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Dave Van Skike
03-14-2010, 01:12 AM
i have long arms...really long. i have used this as an excuse for sucking at overheads. with LW strongman press events averaging 250+ for reps, I can no longer hide from this and have set a goal of a 300 push press this year. Of late, i've gotten my overheads (axle and log) by doing two things.

thing one...

press everytime i'm in the gym, even if it's push jerks with a wee little kettlebell. frequency rules.

thing two:

front squats. light, heavy, deadstop, with chains, bands reverse bands etc...favorite so far, deadstop 1/4 pin squats...working these heavy (for me that's500 plus) for 5-8 reps. this is absolute is money for improving the rack.

here's the entire basis for what i've been trying. Glenn, feel free to add or detract.




Glenn Pendlay on the push press:


My advice on push press is to #1 get your squat and front squat up. That's a whole other thread, but it's safe to say that you wont be push pressing 300lbs with the same squat numbers that you are push pressing 230lbs with. You'll need strong legs.



When I push pressed 440lbs, I had done 770 for a triple on the Olympic style squat wearing only a belt, and 606lbs for a set of 10 without even wearing a belt. Rob McAdams push pressed 375lbs weighing about 200lbs, he squatted 400lbs for a set of 20 OL style with no belt, and did front squats with 440lbs and more wearing only a belt. It's hard for me to imagine a 300lb push press with much less than a 500lb OL style squat done raw. I'm sure its been done by some freak, hell some freak out there probably push presses his max squat. But if you're aiming for 300lbs on the push press, I'd aim for 500lbs on a raw squat done deep and a stance close to what you are push pressing with.


Now as to training the push press itself... I would do them twice per week if you are no good at them, if your technique is bad. Do this just to learn the movement. If you are skilled at them, cut it back to once. But do overhead work 3 times per week if you can. Do a variety of movements. Military press, push jerks, even snatch grip push press, and regular push press with the bar behind the neck. Benching once per week won't hurt you, but if you bench too much, it cuts down on what you can do overhead, at least in my opinion.


A good workout emphasizing the push press might look like this

Monday

5x5 on military press


Wednesday

3x5 on push press


Friday


3x5 on bench press


3x5 a little lighter on some other overhead movement, like push jerk, or snatch grip push press


Start conservative, build and after 4 or 5 weeks change the reps or one of the exercises.


For variety, you can do complex exercises... for instance, on one of the days, you can use a weight you can do around 4 or 5 reps on the military press, press it for 3 reps then push press it for 3 more, for 3 or 4 sets.



Or, if you know how to jerk, take a weight you can push press say 5 times, push press it for 3, then jerk it for 2 or 3 more... again for 3 or 4 sets.



These complexes are killers! Don't overdo them.


That's basically it, get your squat up, and practice overhead work. Its nice to see someone interested in my favorite upper body exercise. A big bench is cool, but there is always the equipment controversy. A big jerk is simply a thing of beauty to me, but there are always those who scream "it's all technique" and dismiss the strength needed to do it. But a big push press, I don't know, to me, its just the absolute coolest expression of shoulder/arm strength there is. I think a big push press is a damn cool thing.


Just remember that the real "meat" of a program isn't so much the exercises or the days of the week... it's how you plan/approach your progression. Make sure you keep good track of what your doing... try to make small steady jumps on your weights, try to do things in some sort of systematic way and not be jumping all over the place. And last, listen to your own body, use your own head! Listening to others is good, but if you listen TOO MUCH, and don't think for yourself, you'll end up flying all over the place always trying the latest greatest thing. Pay attention to what is working for you, and what isn't. Make changes in a reasonable fashion, know why you are changing, and change one thing at a time so you can monitor the results.

Mike ODonnell
03-14-2010, 07:23 AM
Good luck with 300....that is way out of my league. Almost sounds like a little GTG with more frequent presses at lower %s.

On a totally unrelated note....somehow the idea of heavy presses over my head made me think of this training style...must be the Irish in me

http://l.yimg.com/eb/ymv/us/img/hv/photo/movie_pix/warner_brothers/beerfest/_group_photos/nat_faxon17.jpg

Don Stevenson
03-14-2010, 08:02 PM
MOD, great photo. I still think they should have some form of beer consumption event in strongman comps.

