Where To Work It

Okay, so yesterday, I’m working with my trainer and I suggest that we do the military press standing instead of sitting.

My rationale for this is that my medial delts suck, and I’ve been increasingly aware that in a seated military press I’m “cheating” near the end of a set by using the back of my seat as leverage to shift focus toward my anterior delts. Since I can’t use the back of a seat as leverage when standing, I figured this would force me to develop and maintain better form – which would translate into better results.

So we go to the rack, and I grab the bar, and as I start to press upward I immediately lean back about a foot and a half. End of a set, my ass: I’m cheating from rep one. So I try to get this under control, but it’s not going well (I’m all over the place), and my trainer says that I’m clearly not ready to do the standing military press.

My take on this is that if I continue doing the seated military press, I will still have the same problem – but it will be more of a habit, making it harder to fix.

His take on it is that he would rather have me develop a bad habit than risk injury trying to fix it early.

In discussing this, we came upon a serious difference in “where” we believe workouts should be done. I’m of the opinion that you should work out at the point where you start to have trouble maintaining perfect form, and have to work at it.

His opinion is that you should work out only where you can maintain perfect form from beginning to end.

So I’m wondering where the rest of the community sits on these issues. It seems to me that he’s speaking from more of a play-it-safe position than I am; am I being overly reckless, or is he being too much of a wuss?

you’re both right.

when you work near, at, and beyond technical failure you’ll need more recovery. when you work before technical failure you’ll need less recovery.

i suggest doing less reps/sets/more rest when working closer to failure, and i suggest doing more reps/sets/less rest when working farther from failure.