T Nation

Pressing Volume


I was curious, what sort of volume do you guys use for pressing exercise during a given week?

Currently, I am building up to 1 all out set (using 3-6 sets) on 3 exercises: barbell bench, flat dumbbell bench, military press.

My bb bench and db bench numbers are increasing steadily, but my military press isn't.

I was wondering..... If i added another overhead pressing movement, would it help increase my military press, or would it be too much volume?


Are you performing the military press on the same day as your other pressing movements?

Edit: Ok, since it seems your not "here" right now, I'll elaborate.

If you are doing the above, stop. Move military to another day. If you are doing a push/pull split with all three movements on one day, you need to break your "push" into horizontal day and vertical day and do military plus another exercise, probably DB's of some sort after.

If it's done on a different day already, are you doing military first? If not you should be.

If you are doing a split routine, are you doing chest and shoulders together? If so, change it and get shoulders done 2-3 days apart from chest and do military FIRST on that day.


yeah thats what im doing

my routine is:
1 - squat, quad exercise, abs, calves
2 - bench, db bench, chin up, tri pushdown, bb curl
3 - off
4 - deadlift, bb back raise, abs, calves
5 - military, db row, bb shrug, same arms as day 2 depending how i feel.


Ok then. A couple of suggestions. I personally do two OHP's on my shoulder day. Not that you should, necessarily.

But you might try this. I rotate my first OHP exercise (which is always with a bar) between standing military and Smith High Incline Presses. After those I usually do Arnold presses. I have not stalled on either since I started this. Or you can just drop it altogether and do something else for a bit and then go back.

I have been doing incline bench plus low incline bench for chest. No flat bench. I think this maybe helps a bit in the OHP. Not sure, but it seems too. I notice you are not doing any incline pressing. Any reason?


I used to do two OHP's. I'm just not sure how to fit it in with my program... And I'm worried about long term shoulder health, so I dropped it and I'm currently only doing 1.

As for inclines, I don't do incline barbells. It's hard get the bar to my chest because of some sort of tightness/inpingement in my left shoulder.

If I push through it and just do it anyway, my shoulder clicks, gets very weak, and I get a bad throbbing pain. I'm not sure what exercises/stretches I can do to fix it...

Also, I do flat db bench instead of incline db because I feel it will help with increase my regular barbell bench more.


Maybe your shoulder health is what is keeping you from progressing on military?

I have had similar issues with my right shoulder in the past. This was my fix- I stopped horizontal pressing for 6 months. No bench, incline, DB bench but I still did OHP. I also put a BIG emphasis on horizontal rowing, mainly BB rows.

Along with this I did broomstick stretches, and I know these helped a great deal.
Here is the link: www.intensemuscle.com/6997-how-cure-shoulder-problems-trust-me-will-do-90-time.html

If you decide to do something like this to fix your shoulder, use the time to work on your military press. And once you start pressing again, don't neglect incline too long. I think you will get better OVERALL chest development if incline is your main focus.


Before I tore my rotator cuff I was never able to put plates on the bar for militarys. After I tore my shoulder and successfully rehabbed it I was soon putting plates+ on the bar so I agree. Proper shoulder health is key to increasing your military press.

Internal rotations, external rotations and the broomstick stretch in the IM thread above really got my shoulder back into pressing condition. Except I only do them once a week, more than that is too much wear and tear on my shoulders.


I would pick an exercise that is easier to progress on...like a high incline shoulder press...even a slight incline is better than 90 degrees...you could use dbs, smith, bb...

even doing a shoulder press machine would probably be easier to progress on than standing military...

If I can't progress fast on a mass building exercise then I will pick something else for my mass builder...