hand, is still underdeveloped. I need a lot of practice on this skill, while maintaining the other.