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    Leida's Avatar
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    Push press envy

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    Saw a gal in the gym yesterday, just a normal overweight middle-aged gal, she normally pulls resistance cables of the bench press bench. She was doing singles of push-press. She went from 85 lbs to 95 lbs, to, I think 115 lbs. I couldn't see clearly. I nearly died with envy. I could never manage to get that leg drive going and just on my flimsy upped body, I get a 70 lb stuck at my chin... and I had been at that 'can't go past 70 lbs' for over a year. I am thinking of retaining a PT next year with one of the biggest tasks to train me to lift heavier on both presses. I obviously can't get it right myself. Or maybe I should start pulling resistance bands off the bench press bench.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leida View Post
    Saw a gal in the gym yesterday, just a normal overweight middle-aged gal, she normally pulls resistance cables of the bench press bench. She was doing singles of push-press. She went from 85 lbs to 95 lbs, to, I think 115 lbs. I couldn't see clearly. I nearly died with envy. I could never manage to get that leg drive going and just on my flimsy upped body, I get a 70 lb stuck at my chin... and I had been at that 'can't go past 70 lbs' for over a year. I am thinking of retaining a PT next year with one of the biggest tasks to train me to lift heavier on both presses. I obviously can't get it right myself. Or maybe I should start pulling resistance bands off the bench press bench.
    If it's something you really want to improve, you might consider some coaching sessions with an Oly lifting coach. Beyond the push press, there is the push jerk and the split jerk to get more weight overhead. Those are techniques you might want to learn from a coach to reduce the risk of injuries.

    I have been keeping all of my overhead work fairly light since an injury to the rotator cuff this past winter (while skiing), but on Friday, I put up a 130, 140 and 150, when I hadn't gone over 95 for months. I think I'm almost ready to return to snatches finally.


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    Leida's Avatar
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    That's what i am thinking, to look for someone who specializes in the power movements. I think i am finally at the point I can safely lift without explosive power & I can do kettlle-bells with relatively low weights, I should try explosive movements on the barbell to hopefully help me with the basic lifts.

    I am not sure why I want to lift heavier weights, but I just want to.
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    Check out Mark Rippitoe's book Starting Strength, kindle version is $9.99. I think you'll find everything you want to know about technique, and getting strong. Also it includes a lot of information about woman, so it's not a "man centered" aplha-male bulkimizing weight lifting book. I would say read that, and get someone who isn't an idiot work your technique with you.

    Lifting heavy(er) weights is very satisfying and nothing wrong with it, do it!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leida View Post
    I am not sure why I want to lift heavier weights, but I just want to.
    You need more reason than this?
    “If I didn't define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people's fantasies for me and eaten alive.” --Audre Lorde

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    Alot of it is technique, your body can support alot more weight than it can actually lift, especially overhead. She probably has a very good hip/leg drive which is where the power derives from naturally in your overhead olympic lifts. You have the push Press, or Push Jerk.

    Proper core engagement of the posterior chain, and foot and hand placement on the bar also plays a huge role as well in all overhead lifts. Keep in mind a strong overhead press doesnt always translate into a strong push press or Push Jerk, alot of hip drive and leg movement that needs to happen at the correct time to move ALOT of weight.

    I suggest buy a section of PVC pipe, and start practicing on your own if your looking to hone your overhead presses. See links below

    I do a decent amount of Crossfit, and Im a Level 1 Trainer, and I started out utilizing coach Mike Burgener's tutorials on youtube a couple of years ago and I cant say enough about them, very very to the point.

    Your progressions for overhead lifts are Press, Push press, then push Jerk.


    Push Jerk
    Burgener instructs the Push Jerk - YouTube

    The Burgener Warmup
    burgener-warm-up.wmv - YouTube


    Good Video on all 3 lifts....
    CrossFit Press, Push Press and Push Jerk - YouTube

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    I have Starting Strength, thank you, and I also worked my way through the SL 5x5. I am just stuck on OHP I am going to check out Burgener, to see if I get something obvious. I got a major improvement (well, like got past 55 lbs) once I fixed the bar path and started using wider grip.

