My Overhead Press is Terrible

Not sure…

I’m probably a 4 week concentration cycle from 245 now and I compete at 175.


You dug for that rep, well done.

I probably have some variation from lift to lift, but I keep my setup as similar as possible. Military Press (feet), no shoulder bounce, I go as far as my shoulders will let me (bar doesn’t touch collar bone at ‘bottom’), keep my head back until it can move forward under the bar, and push until lockout. Any variations in form are due to muscle weaknesses I believe, not from setup form.


I do bench and OHP on the same day, but always OHP before bench… it’s light enough that it’s kind of a warm-up for bench lol.

I did this for years actually, almost tore a pec (actually tore a few strands, but not a full tear by any means - just heard something that sounded like a seatbelt tearing) so I moved to incline bench… My incline bench and flat bench are nearly the same - if not the same 1RM weight.

May just end up adding more overhead stuff as a whole, OH carries, and press variations as well (I love single-sided cuban press, but might need the weight of double-handed cubans to help with OHP form).

Thank you for the detailed writeup =)

Jesus. I remember when you were more top end strength focused and a bit heavier, but I didn’t remember this lift. That’s freaking impressive. Crazy to see your evolution into the shredded work capacity machine you are now.


If you really care for this lift you should also study it a bit more. There are different ways to balance core, or for example - squeezing the glutes helped me very very much. No idea why, but as soon as i found that que, i really feel much more stable.
Improving technique helps alot and allows for more progress to be made. Hand positioning, bar path, what to do with breathing and what to do with legs and glutes, elbow angles and different widths of the grip - you should spend some time learning the actual lift, cuz maybe you are not doing some of these things.


This is completely accurate, thanks for the tips!

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Low reps for a bunch of sets (10 sets of 2 or 8 sets of 3) is a good way to “practice” the lift, avoid “ugly” reps and focus on what you’re doing.

Doing a bunch of sets allows you to play around with your grip and elbow or hip position a little bit set to set too.

The “Hepburn Method” or “Double Progression” are Old School plans based around training that way.


Happy powerlifter noises.


I’d use a belt (for pretty much anything and everything) before I’d use straps on the deadlift. If you’re worried about being unbalanced, learn hook grip or just alternate your mixed grip from week to week. If you add a belt to the overhead, I bet your numbers jump up immediately – a belt on overhead can make a huge difference.

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Hey thanks man! This is why I’m so big on the value of competition. At that moment in time, I had 12 weeks to add 75lbs to my keg press. I became laser focused on that one goal, and vectored my LIFE around it. I lived, ate, and breathed pressing overhead. Which meant my bodyweight jumped up about 20lbs and my blood lipids got wild, but I also got the strongest I had ever been in my life.

What pissed me off is they ended up dropping the keg press weight down to 250lbs because 275 was “too heavy”. That’s the point! I got the 250 in training at least

The comp got canceled because it was Apr 2020 and COVID was getting real, but the pursuit of that goal got me some incredible results.

Having skin in the game and something on the line will always be better than just going along with it.


I’m on deload this week, but this made the whole movement feel better =)

Didn’t wear a belt… because 115lb press lol. I actually meant to but was running short on time - wasn’t needed at that weight at least :sweat_smile:

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I used to make it part of my routine do 3x10-12 on OH press on my dynamic effort upper body day right after speed bench. While I made progress and my OH press improved, I found it didn’t really help my bench press at all. I have swapped these out for 3x12-15 on DB side raises. I wasn’t experiencing pain from the OH press, but I figured if I could put less strain on the shoulders, why not? Outside of Olympic lifting, I don’t really see the point in NOT doing these seated. Removes pressure on lower back, saves ab strength for lower body day, and forces much stricter form.