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Old 03-14-2010, 01:12 AM   #1
Dave Van Skike
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Default Push Press.

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.

Quote:


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.
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Old 03-14-2010, 07:23 AM   #2
Mike ODonnell
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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

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Old 03-14-2010, 08:02 PM   #3
Don Stevenson
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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?
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Old 03-14-2010, 08:54 PM   #4
Dave Van Skike
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Stevenson View Post
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.
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Old 03-14-2010, 09:12 PM   #5
Don Stevenson
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Sounds good

last one to 300# has to run a 5k
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Old 03-15-2010, 01:11 AM   #6
Don Stevenson
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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
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Old 03-15-2010, 04:02 AM   #7
Allen Yeh
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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#!?!
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Old 03-15-2010, 06:06 AM   #8
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Dave, great write-up. Thanks.

Do you agree with Glenn's observation here?
Quote:
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.
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Old 03-15-2010, 08:31 AM   #9
James Bailey
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Originally Posted by Brian Stone View Post
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
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Old 03-15-2010, 10:01 AM   #10
Dave Van Skike
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Stone View Post
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.
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