Dave, I hear you with the LW strongman stuff. It hasn't quite hit 250# for reps in Australia yet but we've got lightweights doing 150kg+ axles and 140kg logs and I'm getting lost in the arms/shoulders race too!

I'm doing about 115kg / 255# at the moment and have just committed to doing the next IGX challenge of max reps 80% BW overhead in 30:00

How about a friendly first to 300# challenge?

Dave Van Skike
03-14-2010, 08:54 PM
MOD, great photo. I still think they should have some form of beer consumption event in strongman comps.

Dave, I hear you with the LW strongman stuff. It hasn't quite hit 250# for reps in Australia yet but we've got lightweights doing 150kg+ axles and 140kg logs and I'm getting lost in the arms/shoulders race too!

I'm doing about 115kg / 255# at the moment and have just committed to doing the next IGX challenge of max reps 80% BW overhead in 30:00

How about a friendly first to 300# challenge?

i'll give it a go to 300 axle or log...i don't care, pushed or jerked, also don't care.

Don Stevenson
03-14-2010, 09:12 PM
Sounds good

last one to 300# has to run a 5k :D

Don Stevenson
03-15-2010, 01:11 AM
Does anyone else want in?

Even if you aren't aiming for 300# perhaps everyone could aim for the next 50# increment up. So if your best PP is 200# go for 250# etc

Allen Yeh
03-15-2010, 04:02 AM
300 is so far out of my overhead pressing range right now...it's not even funny.

I guess I can't blame my gorilla arms forever. I'll have to test out where I'm at this week and come back to you guys....I'm guess it'll be something silly like...hoping for 200#!?!

Brian Stone
03-15-2010, 06:06 AM
Dave, great write-up. Thanks.

Do you agree with Glenn's observation here?
Benching once per week won't hurt you, but if you bench too much, it cuts down on what you can do overhead, at least in my opinion.
Those movements seem like they would be complementary to me, so that surprises me a bit, but I'm in no position to challenge Glenn's expertise.

James Bailey
03-15-2010, 08:31 AM
Dave, great write-up. Thanks.

Do you agree with Glenn's observation here?

Those movements seem like they would be complementary to me, so that surprises me a bit, but I'm in no position to challenge Glenn's expertise.

I would agree, I bench once per week which seems to help with pressing in general, but I can see that benching more often might impinge shoulder mobility. I am also gaining weight, if I was trying to stay in a weight class I might drop it altogether or just do it every other week. I have a friend in Edinburgh who has trouble with OH work, he is a powerlifter who is switching to OL, damn strong bench but terrible shoulder mobility. I like CG OHS for shoulder mobility work ;)

Dave Van Skike
03-15-2010, 10:01 AM
Dave, great write-up. Thanks.

Do you agree with Glenn's observation here?

Those movements seem like they would be complementary to me, so that surprises me a bit, but I'm in no position to challenge Glenn's expertise.


i'm basing my whole approach on glenn's write up here..so yeah. however, i don't really bench much at all. i will occasionally floor press, but all the big pressers i know do bench quite a bit..so i probably should, it's just so taxing on the upper back that i try not to.

the thing that seem to work for me is the sensible frequency with the variety. that and focus on front squats...another real weakness for me. a thing i have recently added is seated overhead lockouts, think 3-4" ROM from pins. i'll do these with 50-70 pounds over my best press for sets of 5-10. less taxing than standing lockouts but still gets soem weight in your hands.

Jacob Rowell
03-15-2010, 11:51 AM
Good write-up and info. A place I train at swears by the use of front squats w/ accommodating resistance for push press/jerks. Makes sense.

Ive been on a high frequency/volume, moderate weight approach for my overhead, with lots of variation, and it's working well. Bench, floor press w/ the axle, axle jerks, shoulder press, plus extra work with dumbbells for incline and floor. One big lift, usually ME or at a heavy weight, and 2 assistance movements, 1-2 days a week.

Brian Stone
03-15-2010, 12:03 PM
ianother real weakness for me. a thing i have recently added is seated overhead lockouts, think 3-4" ROM from pins. i'll do these with 50-70 pounds over my best press for sets of 5-10. less taxing than standing lockouts but still gets soem weight in your hands.

I like this idea. Most of my failure reps overhead occur after I move the bar about 30%, so this could be a strong subsidy for that. Also like that it's generally a different movement.

