T Nation

Replacing Bench/Dips with OH Press


Hi guys,

I'm currently on Starting Strength for almost 2 months now.

Current 3x5 lifts at 5'7 height and BW 175 lbs are

Workout A
Squat - 231 lbs
Deadlift - 264 lbs
Dips - BW + 45 lbs

Workout B
Squat - 231 lbs
Press - 110 lbs
Clean - 132 lbs
Weighted pullup - BW + 45 lbs

I don't do bench press because I do not have a bench nor a spotter, so I do dips instead.

However, I've been noticing a sharp pain around my left elbow, more specifically the area above the elbow, as I added weight. The pain was managable at first, but the last workout at BW + 45 lbs was bad enough that I couldn't complete my reps. So I'm planning to lay off dips for the next month, then start back up at high reps using body weight. Any idea what is causing the pain?

Also, I would like to work more on overhead pressing, since I'm removing dips I can add 1 more exercise to workout A. What should I do? Push presses with high weight 3x5/3x3, or strict press with lighter weight but more reps etc etc?

I plan to work presses Mondays and Fridays, so 4 instead of 3 sessions over 2 weeks. For wednesdays, in addition to high rep (8-12) dips, I plan to alternate push presses and press starts for 3x3.

Will I overtrain as far as the press is concerned?

Appreciate all feedback, TIA


I think your making way too many changes. If you do all that, it won't be starting strength anymore.


you will not be overtraining


Why are you doing this? What are your goals?


Take your time warming up and the pain should go away
If not, fish oil and neoprene elbows sleeves can help, but you should keep warming up enough.


floor press is another option