Tag Archives: shoulders

You Need to Press More.

We all love a good Bench Press, however it’s far more impressive to put a heavy weight over your head and all in all you will be far stronger because of it.

In the average gym there is the milestone of hitting 100kg or 220lbs, many strive to do this and most of them hit that magical target, however you will often find that these same people struggle to press 60kg or 135lbs over their head with good form for one rep… shocking.
While it is common to Bench Press more than your can Press having such a large strength deficit between the two can lead to some serious imbalances and eventually injuries if the proper precautions are not taken.
There are lots of benefits to pressing a heavy weight over your head, here are some of them:

– Mass & Strength builder: excellent form of overload to build shoulders, traps and triceps.

– Plateau buster in the bench press: One of the best ways to build a strong bench press is to train overhead pressing . Because of various strength imbalances that lead to neural inhibitions, your bench press progress is often stalled until you spend time on the overhead press. Much like your upper back strength and your dealift, if you have a weak upper back your brain will tell your body (hands) it can’t handle the weight and you won’t be able to fire enough Motor Units to lift it.

– Long term shoulder health: Training only the bench press is often the cause of many shoulder problems, basically leading to lots of internal rotation and overpowered front delts.

– Great for strengthening the lower back and deeper core/stability muscles.

Overhead pressing is also great tool for highlighting weak links in your chain. A weak lower back/core will severely limit how much you can press, well, a weak core will limit your performance on all of the compound lifts.

How much should you be pressing?

Your Press should be roughly 66% of your Bench press, this has been referenced by strength coaches such as Poliquin & Rippitoe.

Another great thought process comes from that of Pavel. He suggests that pressing everyday  is one sure fire way for shoulder health, you’re not going for maximal weight each day, you will be aiming for 15 reps total, this can be in the form os 3×5, 5×3, 1-2-3-4-5 and so on. I would suggest using a Heavy-Medium-Light approach to this and switch up what I am pressing with, for exmaple Dumbbells, barbell, Kettlebell etc. You can also use various pressing variations as well to further improve your pressing ability. Such varations could be the Behind Neck Press, Bottom Up Kettlebell Press, Seesaw Press and so on.

Now go, press daily and make progress.



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Forget Front Delts.

If you are to stop in almost any gym and take a look around you will find lots of people with impressively large Front Delts.

These play one part in creating boulder shoulders but you will find men spend a lot of time focusing on the needlessly, often because of a video they saw on Pumping Iron of Arnold doing a full overhead dumbbell front raise. So with their logic they assume they should do it too, when in reality they have no need.

Why the advice to not train a body part?

Your front delts get enough stimulus from doing bench press, overhead press, incline press, basically any pressing movement you’re doing will get in a sizeable amount of front delt, so will fly’s for that matter.

It’s recommended that the average person will have weak read delts and practically no shape laterally, they neglect the 2 heads of the delt that will give the shoulders the impressive loo they desire.

If you’re one of these guilty people fear not, this simple yet effective 3 day protocol will help you add that much sought after shape & size to your shoulders.

Day 1 –

A1 – Lateral Raise 5×15
A2 – Reverse Fly (pronated grip) 5×15
B1 – Iron Cross Hold 5x fail (note time)

Day 2 –

A1 – Y-Press x8
A2 – Face Pull x16
A3 – Lateral Raise x24
*You may swap the face pull and lateral raise around if you wish.
Do 3-5 sets of this tri-set with no rest until your last lateral raise.

Day 3 –

A1 – Reverse Fly (pronated grip) 4×12
A2 – Face Pull 4×12
B1 – Reverse Fly (supinated grip) 4×12
B2 – Cable Upright Row 4×12
C1 – Snatch Grip Behind Neck Press 4xfail

These can be added to your workouts and shouldn’t take you longer than 20min tops to get done.


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