At 210, I could fat bar press 228, which is not what I would consider strong.
To press well you need larger, stronger triceps and shoulders and more frequent pressing. During my recent run, I'd do 4x15 dips right after presses and 5x10 presses right after bench. I'd do another day of 1x5 or 1x3 press just to do the movement.
Don't even think about weighted dips until you can do 3-5 sets of 15-20 unweighted dips. Volume is your friend here.
Just wanted to give a quick reply as to what I did (and, in reality, what most the guys at my gym as well as the kids I coach do...)
Not bragging at all, but I am an advanced lifter, so what I do now is not necessarily what I did to get strong. I am a terrible squatter, but have raw full squatted 600, and box squatted 800+ in just briefs. I've deadlifted 725 in competition, and bench around 430-440.
What made me strong was just simple, hard work, at the major lifts (squat, deadlift, bench, military) and I worked them almost exclusively in the 1-5rm range.
As a coach, the basic progression I take my lifters/athletes through are Rip's basic 3x5 program when the novice lifter squats 3x per week and linear progresses to heavier and heavier weights. The most important thing during this phase is eating a copius amount of food and milk, performing the lifts with perfect form, and pushing yourself to be better each workout.
From there I'd progress to a peaking phase (something like the peaking phase Glenn Pendlay and Rip advocated in the interview I did with them years ago, to Wendler's 5/3/1, etc.) - I still really like squatting at least twice per week during this phase, and one addition I'd make to Wendler's program is to add a lighter full squat or heavy front squat following deadlifts on that day.
When gains slow down from this, and max effort strength is really ready to be increased dramatically I'd switch to a Westside-type program - more reminiscent of the earlier westside stuff, when the lifters were raw. But essentially what we do, is break down our training like this:
Day 1: ME bench, Heavy standing press
Day 2: ME Deadlift, front squat or lighter olympic squat
Day 3: Explosive overhead (log, axle, or push press from rack), speed bench
Day 4: ME Squat, strongman impliments for accessory work
This basic four day split wouldn't do much of anything for a novice, and an intermediate really isn't ready for it either. But once our guys have accomplished a pretty solid level of strength (which is usually 3+ years of heavy training), then they usually go with this split, or one similiar to it.
And for what it's worth, it works...
We have 14 guys who bench press over 400 raw. And we have 17 who deadlift over 600 (including 5 who pull over 700). 225 strict press for reps is an everyday occurance by numerous lifters in the gym, and 350+lb push presses are standard.
We don't have any secrets. We just work our asses off in a 100 degree gym and push each other to get stronger in the basic barbell lifts.
Simple really. Not easy, and takes time, but it's pretty basic.
Excellent stuff, Matt. Some things I really liked a lot...
1) No false modesty. You are strong as hell and realize your level of advancement.
2) Light squat or front squat after deadlifts. SQ work sets after deadlifts is usually a bad idea, but I was just thinking last night after my sumo DL session that some deep front squats with light/moderate weight would really round things out. I would have done them, but the rule is no squats as my overuse-induced quad tendonitis heals up over the next couple of cycles.
3) Switch to a Westside split after linear progression stops working. I should have done this about six months ago myself. I'm just about done with my first cycle with such a split, which mostly went:
Sunday: Heavy bench w/ some board work, pull ups for volume, weighted dips
Tuesday: Sumo DL
Thursday: Light/fast bench, heavy presses, heavy weighted chin ups
Friday: Box SQ w/ reverse bands
Threw in some machine horizontal shrugs for upper back. Hit a PR w/ weighted dips at this weight and got stronger on press and see a PR coming for it next cycle. Boards made full range work weights feel light as hell. I tried combining light bench day with light squat day in the second half of the week to cut down on trips to the gym, but that made my chin up work suffer.