T Nation

To Professor X


Ok, I tried posting this in your Indigo-3G log, but it tells me that I don't have sufficient privileges to do so.

So forum, please excuse me for making a whole thread about it:

I noticed you have some problems with the seated front press CT has you doing... I have similar issues with the same bench/rack setup when using a bench with a tall backrest...
It's not just that you haven't done the thing in a while, it's the entire setup there that's problematic for guys who aren't particularly tall etc.

As in, the head gets in the way (because the bench backrest is too high for your build) at the bottom so you have to turn it aside (which makes the whole thing awkward as hell as it's hard to keep both shoulders doing exactly the same thing, spine follows head) and you tend to end up with the bar in front of your elbows, thus making you weak and reliant on your external rotators at the bottom end of the range of motion when pressing...

I also prefer it when the bar starts above and maybe slightly behind me (can't you guys put the bench IN the rack?)

TBH that's a horrible setup for the front press for guys with a particular build...

There are a few things you can do to fix that and make the movement less awkward... But I don't know if those are possible with the equipment you guys have at the Biotest Gym.

One would be the obvious thing: A bench with a shorter backrest so that it doesn't get in the way of your head. But if you don't have that, there's another way:

One thing you absolutely need for this is a bench that is somehow fixed to the ground though. (no way around it, you need to be able to push with your feet and the bench must not move when you do that)

You can see branch warren do this sort of thing (sure he uses more body english and all, but you get the idea...
He does use a bench with a short backrest, but the same thing works with a tall backrest as well, you just need to lift yourself up on the bench with your legs a bit, then keep pushing through your legs and make sure you press your upper back into the bench and bring your chest up at least when the bar comes down... That way, your lower back will not bear the weight of the bar... If you do this, you can get your head out of the way because you are higher on the bench and use a good bit more weight too and a much more comfortable bar-path (makes it easy to press back over your head like CT tells you to)...

Just keep your elbows slightly in at the bottom if necessary so they never end up behind the bar during the movement... Though if you set up right, you should be able to keep them mostly flared):

Watch from 5 min onwards and see how he pushes himself up with his legs etc:

Branch likes to keep the elbows in more than most, but it's entirely possible to flare them too.
Your thighs can still "grab" (throttle?) the seat esp. if the front of it is elevated like you can do on most incline benches...

Hope the explanation makes sense.

Sorry for the wall of text... I saw your vid and it just struck me that we have the exact same issue, so yeah.
Maybe this will help you.

Apart from strength loss and awkwardness of the setup you've been using, a more pressing issue is that if you constantly end up with the bar in front of your elbows and thus put stress on your external rotators with a lot of weight, they may become very tight (esp. with the sheer amount of pressing CT tends to have people do) and you'll end up with posterior shoulder pain (had it, annoying as hell, puts an end to your pressing for 2+ weeks).

If you fix that slight technique issue at least, your shoulders should remain free of that particular injury even with the added pressing volume (I learned all this the hard way when I originally tried some of CT's IBB stuff).


What is this drivel?

195x2 is fucking strong!!!!!



Damn, very nice of you to do C_C!

Wasn't it around 225 X 2? I was shocked, as he said in the spill something like: "I'm embarrassed because I had to use such light weight today". Lol. I wish I could say that was light weight.


195 and 225 should be equally easy for someone that size lol. These videos are kind of weird though, out of all the guys/girls X looks like the least experienced lifter and seemingly has no idea how to perform an exercise or address his weak points after training for so long which amazes me. It's very odd considering how egocentric he is on these forums.

Either way, I'll keep my opinion on it to myself bc this is def an informative gem by CC and I don't want to be labeled the "hater trolling racist" for posting this, haha.

Too late tho! :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


Well, any problems would be because I never do that movement. I think I had about the same problems anyone would have doing something they never do. But I am open to advice.

...yeah, that would be WHY I don't do these. I am a strong overhead presser....but the last time I even had to unrack a barbell was when Clinton got a BJ. I moved to smith machines (with the rail) because it felt better....and then I moved to the HS plate loaded machine because that felt even better. Heavy barbell presses weer screwing up my shoulders years back which is why I turned from them...for longevity.

Agreed...so I found alternatives in my own gym.

It does...and every time I have ever done these has been with a short back rest. Honestly, I am just following CT's lead. Yes, some of this shit will look awkward....because I never train this way. Even with the lateral raises we did, they make my forearms hurt bad when I go really heavy (I have done as much as 75lbs on these in the past). I did them here because it wasn't causing pain due to the weight used and I want to learn what he knows. That is why I moved to a machine for side lateral raises after doing the dumbbell for years. Dumbbells were causing my forearm to recover slower....which meant I sometimes had to go weeks between training biceps because of it....which meant my progress slowed overall.

This is one thing I knew would happen though...people seeing me do an exercise for the literal first time and judging my strength and form on it.

I value my shoulders and back off training them if they even swell up a little as far as that joint.

But hey, I don't want this to sound like I am not listening or don't want any advice. I just know that I avoided the barbell overhead press for a reason. It wasn't by accident. The reason I am doing them now is BECAUSE of the weight we are using and my interest in learning what CT knows.

At my personal gym, we have a bench with a low back so it won't be an issue.

I like the Bradford press especially as a finisher.


Posting before shitstorm...

Does anyone else find it hilarious that Thibaudeau calls him Professor X? I understand he's a private guy but still...


Everyone calls me "X".


...except for J-rod. What would you prefer?...and why?


I don't really have a preference, I just thought it was funny that he did that when he called everyone else by their real names. I guess a part of it is that I'm curious what your first name is.


Before it was Urkel, now he changed to Luke Cage


Why? What relevance in life would you need to know his first name? Not coming to his defense lord knows X can defend himself. But why cant he have or anybody have some privacy as a professional?


Because it's 2011 and this is the internet. Duh.

It would be funnier if CT switched back and forth between 'Fro-presser X' and the other iterations of the name that came with the avatars. lol


...answer? They aren't professionals and have no concept of what you are talking about. Most of these guys are still in college or younger....but seem to think they have way firmer a grasp on reality than you or I.


Probably for a reason similar to those that drive some people on this site to spend countless hours and hundreds of posts in the TK/SAMA "Ask Us a Anything" threads... because it is (occasionally) interesting to know various details about the more prolific posters on this site behind their internet persona. Even something as minor as a first name can help flesh out the impression one has of any particular poster.

If Professor X doesn't think it is anyone's business, I'm sure he would say so... but I don't see why it requires a face palm or why you think such a request needs to be "defended" against.


Did I ask? Or did you jump to a conclusion just now? Did I not already talk about him being a private person? Face palm somewhere else please.


I can relate with you when you said that you have taylored your training for longevity. I have pretty much have stuck with Dbs for joint health and since I like to train pretty much like you did in your 2nd shoulder workout most of the time, the DBs are not so heavy that I can't get them into position.


I remember my first 225lb military press


Agreed...which is why much of this is new to me. I know to get big and strong and have settled into the exercises that allow me to do that with the least risk and the least setbacks.

I know for a fact that if I go back to dumbbell lateral raises (especially going as heavy as I was), that it will increase my recovery time for biceps. Last time I did that I ended up putting biceps on the back burner for a year before I found that machine. I couldn't even train biceps weekly when doing that.

However, I am sure some people will just assume I got to this size using light weights since that is what they want to see.


That's real nice.

Did you have more of a point or was that it?


who cares if people think that you got to your size by using light weights.... who cares if you DID get to your size by using light weights?

If you're in it for BB reasons then its size, shape and symmetry that matter... not how much weight you lift right?

just my thinking on the whole situation