T Nation

Strict Press Sticking Point

Mine is the start of the lift.

If I can get the load past the point where my triceps are parallel to the ground, I can lock it out as my triceps are quite strong.

Any remedies? DE strict presses? Paused strict presses?

By the way, my best strict press is 1x85kg/3x80kg/5x75kg on a BW of 93-94kg, so I am not exactly a novice.

I would say a 185x1 lb strict press is pretty novice.

[quote]Stronghold wrote:
I would say a 185x1 lb strict press is pretty novice.[/quote]

Actually 85kg is 187lb.

Ya I guess a 0.91BW press is pretty novice by e-standards here…but it is intermediate in the real world.

[quote]Doenitz79 wrote:
Mine is the start of the lift.

If I can get the load past the point where my triceps are parallel to the ground, I can lock it out as my triceps are quite strong.

Any remedies? DE strict presses? Paused strict presses?

By the way, my best strict press is 1x85kg/3x80kg/5x75kg on a BW of 93-94kg, so I am not exactly a novice.[/quote]

By “strict press” do you mean Bench or Overhead?

i think the op means MP. well done for getting close to BW! i have the same problem and would appreciate some serious answers as much as the op.

Is there a “strict” bench press? LOL!!!

I have the same problem.

I have done 5/3/1 for 5 cycles.

Strict Military Press 1 rep max is up 10 pounds to 195 lbs
Bench Press 1 rep max is up 30 pounds to 310 lbs
Below Parallel Squat 1 rep max is up 70 pounds to 350 lbs
Deadlift 1 rep max is up 70 pounds to 450 lbs

At a body weight starting at 200 and currently at 220lbs after 5 months.

My guess is that the Military Press progresses slower due to a smaller number of muscles being involved. I also think it progesses slower because the technique in a Miltary Press is by its nature less explosive than a bench press, squat or deadlift.

I think subcontiously I pause at the bottom of Press longer than I do for a Bench Press, because I want to avoid turning the move into a push press.

With a bench press, so long as the bar leaves the rack, touches my chest and is then reracked, the rep counts.

I don’t know if there are any short cuts on getting the strict press stronger.

At this point I am rezined to adding 2.5 pounds per 4 week cycle and see where it takes me.

It doesn’t sound like much, but over 12 months it should get me to 225, and in a couple more years I should be able lift the roof off my gym.

That being said, if there are any shortcuts to fixing ae lack of strength at the bottom of the lift, I would love to hear them as well.

We all know that dipping your hips before the start of a deadlift makes the pull off the ground slightly easier.

How about dipping your elbows at the start of a press? I don’t think by incorporating this slight nuance, the lift has evolved into a push press as the knees do not move at all. There is no cheating and it is still a strict press.

[quote]P-Ha wrote:
I have the same problem.

I have done 5/3/1 for 5 cycles.

Strict Military Press 1 rep max is up 10 pounds to 195 lbs
Bench Press 1 rep max is up 30 pounds to 310 lbs
Below Parallel Squat 1 rep max is up 70 pounds to 350 lbs
Deadlift 1 rep max is up 70 pounds to 450 lbs

At a body weight starting at 200 and currently at 220lbs after 5 months.

My guess is that the Military Press progresses slower due to a smaller number of muscles being involved. I also think it progesses slower because the technique in a Miltary Press is by its nature less explosive than a bench press, squat or deadlift.

I think subcontiously I pause at the bottom of Press longer than I do for a Bench Press, because I want to avoid turning the move into a push press.

With a bench press, so long as the bar leaves the rack, touches my chest and is then reracked, the rep counts.

I don’t know if there are any short cuts on getting the strict press stronger.

At this point I am rezined to adding 2.5 pounds per 4 week cycle and see where it takes me.

It doesn’t sound like much, but over 12 months it should get me to 225, and in a couple more years I should be able lift the roof off my gym.

That being said, if there are any shortcuts to fixing ae lack of strength at the bottom of the lift, I would love to hear them as well.

[/quote]

For the OHP 5-3-1 top set, when you’re going for reps, you pause at the start of each rep?

I have been trying to wrap my head around it.

The slow progress has frustrated me as well.

I don’t intentionally pause at the bottom, but I do think my approach is less dynamic than a bench press, which I drive with my whole body.

So long as my technique is consistent on military presses, I am not that concerned.

I don’t compete, so the actual number pressed is not that important, so long as it goes up over time.

The psychologically tough part though, is not making PRs every time I go to the gym, which I have consistently made on the other lifts.

As with most things I have found in life and business, a willingness to work on the things that don’t provide immediately evident returns and require consistent effort over time, are the things that differentiate the successful from the non-successful.

Military press is my pet project and I will defeat it through consistency, stubbornness and irritatingly slow progress.

If you are having trouble getting the bar over your head:

-Before you unrack the bar, be sure to pull your elbows down into your sides with your lats. This will keep your upper back tight and give you a solid platform to push off of.

-After you are positioned under the bar, take a deep breath and hold, squeeze the bar as hard as possible, and unrack.

-After the bar is unracked, take a step back, let some air out, take another deep breath and hold. Now you’re ready to press.

-As you begin to press, arch your upper back to get your head out of the way so you can push the bar straight up. If you push it in front of your face and away from your body (in the sagittal plane), you’re fucked.

-As soon as the bar passes your face, drive your head under the bar and continue to push the bar up in a straight line. Breathe out once you are sure you will lock the weight out.

-In the finished position, the bar should be over the back of your head.

-To begin the next rep, take a deep breath and hold. This breath should be held for the duration of rep #2 (until you pass the sticking point).

-When lowering the bar, just reverse the process of pressing it while actively using the lats to pull the arms down. You should, in my opinion, lower the bar to the base of your neck or at least below your chin. This enables you to get maximum tension into the lats and triceps before pressing (or at least that’s how it feels).

-I have also found that it helps the lower back significantly if you actively contract the glutes throughout the set.

-Also, if you aren’t already doing it, wear a belt and use a false grip. The belt helps with trunk stability (duh) and the false grip just helps you “feel” the bar path better than a thumbs-around grip. I also use wrist wraps (because they can take a beating with several heavy sets of pressing per week) and elbow sleeves (because they are just about always sore from something).

Hope this is helpful. The video is me trying to do my best approximation of what I’m describing above.

Great suggestions Steel Nation.

I plan on putting your suggestions to work on my next MP day, which is Saturday.

Too bad it is a deload week. Maybe I will through in a max attempt, for the hell of it.

If your having trouble getting it started from the bottom, maybe try taking the bar out at about nose height, then take it down to your chest and throw it back up. I mean whats easier to do, a bench press starting at the bottom, or a bench press from the top?