T Nation

OHP Help!


#1

From searching around it seems the OHP is one of those exercises that a lot of people struggle with and I'm know different! What would be a couple of good exercises to do to help the OHP along? I bench twice and OHP once one week then the next I'll OHP twice and bench once so thinking of doing so assistance exercises for OHP on bench days. Any thoughts?


#2

[quote]Dave_70 wrote:
From searching around it seems the OHP is one of those exercises that a lot of people struggle with and I’m know different! What would be a couple of good exercises to do to help the OHP along? I bench twice and OHP once one week then the next I’ll OHP twice and bench once so thinking of doing so assistance exercises for OHP on bench days. Any thoughts? [/quote]

The best exercise to improve the overhead press is the overhead press.

The second best is understanding that the deltoids are small muscles and that the overhead press will be the slowest ‘big’ lift to go up.

The third best are variations: push press, for instance.

The fourth would be triceps-focussed compounds - close grip bench and dips.

So, what I suggest is:

  • be patient
  • keep hitting the ohp hard
  • maybe add dips at the end of your overhead press day. 1-3 good sets are enough.

#3

[quote]nighthawkz wrote:

[quote]Dave_70 wrote:
From searching around it seems the OHP is one of those exercises that a lot of people struggle with and I’m know different! What would be a couple of good exercises to do to help the OHP along? I bench twice and OHP once one week then the next I’ll OHP twice and bench once so thinking of doing so assistance exercises for OHP on bench days. Any thoughts? [/quote]

The best exercise to improve the overhead press is the overhead press.

The second best is understanding that the deltoids are small muscles and that the overhead press will be the slowest ‘big’ lift to go up.

The third best are variations: push press, for instance.

The fourth would be triceps-focussed compounds - close grip bench and dips.

So, what I suggest is:

  • be patient
  • keep hitting the ohp hard
  • maybe add dips at the end of your overhead press day. 1-3 good sets are enough.
    [/quote]

I actually saw significant improvements to my overhead press when I did less direct pressing for assistance work and did more shoulder isolation work. Specifically some front and lateral delt raises and less than full ROM pressing.

This was something I figured out after getting an impingement in my left shoulder from overhead pressing too often. This was the only thing that made the pain go away, and my press go up with it.

I also like the bench and incline dumbbell pressing for assistance work.


#4

I figured overhead press would be the best exercise and will always push them hard, that just doesn’t equal strong at the moment! lol Dip’s aren’t on the cards, just not strong enough to be honest! I’m just managing 30kg for 3x5 and that’s going to failure! I already do some bicep and tricep work at the end of most workouts, was thinking about adding lighter higher rep (10-12) DB presses just for some extra work for the whole group of muscles, would that help?


#5

[quote]T3hPwnisher wrote:
I actually saw significant improvements to my overhead press when I did less direct pressing for assistance work and did more shoulder isolation work. Specifically some front and lateral delt raises and less than full ROM pressing.[/quote]
Why not give these a try, Dave, instead of what you were thinking?

(This suggestion came from someone who presses over 75kg more than you do in training.)


#6

[quote]T3hPwnisher wrote:

[quote]nighthawkz wrote:

[quote]Dave_70 wrote:
From searching around it seems the OHP is one of those exercises that a lot of people struggle with and I’m know different! What would be a couple of good exercises to do to help the OHP along? I bench twice and OHP once one week then the next I’ll OHP twice and bench once so thinking of doing so assistance exercises for OHP on bench days. Any thoughts? [/quote]

The best exercise to improve the overhead press is the overhead press.

The second best is understanding that the deltoids are small muscles and that the overhead press will be the slowest ‘big’ lift to go up.

The third best are variations: push press, for instance.

The fourth would be triceps-focussed compounds - close grip bench and dips.

So, what I suggest is:

  • be patient
  • keep hitting the ohp hard
  • maybe add dips at the end of your overhead press day. 1-3 good sets are enough.
    [/quote]

I actually saw significant improvements to my overhead press when I did less direct pressing for assistance work and did more shoulder isolation work. Specifically some front and lateral delt raises and less than full ROM pressing.

