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High School Program and 531, Making it Work


Wanting some advice how to merge my sons football weights with 531. (High school).
Their program is very basic. Weights are on Monday and Wednesday after practice.
3x10 of each on bench, squat, and hang cleans. With the reps dropping by 1 with each passing week. ie…
week 1- 3x10
week 2- 3x9
week 3- 3x8 (currently here)
And so on. I assume they start the cycle over once they reach a certain number of reps or week.
Im wondering if he can do something like the 2 or 3 day appproach, I know Jim likes 2 days for in-season.
Bench- 3 x ?? (School program)
Hangs- 3 × ?? (School program)
Squat- 3 x ?? (School program)
Bench- 531
Hangs- 3 x ?? (School program)
Deadlift- 531
Press - 531
With accessories that compliment. Could we treat Monday/Wednesday as a FSL just on opposite days kinda like bbb var. 2 ??
Just tryin to sneak in 531 into what the coach them do.
He made great strides over this past summer while doing 531, he and I did it for 10 weeks then began football.


I could treat the school program as FSL, and plug-in those percentages.
Im unsure if the saturday work with accessory is to much since its in-season, but i feel thats the only place to put deads and press.
I guess he could superset an accessory or two with bench and squat on monday & wednesday.
I just cant rock the boat and have my son doing a totally different workout than everyone else. Although he would be, it would be incognito.
What say u Jim?


You are making this way, way too confusing. I just started coaching football (running backs) and just started helping in weight room. We keep it very simple.

I don’t know what you are getting at or what you are trying to do. My best advice is what I tell every single person - find a way to get the most results with the least amount of work! In-season training, especially.


Ok my previous post was a bit confusing.
So here is what i want to do.

Squat 531
Bench 3 x 5-10 w/60-75% tm
Hang cleans 3 x 5-10

Bench 531
Squat 3 x 5-10 w/ 60-75% tm
Hang cleans 3 x 5-10

Deadlift 531
Press 531

Monday and wednesday workouts are after practice.
Is the saturday workout to much for in-season?


I’d let him lift with the team and use the progression the coach has lined out for him. Maybe on Saturdays he can do some accessory lifts at home to add balance and improve strength.

Bar Dips 50-100 reps
DB Rows 50-100 reps
Back Raises 50-100 reps
Leg Raises 50-100 reps


More thoughts…

I believe in 5/3/1 and have my own son doing it when he lifts at home with me during the off seasons. When it’s time to train with the team he has to follow what the coaches are telling him to do. Good life lesson, we don’t always get to call the shots. They don’t do anything too outrageous but it’s definitely not what I’d recommend. Things like quarter squatting because it “adds more power” or using jumps as cardio and other such stuff. Once again, not too crazy but as long as he’s not getting injured I’m okay with him doing it because he also has to learn to be part of a team and listen to his coaches. It will just add to his toolbox. Then he comes back and we take off with 5/3/1 again. It doesn’t sound like his coach is having him do anything to bad so I’d just let it happen. But that’s just me…


Jim, MS thanks for the replies.

Good advice MS.


I would like to add. My son is a junior (11 grade).
He did 531 with fsl and some jokers, for 10 weeks during summer.
It was great, he improved to 2x his bodyweight on squat and deadlift. 1.5x bw on bench, and 1x on press (strict).
It was an absolute blast to lift with him, as it got me back in the gym and set myself some personal goals. Thx.