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Shoulders Pump/Pain after Main OHP 5/3/1 Work



My main goal is PL, so improving my SQ/BP/DL is my top priority. Right now my bench is 400lbs and OHP - 300lbs. Some time ago I decide that i need more bench specific work and especially improve my chest and triceps.
So I came to the conclusion that the best idea to add more bench/chest specific volume is to chose slight Incline bb press/Incline db press/bench press/db bench press etc as my supplemental exersise for OHP day (instead of FSL ohp, or bbb ohp)

But here is the problem, after my main ohp work (even when i dont push last set hard) my shoulders always have terrible and very painful pump (its not “injury pain”, just shoulders muscle pump) and after that im not able to do any exersise from above list with proper volume and intensity.

For last few cycles I tried to push through this pump/pain, but i get nothing from that, only ended with even bigger shoulders pump/pain after supplemental work.

I know It sounds like a problem with the technique.But after, very heavy 531 bench work this problem does not occur. After even light 531 ohp sets, I have a problem with 110lbs bench press because shoulders pump/pain is SOooo BIG.

Any solution for that? Or what should I change in my training to do more bench specific volume?


Are you fat? Could be an occlusion effect from fat pressing against the tissue in the area. If you’re not fat, see a doctor. If you are fat, lose some fat. Other than that, a 300 pound OHP is fucking awesome, and so is a 400 pound bench… Perhaps lower the OHP volume (like do 5 pro’s only) until you start feeling better. Make sure the “pump pain” isn’t actually shoulder impingement… I have some impingement on my right shoulder and when it really starts to hurt it feels like “pump pain.” Get it checked out.


Thanks for reply :slight_smile:

Yep im fat ~~310lbs 6’3, but im eating for strength, now cleaner than ever but still tons of calories. So losing weight now is propably not the option.

My shoulders are in really good shape, i never had any shoulders related problem or pain ever (maybe because I’ve always done tons OHP, i dont know)

This pump feeling is similar to biceps pump after 100reps of curls or something (and i really hate this feeling). I had this shoulder pump always, previously it was not a problem because after main OHP sets I was doing more shoulder related work, and I took this pump as good indicator of targeting right muscles and i pushed through this.
But now with more chest specific supplemental this pump feeling prevents me from doing exersise (db bench press for example) with proper volume and intensity, and after few cycles (4 to be precise) I dont get nothing from this type of work even with 5 PRO’s OHP


maybe just try OHP with the prescribed sets and reps and don’t go for a PR on the final set; maybe just do prescribed reps and a few joker sets to keep the volume low and hopefully negating the pump you’re getting.

Also, perhaps up your conditioning so you don’t get fatter or lose some fat; you can still lose fat while getting stronger. I’m going to guess my occlusion hypothesis is correct, but I’d get it checked out nonetheless…

When something hurts, get it checked out and stop whatever is causing the pain and work around the injury, not through it. You could stop OHP for a while and focus on the big 3. Hopefully it’s just a muscle pump as you described, but if 5 reps feels like 100, something is not right…


I’m doing exactly that always when I have some kind of injury pain.

But im sure this is not injury pain. Just awful pump that prevent me from working on my weak points with proper volume and intensity after OHP. I had it since I can remember and it dont bother me because after main OHP i was doing more… OHP/shoulders.

But now i think to get my bench from 400 to 500 i need to increase my bench frequency from 1x to 2x per week, increase overall bench volume, and focus on my weak points - chest and triceps.

Thats why i decided to put bench stuff as supplemental after main OHP, but after few cycles with that setting I came to the conclusion its not working, because with shoulder pump after OHP im not able to push suppelmental/asisstant lifts with enough intensity and volume. I even thought about replacing main OHP with something else, its weird idea for me because I always considered OHP as main and crucial lift. But my goal is 500lbs bench first and foremost.