T Nation

A Few “Pressing” Base Building Questions

Hi coach,

I recently discovered your work here and on your site and just finished reading Base Building. Great stuff! I’m going to implement the program in a few weeks but I have a few questions for you.

I don’t train to compete in powerlifting but I want to get stronger and enjoy squats and deadlifts. The bench though, not so much. (Part of the problem is just practical and due to a lack of serious gyms with enough racks and/or reliable spotters around where I live.)
Could one use the BB bench model for the overhead press instead? What adjustments would need to be made to the model and the overall program to make it work?

Being a non competitor do you think it’s useful to run a strong-15 cycle every now and again? Or would one be better off just chugging along alternating big-15 and BB?

And finally, in the book you talk about fatigue singles and describe how to set those up for phases 1 and 2, but what about phase 3?


I would suggest the incline press, which hits more overall musculature. Including the anterior delts very well, which is mostly what you’re going to be hitting with the overhead press (still to this day, I don’t get the obsession with deadlifts and overhead presses but ok…).

I don’t recommend fatigue singles for phase III as it’s the highest volume tier.

Thanks for the reply!
I guess there’s just something a little badass about the standing overhead :sunglasses:

I do like inclines and have been doing a fair bit of them! But the problem of how to perform limit sets safely remains, and I’ve had a couple of scary moments and plenty of reps stolen by overly eager random spotters…
Guess that’s my problem to solve though!

What would you say about peaking for the non competing lifter? Worth doing every now and again or better to just run BB indefinitely?

I don’t think there’s any reason for a gym bro to ever “peak” for a max attempt. Not holding anything back, it’s quite stupid. The potential for injury is at it’s highest and there’s literally nothing to gain from a demonstration of strength in a gym. That’s just my opinion.