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Push Press vs Standing Military Press

Hey everyone,

I have been running the 5/3/1 program since October. I have seen great results in almost all my lifts, although my squats have suffered a little (tha’ts a topic for another day).
But I have progressed in the standing military press and my question is could you supplement the push press to be a MAIN lift through the 5/3/1 program instead of doing the typical SMP.


I’ll tell you what I do on my OHP day.
5/3/1 OHP, 5x5 (week1), 10x3 (week2), 12x2 (week3) Push Press using the last work-set weight of the OHP.

No one really told me to do this. I just started doing it because I had hit somewhat of a wall with my OHP. I thought it would be nice to add Push Presses because it would get me used to holding some heavy weight overhead.
Got a lot of inspiration from FSL. I did some calculating, and I found out that 95% of my OHP was around 75% of my PP. So it kind of worked out pretty nice.
I initially tried doing 5x5 push press all the way through. It was just too hard (for me).
If you can handle that load, I’m sure that’ll work really well too!

I personally don’t like the idea of making the PP the main lift, simply because I believe if your goal is to increase absolute strength, moving something from a dead stop w/o any help is most effective.
That being said, I love the PP as a movement itself, and believe it helps a lot with coordination and learning to actually control the strength you develop.

BTW, if someone thinks this is a bad idea, please let me know! I’m not sure I will change what I’m doing, but I’m constantly seeking constructive criticism.

Do you own the book? This has already been answered.

I would highly advise people to read the book - it’s not expensive, it shows a little respect and it will probably answer 99% of your questions.


I ran 531 BBB through most of my strongman days. Took tweaking since there’s so many things to train for. 531 farmers carry worked great!

I used push-press for axle or log press on 531 days but regular standing Axle/log press for the BBB 5x10 part.
At 195lb body weight I got my log press to 250 x 1 and axle press 250 x 2 doing it this so it worked for me.

But get the book, you wont regret it if you like the 531 style…

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Hey John_Henry,
How did you program the farmer walks using 5-3-1? If this is in one of the books I missed it - if you can shoot me page # that’s cool as I have em all except football.
If you came up with it - I am curious as I am just getting into these

Not in any books,I was trying to fit 531 into my training of the events, worked good for yoke and farmers. It’s just simply 1 run each at the 531 percentages.
e.g Week 1; 80’ run at 65%, then another at 75%, one more at 85%.