T Nation

New Lifter. Strict Standing Press as Main Assistance Movement on Bench Day?


I’m using the percentage based assistance programming recommended in the book. I like the idea of doing similar volume of OHP vs Bench as i’m not trying to prioritize bench over OHP. I’m doing close grip bench on OHP day as the main assistance. Can I do OHP as main assistance on bench day? The example program has incline bench. I will do that if you think its better. Thanks for any help.


Which book? I’m not aware of any percentage-based assistance programming in 531 programs. Assistance is considered to be bodyweight exercises or DB exercises, done with an eye towards total reps. For example, if you are doing a template with 50-100 push, you can do dips, push ups, or incline DB presses to get into that range. You are not worrying about progressing based on a percentage of your max on assistance.

Most templates will have a day devoted to BP and another to OHP. These would be done as the main lift and supplement. They are equally prioritized in most templates. There are some that favor OHP (Building the Monolith) and some that favor BP (Krypteia), but those are more the exception than the rule.

Close grip bench and OHP are not assistance, but supplemental (or main) lifts. These can be done as a first set last, etc… after the main 531 lift of the day. You typically use the same lift for the supplement and main lift, but there are options to use a different lift for the supplement. Overall, though, you’d still do a main 531 progression and some type of supplemental work for each lift, regardless of if they are on the same day or not.

To sum:

Main lift, using 531 progressioin.
Supplemental lift, usually the same as the main lift. Do 5x5, 5x10, 10x5, or 1x20, most commonly at FSL weight.
Assistance: Do a push, pull, lower/core that is bodyweight or DB based, and shoot for a number for each category. This depends on the amount of volume on the supplemental lift, and the difficulty of the assistance move you choose. For example, doing 100 tricep pushdowns is different than doing 100 weighted dips.

Hope this helps.


I have the 5/3/1 second edition and it definitely mentions percentage based assistance, plus there have been other challenges put out since then based on assistance. Just recently someone asked about doing 5x10 with 70% of their TM and Wendler told him to challenge himself.

To the OP- you can do OHP on bench day and bench on OHP day, or plenty of other variations with your assistance. It’s the most flexible part of the program.


I think that was me. But, that was for the supplemental DL at 5x10@FSL, not for an assistance.


page 52 on 5/3/1 2nd edition “programming your assistance work”


Wait, yeah…I’m confusing myself jumping back and forth here but the “supplemental” lift is just a “big” assistance lift.



Yep, SST is in the new book too. It’d fall under your “supplemental” work, which, as long as you make a good choice (compound, barbell movement) and have TM for it, you’re good to go.