Any experience with one arm DB clean and PP? I saw a video of Derek Poundstone doing these the other day, and they look like a great overhead movement that provide completely different resistance to the shoulder than the BB motions.

Dave Van Skike
03-15-2010, 01:46 PM
I like this idea. Most of my failure reps overhead occur after I move the bar about 30%, so this could be a strong subsidy for that. Also like that it's generally a different movement.

Any experience with one arm DB clean and PP? I saw a video of Derek Poundstone doing these the other day, and they look like a great overhead movement that provide completely different resistance to the shoulder than the BB motions.


the db push press is a nice variation, i hit them about once a week using a holle (thick offset handle) dumbell. sometimes alternate them with one hand snatches.

common theme emerging above, frequent, varied, practice, going for max one day a week.

jacob, totally agree on the accomodating resistance. that's the shit for front squat assitance: bands, reverse bands and chains all work well for the long legged people.

glennpendlay
03-15-2010, 11:58 PM
I wrote that a LONG time ago! My feelings havnt changed much. It takes strong legs to be a good push presser, push jerker, or jerker. I still think that if you want to be good at any sort of pressing, including push pressing, training it 3 days a week with 3 different movements is the way to go. These exercises could include benches, incline benches, presses, press with chains or bands (chain presses best done seated), lockouts, push presses, and I am sure many others. when you are not making progress, change an exercise or change the rep ranges.

One thing, my best push presses came at a time when I was doing military press once a week, and push press once a week, and no other pressing, so not quite what I am recomending here. But I was also jerking heavy multiple times a week, so although this is not a slow movement like a press, I think the extra work makes up for the third day.

working a group of mucles or a general movement pattern 3 times a week, with 3 different exercises each with a slightly different emphasis is a very, very good way to get strong.

glenn

Gant Grimes
03-16-2010, 09:22 AM
Get your Fran time under 3 minutes. Problem solved.

Brian DeGennaro
03-16-2010, 10:51 AM
So when would the deadline to push press 300# be? I'm game for it, I'll shoot for it by getting my squats up (as well as classic lifts).

Dave Van Skike
03-16-2010, 11:19 AM
as soon as you can.

Brian Stone
03-16-2010, 12:05 PM
I would be in, but 300# is way out of my wheelhouse.

Dave Van Skike
03-16-2010, 01:03 PM
so what? .today it's at least 50 pounds away for me.. tommorow it's a little closer.

Gant Grimes
03-16-2010, 01:07 PM
That surprises me, Dave, as your legs are a lot stronger than mine.

Hell, count me in on 300. I haven't PPd in awhile, but I used to do around 245-255. Gotta start practicing for the next challenge anyway.

Brian Stone
03-16-2010, 02:31 PM
I'm in. I can probably PP 175-180 for a single, so I'll shoot for 250. It'll be a while, but I'll get there.

Matt Matijevich
03-16-2010, 02:35 PM
Probably a dumb questions so I will apologize in advance.

Would dips help at all or would they hinder the movement? I don't have access to dumbbells or an incline bench.

Gant Grimes
03-16-2010, 03:01 PM
Probably a dumb questions so I will apologize in advance.

Would dips help at all or would they hinder the movement? I don't have access to dumbbells or an incline bench.

Dips will develop the triceps, shoulders (a bit), and trunk (a bit). So it wouldn't hurt.

Change the angles on your dips, and handstands and handstand pushups. These will help your shoulders, but there is more to a PP than shoulder work.

Don Stevenson
03-16-2010, 04:36 PM
The next IGX challenge is going to be nasty. I didn't prep for the DL one but i'm going to do some practice runs for the overhead challenge!

Allen Yeh
03-17-2010, 04:21 AM
What is the next IGX challenge?

I think the most I've jerked is 250 something....not sure about PP right now my MP was 115 x 9 yesterday so not great! I'll shoot for 250 on PP as well.

Don Stevenson
03-17-2010, 04:27 PM
It's max reps in 30:00 overhead with 80% of bodyweight.

Press, Push press, Jerk allowed

Bar can start on racks

Anyone from Dragondoor posting ludicrous scores will be ignored.

Allen Yeh
03-18-2010, 04:12 AM
Yikes that sounds not fun. You first!

Donald Lee
04-21-2011, 07:58 AM
So did this 300# overhead thing happen?

Dave Van Skike
04-25-2011, 12:11 PM
For me...no. I tore a rotator doing dips.