From the archives : The lost art of overhead pressing

I'm travelling for a couple of weeks (back around March 15). In the meantime, here are a few hidden gems from the archives.


The lost art of overhead pressing

Overhead pressCharles Poliquin takes a quick look at Overhead Pressing and suggests a 12 week program for its use. Having only recently tried a couple of sets myself, I personally can see a bit more overhead work going on. Unfortunately the low roof means that this will be seated only, but that's still a good start.

There were a couple of ratios mentioned in the article, and after Alberto got everyone going with the Achieving Structural Balance piece, I can see a similar thing happening here. They are :

1. The ratio between seated dumbbell overhead presses and the bench press It should be that the weight done for 8 reps on each dumbbell represents 29% of the close-grip bench press measure. In other words, a man able to close-grip bench about 220 pounds for a single would use a pair of 65's for 8 reps in the seated dumbbell overhead presses.
2. The ratio between the behind-the-neck press and the bench press The weight for a 1 RM behind-the-neck press from a seated position should represent 66% of the weight used for a 1 RM in the close-grip bench press. That load is lifted from a dead-stop position with the bar resting on the traps, not from a weight handed off in the lock-out position.

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Time for a quick test.

Behind-the-neck press (seated) 10@20/44, 2@30/66

Disappointing, but not unsurprising. 30kg is certainly nowhere near 66% of my close-grip 1RM. As for the DBs, based on my recent barbell work they'd be closer, but still well under target. Looks like I've got some shoulder strengthening to do.

The stretching I've been doing lately - specifically for the shoulders - doesn't seem to have helped as much as I'd hoped; perhaps a strengthening/stretching combination will produce better results. Time will tell.

Scott Andrew Bird

Scott Andrew Bird is a writer, photographer and a guy who just loves this stuff. He's been at home in front of a computer for more years than he cares to remember (OK, 34) and is now making amends for years of many mistakes noted in the De-constructing Computer Guy articles (part 2) on T-Nation.

Find out what he's up to via Twitter, Google+, Facebook; and of course his online home. Enjoy.

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The Lost Art of Overhead Pressing.

How much? Time to find out.

Bring in the Gorilla.Once again it was far too nice a day here to spend too much of it indoors. With a cool breeze streaming in from an open window it was time to hit the bench. Today's session began with a bit...
Grip Chronicles.

Ready to start building your grip strength?

Shoulder Flexibility and Strength.It all started last week when Alberto mentioned the unusually named YTWLs. Whilst googling to find out exactly what these were I stumbled across the article '8 weeks to monster shoulders' by Alwyn Cosgrove and Chad Waterbury on T-nation. A good read.
New Combo.As triceps strength seems to be a major factor in overall bench press performance, I gave them another thorough going over today. This combined with the fact that it's been a while since I found myself doing floor presses suggested the combination of close-grip floor pressing as today's max exercise. This actually felt a lot more natural than normal close-grip presses, partly due to the restriction of the floor. I can see myself working this one in to the routine as an occasional workhorse rather than simply a max lift. As per last week, the tricep work continued in the form of seated triceps extensions and dips. The seated extensions are always interesting - the setup of the bench racks (which are unfortunately welded on) means that anything less than a perfect movement ends up hitting the racks. The upside of this is a slow, strict movement. A few sets of chins certainly got the sweat hitting the floor, largely due to the music playing at the time - 'Jump Around' by House of Pain, which seems to encourage any movement to be done to the pace of the song. Having successfully woken up the biceps whilst doing the chin-ups, I killed them off with a few sets of barbell curls. Seems as though the left arm has a bit of catching up to do there, so it looks like a bit of dumbell work is on the cards.

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