Further attempts to break my press plateau...


Red Belt
Aug 4, 2006
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Just a thought. Has anyone had results push pressing just slightly to get weights just a bit higher than your OHP max (while still forcing your upper body to do most of the work), or to get more reps at near-maximal weight for some heavier volume training than strict pressing would allow? For example, say you're a pretty lousy presser like me (Strict press: 160, Push Press: 195, BW: 175). What about doing something like 3 reps at 160lbs, or perhaps 5 at 155 with the bare-minimum necessary leg drive? Has anyone found this sort of training to be productive?
I've done it before, yeah. But I wouldn't go that low. If my max PP was 195, I'd do like 175-85 for a few reps.
^I was going 3, with 1 of those days quite light/low volume pressing, 1 heavy push pressing (with a few presses mixed in), and one heavy pressing (???).
You're not that lousy of a presser. 15 more lbs and you'll be pressing bodyweight, which in my opinion is the mark of a good presser. I'm a lousy presser(165@195bw). So I can offer nothing but that fact to brighten your day.
It gives me the shits when people say, "yeah, I'm a lousy presser / squatter / bencher / yodeler / babyraper / etc." when they really arent. My advice for your pressing plateau problem? Synthol.
The SOHP is my all time favorite lift, and reading the Keith Wassung article is a great resource for helping people blow past plateus.

I would actually advice you not to use leg drive, and instead master the "hip" pop. It is somewhat difficult to describe, but basically you thrust your hips slightly to drive the weight up (I will try and find a video to illustrate what I am talking about).

Also, I find that using a close grip and tucking your elbows allows you to generate alot of speed off the bottom.
I don't know if it was a T-Nation article or this forum where someone said that doing sitting OHP's and rack lockouts REALLY helped boost his SOHP.
Actually, that reminds me, I just read something I think at T-Nation about doing partial OHPs, just down to the top of the head. Apparently it totally blasts the triceps, so if your triceps are your weakpoint as opposed to your deltoids, that might be something to try.
My deltoids are the weak link in my crappy pressing ability. I'm a technique presser, and my triceps are quite strong. I suck.
JPC: I don't know, it seems like a lot of guys on here can strict press for reps more than my best push press. I know, I know, they're bigger, older, etc.

Brampton_Boy: I'm aware of the "hip pop" technique, but there is a difference between getting stronger and lifting more weight. I'm more concerned with the former. If I did use this technique at all, it would be in the same capacity as I suggested using leg drive in the original post (not something I would do whenever I pressed).

thenuge: I've been a big fan of pressouts ever since I read Dan John's suggestion to do them. They helped break an earlier press plateau.

I started loading up the bar, setting it up a foot from lock out and then practising lock out from there. Awkward but it seemed to help me
a lift i read about not sure if it would help u or not but ill just throw it out there

5 strict
5 push press
5 jerks

dont have to do 5 but that counts as one set the article said to rest 30 seconds between each lift but i super set them

do it for a few sets i just started doing it so i cant tell u how good it is but i enjoy doing it
I'm not exactly proficient enough to differentiate between a jerk and a push press. I know the difference, technically, but I never really performed a"jerk" per se. Don't really know how.

Got this in my E-mail today:
Why Your Elbows Must Be In Front of the Bar on The Overhead Press | StrongLifts.com

The interesting part, to me:

"Hyperirradation. When you do a weight lifting exercise, tightening each muscle in your body during the whole movement makes you stronger. In Power to The People Pavel Tsatsouline calls this hyperirradation.

How does this makes you stronger? You increase neural stimulation and can lift from a more stable position. Some ways to do this are: squeezing the bar hard, squeeze your glutes hard, planting your feet into the ground,