T Nation

Simplest Strength Template: Incline Press and Overhead Assistance



I am looking at making a slight change and add in the simplest strength template.
I was just curious as to the exercise selection.

As i have understood it the incline bench press is added to assist the overhead press.
Would it not be better to use some variation of the overhead press? for example push press or behind the neck press?

Or does the incline bench carry over to the overhead press?


jim doesn’t recommend - if i remember correctly - the push press because it is hard to program, since u cannot really account for different amounts of leg involvement while programming. so the higher the percentage, the more force u’ll produce with the dip. not really easy to program with percentages. Plus, i think i remeber him and other guys talking about the pushpress having no real carryover to your press, similar to rack pulls - deadlifts.


When I am working chest and shoulder on the same day, I favor doing my shoulder presses behind my head as well. I can’t press as much weight precisely because the chest can’t help, but it has the advantage of hitting the shoulder muscles all the harder.


Incline targets the delts more than bench. From flat bench to overhead press the delts begin to work more and the pecs less. Both are working during pressing movements; it’s just a matter of how much.

I just looked at the book and Jim says Incline is good for bench and OHP. If it can help two lifts then why not do that instead of an assistance lift that only helps one movement?

Also, try close grip Incline and tell me it doesn’t hit your delts.


You can use push press as a supplemental movement. However, we generally use a different set/rep scheme than SST. If you have used it in the past and it works, by all means.

Besides pressing, one of the best ways to build the press is dips, ab wheel, jumping and back raises. I would recommend these.


Thank you Jim and all others whom replied. I actually ran SST as advertised with Incline and close-grip bench. It’s been 3 weeks and both my bench and ohp feels great! It would seem like i overthink :slight_smile: