If you had to pick one upper body press... If you had to pick one upper body press...

starting strength gym
Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 23

Thread: If you had to pick one upper body press...

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2022
    Location
    Arkansas
    Posts
    22

    Default If you had to pick one upper body press...

    • starting strength seminar june 2023
    • starting strength seminar august 2023
    • starting strength seminar october 2023
    If you had to pick a single upper body exercise to develop pressing strength, would it be the flat bench press, incline bench press, standing overhead press, or something else?

    I believe Bill Starr is known to prefer the incline press to both bench and overhead in some circumstances (e.g., "Strength Training for Throwers", "We wanted to substitute the incline bench for the overhead press...").

    I'm aware that SS states the incline press is irrelevant if the lifter is both flat benching and overhead pressing, but this leaves open the question of what happens when the lifter has time only for one movement for building pressing strength in the upper body.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    North Texas
    Posts
    51,547

    Default

    The Program is the program.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2022
    Location
    Arkansas
    Posts
    22

    Default

    Indeed.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2021
    Posts
    289

    Default

    How can one "only have time" for one pressing exercise? They're performed on alternate days.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2021
    Posts
    46

    Default

    Somebody asked this a couple months ago and then argued with good sense. Coukd have been a couple months before that. Or both.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Posts
    143

    Default

    Overhead press. This is real life for me as I can't do bench press (whenever I try and work up to body weight, my right shoulder shouts out loud and prevents me from going any heavier). Overhead press, however, I can keep going and going. And frankly, I think it takes in more of my muscles, uses more of my entire body, than bench press ever did.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2020
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    28

    Default

    Overhead press. One of the most impressive lifts I have ever seen is Chase Lindsey pressing 405 overhead at a bodyweight of I think around 245 lbs. You need to watch that video to appreciate what the human body is capable of doing with the right training regime over a long period of time. Seeing guys that weigh over 400 lbs bench over 700 raw is cool, donít get me wrong, but they have absolutely nothing on Chaseís lift. Work the shit out of the overhead press. Just do it.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2023
    Posts
    62

    Default

    I think the incline bench is out as a primary pressing exercise just because absent the other two it doesn't provide enough of the benefits of either: the movement pattern is not as stressful as the press, and the weight is not as heavy as the bench.

    The question is, does the overhead press do enough to drive strength progression in the upper body? I'm inclined to think that it doesn't. The press is a more natural movement pattern, and the movement itself is more inherently "valuable" in the sense that a stronger press is more useful and impressive than a stronger bench. It does more work than the bench to drive the *other* lifts by working the back and the core muscles. The press is the "primary" movement, and the bench is there mostly to drive the notoriously difficult to drive lift. But does TRAINING the press alone sufficiently drive pressing strength, or more exactly, does it do it by enough to make up for the incidental pressing gains one would make by solely training the bench? Obviously, the SS logic is that the two exercises are equally valuable, or else they would not receive roughly equal amounts of attention absent specific specialization. But for example, when getting into intermediate programming for powerlifting, the press is relegated to an assistance/recovery exercise, useful only insofar as it drives the bench: not dropped, but there basically included for its movement pattern. By contrast, even in programs designed for athletes for whom pressing is a priority, the bench is STILL done as the primary pressing driver. Only very late, if ever, would the bench be dropped completely.

    So in the absence of assistance exercises which might be used to drive a press, I'd actually say the edge goes to the bench for absolutely development, if only because a person who trains ONLY the bench will probably bring up his press by accident, and a person who trains ONLY the press will be deprived of one of the chief tools used to actually drive that lift up: they may become irrevocably stuck. Granted, they will probably have a better DEADLIFT, but we're restricting ourselves to pressing strength. If you get to include things like pin or push presses...well, that makes things a bit more complicated, and might give a slight edge to the press just because it brings back in a lot of the things that lacking the bench takes out.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    North Texas
    Posts
    51,547

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Maybach View Post
    The question is, does the overhead press do enough to drive strength progression in the upper body? I'm inclined to think that it doesn't. The press is a more natural movement pattern, and the movement itself is more inherently "valuable" in the sense that a stronger press is more useful and impressive than a stronger bench. It does more work than the bench to drive the *other* lifts by working the back and the core muscles. The press is the "primary" movement, and the bench is there mostly to drive the notoriously difficult to drive lift. But does TRAINING the press alone sufficiently drive pressing strength, or more exactly, does it do it by enough to make up for the incidental pressing gains one would make by solely training the bench? Obviously, the SS logic is that the two exercises are equally valuable, or else they would not receive roughly equal amounts of attention absent specific specialization.
    Depends on the level of training advancement of the lifter. Novices need to spend equal amounts of time on both, but later, when a training emphasis is developed -- bench or press emphasis -- programming has to change. The bench DOES NOT drive the press up to advanced levels, and the press cannot get the bench to advanced levels. In fact, if you want to press big weights, you have to press 4x/week, while the bench cannot tolerate this exposure.

    By contrast, even in programs designed for athletes for whom pressing is a priority, the bench is STILL done as the primary pressing driver.
    How do you know this?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2023
    Posts
    62

    Default

    starting strength coach development program
    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Rippetoe View Post
    Depends on the level of training advancement of the lifter. Novices need to spend equal amounts of time on both, but later, when a training emphasis is developed -- bench or press emphasis -- programming has to change. The bench DOES NOT drive the press up to advanced levels, and the press cannot get the bench to advanced levels. In fact, if you want to press big weights, you have to press 4x/week, while the bench cannot tolerate this exposure.
    Right, if someone holds a gun to your head and tells you you can only use one exercise to drive pressing, the answer is "pull the trigger." But the question is, does the "bench only" trainee's press lag further behind the "press only" trainee's bench? Or does the bench only trainee's bench stall before the press-only trainee's press? I honestly don't know. My instinct would be that the advantage goes to the bencher, based on the training advancement where specialization needs to occur. I could easily be convinced it does go to the presser.

    Put from another angle, you need to press 4x a week to press big weights. But do you need to press 4x a week to *bench* big weights? It's obviously an artificial constraint, we're talking about. But perhaps there is something to be gleaned


    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Rippetoe View Post
    How do you know this?
    I don't, in the absolute sense. But PPST describes the inclusion of the bench as being based on its increased ability to generate stress. The sport specific intermediate programs STILL include a heavy bench. The intermediate powerlifting programs use the press as a light day exercise. The advanced programs for powerlifting (the sport where competitors have to be, or rather GET to be, strongest in absolute terms) drop the press at several phases, but the power sports programs STILL include the bench press. It is not a perfectly consistent theme: I *did* miss that the intermediate programs both include a press only program for the Texas Method for OL, and that a proposed program (though not detailed) for a javelin thrower omits the bench, but I think it's at least a *tendency*

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •