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Yeah, overhead press is not supposed to be easy, it’s an exercise that definitely takes its toll! Personally I like to do press behind the neck and I use a “false” grip that makes me press more weight with better form. When starting the exercise I do full ROM but I do not lock out on top before close to failure. Then I do “partials” from lockout down to my ears until failure. And finally I lower the bar to my shoulders and try to push-press it to the top of my head, cheating with all muscles in my body until I can’t move the bar anymore. Persons with shoulder problems should do press from the front instead, military press first to failure with heels together and finish with push-press with a broader stance…
"All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident."
One of the reasons it's harder is because you are increasing by a large percentage as well. If you start at 85lbs and increase by 5lbs, you've gone up 5.88%. If for squat you start at 150 and go up by 5lbs, you've gone up by only 3.33%. If you can increase more slowly you'll likely make more progress.
Rich + Jeff your posts encouraged me to drink a giant whey protein shake last night and today I added at least 10 to my bench, squat, and deadlift, so that felt good. I'll do the OH press again on Monday and see how it goes.
I can see where balancing strength gains (eating protein) with losing body fat gets tricky though…. I "feel" thinner when I lift and then don't eat a lot. Plain chicken breast without skin gets boring fast, though, so when I eat I tend to eat high fat protein.
I was re-reading SS again last night and Mark does say the OH press is the hardest one in the program, since it uses the smallest amount of muscle mass to execute. I guess that makes sense and is a good argument for 1.25 lb plates.
Would adding sit-ups into my workouts help build core strength for the press? There's nothing in SS about sit-ups. My gym has a decline sit-up bench (I think that's what it is called). This may be better for a separate thread, but I have been wondering if there are other things I could/should be doing in the gym besides SS? After all I am paying all that money but only using a few of the toys they have.
You improve at doing a thing by doing the thing, not by doing other things.
If there is equipment in the gym you'd like to try, by all means, try it out. Kettlebells and cable pulleys can be a great support assist. Pull ups and chin ups is imho the single best addition to any program.
I haven't strength trained in a long time but the OHP was always my favorite out of the SS lifts. In an untrained state I generally start around 70 lbs and I don't remember how high I got when I did SS for 10 weeks.....105'ish sounds right but that may be overly generous of my memory.
As Rippetoe says, the day the barbell was invented someone figured out a way to lift it up over his head, after all, it's the natural thing to do.
I asked one of my crossfit coaches the exact question that you asked--what else can I do to improve my core strength so I can improve my overhead press? I was told that doing all these overhead lifts (basically anything that involves moving a barbell or dumbbell overhead) improves core strength.
My 1 RM right now is 70, but I think my form goes to hell at 70. (I start to arch my back, which is something you're not supposed to do.) My push press is significantly better though--I can push press 100.
Getting yourself some oly shoes will definitely help with your squats, and some of the other lifts... but not sure they will improve much on your OHP. Like others have said, it's one of those lifts that even adding the little baby bumpers on (the small discs... I like to call them baby bumpers, and trust me I use them A LOT) will effect the lift. I have also noticed that even rep scheme doesn't do much difference for me in my max. I 1 rep maxed last week at 70 lbs, then did a 5 rep max this past weekend at 65. I suppose that's about right percentage wise, but I felt if I could do 65 lbs, then my one rep should be higher, but alas...
If you DO happen to want to work on core strength, I have found that movements activiating the entire front chain of muscles to help tremendously. I am specifically talking about "knees to elbow" and "toes to bar". If you haven't ever done those, you can google them pretty easily. Breathing correctly, and keeping form will always help to improve a lift. Keep at it!!!