how to get people to press? how to get people to press?

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Thread: how to get people to press?

  1. #1
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    Default how to get people to press?

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    I am a big fan of presses, but its almost impossible to get others to do it, everyone "has a shoulder injury" or some bs. is it just that they are hard and people are fucking lazy? I have some powerlifters that workout with me sometimes and they are afraid of them as well but yet they will do seated shoulder presses in a smith machine... wtf?

    when did standing up and pressing something heavy get such a bad wrap? pressing seems so much more mannly then benching, and I find myself worring much more about getting my press up then my bench. (Im going to get a body weight press yet! (15 - 20 more pounds to go, then going for bw + 50)

    I mean come on laying down and pushing a little weight away from you or picking up something that ways as much as you and shoving it over your head like a F'n beast... which is really a better test of strength? esp when you consider how arbitrary the bench is, so you have a massively round body and good back flexability and only have to move the weight 4".... aint no way to shortcut a press.

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    It's true that there are no tricks to shorten the ROM in the press as there are in the bench press, but the double layback (and extreme layback) olympic press technique was a game changer in terms of the weight that could be lifted in that lift. I personally don't double layback (not as matter of principle, I just don't do it naturally and haven't taken the time to develop the technique), and am much more limited in the weight I can lift because of it.

    That all said, I think Rip's work has actually made a lot of progress in fighting the lack of pressing. What's written in SS, the inclusion of the press in the PPST programs, and his press article on T-Nation, among other things, have actually reached a lot of people and you do see more people pressing than you did 10 years ago. The popularity of crossfit, and their general lack of emphasis on the bench press, has also definitely contributed.

    But you still have this entrenched position among some that presses are bad for your shoulders. I've heard physical therapists say this (and have heard it countless times from former patients of physical therapists), and there are some pretty well known strength coaches who still say this as well, or who pay lip service to it but then go on to discuss why, really and practically speaking, no one should ever do it. This has permeated the gym culture. And I think powerlifters obviously want to focus more on their competitive lift, which makes a certain amount of sense, and therefore some (many?) of them never really learn how to do it in the way that makes it such a safe and salutary exercise for the shoulders.

    But to address the question that headlines your post: beyond writing what we've already written about the press, doing it ourselves, and generally discussing its awesomeness at every opportunity, how would you suggest we promote the performance of the press to get it to a wider audience? Or were you just getting that frustration off your chest?

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    Quote Originally Posted by allent View Post
    My wife hurt her shoulder in a slip and fall at work, and was subsequently told by her sister (final year of PT school) she should never lift a weight overhead again, which was immediately accepted. Which is a shame, as I had finally gotten her to start at least pressing those tiny weighted fitness bars. Or at least tell me she was pressing them.
    This is exactly what I'm talking about. I have observed thousands of hours of physical therapists or PT assistants working with patients and I have never seen a single one (other than the PTs who are also SSCs) have the patient do a correct overhead press. Or squat, for that matter, but that's a different topic. The point is, this is typical. And that's a problem.

    Quote Originally Posted by hsilman View Post
    Outside of being in the "fitness profession", the only real way to get more people interested in the press is to go into the gym and press 2 plates over your head. Start doing that regularly, and you'll be amazed at the number of people doing some form of overhead pressing at your gym in short order.

    Not too amazed though, probably like 5-6.
    I can't say I've ever seen an uptick in people pressing even though I've been pressing 225+ for a while. But I tend to train at the least busy time in the gym, so not that many people see it, I suppose.

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    Quote Originally Posted by allent View Post
    My wife hurt her shoulder in a slip and fall at work, and was subsequently told by her sister (final year of PT school) she should never lift a weight overhead again, which was immediately accepted. Which is a shame, as I had finally gotten her to start at least pressing those tiny weighted fitness bars. Or at least tell me she was pressing them.
    I've always had bad shoulders that would ache for days after pushups or if my bench form went off a tiny bit. After I started pressing these issues almost entirely went away.

    The real reason people don't like to press though, is because it's hard. It's certainly the slowest lift to progress for me and if I miss a few workouts it's like I'm back to square one. People don't like hard stuff.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Wolf View Post
    how would you suggest we promote the performance of the press to get it to a wider audience?
    I would think one good thing would be to understand the "why" of the conventional view that the press is dangerous for the shoulders, and have a detailed response.

