The Lost Art of Overhead Pressing

How much? Time to find out.


Charles Poliquin takes a quick look at Overhead Pressing and suggests a 12 week program for its use. Having only recently tried a couple of sets myself, I personally can see a bit more overhead work going on. Unfortunately the low roof means that this will be seated only, but that's still a good start.
There were a couple of ratios mentioned in the article, and after Alberto got everyone going with the Achieving Structural Balance piece, I can see a similar thing happening here. They are :
1. The ratio between seated dumbbell overhead presses and the bench press

It should be that the weight done for 8 reps on each dumbbell represents 29% of the close-grip bench press measure. In other words, a man able to close-grip bench about 220 pounds for a single would use a pair of 65's for 8 reps in the seated dumbbell overhead presses.

2. The ratio between the behind-the-neck press and the bench press

The weight for a 1 RM behind-the-neck press from a seated position should represent 66% of the weight used for a 1 RM in the close-grip bench press. That load is lifted from a dead-stop position with the bar resting on the traps, not from a weight handed off in the lock-out position.

Time for a quick test.


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Behind-the-neck press (seated) 10@20/44, 2@30/66

Disappointing, but not unsurprising. 30kg is certainly nowhere near 66% of my close-grip 1RM. As for the DBs, based on my recent barbell work they'd be closer, but still well under target. Looks like I've got some shoulder strengthening to do.

The stretching I've been doing lately - specifically for the shoulders - doesn't seem to have helped as much as I'd hoped; perhaps a strengthening/stretching combination will produce better results. Time will tell.


Scott Andrew Bird

Scott Andrew Bird is a writer, photographer and a guy who just loves this stuff. He's been at home in front of a computer for more years than he cares to remember (OK, 35) and is now making amends for years of many mistakes noted in the De-constructing Computer Guy articles (part 2) on T-Nation.

Find out what he's up to via Twitter, Google+, Facebook; and of course his online home. Enjoy.



Like this? Check out :

From the archives : The lost art of overhead pressing.I'm travelling for a couple of weeks (back around March 15). In the meantime, here are a few hidden gems from the archives. Enjoy. The lost art of overhead pressing Charles Poliquin takes a quick look at Overhead Pressing and...
DIY Equipment Ideas.

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The First Year.It's been just over a year since I first began to share my bedroom with weight plates. Over that time the act of lifting weights has gradually moved towards the status of 'healthy obsession' (although there are some who would dispute the 'healthy' part of that phrase), and shows no signs of becoming anything less.
Shoulder Flexibility and Strength.It all started last week when Alberto mentioned the unusually named YTWLs. Whilst googling to find out exactly what these were I stumbled across the article '8 weeks to monster shoulders' by Alwyn Cosgrove and Chad Waterbury on T-nation. A good read.


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