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Military Press Bodyweight


i need some help to achive may personal target.

i really would like to place a PR with military press at my bodyweight.

im 1.70cm tall and my weight is 95kg

by now i can pull up 70kg (from floor to over my head).

i have some problem with my left wrist...so if i pull the weight from the rack i can up 80-85kg...

i really don't now how progress... should be usefull use a westside-like approach? with ME and DE?


well, we dont know how long you've been training nor what you've been doing so far. So yeah, westside would probably work, but so would a western periodization program, or any other number of things.


Here's a post from Glenn Pendlay, olympic lift guru from Wichita Falls Athletic Club in TX. This was his response to a guy who wanted to get a 300 lbs push press.

my advice on push press is to #1 get your squat and front squat up. thats a whole other thread, but its safe to say that you wont be push pressing 300lbs with the same squat numbers that you are push pressing 230lbs with. youll need strong legs.

when i push pressed 440lbs, i had done 770 for a triple on the olympic style squat wearing only a belt, and 606lbs for a set of 10 without even wearing a belt. rob mcadams push pressed 375lbs weighing about 200lbs, he squatted 400lbs for a set of 20 OL style with no belt, and did front squats with 440lbs and more wearing only a belt. its hard for me to imagine a 300lb push press with much less than a 500lb OL style squat done raw. im sure its been done by some freak, hell some freak out there probably push presses his max squat. but if your aiming for 300lbs on the push press, id aim for 500lbs on a raw squat done deep and a stance close to what you are push pressing with.

now as to training the push press itself... i would do them twice per week if you are no good at them, if your technique is bad. do this just to learn the movement. if you are skilled at them, cut it back to once. but do overhead work 3 times per week if you can. do a variety of movements. military press, push jerks, even snatch grip push press, and regular push press with the bar behind the neck. benching once per week wont hurt you, but if you bench too much, it cuts down on what you can do overhead, at least in my opinion.

a good workout emphasising the push press might look like this

5x5 on military press

3x5 on push press

3x5 on bench press
3x5 a little lighter on some other overhead movement, like push jerk, or snatch grip push press

start conservative, build.. and after 4 or 5 weeks change the reps or one of the exercises.

for variety, you can do complex exercises... for instance, on one of the days, you can use a weight you can do around 4 or 5 reps on the military press, press it for 3 reps then push press it for 3 more, for 3 or 4 sets.

or, if you know how to jerk, take a weight you can push press say 5 times, push press it for 3, then jerk it for 2 or 3 more... again for 3 or 4 sets.

these complexes are killers! dont overdo them.

thats basically it, get your squat up, and practice overhead work. its nice to see someone interested in my favorite upper body exercise. a big bench is cool, but there is always the equipment controversy. a big jerk is simply a thing of beauty to me, but there are always those who scream "its all technique" and dismiss the strength needed to do it. but a big push press, i dont know, to me, its just the absolute coolest expression of shoulder/arm strength there is. i think a big push press is a damn cool thing.


Ciao Cadav,

Strengthen your legs. And your abs. Bill Starr reccomends moving the head back slightly when the bar passes the face then pushing it through the "hole" you created, which would put the bar directly over your ear-line.

I've Pressed welllll over bodyweight and pushpressed 160lbs over bdwt and it has always come from leg strength. The only other thing I could reccomend is heavy dumbell pressing sometimes, to me, it's probably the purest way to strengthen the shoulders. But, they db's gotta be heavy.

Buona Fortuna


I tried this last year! I managed to get 245x1 WITH leg drive...I never realized how hard this was. Check out some strongman sites and EliteFTS has some good articles on overhead pressing.

I used clean and presses on DE SQ/DL day in place of DE DL's and did standing military presses on ME Bench days. Sometimes I would do band assisted presses, I think that helped. I think westside is great for this because you'll strength you lower back and abs and that is essential to overhead pressing. Whatever system/method you use, just be sure to reduce your chest pressing volume or you'll overtrain your shoulders.


Great responses here, great replies. And some strong bastards out there that's for sure.

I'd be looking at that left wrist and working out why it is causing you problems. It might take a bit longer for the left wrist to toughen up. Joints take longer than muscles to develop, I assume you are right handed, I'd be careful not to injure that wrist if your strength outstrips your joint strength. Or maybe your technique is not quite right.

Good luck


Here's a link to the forum containing the Pendlay answer:

As for the wrist, do you use wraps? If not, do. I crushed my wrist about a year and a half ago, and don't do any pressing movements other than light, warmup weight without my Inzer wrist wraps.


thanks for the help:)

i can "easy" press monolateral with 40kg db for 4 reps.

i'm quite a newbie i think, cause i'm training only from 2003 (the first years used to get out of 26 years of packed fat :wink:..)

however with barebell i get 2 stick point: abs and wrist (i dont have olimpic barebell)

just to give more details my PR are:
bench press 120kg (6RM)
squat 220kg (3RM)
deadlift 150kg (4RM)


yes i'm right handed.. and my left wrist has a damaged joint (cyst on the tendon)

so i think i'm a little "halted" to perform fast wrist rotation with heavy weight..

thx to all for the help :slight_smile:


i don't use any wraps.
how can i choice the right wraps? i mean i never bought wraps... i have to look for something? or just take inzer and be happy?


APT wraps are great (prowristwraps.com) as are Inzer and really most any. My APT wraps have held together well for 3 years of moderate use.



Along with Dan, the Big three are Inzer, APT, and Titan. All quite comprable. I personally use the "medium" length. You can usually save a few bucks buying them new on ebay. Try them out, you'll be pleasantly suprised.


You can also just cut and old pair of knee wraps...I used them for years before I got some actual wrist wraps.

You may want to try to strengthen your wrists as well. Try light sledge hammer leverages, or get the "twist-yo-wrist" roller from Iron Mind, it works great too.


I have no knee wraps to cut off :slight_smile:

however what do you thonk of metal wrist?
they are sold by elitefts...


I just got a pair of metal wraps last week. They work great but in all honesty they arn't any better than the Inzer ones.


i can't find neither inzer nor metal in italy.
so i have to buy from USA, and i'm completing and order at elitefts..so i would like to add the "metal" to avoid furher delivery costs from other e-shop..

thx for the help


I"m confused. You say you want to increase your military press but then go on to tell us what you can clean and press from the floor. Which one is it??



im sorry, as you can guess English isn't my first language.. sometimes i mess up things :slightly_smiling:

i try to be "understandable" :slightly_smiling:

i have a problem on my left wrist (that end in a surgery i'll do in the next weeks i hope).

so i had problem in the "middle" movement ie the one just before press over my head (i dont know the right english words, may be clean?)

so if i take the barebell from a rack at chest height i can easy press 80kg
if i have to pull it from the ground and then press it over my head i can't manage more than 70 (my left wrist can't "rotate" more than that weight...)

hope to be clearer :slightly_smiling:


Do you mean a strict military press or a clean and press. To me a military press is grabbing a weight off of a power rack or squat rack and putting it over your head and not using your legs to assist.
Strict form means that you don't lean back either.

At 185, I can do a MP with 145. If I cheat and use my legs, maybe 170.


I have been struggling with this particular exercise for months. Your thread was really helpful. I just couldn't figure out how I could be so strong on some of my other lifts and really struggle on this one -- thanks for the help!