    I've read the book a few times and lots of SS articles. I feel like I can speak somewhat intelligently about the models. If someone asks about the "dangers" of the squat or deadlight I understand the conventional view, why it is mistaken, and can state why deep squats aren't dangerous for knees, and why the deadlift isn't bad for the back. But I think I could only assert that the press is good for the shoulder, or say something like "Shrugging the traps at the top of the press prevents impingement." But I couldn't explain exactly how.

    This might be entirely due to my inattention, or it could be a gap or lack of emphasis in the material. The bench section in SS has a very long, detailed section with diagrams about how the SS model bench prevents shoulder impingement. Something like that on the press would be nice. For good or ill, SS novices end up answering a lot of weightlifting questions from their acquaintences. The program works so well and our builds change so quickly (this has been my experience anyway) that people--very often those who might be considering lifting--ask questions. The better we could answer questions about the press the better we could promote it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Corrie View Post
    The real reason people don't like to press though, is because it's hard. It's certainly the slowest lift to progress for me and if I miss a few workouts it's like I'm back to square one. People don't like hard stuff.
    What you describe is true, but that only applies to people who have already tried pressing regularly in their programs. We who do so often get frustrated at the press' slow progress, and quick regression when untrained. But the OP's observation, and my comments on it, were really about the massive amount of people who just don't press at all, or only randomly/occasionally, and when they do it's usually a less effective variation.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Wolf View Post
    This is exactly what I'm talking about. I have observed thousands of hours of physical therapists or PT assistants working with patients and I have never seen a single one (other than the PTs who are also SSCs) have the patient do a correct overhead press. Or squat, for that matter, but that's a different topic. The point is, this is typical. And that's a problem.
    Yet, they'll all let their patients do scapular wall slides, which they believe won't cause impingement. What's that look like to you?



    What if we gave them a little two pound dumbbell, and had them do the same thing? Then the next time, a three pound dumbbell? And, what if we tried having them not lean against the wall while they're doing it? Hhhhm, PTs?

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    I sprained my left AC joint in late March, and lost about 35-40% of my strength in both the press and the bench press. (More detail here if you're interested.)

    My shoulder always feels better after heavy pressing, like I have done something to help it. Heavy benching always leaves it feeling so/so, or a little tender, like I am trading some of that joint recovery for muscle gains.

    What's written in SS, the inclusion of the press in the PPST programs, and his press article on T-Nation, among other things, have actually reached a lot of people and you do see more people pressing than you did 10 years ago.
    Love that article.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hollismb View Post
    Yet, they'll all let their patients do scapular wall slides, which they believe won't cause impingement. What's that look like to you?



    What if we gave them a little two pound dumbbell, and had them do the same thing? Then the next time, a three pound dumbbell? And, what if we tried having them not lean against the wall while they're doing it? Hhhhm, PTs?
    An interesting observation and line of questioning, isn't it Andrew?

    In the interest of furthering the popularity of the press, I pressed 240x2x2 today, and then a PR single at 250. Now it's on the internet, so you know it actually happened:

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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Wolf View Post
    An interesting observation and line of questioning, isn't it Andrew?

    In the interest of furthering the popularity of the press, I pressed 240x2x2 today, and then a PR single at 250. Now it's on the internet, so you know it actually happened:
    Of course, if asked, they'll likely have some sort of canned response about how 'leaning against the wall is a necessary part of the exercise, as it promotes proper scapular mechanics/movement, and ensures that the muscles are firing in the right order, and that adding weight to the movement may cause strain on the joint or incorrect form making impingement more likely.'

    To which you could reply, "if I was able to perform the same movement with the same scapular mechanics without leaning against a wall, as I would in everyday life, like when, say, changing a lightbulb overhead, would that not be better? And would doing so not ensure that all the muscles were firing in the right order? And, would the incrementally small additions of manageable weight of the dumbell (or barbell), not further reduce the likelihood of impingement due to added weight actively pushing the humerus further away from the AC joint in accordance with gravity? And would incrementally adding weight while maining correct form not serve to get the associated muscles stronger?

    At this point, they might start muttering something about the Supraspinatus, a hooked Acromion, or maybe just try to strangle you with a Theraband (probably a green one).

    Also, that is one damn nice press. But how do your shoulders feel?

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