This was something I figured out after getting an impingement in my left shoulder from overhead pressing too often. This was the only thing that made the pain go away, and my press go up with it.

I also like the bench and incline dumbbell pressing for assistance work.
[/quote]

Hadn’t thought about isolating the shoulder but that makes sense. As has already been said the delts are a small muscles so I guess working on them won’t overly affect other lifts. I’ll give some a try. What do you mean by “less than full ROM pressing”?


#7

This would be a good example of what I’m talking about (and honestly a decent protocol to follow)

Notice how, after the DB clean, he’s only pressing about halfway. I try to do the same, avoiding letting my triceps take over, and forcing my delts to do all the work.

These days, my circuit looks like this

50-75 seated dumbbell partial presses (I’m using an empty dumbbell handle, so like 5lbs per hand)
10-15 front raises w/10lb plate
10-15 lateral raises w/10lb plate

No rest between movements, 3 sets total. Doesn’t take much weight to get a really good pump. Make sure the shoulders are doing all the work, don’t let your traps/momentum take over.


#8

[quote]LoRez wrote:

[quote]T3hPwnisher wrote:
I actually saw significant improvements to my overhead press when I did less direct pressing for assistance work and did more shoulder isolation work. Specifically some front and lateral delt raises and less than full ROM pressing.[/quote]
Why not give these a try, Dave, instead of what you were thinking?

(This suggestion came from someone who presses over 75kg more than you do in training.)[/quote]

Ya I was typing a reply to that when you posted!


#9

[quote]T3hPwnisher wrote:
This would be a good example of what I’m talking about (and honestly a decent protocol to follow)

Notice how, after the DB clean, he’s only pressing about halfway. I try to do the same, avoiding letting my triceps take over, and forcing my delts to do all the work.

These days, my circuit looks like this

50-75 seated dumbbell partial presses (I’m using an empty dumbbell handle, so like 5lbs per hand)
10-15 front raises w/10lb plate
10-15 lateral raises w/10lb plate

No rest between movements, 3 sets total. Doesn’t take much weight to get a really good pump. Make sure the shoulders are doing all the work, don’t let your traps/momentum take over.[/quote]

Thanks man that looks like a great workout. The shrug at the start of the DB clean looks like a good move, wouldn’t of thought to do that. Would it be best to do this on days when I’m not doing the OHP?


#10

[quote]Dave_70 wrote:
Thanks man that looks like a great workout. The shrug at the start of the DB clean looks like a good move, wouldn’t of thought to do that. Would it be best to do this on days when I’m not doing the OHP?
[/quote]

I do it on my bench day, but I train bench and OHP equal amounts (once a week heavy, then once a week as assistance on the alternate’s heavy day). Experiment and find what works for you.


#11

[quote]T3hPwnisher wrote:

[quote]Dave_70 wrote:
Thanks man that looks like a great workout. The shrug at the start of the DB clean looks like a good move, wouldn’t of thought to do that. Would it be best to do this on days when I’m not doing the OHP?
[/quote]

I do it on my bench day, but I train bench and OHP equal amounts (once a week heavy, then once a week as assistance on the alternate’s heavy day). Experiment and find what works for you.[/quote]

I do bench and OHP equal amounts too, just over a 2 week period so can do them on my bench days. Thanks for the advice man.


#12

Have you considered deloading about 10% then slowly going back up? Less weight/work will give your muscles time to heal up for heavier weights. I know it’s worked for me in the past. I don’t know how ha d you train but it sounds like you e given your shoulders hell recently. Might help.


#13

[quote]T3hPwnisher wrote:
I actually saw significant improvements to my overhead press when I did less direct pressing for assistance work and did more shoulder isolation work. Specifically some front and lateral delt raises and less than full ROM pressing.

This was something I figured out after getting an impingement in my left shoulder from overhead pressing too often. This was the only thing that made the pain go away, and my press go up with it.

I also like the bench and incline dumbbell pressing for assistance work.
[/quote]

Interesting. I have to admit I never really gave shoulder raises a try.