    I was doing my 1RPMs yesterday, and got 70 lbs to the top of my head Then I started training for leg drive. I can do 65 lbs, but I feel an alarming thinggie in the right rotator cuff (like I was going to tear a muscle). I am not sure I felt a lot of improvement on 65 lbs, and I can't feel it at all on the lighter weights. I will keep trying.

    I had a very different experience when I trained for kettlebells movements. I will just do a motion slowly, and it became faster after 2-3 training sessions. I have been doing OHP slowly for almost 3 years now, and it is not anywhere near natural.

    Uhm, also, I looked at some CF ladder of strength for females, and my OHP is apparently 'very good', 57% of my BW. But it feels like it is very light. That chart says 33% is 'good' and 75% is Excellent (competitive level), 90 lbs in my case. Is it really that low for women? It just doesn't feel right.
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    If you want to increase your OHP stop training slow movement altogether. The Over Head Press is a full body explosive movement that uses fast twitch type 2B muscle fibers. If you do slow movements, you train your body to be slow. You want to train explosively! Fast! Power!

    Also, I don't know what you're doing with your chest or upper back training but you should be looking at that as well. The body works best as a single unit and will only allow you to be as strong as your weakest link. Increase your upper back and chest strength and your OHP will go up!

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    Leida's Avatar
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    Mesa is, erm, clumsy, so I am very cautious about anything that looks explosive and involves lotsa weight particularly the weight that can be dropped on one's head. I will try, but I prefer controlled lifts.

    I do classical workout A/B set up from starting strength in a Madcow 5x5 format (with veeeeery slow increase)

    WA: SQT, BBR and BP + support of 3x7x21 for bicep and tricep
    WB: SQT, OHP, DL + support on parallel bars unless dealifts did me in (hanging leg raise, pull up, chin up, dip)

    I add kettlebell workout as 3rd workout and a quick shoulder tri-set HIT (front raise, upward row and overhead with light weight to failure).

    Normally I would also do 5 sets of 10 push-ups when I do sprints (not now, foot injury, NOT training related!)
    Last edited by Leida; 06-14-2012 at 01:01 PM.
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  10. #10
    Iron Will's Avatar
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    Try switching your BarBell row to a supine grip (palms up when standing) and focus on getting your elbows right behind your back when your in the finish position (hinge at the hips, nice back straight, slight bend in the knees, hands shoulder width apart, palms facing up, elbows drawn close to the body)

    Another exercise is a face pull. Use a rope on a cable machine and bring your arms up (straight like a mummy) to shoulder height, palms facing the floor. From the start position pull the center of the rope to your nose. Keep your elbows high and make sure to retract your scapula (pinch a pencil between your shoulder blades) in the finish position.

    Also for your rotator and rear delt, you could try cross body cable extension. Grab a low cable with your right hand palm facing your left hip. The beginning position will have your right hand on your left hip (infront of body) keep your elbow straight (with only slight bend) and extend your arm on a 45 degree arc across your body until your arm crosses your body and is above you (at about 2:00). Your palm is facing away from you in the finished position. Does that make sense? It's tough to describe without actually showing.

    Pull ups are another really good one because they will strengthen your serratus anterior (deep muscle in your arm pit that connects into your chest)

    As for your chest, incline fly and flat bench fly will both help with strength if you're new to the movement and haven't changed your workout up in a while. And if you really want to get in to it, tricep work is important too because they extend the elbow.

    Try using kettle with your palms facing each other> Increase the weight and imagine that you're trying to grab the ceiling. That way, the weight is on the outside of your body and if you can't get full extension in the elbow the kettle wont come crashing down on your melon.... or wear a helmut :P

    low reps (3-5) heavy weight (75-85% 1RM) and longer rest periods (3-4 minutes) between more sets (5-6).

    When you hit your new PR I want to see a picture!!!

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