T Nation

OHP Programming for Powerlifting


#1

Hi CT, I'd really appreciate your insight here.

I'm a 17 y/o powerlifter (I also play rugby but it's currently off-season and I didn't play much last year due to moving clubs / injuries etc.). Recent best lifts (unequipped): SQ 215kg (474lbs) / BE 160kg (353lbs)/ DL 220kg (485lbs) at 95-100kg BW.

I generally bench 2-3 times a week, having gone as high as 5 times for a brief period, and have progressed pretty well, but recently I've struggled to progress alongside squatting frequently etc., especially with my paused bench.

My shoulders (or at least delts) are a bit of a weak point through a lack of focus on them, so I thought bringing up my overhead pressing would be a good idea, to give my overall strength a boost and hopefully my bench as well.

I'm preparing for a meet at the moment and working on my pause etc. (IPF rules, so long pauses), and generally building to a few top sets (1-5 reps) before going for lighter triples. I thought a shoulder session once every 6-7 days would be the best approach, as a substitute for one of my 3 current bench sessions.

Currently, I am considering a ramp to a heavy triple or possibly a wave loading ramp, using press from pins or push press (to involve the triceps more and hopefully carry over to the bench). Perhaps I could use a similar plan to the initial shoulder session of I, Bodybuilder but reduce the volume? My idea is to do this for 4-5 weeks before focussing entirely on bench again for the last couple of weeks before competing.

Any advice would be brilliant, thanks!


#2

[quote]halcj wrote:
Hi CT, I’d really appreciate your insight here.

I’m a 17 y/o powerlifter (I also play rugby but it’s currently off-season and I didn’t play much last year due to moving clubs / injuries etc.). Recent best lifts (unequipped): SQ 215kg (474lbs) / BE 160kg (353lbs)/ DL 220kg (485lbs) at 95-100kg BW.

I generally bench 2-3 times a week, having gone as high as 5 times for a brief period, and have progressed pretty well, but recently I’ve struggled to progress alongside squatting frequently etc., especially with my paused bench.

My shoulders (or at least delts) are a bit of a weak point through a lack of focus on them, so I thought bringing up my overhead pressing would be a good idea, to give my overall strength a boost and hopefully my bench as well.

I’m preparing for a meet at the moment and working on my pause etc. (IPF rules, so long pauses), and generally building to a few top sets (1-5 reps) before going for lighter triples. I thought a shoulder session once every 6-7 days would be the best approach, as a substitute for one of my 3 current bench sessions.

Currently, I am considering a ramp to a heavy triple or possibly a wave loading ramp, using press from pins or push press (to involve the triceps more and hopefully carry over to the bench). Perhaps I could use a similar plan to the initial shoulder session of I, Bodybuilder but reduce the volume? My idea is to do this for 4-5 weeks before focussing entirely on bench again for the last couple of weeks before competing.

Any advice would be brilliant, thanks!
[/quote]

  1. I wouldn’t add a shoulder/ohp session if you are already bench pressing often. It might do more harm than good. Rather it would be smarter to add some overhead work on your bench press sessions.

  2. The push press isn’t really more of a triceps movement. Sure you are handling more weight, but that’s because you are creating momentum with the leg drive, so yeah you are locking out more weight, but the momentum does a good job at not increasing the demand on the triceps. If you want to work on triceps strength via overhead pressing a better option is top half shoulder press from pins with the bar starting about an inch above your head. The push press is a good exercise but don’t see it as a way to boost triceps strength.

  3. Another good movement to increase triceps strength via overhead pressing is military press with added bands.

  4. If you are far away (8-12 weeks) from your competition I would put one overhead movement prior to your bench press. When you are 6 weeks out put it second after the bench press, at 4 weeks out do it last in your session, at 2 weeks out, drop it from the program in favor of more flat pressing.


#3

Thank you, great tips.