T Nation

How to Increase Military Press?

(not PL but it increases my bench so,)

My strict press goes up, SEEMINGLY, when I train it from chin height and up to lockout. It doesn’t seem to go up when I train it from the chest/clavicle and up to lockout. Yet I’m much weaker for reps off the chest: 60kgx8 off the chest, 70x10 from chin height and up. (1rm is 85kg)

Is this strange?

In fact I think my strict press for reps off chest height has stayed the same even as my 1Rm has gone up! I was doing 60kgx8 off the chest when I was 1RMing 75, I’m on the same 60x8 even tho my 1Rm is now 85. I increased my max by 10kg by getting better from chin height up.

This is bizarre no?

Alright – I’m probably not explaining myself probably.
A helpful analogy:

It’s like training my 2 board bench press which increases my 1RM full ROM but doesnt increase my 8RM full ROM.

How is that possible?

Because they require different neural recruitment. Similar to how doing very high reps with low weight isn’t going to do nearly as much for your 1RM in a lift as doing heavy doubles and triples would do.

Take away point - do what helps your big three and stop worrying about the minute stuff that doesn’t matter. You can sit here and analyze to such an extent that you’ll simply be guilty of paralysis by analysis.

Stop doing the same damn rep range off your chest.

I’ve been doing Juggernaut Method.

Other thing that is pretty f’ed up is that Push Press doesnt seem to have gone up even as strict press has gone up 10kg. This is more explicable though because I don’t train the Push Press AND it is a different exercise (/has more variables)

Probably more technical of an issue.

Put it first on one of your training days, i used to do mine as a secondary movement after bench etc, but it really started to improve once i put it first. The push press is like liquidmercury said because of technical reasons.

Im just curious how you have determined your bench goes up with one slight variation in your assistance versus the other…I’m no where near in tune with my body enough to assign a strength increase in a Big 3 lift with a slight modification in another exercise.

I did the juggernaut method for OHP and didn’t really benefit from it. 5/3/1 seems to give me the best progress on that lift only, its really slow but steady progress, I think that’s the nature of the lift.

Everybody give him bad advice! We’re racing to a 100kg OHP and im winning by 3.5kg at the moment!

Also Ross, it only counts from the clavicle. Are you doing Savikas presses? where is your sticking point?

[quote]caveman101 wrote:
Everybody give him bad advice! We’re racing to a 100kg OHP and im winning by 3.5kg at the moment!

Also Ross, it only counts from the clavicle. Are you doing Savikas presses? where is your sticking point?[/quote]

Cant do it. Wendler’s suggestion on this is to use a false grip.

I just hit 250X4@240ish strict, and my strict press has always been very high relative to my bench though I do agree it’s always been my preferred bench assistance I never train it from anywhere except the clavicles, why train less ROM unless it’s dangerous you’re competing or you have to because of injury? I have always found that heavy strict pressing is more of a full body lift than it seems to be and there are nuances to the technique that you just don’t get comfortable with or adjust for optimally until you’ve been hitting it heavy and low rep for a long time.

Taking a video is going to be very helpful here everything from your grip width to elbow position to upper chest beefiness can contribute to your being weak off the clavicles.

Basic suggestions, do push presses, heavy and low rep, to get your body comfortable pressing heavy shit overhead. Savickas presses are awesome as well. I would completely stop training from both heights, pick one and stick to it and get more experience doing heavy singles on overheads, I’ve always found it transfers amazingly to my ability to “grind out” a bench.

[quote]SILVERDAN7 wrote:

Cant do it. Wendler’s suggestion on this is to use a false grip.[/quote]

So if he uses a full grip, we can all expect Jim to drive to this guy’s house and punch him in the face?

No full grip here.

To reiterate: Training the top half only seems to have built my 1RM big time but Im still weak for reps off clavicle.

I have a suspicion training off the clavicle wont build my 1RM.

Im also considering doing a few months of push presses and seeing what happens - Seeing whether strict goes down etc

Definitely at a juncture in my overhead training I think

wow your grip is really wide…I konw you are taller than me, but I have monkey arms like you and I’ve found that a much narrower grip is my strongest position for OHP. If I put my arms straight out in front of me, and then move each hand outwards about 2 inches is about where I grip…I’ve got videos in my log if you want to check it out.

The narrower grip has improved my OHP a ton, and I feel a lot less stress on my shoulders too.

I also use a false grip.

I would definitely take your grip in get your elbows out in front of you, almost to a front squat rack position, you have them flared out throughout the motion in the second video, the closer grip will make your triceps awesome as fuck and may very well make you proficient at getting tight through your upper back abs and general shoulder girdle get you strong and fast at pressing a dead bar from the clavicles in a way that will surprise you and will probably transfer better than you think to your bench. Give it a try for a couple weeks.

I know very few guys who aren’t exceptionally thick and or wide and well built in terms of leverages to press who gain best from super wide grip presses but that’s just my observation and experience.

Do you realize that when you say you are pressing from your “chin” you are actually lifting your chin up to the height of your forehead?

GruntOrama is right, after the first rep, its all half reps. Try cleaning each rep to keep it real

Or press from pins or chains until you feel the exact height you want. And if you’re really convinced it’s just the top half that gets your bench up, you could set up partial OH presses like that too or try overloading the top half with push presses as you already thought about. It would be a good way to test your hypothesis anyway.