A quick question about the Olympic Press A quick question about the Olympic Press

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Thread: A quick question about the Olympic Press

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    Default A quick question about the Olympic Press

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    From a strength training perspective, what is the difference between a push press and a Olympic press as described by Bill Starr in the articles on this site? From what I understand, the Olympic press done with a "hip whip" allowed Olympic lifters to press noticeably more weight while still adhering with the rules. And as far as I can tell the initial hip movement allows the bar to move off the shoulders more readily, but what is the difference between this and the push press on the bottom portion of the lift?

    In the past when questions were asked about the push press, you said that it doesn't build sufficient strength in the bottom portion of the lift when the bar has to get off the shoulders. However, the Olympic press is described and encouraged by several instructional videos and articles on this site. It looks to me like they both employ different methods of getting the bar moving off the shoulders to allow more weight to be lifted compared to a more "strict" military press.

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    The push press involves the knees and hips generating the initial force off the shoulders, and the Olympic press uses the quads to lock the knees so that hip and torso movement generate the additional upward force. The Olympic press adds a second hip action as the bar slows above the head. You are free to follow the advice in the book and ignore the Olympic press material, which is of interest to some of us.

    BTW, I PRed the Olympic press last night, 203.5, first real PR in years. It's not much, but it's mine.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Rippetoe View Post
    The push press involves the knees and hips generating the initial force off the shoulders, and the Olympic press uses the quads to lock the knees so that hip and torso movement generate the additional upward force. The Olympic press adds a second hip action as the bar slows above the head. You are free to follow the advice in the book and ignore the Olympic press material, which is of interest to some of us.

    BTW, I PRed the Olympic press last night, 203.5, first real PR in years. It's not much, but it's mine.
    In either case, there is additional upward force aiding the pressing motion, correct? I'm just trying to reason why the former is often disregarded as a strength training tool but the latter is not.

    In a previous topic, when the question of why the press is considered a main lift in the program but the push press is not, you replied with:

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Rippetoe View Post
    Because it's quite possible to be very good at the push press and not have a very good press, since it leaves out the bottom of the movement wrt the pressing muscles. Power is not our only concern -- the press is a strength exercise. If our only criteria is that heavier weights can be lifted faster, the jerk would be even better than the push press.
    Could I not replace "push press" with "Olympic Press" and still have a true statement?

    Oh and congratulations on the PR, a 200lb+ press still seems far away.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Rippetoe View Post
    first real PR in years.
    Deserves a congratulations, in a non-nut-hugging way. Momentum is hard to recapture in most things, so getting as good as you've been after having set-backs is a damn good thing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gape View Post
    In either case, there is additional upward force aiding the pressing motion, correct? I'm just trying to reason why the former is often disregarded as a strength training tool but the latter is not.
    What are you talking about??? The push press is done by every CrossFitter on the planet, and nobody but you and me and about 30 other people even know what an Olympic press is.


    Could I not replace "push press" with "Olympic Press" and still have a true statement?
    If you want to, you can manipulate the sentence as you see fit. But the Olympic press involves more bottom drive than the push press.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Rippetoe View Post
    What are you talking about??? The push press is done by every CrossFitter on the planet, and nobody but you and me and about 30 other people even know what an Olympic press is.




    If you want to, you can manipulate the sentence as you see fit. But the Olympic press involves more bottom drive than the push press.
    I think there is something you miss here gape. The Olympic Press has a nostalgic value to it, I bet that's a large part why Rip cares about it, and practices it as well. It's not just about how effective or "superior" it is. From a strictly strength perspective a press is harder to do, than an olympic press, that's why you can do it with less weight. Your comparison of the olympic press and the push press is not totally unfounded, but the olympic press is more than just a tool to get strong.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Rippetoe View Post
    The push press involves the knees and hips generating the initial force off the shoulders, and the Olympic press uses the quads to lock the knees so that hip and torso movement generate the additional upward force. The Olympic press adds a second hip action as the bar slows above the head. You are free to follow the advice in the book and ignore the Olympic press material, which is of interest to some of us.

    BTW, I PRed the Olympic press last night, 203.5, first real PR in years. It's not much, but it's mine.
    Excellent. PR's taste particularly sweet when aged to perfection.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Rippetoe View Post
    What are you talking about??? The push press is done by every CrossFitter on the planet, and nobody but you and me and about 30 other people even know what an Olympic press is.
    I mean on this forum; if you run a search on this forum for topics about the press, you usually say to not bother with the push press but obviously you are a fan of the Olympic press.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Rippetoe View Post
    If you want to, you can manipulate the sentence as you see fit. But the Olympic press involves more bottom drive than the push press.
    I don't mean to mince your words here, I'm just trying to understand the reasoning behind what you are saying. I can see how the push press would provide more drive off the bottom but doesn't the second hip movement in the Olympic press provide some more assistance to lock it out at the top?

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    What I'm telling you is that you can push press more than you can Olympic press, and that you can Olympic press more than you can press.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Rippetoe View Post
    What I'm telling you is that you can push press more than you can Olympic press, and that you can Olympic press more than you can press.
    Alright, fair enough.

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