T Nation

board presses

When doing board presses, does it matter in which order you do them? For instance, if I am using a three borad press for my max effort exercise, should I change to a greater # of boards, or a lesser #? Does it really even matter?

Well I would always have thought you would do the lower boards first and then the higher boards after. My reasoning (besides the fact that all westside programs I’ve seen have been done this way)is that the higher boards work more on the lock out which is the triceps while the lower boards involves a more input from the other bench muscles, lats, delts, pecs.
The lower the board the less you can generally lift because of the larger ROM so I would also put them first for this reason. Also the rep range is higher for high boards because to illicit an effective training effect from the limited ROM you will need greater time under tension i.e. more reps.
Higher boards always seem to be more of a supplemental exercise because they focus more on the triceps.

Just my two pence worth.

i usually warm up with a few full range of motion sets of a ton with the bar then do 135 for a few sets and then maybe a set with 185 for 5 or so then add the boards…i like to add the boards when i feel my shoulders are fully warmed up…that usually takes me until about 185 for some it may take them even more sets…personal preference…big martin

Big martin are you saying then that it completely down to personal preference in what order you do the board presses?

just to be clear on what you are asking, are you referring to doing board presses at different heights during the same training session, or progression in a training cycle?

yeap preety much everything you do in westside is personal prefernce…take a look at the logs at eleite fitness they follow the template but thats about it…each and every guy there has his own style…look at mike ruggerio he works up to a max single preet much every dyanmic squat day…but jim wendler and paul childress rarely if ever do…jim pulls alot on max effort squat day…the others may pulld once or twice every 8 weeks…jim does very little assitant work and does most of his assitant work in gpp warmups…mike does no gpp warm ups and tons of assistant work during his workout…jim and dave do shirt work almost every max effort work out and paul childress odes it just once every 8 weeks or so…so as you can see it is competely up to personal preference…everything about the sysytem is its completely up to you…just follow the template and find out what works for you inside the template…this question is very easy to awnswer for paul…what does paul want to do…if paul feels like his shoulders stay health by adding in boards from the first set then go ahead and do it…if paul likes to work up to 225 from the chest and then add in boards he can do that also…it is completely up to the individual…find what works for you do it until it dosent work any more and then try something else…but the template always stays the smae…big m

Sorry, I wasn’t very clear. I meant changing the # of boards, not during the actual workout itself, but within the training cycle. Big Martin is right, you have to find what works best for you. I will generally work up to board presses within a max effort workout if I am only using 1 or 2 boards, but for the higher number of boards, I don’t feel like I need all that much warm up.

Yeah, ya know, I have this urge to post a topic titled, “There is no such thing as Westside.” Everytime I hear someone say they tried “Westside” and it didn’t work for them, I think to myself it certainly wasn’t because the principals aren’t sound. Ya gotta learn all you can and figure out what works for you. FWIW, we train mostly 2 and 3 boards on ME because they work the transitioin point in our Fury’s. We do isolation tricep work on ME day (extensions, tate press, etc.). We do compound work on our DE days, after the speed session. This is where we work in 4 and 5 board press, and at the start of the cycle will do floor press, as accesory movements. This is working right now. The only thing I can count on is that it will not continue to work, and we will end up changing again.

I do the same. If we board press on ME day it will be followed with a tricep isolation exercise. If it is a full range ME movement we occasionally use boards as and accessory movement and it would be 4 or 5 boards with a closer grip for sets of 5, preferably with bands. On DE day we do close grip 4 boards after our speed sets. The above pattern seems to be working and make the most sense IMO. And as far as training boards during a “training cycle” I recomend it. All board heights have their benefits. Work them all! And we have also found that benching to boards is a great way to learn a bench shirt if you use a straight up and down bar path. Leading into a meet we shirt up and go off boards every other week. Hope that gives ya some ideas to try.