T Nation

Overhead Squat

I have begun working on overhead squats and wonder how it should compare to other lifts in term of strength.

I started today with 115lbs and full range of motion for 5 sets of three. It was hard but was getting easier by the end of the workout. Pretty humbling for a guy who keeps his max on full squats around 400.

So what would be a reasonable goal for someone who squats around 400 and can push press around 250.

Thanks for any help.

That’s my working weigth for OH squat but my max squat is much lower, circa 295 pds. You could try with a full plate on each sides for 135 pds.

I like to do OH squat after my heavy backsquat, when legs are already fully primed. I can spare my neural drive to stabilize the weight with upper body. The leg contraction is almost automatic when I cut down the weight from over 220 pds to something like 105 or 115. It’s like if I didn’t have to think about leg contraction. If the weight you use for OH squat is about 30-40% of you max, it should be similar.

I would say a reasonable goal would be the most weight you can Jerk from behind your neck into position lol. My OHS has always been limited by the amount of weight I can get over my head not flexibility or leg strength. 250 PP is sick. That would be a nice OHS.

Mines currently sitting at the 130-135 range… its a great exercise though for all around leg strength and abdominal developement with a lot of transfer to improving your back and front squat.

I love this video:
media.crossfit.com/cf-video/CrossFit_CFSFPlaysOHStrength.wmv

…One guys does 265 @ 215lb BW and the other guy does 235 @ 165 lb BW and then does pistol overhead squats with something ridiculous.

One of the most underrated exercises IMO. I have a weak core from neglect, recent abdominal surgery etc and pretty strong legs. I get nothing in terms of leg work from them, but great for the core, shoulder flexibility and upper back/shoulder strength.
That said, I’m embarrassd to admit I’ve never used more than 185 for sets of 5 reps! You certainly get some interesting looks at the gym. Best thing is, inevitably some douche will come up and make a snide comment. Offer them to give it a shot–chances are they can’t hold the weight overhead or even unlock their knees!

[quote]Radjxf wrote:
One of the most underrated exercises IMO. I have a weak core from neglect, recent abdominal surgery etc and pretty strong legs. I get nothing in terms of leg work from them, but great for the core, shoulder flexibility and upper back/shoulder strength.
That said, I’m embarrassd to admit I’ve never used more than 185 for sets of 5 reps! You certainly get some interesting looks at the gym. Best thing is, inevitably some douche will come up and make a snide comment. Offer them to give it a shot–chances are they can’t hold the weight overhead or even unlock their knees![/quote]

lol, most douchebags cant even press that:)

[quote]Joebob wrote:
I would say a reasonable goal would be the most weight you can Jerk from behind your neck into position lol. My OHS has always been limited by the amount of weight I can get over my head not flexibility or leg strength. 250 PP is sick. That would be a nice OHS. [/quote]

Thanks for the perspective. If the overhead press is the weak link in the exercise I will definitely shoot for over 225 or more as a long term goal.

[quote]theuofh wrote:
I love this video:
media.crossfit.com/cf-video/CrossFit_CFSFPlaysOHStrength.wmv

…One guys does 265 @ 215lb BW and the other guy does 235 @ 165 lb BW and then does pistol overhead squats with something ridiculous. [/quote]

Awesome video thanks. I definitely will be working towards 225 to 275 on this lift after watching that.