#14

[quote]Texicle wrote:
Have you considered deloading about 10% then slowly going back up? Less weight/work will give your muscles time to heal up for heavier weights. I know it’s worked for me in the past. I don’t know how ha d you train but it sounds like you e given your shoulders hell recently. Might help. [/quote]

I really don’t think pressing 30kg for 3x5 is “giving your shoulders hell”. No disrespect towards the OP intended, we’ve all been there.


#15

[quote]Texicle wrote:
Have you considered deloading about 10% then slowly going back up? Less weight/work will give your muscles time to heal up for heavier weights. I know it’s worked for me in the past. I don’t know how ha d you train but it sounds like you e given your shoulders hell recently. Might help. [/quote]

Wouldn’t say I’ve been giving them hell, just doing as much as I can! lol I’ll try deloading at some point as I know it works but going to try the same weight again for a couple of sessions to see what happens.


#16

[quote]nighthawkz wrote:

[quote]Texicle wrote:
Have you considered deloading about 10% then slowly going back up? Less weight/work will give your muscles time to heal up for heavier weights. I know it’s worked for me in the past. I don’t know how ha d you train but it sounds like you e given your shoulders hell recently. Might help. [/quote]

I really don’t think pressing 30kg for 3x5 is “giving your shoulders hell”. No disrespect towards the OP intended, we’ve all been there.
[/quote]

Ya you’re right man and non taken at all :slight_smile: I don’t like OHP much day as it replaces bench and I’m making good progress in that, adding weight every session and hit 11 reps to failure after 2x5 sets at 70kg , I know it’s not much really but it feels good where as the OHP just feels crappy at the moment! lol I’ll keep pushing what I can though :slight_smile:


#17

[quote]nighthawkz wrote:

[quote]Texicle wrote:
Have you considered deloading about 10% then slowly going back up? Less weight/work will give your muscles time to heal up for heavier weights. I know it’s worked for me in the past. I don’t know how ha d you train but it sounds like you e given your shoulders hell recently. Might help. [/quote]

I really don’t think pressing 30kg for 3x5 is “giving your shoulders hell”. No disrespect towards the OP intended, we’ve all been there.
[/quote]

Hell is relative. I don’t know his strength levels but if he’s doing this to failure every workout plus doing other shoulder lifts I figured it could be too much for his shoulders if he’s been doing it for long. If so, I figured it might help to give them a bit of break to let them recover.


#18

[quote]Dave_70 wrote:

[quote]nighthawkz wrote:

[quote]Texicle wrote:
Have you considered deloading about 10% then slowly going back up? Less weight/work will give your muscles time to heal up for heavier weights. I know it’s worked for me in the past. I don’t know how ha d you train but it sounds like you e given your shoulders hell recently. Might help. [/quote]

I really don’t think pressing 30kg for 3x5 is “giving your shoulders hell”. No disrespect towards the OP intended, we’ve all been there.
[/quote]

Ya you’re right man and non taken at all :slight_smile: I don’t like OHP much day as it replaces bench and I’m making good progress in that, adding weight every session and hit 11 reps to failure after 2x5 sets at 70kg , I know it’s not much really but it feels good where as the OHP just feels crappy at the moment! lol I’ll keep pushing what I can though :)[/quote]

I don’t know where 70kg came from, I wish! lol Think I was a bit tired when I replied earlier! lol I’m up to a 57.5kg bench as of today!


#19

[quote]nighthawkz wrote:
Interesting. I have to admit I never really gave shoulder raises a try.
[/quote]

It’s one of those reasons why I think injuries are such valuable learning experiences, because I never would’ve tried them otherwise, haha. Kalle Beck of starting strongman (used to post here as Kalle) also vouches for them.

They have the side benefit of making your shoulder bigger too, which is nice.


#20

[quote]T3hPwnisher wrote:

[quote]nighthawkz wrote:
Interesting. I have to admit I never really gave shoulder raises a try.
[/quote]

It’s one of those reasons why I think injuries are such valuable learning experiences, because I never would’ve tried them otherwise, haha. Kalle Beck of starting strongman (used to post here as Kalle) also vouches for them.

They have the side benefit of making your shoulder bigger too, which is nice.
[/quote]

These make it pretty high on my “things I should do, but never actually do with any real intensity” list. Until recently, that list was: direct abs work, direct shoulder work, direct arm work.