T Nation

Why Powerlifters Never Do Overhead Press


#1

First, sorry for my bad english using google translate now

there's many high class powerlifters training videos, and i ususally watch them

i've never seen a man who does press (military or overhead)

is there any special reason ?


#2

I think a lot more do over head pressing than you may think, just cause you see training videos that doesnt equate everything they do. But also a lot just simply don’t think it helps their bench so they keep it out.


#3

Most of the PL I’ve known use some form of OH Press as an assistance movement. Perhaps not during contest preparation; but during other periods.


#4

A good expample of someone who does is dan green. A lot of raw powerlifter seem to do lots of overhead pressing whereas geared powerlifter dont seem to do as much.


#5

[quote]dongsooma wrote:
First, sorry for my bad english using google translate now

there’s many high class powerlifters training videos, and i ususally watch them

i’ve never seen a man who does press (military or overhead)

is there any special reason ?

[/quote]

I don’t see any one really video recording their accessory movements at all (but they’re definitely doing them). And for good reason. Who wants to watch Chris Duffin do overhead tricep extensions (http://asp.elitefts.net/qa/training-logs.asp?qid=216540&tid=228), for example?

You may as well peak around at the other training logs on http://asp.elitefts.net/qa/training-logs.asp.


#6

Overhead pressing is mostly for shoulder health unless you have weak shoulders. I know Jim Wendler says that it carries over to his bench, but for me it doesn’t do much. I still use it now and then, but it’s not a major part of my training.

If you don’t see any videos of powerlifters doing overhead press it’s probably because nobody cares how much they can press and it isn’t relevant to people who are into powerlifting. I don’t see them posting many videos of chin ups, rows, abs work, etc. either.


#7

I actually don’t know a single powerlifter personally who DOESN’T do overhead press. Everyone I know who bench presses over 500 does OHP at least once a week. I feel like mr. Dong didn’t do his research.


#8

[quote]flipcollar wrote:
I actually don’t know a single powerlifter personally who DOESN’T do overhead press. Everyone I know who bench presses over 500 does OHP at least once a week. I feel like mr. Dong didn’t do his research.[/quote]
I don’t think it’s as common amongst the international crowd as it is here.

It’s a fine lift and should be done if it’s helping the bench, but Americans are such guru worshippers and it’s currently the “it” lift, so I think that skews things.

My personal opinion is that most people could drop it entirely, replace with more incline work and subsequently see a positive benefit, in terms of powerlifting.


#9

[quote]flipcollar wrote:
I actually don’t know a single powerlifter personally who DOESN’T do overhead press. Everyone I know who bench presses over 500 does OHP at least once a week. I feel like mr. Dong didn’t do his research.[/quote]
Andrey Malanichev does no assistance work of any sort, only the competition lifts. Most Sheiko programs don’t have much, if any, OHP. And if you look at training logs for guys who use Bulgarian-style daily maxing (Tom Martin, Damien Pezzuti, Alastair Macnicol, or even Eric Talmant) they don’t look like they are doing any OHP either. I would say that the vast majority of lifters use OHP to some extent, but there are definitely some who don’t.


#10

I hate pressing, it hates me, and we try not to cross paths. When I did press a while back, I was pretty terrible at it. The last time I was capable of a 500 bench (2 years ago, at a BW of ~250), I did some occasional pressing, but I’d be shocked if I could’ve strict pressed even my body weight for a single. Now, I’m somewhere in the ballpark of 485@210, and I haven’t done a single rep of overhead press in those two years. I don’t doubt that there’s a lot of strong guys who do it, because as HT mentioned its sort of en vogue right now thanks in part to Wendler, but there’s probably lots of guys like me that do fine without it.


#11

I find benefit in training the OHP, my Bench never really took up until I started training it seriously. There may not be a direct carryover between the two per say, but I extra shoulder stability from working it makes a huge difference when I handle maximal weights on the bench.


#12

[quote]chris_ottawa wrote:
Overhead pressing is mostly for shoulder health unless you have weak shoulders. I know Jim Wendler says that it carries over to his bench, but for me it doesn’t do much. I still use it now and then, but it’s not a major part of my training.

If you don’t see any videos of powerlifters doing overhead press it’s probably because nobody cares how much they can press and it isn’t relevant to people who are into powerlifting. I don’t see them posting many videos of chin ups, rows, abs work, etc. either.[/quote]

Could Wendler’s belief that OHP is important for bench be related to the whole tucked-elbows-row-the-bar-to-our-chest-lats-are-the-real-driver-for-bench technique that was dogma for a little while?

For the record OHP improved my shoulder health 100%, so something works.


#13

[quote]TheKraken wrote:

[quote]chris_ottawa wrote:
Overhead pressing is mostly for shoulder health unless you have weak shoulders. I know Jim Wendler says that it carries over to his bench, but for me it doesn’t do much. I still use it now and then, but it’s not a major part of my training.

