T Nation

Front Military Press vs. Push Press


What is the difference between a front military press and a push press?


Military press = strict curl. Push press = cheat curl.


Push press you are using leg drive and momentum in addition to shoulder girdle muscles to drive up the weight. With a Military press you are standing at strict form with no movement other then your arms extending up being driven by the shoulders.



Push Press is a whole body exercise. It also builds explosive power.
Note the number of articulations involved.


Thanks for the info.


Now, which is better for bodybuilding purposes?


Both can stimulate gains in hypertrophy but for bodybuilding I would say military primarily.



OK, thanks D, other question, I'm cutting right now and I'm told I can't gain strength or muscle, so would now be a good time to develop some explosive power as with the push press?


Well typically if one is cutting calories for fat loss you are attempting to retain as much muscle as possible while dropping fat. Generally this isn't the best time to really push the envelope in regard to taxing the CNS drastically as with explosive power movements. If one isn't gaining strength or muscle how would they develop explosive power? However, doing them with a lighter weight for more reps would definitely give a metabolic fat burning boost as would the military press in the same fashion.



Thanks again D, I was thinking about something, not only would doing the push press with a lighter weight boost the metabolism, but it could help me to perfect the form as well, right? I've also wanted to learn some other exercises too, like the snatch, cleans, and different variations of squats. During cutting, would you think it a good idea to practice all of these with a lower weight, not only for fat burning but also to learn the exercise?


I don't see why not. I am not an olympic lift expert by any means, but your assertion seems solid to me. Doing them at a lighter weight would in my view serve the two purposes you stated, learning to do them properly, and boosting metabolism for fat burning. High rep lower weight squats will definitely get the heart rate screaming!

Good training,



Cool! Thanks man, now cutting doesn't seem like such a bore. Right now seems as fun as bulking even!


A lot of people that don't know they are "supposed" to get weaker cutting bodyfat end up not losing strength and continue to get stronger... just food for thought.


True. I didn't mean to imply he should be using the lightest weights possible, but again typically when cutting calories you aren't using 80% of your one rep max for doubles and triples to stimulate fat burning. I agree still go heavy enough where six to ten reps is the range and keeping rest periods short will stoke the fat burning fires and keep you strong.