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Powerlifts Only: Extra Bench In Place Of Overhead Press?


#1

Due to various reasons, for which I don’t intend this topic to discuss, I plan to bag the overhead press for some time, and keep the power lifts as my only barbell exercises. No suggestions on alternative exercises, please.

Currently I’m doing Krypteia twice/thrice per week, which is a great fit for me, and I will probably stick with it for another run (2 leaders & 1 anchor). But I don’t want to do the same program forever, the problem is that all other 5/3/1 programs includes the overhead press.

I have ideas on switching between squat and deadlift like:
C1W1 Bench & Squat
C1W2 Bench & Deadlift
C1W3 Bench & Squat

C2W1 Bench & Deadlift
C2W2 Bench & Squat
C2W3 Bench & Deadlift

That would imply for each “week”, skip overhead press and squat or deadlift. Another alternative would be to just replace the overhead press in whatever program with extra bench. The difference is mainly shorter vs. longer cycles.

The obvious question is for how this substitution is to be done. If lifting more than twice per week, here I think that it would be needed to keep every other bench session lighter in some sense, at least stick to the prescribed reps instead of going for PRs.

I ask for experience and any ideas in this controversial topic, to fit 5/3/1 programs to power lifts only.


#2

Yeah, why not. The progression model and different 5/3/1 templates/programs works with any movement you can program progressively (read: compound movements).

Just be honest with yourself and your recovery capabilities. Do some of the workouts lighter (only 5x5 FSL or so). You have clearly made up your mind, so you don’t need any validation from us.

As a side note: I always keep some kind of OHP work in, even when I don’t use it as a main lift. It makes my shoulders feel more stable and healthy.


#3

Thanks! No I don’t ask for validation, just guidelines on how to reason when modifying a program with the substitution. It would be perfect with a substitution formula that worked with any program, but I guess that is not reasonable.

It doesn’t work for me unfortunately, instead I do extra band pull-aparts after every workout.


#4

In templates like full body full boring, you do bench 3 times a week, once with plus sets, the other two as lighter days as 5’s PRO. This seems like the simplest solution if you’re dead set on dropping presses.


#5

There are lots of options to accomplish this.

If you are only training twice a week (like referenced below this paragraph) and are time sensitive this looks like a good option. No real problem if you have your bench cycle and three weeks and your lower body cycles at 6 weeks. Only thing is your deloads could get out of sync.

Another 2 day a week option is to do something like this:

Day 1
Squat
Bench (Work up to TM for 1-5 reps, 5’s Pro, PR set, Jokers, 5/3/1 minimum reps, ect,)
Assistance

Day 2
Deadlift
Bench Supplemental (FSL, SSL, BBB, BBS, etc)

Obviously what you choose to do those days will depend on what phase of training your in (Leader/Anchor), but there are quite a few different options.

Since you referenced Krypteia, I am assuming your have 531 Forever. If you go through that you should be able to find lots of options you can follow that still adhere to the principles of the program.


#6

Good ideas!

Didn’t think off 3 week bench cycle and 6 week for lower, that could absolutely work. But I’m leaning against doing 3 weeks lower, and alternate skipping a lift, with the big carryover between squat and deadlift, I think it will be fine. If I will be doing it like this, then I will make an exception for the 7th week protocol (deload and TM test), there I will have one day dedicated to each lift.

Example 2 day:
Mon - Squat/deadlift 531 & supplemental (more push assistance)
Thu - Bench 531 & supplemental (more single leg assistance)

Example 4 day:
Mon - Squat/deadlift 531
Tue - Bench 531
Thu - Squat/deadlift supplemental
Fri - Bench supplemental

For not skipping a lift each week, another option for 3 days could be something like 1000% Awesome with bench 5x5 FSL replacing the overhead press. Or as above with the opposite supplemental for lower body.