Substituting bench for overhead press in SS Substituting bench for overhead press in SS

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Thread: Substituting bench for overhead press in SS

  1. #1
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    Default Substituting overhead press for bench in SS

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    Hey guys.

    I'm a long time reader, but more or less first time poster, so I won't be familiar to you guys. I'll just get right to the nitty gritty, and see where that takes us.

    Quite a while ago I strained/injured/"did something" to my shoulder while working out. Nothing MAJOR, but a mild, annoying pain that flares up each and every time I bench. It's basically one of those pains you get if you rotate your shoulder. At the time I stopped working out more or less completely, both due to the "injury" and my real life situation. After about 6 months I came back to the gym, and the pain was there more or less instantly as soon as I benched again. Like I said, it's nothing huge, and I can push through it without any problem at all, if I want to.

    Now, on the other hand, I've always found that doing overhead presses gives me more "real life" strength that comes in handy a lot more often than pure chest strength. I lift construction materials up overhead, handing them to someone or just placing them somewhere, throw my kids around up over my head, etc, and I've really noticed more of a "practical use" from the presses.

    So, now I'm basically considering substituting benching with presses in the normal SS routine. On Wednesdays I can imagine doing some chest work via all the push up variations out there. I barely notice any pains when doing push ups, even in the hundreds. Mondays and Fridays would be pressing instead of benching, obviously.

    Any thoughts? Will press strength carry over into chest strength? Will there be any muscular chest development as my press gains momentum? I'm open to any and all suggestions and ideas. Also, so that it's mentioned, I'm actively doing my best to "rehab" my shoulder too. I apologize for wordiness, it's a weakness of mine.
    Last edited by ambivalens; 06-16-2010 at 12:44 AM. Reason: Title screwup

  2. #2
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    Weighted dips, if you can do them. Also, if I were you, I would recommend having a doctor look at it, because it might be something treatable. If you're just doing presses, microload. And you may have to switch to more complicated programming sooner.

  3. #3
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    You might want to correct your subject, which says that you want to stop pressing and do benching instead. Otherwise, you'll get a lot of posts telling you not to do that...

  4. #4
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    Have you tried DB bench? Weighted push ups? Are you sure it isn't a form issue? Have you gone to the doctor to find out if there is an untreated injury?

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by ambivalens View Post
    Will press strength carry over into chest strength
    In my experience, the reverse is much more applicable. Working your bench will increase your press, but not so much the other way around.

  6. #6
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    gzt: I'm looking into building my own dip station of some sort. I guess it'll basically be two iron bars. They'll probably be outside, and if I start convincing my wife this is a good idea now, I'll have them up by 2014

    tescott: Thanks for the correction - english isn't my first language, so I often run into screwups like that.

    Jamie: I can do DB benches better than barbell, but run into the same kinds of pains once the DBs get into the 35 kg range (70ish pounds). My doctor didn't do much, prescribed rest and relaxation and basically said "man up" It's helped alot after I started doing alot of mobility stuff and more thorough warmups, so I might be onto something. And like I said, the pain really isn't bad.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by ambivalens View Post
    tescott: Thanks for the correction - english isn't my first language, so I often run into screwups like that.
    No worries. You'd be surprised at the number of native english speakers who get this the wrong way around. In a generation, it'll probably be legitimate to go either way.

  8. #8
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    No. Re-read PPST's section on injuries. A thorough understanding of this is important. You need to continue benching or your injury will never go away. Look up the Starr Rehab protocol for soft tissue injuries and do it. Your shoulder injury will eventually get better if you bench through the pain.

    You may need to de-load greatly, but keep bench pressing. Start with a weight that you can handle, complete 3X5, and does not cause too much pain. If need be, start with the bar only and then slowly add weight each work out. Microload. Do not try to "work around" an injury by ignoring those movements that cause the pain. This causes imbalances which then lead to further injury. Work "through" the injury and it will heal stronger than it was before.

    Modify the Starr re-hab protocol as necessary. You may need to go even slower and use even lighter weight, but do it.

    I did and it fixed my shoulder, which I also hurt benching.

    Bench pressing is important, which is why Rip put it in the book. Do not ignore it.
    Last edited by FatButWeak; 06-16-2010 at 02:30 PM. Reason: spelling errors

  9. #9
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    FatButWeak: That could actually be terrible advice. It could be a joint issue and that is the sort of thing that won't get better by pushing through it. The Starr injury protocol is for muscle tears. This may not be a muscle tear. Even if it is, it could be a rotator cuff issue, and those are typically only resolved by surgery. To quote what is Gospel on this forum, Rip himself says that there are some shoulder issues that make benching impractical, in which case you just can't bench.

  10. #10
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    starting strength coach development program
    " it could be a rotator cuff issue, and those are typically only resolved by surgery"

    I resolved (or at least improved mine) by using the Starr method. But that was after having an MRI to confirm and not training it adaptively for 6 weeks.

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