Tag Archives: sticking point

***Plateau Breaker Series***

We all hit a wall at times with progress.
 
Given I’ve been here several times I’m going to share with you some of the methods I used to overcome mine.
 
First up, shoulders.
 
More specifically, pressing overhead.
 
There is little else quite as impressive as putting a heavy weight over head.
 
Ideally you want to be able to press your own bodyweight with crispy clean form.
 
Many can’t because they’re just too weak.
 
Or too heavy, might be a combination of both, who knows.
 
The three go to methods in my arsenal are as follows:
 
Negatives – High MUR, allow overload of CNS, good fun
 
Partial Presses – Teaches high tension, helps with confidence to grind through sticking points, looks cool
 
Plyometrics – Improve RFD, improves CNS connections, makes great fodder for Instagram video
 
How do you apply these?
 
There are many ways, I will give you some easy to apply ones immediately.
 
Negatives:
 
Push press (or push jerk) a heavier load than you can strict press overhead.
 
Aim for 2-5 reps, each rep you will aim for 6-10seconds on the negative portion of the lift. If a rep negative is less than 6 second stop the set, if it happens on the next set you’re done for the day with these.
 
Sets, well starting off with 3-4 is good, aim to bulk to perhaps 6-8 total, rest as needed between sets.
 
Don’t just let it drop though, stay tense and almost aim to pull the weight back down.
 
Partial Presses:
 
You will need Pins for this of block son some description where you can place the bar on.
 
Simple set the bar at your sticking point and press away.
 
Given the reduced range of motion 4-8sets of 4-6reps work well for this, you may also be abel to utilise heavier loads than normal as well, just make sure you keep total body tension in each rep.
 
*You can also set partial ROM, you’d need two sets of pins for this, say giving you 4inches of movement, you press from a pin just below your sticking point to a pin just above your sticking point. You’d drive the bar in to the top pin AS HARD AS POSSIBLE, for as long as possible, then repeat until you hit momentary muscle failure, then rest 5min.
 
Plyometrics:
 
Personally I’ve found launching a medicine ball as high as possible in the air works well.
 
You’d so as many sets as possible while maintaining speed, reps would be 2-3 per set as the focus is on acceleration. Rest 1-3min.
 
If you’re more advanced you can look at handstand depth drops – look up the book ‘Plyometric Training, achieving explosive power in sport, Hatfield & Yessis’.
*Please note all of the above, unless stated, are to be done while leaving a couple of reps in the tank, strength is a skill and you should see the above as PRACTICE not a workout method, if you want to get strong.
 
There you have it.
 
Some simple methods for breaking a pressing plateau that can be performed in most gyms without the need for specialist kit.
Be sure to get in remedial work in the form of lateral raises, reverse flies, t3 raises and so on, these areas are often neglected and can be the cause of tension (strength/power) leakage, they will be covered in the future so keep your eyes open for that post.
 
Next time; Deadlifts.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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