If you don’t see any videos of powerlifters doing overhead press it’s probably because nobody cares how much they can press and it isn’t relevant to people who are into powerlifting. I don’t see them posting many videos of chin ups, rows, abs work, etc. either.[/quote]

Could Wendler’s belief that OHP is important for bench be related to the whole tucked-elbows-row-the-bar-to-our-chest-lats-are-the-real-driver-for-bench technique that was dogma for a little while?

For the record OHP improved my shoulder health 100%, so something works. [/quote]
It could just be that he personally gets carryover from it while others don’t. From what his 5/3/1 books say, he isn’t into the kind of benching you are talking about. That’s more like Louie Simmons and Dave Tate’s style, which seems to work for equipped lifters only. If you need to row the bar to your chest without a bench shirt on then you have some serious mobility issues.

One guy told me that he did a cycle of the Sheiko 4 day program and started to get shoulder problems after because there is no overhead pressing. He later added in some light dumbbell pressing and was back to normal. What I heard is that there is a rotator cuff muscle than can get shortened from a lot of benching and no overhead work, it doesn’t seem to be an issue for some people though.

Overall it’s a good exercise, but if your goal is to bench more then you need to bench more. I see some guys looking for programming advice and they bench once a week and press twice.


#14

[quote]chris_ottawa wrote:

[quote]flipcollar wrote:
I actually don’t know a single powerlifter personally who DOESN’T do overhead press. Everyone I know who bench presses over 500 does OHP at least once a week. I feel like mr. Dong didn’t do his research.[/quote]
Andrey Malanichev does no assistance work of any sort, only the competition lifts. Most Sheiko programs don’t have much, if any, OHP. And if you look at training logs for guys who use Bulgarian-style daily maxing (Tom Martin, Damien Pezzuti, Alastair Macnicol, or even Eric Talmant) they don’t look like they are doing any OHP either. I would say that the vast majority of lifters use OHP to some extent, but there are definitely some who don’t.[/quote]

Both you and Heavy Triple missed the point of my post, which means I didn’t make my point very well. I did say I don’t PERSONALLY know powerlifters who don’t ohp. Internationally, many things are done differently. I don’t know any non-American lifters personally. I certainly know OF powerlifters who don’t incorporate the lift.

The issue I took with the OP was that he said NOBODY who lifts at a high level OHP’s. I disagreed with that.


#15

Just to chip in, I think some of you guys who mentioned it might be over thinking the whole american vs international powerlifting training styles? At least for me coming from a UK perspective most of the exposure I get to powerlifting still seems to be mainly american, youtube is essentially the same so same video’s of lifters, animal obviously one of the biggest sponsors/highest exposure, T-Nation etc. Then again that’s coming from a speaking English point of view, so I don’t know about other non-English speaking countries.

On the actual topic, I’ve put military press back into my program again about 6ish weeks ago after a good few months of it being omitted and my bench has started going up faster than it has in a long time, could be a coincidence but maybe not.


#16

Everyone has their style of training. I personally think that OHP overrated by many for building the bench press. I think it may have merits in terms of longevity of training, but not a direct effect on the bench. With that said, it is my opinion that someone who has established an outstanding technical proficiency in the bench press is not disposed to shoulder injury and thus perhaps the OHP really becomes close to irrelevant. I never perform the OHP and have had good success. I honestly bench raw like triple what I can OHP… Many fellow Canadian lifters I know also have a similar situation. Food for thought.


#17

The overhead press is a tricky one. I feel maybe there are a fair amount of lifters out there that lack overhead mobility to do a correct over head press movement. Take, for example, Olympic lifters who prioritize overhead work, hardly ever do any benching because a well developed pair of pecs may hinder your mobility overhead. But on the same note that tighter chest may help while benching. I know myself for one have found that this is my case. My overhead pressing movement of choice is currently the seated DB shoulder press with a slight incline (2 notches before 90*). These have helped my bench like crazy.


#18

Eric Spoto does them every week. So should you.


#19

OP just OHP
common’ it’s fun
don’t wimp out on it


#20

[quote]arramzy wrote:
Everyone has their style of training. I personally think that OHP overrated by many for building the bench press. I think it may have merits in terms of longevity of training, but not a direct effect on the bench. With that said, it is my opinion that someone who has established an outstanding technical proficiency in the bench press is not disposed to shoulder injury and thus perhaps the OHP really becomes close to irrelevant. I never perform the OHP and have had good success. I honestly bench raw like triple what I can OHP… Many fellow Canadian lifters I know also have a similar situation. Food for thought.[/quote]

You bench with a big arch and your bottom position is a few inches higher than most of us where the shoulder are mostly needed. Do you think this is why you don’t see any carryover from OHP?