T Nation

Overhead Pressing and PowerliftingToWin


I am currently doing PowerliftingToWin's Novice programs by Izzy Narvaez. I'm only on PNP1, but was hoping when I get onto PNP2 or PNP3 if I could incorporate Overhead Presses (or similar movements)?

Prior to going onto PNP, my goals were to increase 1RM Deadlift, Squat, Bench and Overhead Press (or similar movements). I've always just seen lifting a weight over your head as one of the epitomes of strength.

I'll include PNP2 and PNP3 as a seperate post for those who are unfamiliar. I was thinking of including Presses for 3 sets of 3-6 reps (similar progression to other movements), on Wednesday, and/or Friday, both at the end. Or perhaps at the start of Saturday's GPP workout. What would your advice be?

I'm reluctant to mess with PNP1 though,since I am making good progress on that.


This is original PNP2 and PNP 3 routine. (both are available free from powerliftingtowin).


Squat: 3 sets 3-6 reps
Bench: 5 sets 3-6 reps
Deadlift: 2 set 3-6 reps
Aiming for RPE of 9.
2-Count pause Squat: 2 sets 3-6 reps RPE 9
2-Count pause Bench: 2 sets 3-6 reps RPE 9
Same as Mon


6 reps: 2kg increase
5 reps: 1kg increase
4 reps: 1kg increase
3 reps: 0.5kg increase


Squat: 3-6 reps RPE 9 3-6% fatigue
Bench: 3-6 reps RPE 9 5-10% fatigue
Deadlift: 3-6 reps RPE 9 2-4% fatigue
Load drop for all


2-Count pause Squat: 3-6 reps RPE 9 2-4% Fatigue
2-Count pause Bench: 3-6 reps RPE 9 2-4% fatigue
Both are repeats

Same as Mon

Sat: GPP

6 reps: 1kg increase
5 reps: 1kg increase
4 reps: 0.5kg increase
3 reps: 0.5kg increase


Row Exercise (Pull-ups, Cable Rows, Lat pull-downs etc.) 7 mins max reps
Ab Exercise 7 mins max reps
Curl Exercise 7 mins max reps
Conditioning: 7 HIIT Sprints
Mobility: 5-10 mins


If you are training to compete, I'd only suggest OHP for assistance. If not, do whatever you want with them.


Dude, I would do what is working and ride it out. Those are awesome programs, especially phase one. Do log clean and presses or light OL for GPP if you really feel the need to do overhead stuff.

  1. Make up your mind what your goal is. If you are a powerlifter, then training the OH Press as a separate lift is counterproductive IMO. It is an ASSISTANCE movement. You could still beat the hell out of it, just don't do it in lieu of more bench work.

  2. As for Powerlifting to Win I read all of his stuff. Any program will work if you stick with it, but his stuff seems like modifications of multiple other programs and scientific info lifted from everywhere. His program seems unnecessarily complicated. My personal opinion is RPE is complete bullshit because it is subjective and unquantifiable. Using a rep or weight achivement to drive progression is dead nuts accurate. There are some guys (very advanced) who can use RPE but unless youre sneaking up on Dan Green's number I dont see the point.

Do as little work as required to drive progress, lift heavy stuff (3-5 reps), MASTER technique, sleep enough for you, eat real food, sneak in some conditioning work. Repeat for a loooooong time.


An RPE of 9 seems pretty simple. Leave a rep in the tank. You can still go for rep or weight achievements, just not going to failure. A valuable strategy for old guys like me.


Dhickey, trying to get ahold of you regarding past trt posts. Need some help. Not sure how to pm on here. Can you please email me if you get an opportunity.


I'm halfway there with you. I've been recording RPE for all my main lift sets for about a year now and what I can conclude so far is this:

  • most work I do is either under 6 RPE, 8 RPE or 8-9 RPE. Very occasionally I'll hit 9-10 RPE.
  • picking whether a set was 6 or 7 RPE seems damn near impossible, because anything you can hit with three in the tank you can probably do four more of

So, I think RPE is sort of useful for looking back at how things felt retrospectively and gauging progress (if 200x5 was 8 RPE three months ago and was under 6 RPE this week, you're progressing); but rep PRs are probably better gauges of progress. There is also no way in hell I'd program using RPE now. You'd have to know yourself to a nicety to do that, and that takes years upon years of training.