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Overhead Pressing Program


i want to press 315 more than any other feat of strength.
i just went through smolov jr starting at a 1rm of 176. i dont know my 1rm now because the last 2 sessions in the smolov jr cycle i was sick and couldnt lift but i am guessing it is north of 200; i put on 11 lbs per week on the smolov cycle and although it wasnt easy, it wasnt killer hard either. i did the smolov with ALOT of assistance work. i would typically do around 100reps on either the OHP or behind the neck press for assistance each session and then id do around a 50 more on some other exercise of my choosing which can be chinups or bench or whatever.

Although the smolov is great for bringing up a lift i cant really stay on it because i need a more flexible program where percentages may vary from day to day. i dont want to have days where im 'off' and i cant hit the required percentages for x sets and y reps; i cant do what i want to do either because im afraid that training too much on friday will hamper the saturday session(this was never the case because i could always recover unless i was doing deadlifts)but that mental note always held me back from having a proper friday workout

OHP: work up to max triple, 3x3 on the max triple and 5x5 on a drop set (heavy)
behind the neck snatch grip push press(BTNPP): 5x5 (moderate)
deadlifts: max out on week A, reps on week B

Bench press: max out on week A, reps on week B
incline: 5x5 (moderate)
rows: 100-150 reps

Pushpress: max triple, 3x3 at that triple and 5x5 drop set (heavy)
BTNpress: 5x5 (light)
front squats: max out and then paused drop sets at 90% of the max.

chinups: 100reps

OHP: 10x3 at 90% of the max out on monday
BTNPP: 6x6 (moderate)
squat: 1 set of 20
chinups: 50 reps

z press: 6x6 (light)
BTNPP: 6x6 (moderate)
thick bar deadlifts: max out week A, reps on week B
chinups: 50reps

the volume is kinda high...but i dont know how to reduce it. i feel like i have to do everything if i want to get stronger. i typically eat 5-8000calories a day + 3-500grams of protein so recovery usually isnt a problem. when i do feel like i need rest i would just skip a day, usually tuesday or thursday where im not pressing overhead much.

i can usually come up with half decent programs on squat, bench, dl but the OHP has me stumped because it requires more volume than the three put together to get the same magnitude of weight increase.

if anyone wants to help me cut this program up and stitch a better one together please feel free id really appreciate it


Man your gonna crash and burn on this program.


No. Just no.
Why so much intensity if you want to train high volume + high frequency? I’m all for training a lot if you want to progress, but this seems stupid. How can you max on bench the day after heavy OHP?

If you want to OHP more than bench, try benching once a week at around 75-85% of max (or lighter) and focus on the OHP with 2-4 sessions (I would try 3 to start, and train bench after OHP on one of the days).
If you want to keep the maximal work, have one max day (1-4RM) and base the other two days on a percentage of that as you have done with the 10x3 day. One could be 10x3 @ 80% of your week’s max (or more if it’s a rep max), and the other could be something like 6x6 @ 70%.

A diet between 5000 and 8000 kcal is obviously not planned - try setting a goal and adjusting as needed, you don’t want to limit your progress by undereating.
Remember, OHP strength takes time to build, a 300lb+ press is not that common. Plan to spend years working, and don’t expect progress to be linear.

Good luck - a strong overhead press or push press is very impressive, so keep lifting like a bear! (Or maybe Zydrunas Savickas, but same thing really)


[quote]Reed wrote:
Man your gonna crash and burn on this program.[/quote]



im going to take deload weeks every now and then.


[quote]mbag012 wrote:
im going to take deload weeks every now and then. [/quote]

Just get on a sustainable program like 531, and take your time. 315 is very impressive and it will take a few years of dedication ! So just keep plugging away and stay dedicated/


[quote]Calt wrote:

[quote]Reed wrote:
Man your gonna crash and burn on this program.[/quote]


Fuck you :wink:


no i want to get to 315, then ill aim for 400 and if i ever get 400, i might even dare dream of a 500 press which i dont think will ever happen but i am constantly dreaming of putting big weights over my head ever since i saw zydrunas log pressing 221kgs which is ~490lbs.

but never mind that for a while, i said that during my last week of smolov, the friday/saturday sessions i was sick and couldnt lift properly which was true but on monday(today) i tried push pressing my old 1rm of 176 and i could only hit it for a triple. i could barely push press 200 for a 1rm which is troubling me because i would have expected my push press to be at least around 220. my pp 1rm before the smolov cycle was at 205-210(cant remember), which means that my pp actually went down! maybe my technique is shit but logically i should have much easier time pp’ing than pressing without leg drive.

am i experiencing overtraining? maybe my tendons are worn and i need to give it a rest? whats going on? this is going to be a cause for huge depression if my overhead strength actually went down because of the smolov cycle. can a more experienced lifter throw me some wisdom on this matter?


So if I have this right, you are feeling a little sick, so you tripled your old 1RM for strict press, then went on to go for a new max on push press? Sounds like you just ran out of gas for that lift, don’t worry about it.

Also it isn’t a huge amount, but push press is a bit more technical than a strict press imo, if your form/timing is off even a smidge it could take pounds off your 1RM. I wouldn’t worry about that though, its just that you are doing too much on one day. While sick. After a high volume/frequency program.


That’s WAY too much frequency man. Damn. Props to you for even thinking about that, haha. You need to stay away from heavy stuff for a while. I’d say break rep PR’s on the standing barbell press once every two weeks (i’d say between 6 and 15), and focus on underload more than over. Klokov presses are a definite keeper (your snatch grip behind the neck presses), though i’d do them strict (not bottoms up) as there are just better lockout exercises. Do TONS of core work, work the rectus abdominis specifically (not exclusively) as this will counteract any over-arch as the weights get near your eyes.

On that note, I used to do presses with a pause at eye level for 3-6 seconds, and they really helped, and presses from a rack at eye level could help. Dumbbell presses from different angles will build your shoulders up. Overhead extensions and vertical pulling are musts, exercises for traps and rotator cuffs as well, and do reps reps reps reps reps reps reps on rear and side raises. Thanks for your time.