T Nation

Getting to a Bodyweight OHS x 15


Back story: started lifting about a year ago, did starting strength, had great progress, got to 265 x 5 on squats before rugby season started. Dislocated my shoulder and herniated a disc during the season last fall. Have lifted since then, probably started lifting again too soon. Got to a 225x 5 front squat, 355 x 3 trap bar deadlift. 205 x3 bench. My best overhead squat is 135 x 5. I just dislocated the same shoulder again, with three dislocations and a herniated disc figured time to call it quits on rugby. I love lifting and want to get a lot stronger. I figure the overhead squat (in addition to all the rehab I've done) is the best way to ensure perfect squat form, get more flexible, and strengthen my back to get it ready for real squats and deadlifts again.

I was thinking of doing 12 weeks of a linear progression with OHS, squatting MWF, adding 5 pounds each time. Then alternating bench and overhead press (floor press and neutral dumbell press until my shoulder heals up all the way), followed by weighted chins and RDLs. Basically the starting strength template with different excersizes, and different aims.
What do you guys think about this? Since overhead squats and RDLS are not as taxing as squats and deadlifts, could I add a fourth day? A beach day I guess haha.

Thanks for any and all help.


I'd say fuck it.

Its an impressive "party trick", but given your history of shoulder problems and desire to get strong, spending 3 months trying to do a high rep set of overhead squats seems like a waste of time IMO.

If you want to get good squat form, practice squats.

If you want to get flexible, stretch and do mobility work.

If you want to strengthen your back, start light with squat and deadlifts and work up. You can make it a long way in 12 weeks, especially if your not beat up from rugby.

Making it your sole training goal is just plain stupid and belongs on a different message board. If you want to practice the lift, do it, but 80% of the progress you are going to make will be from doing squats and deads.




I say do it.

Part of training is experimenting and finding out what works for you. You shouldn't look for people to validate your ideas, try it out, get ur hands dirty and see what happens. At worst you'll be really good at the OHS, which Dan John says once you get to a bodyweight OHS "good things happen". It's only twelve weeks, in a lifetime of lifting thats nothing. Keep us posted with the results and good luck!



I've been there. Have done overhead squats. To give it to you straight, it's one of the worst movements to do if you want to get strong. It's a fancy exercise to test yourself on once in a while but nothing more.


Are OHS's part of PL comps now?


Yeah didn't you here? They have their own little corner right next to the bathroom.


Oh yea I forgot that OHS's aren't in comps. Are GM's,GHR'S,box squats,floor presses,board presses or any of the other number of movements people attempt to get strong on?


No but they carry over to the competition lifts much more than OHS. The OHS may even be detrimental to a novice lifter, who is weak by anyone's standards and needs to focus on the lifts that get you strong.

Nothing wrong with the OHS, but it does not deserve a primary training goal in a strength program as it does not build strength.


My original point was to let the kid figure it out, in my experience not only in lifting and athletics but in life, there is no better learning tool than figuring shit out. I wonder how many people thought Louie Simmons was a nut job when he put so much emphasis on GM's. He's talking about giving them a couple months, thats nothing. And I personally believe the OHS is a great teaching tool for the backsquat, I warm up with them every time and have my kids do the same.


You really want to compare Good mornings, GHRs, floor presses, etc., to OVERHEAD FUCKING SQUAATS??? LULLLLLLZZZZZ

They have no part in a Powerlifter's repetoire...there are TONS of exercises that will improve your squat that should be put into a program ahead of an OHS...to suggest otherwise is just plain silly...

Maybe warmups are ok, if for whatever reaason you feel the need to do OHS for whatever reason, but as part of the training program itself, ditch it...




Pretty dogmatic way at looking at things.
Are there better movements than ohs's? Probably, but you dont know until you try em. I had the hardest time keeping my low back arched during back squats, and I was essentially doing squat goodmornings. I introduced ohs's and the problem was solved. Did it make me super fucking strong?! No it didnt, but it allowed fix my squat form. Which made it possible for me to increase the weights I was using.
And FWIW this was about 18 years ago, making it more relevant for someone like the OP
Theres more than one way to skin a cat.

waiting for VT's response and spar4's X2 or lulz :wink:


I recently had a similar issue, except the issue was upper back rounding and the OHS was a good tool that I used to break that form flaw. It also had the extra benefit of opening my hips and improving my shoulder health.


Thanks for the advice guys.
I'm well aware that squats and deadlifts are what will give me the most progress, and I'm not trying to bring up my OHS in the hope that it will give me a bigger squat. I just want to be able to squat again. I havn't increased my strength significantly since I stopped being able to do them. I only want to improve my overhead squat as a way of bulletproofing my body from further injury. OH squats strengthen abs and lower back exactly as they are used in a squat, and force you to maintain a neutral spine. I'm only going to spend a month or two on them and then go back to a basic linear progression, which is what I first started lifting on and made me fall in love with strength training.

I just want help figuring out how to set up my training. I based it off of the starting strength template, but since the OHS is much less taxing than the back squat, and RDLs are much less taxing than deadlifts, I was wondering how I should change what I have set up. Does it even make sense to try and linearly progress my bench and overhead press, since I don't have squats to drive up my total body strength? I can also front squat, how should I work that in?

Thanks for any and all help


i say you do it. i think a lot of you guys who are giving him crap for it need to understand that powerlifting is a marathon, not a sprint. he's only talking about 12 weeks!!! in the big scheme of things thats nothing. OHS will strengthen his shoulders and improve his mobility in his shoulders and his hips. then he can get back into heavy squats when he feels like it. again. it's only 12 weeks. go do it.