Breathing During OHP?

I feel that my limiting factor with higher reps sets in standing ohp is “core stability”, which os ok as long as i can brace correctly (Valsalva maneuvre).

That is to Say that breathing/bracing is the limiting factor. Brian Alshrue reccomends that you brace at the beginning of the set >> do as many reps as possibile holding that breath (whatever the Number Is)>> pause at the top >> breathe/brace >> do as many reps as possibile holding that breath… And so on.

Do you like this method or do you believe that you should breathe differently (like every rep/at the top/at the bottom etc.)?

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Consistently bracing your core with heavy weight beneath you (Valsalva) is how you get a Varicocele and ruin both your veins and your Test. Don’t do it.

When it comes to titans of fitness coaching, I hold Alsruhe’s word alongside those of Wendler, Pendlay, Tate, and Dan John. His advice on breathing (and bracing for that matter) is golden.

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I have never seen this. Do you have a reference I could read?


I don’t think it’s bad advice (breath at the beginning, and do as many reps as possible).

I tend to get very light headed doing this though. Maybe I am an exception.

I find I can get a better brace if I take my air at the top of the movement (arms locked out). I can’t get much air with the bar at the bottom.

There’s not nearly enough research & studies for it, all I can provide are these links along with the personal anecdotes of hundreds of men I talk to per month about exercise and varicoceles and what triggers them.

The value of ultrasonography in the diagnosis of varicocele - PMC)(52).

Varicocele: Bringing Grown Men To Their Knees - The Turek Clinic.

Functionally, if you already have a varicocele, which comprises 15-20% of all human males on the planet, training with a Valsalva is likely to worsen your symptoms and for those that don’t yet have a full-blown varicocele but rather a subclinical one or, have a predisposition to the dozens of known factors for a Varicocele, a Valsalva is the last thing you want to do. It’s theorized by some that heavy, overhead pressing w/Valsalva on a regular basis could be one of those factors, along with aging and normal wear&tear on the veins, which is further exacerbated by a typical bodybuilding lifestyle.

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I don’t know that this is enough to immediately convince me (neither can I say “no way!”), but it’s certainly interesting. I can see from where the theory derives. Thank you for sharing!