T Nation

Upper Pressing Muscle Development


Hi CT,

Would i be correct in saying your upper body press work recently consists almost entirely of push press and ring dips?

My question is, how have you found this effects your chest development and do you think that push press and variations of rings dips provide enough stimulus for decent development of the upper pressing muscles especially rugby specific pressing muscles?

Many Thanks as Per


No, the push press and dips will not give you a maximum development of the pressing muscles. Not enough overload on the chest. But I'm focusing on the olympic lifts personally and I actually want to reduce chest involvement to increase shoulder range of motion catching a snatch and jerk.


Ok thanks,

As the rugby season was approaching I had planned to switch to a 4 day a week program hitting deadlift capacity (friend or foe style), Squats and push press each workout with a complex of choice at the end of each workout or 50 reps of ring dips and ring rows. As MAXIMUM chest development isn't my goal is this set up ok or do I need to add some form of horizontal pressing somewhere?

Thanks again, this will be really helpful as my current training will not suit during the season so a switch of focus/style is needed.


Another method i thought could possibly be used would be the addition of hypertrophy specific circuits simlar to that in HP mass. These would consist of 3 exercises that hit the chest area completed in a circuit fashion at the end of a workout. I thought these could be rotated in every now and then in place of the complexes for 2-3 weeks at a time.

Feedback would be brilliant. Thanks


Yes that is acceptable. Not unlike what chinese weightlifters do at the end of their olympic lifting training. Don't expect huge chest gains, and certainly not major strength gains, but it might help get a slightly greater cosmetic effect on the chest.

But someone not in my situation would probably have to include the bench press for maximum pressing development.


Thanks CT,

If my pressing begins to really suffer i may swap out squats for bench for 2 days of the week leaving deadlift, bench press and push press for those 2 days but i must admit at the moment i have abit of a love affair with the push press and really want to focus on that for the time being.

A question on complexes. As workout for me is the same there is no focus in which to base my choice of complex on. Is there any reason why i couldnt pick a specif complex and focus on that for e.g 2 weeks by completing it everyday. I have played around with an overhead complex i made myself reasontly consisting of muscle clean and press, military press, push press, BTN push press and split jerk and think it will really complement my push press and shoulder development.


It's a good complex. But if you do it everyday you risk localized overtraining. Especially since you are already training hard on the push press. i would not do that complex more than 2, maybe 3 times a week.


Had a feeling that could be the case, i will place this complex on the days my training is more upper focused (deadlift, push press, bench) and use a more lower dominant complex on my more lower focused days (deadlift, back squat, push press).

I assume 'rocket launch rep' style is the best way to go with 2nd and 3rd main exercises either ramping to a max set of 3, 2 or 1 rep each day?