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Thread: Pathetic press problems

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2018
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    15

    Default Pathetic press problems

    • wichita falls texas march seminar date
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    At 5' 11" and an almost 74 years old man, I started NLP in mid September at 165 lbs
    with a 50 lb squat, 30 lb press, 60 lb bench and 115 lb deadlift. I reset due to greed,
    changed to a one-on/two-off schedule, got stuck again a couple of times, kept decreasing
    the jumps and started using creatine to help recovery. Trained quite regularly, just on
    three different occasions moving the schedule back a day because of to much physical work
    on a rest day. Good sleep, no stress, three protein shakes a day with milk and I'm up to
    175 lbs (let out the belt an inch and starting to get grief from the wife). I've been doing
    squat and bench on one stress day and (after two days rest) doing squat, press and deadlift
    on the next stress day. I'm not strong enough to do a chin-up yet.

    Now my PR on the squat is 115 lbs, but I wasn't going deep enough, so I've reset
    to 85 lbs and am working my way back up again in 2.5 lb increments in the lower 90s.
    (After this squat reset, I don't feel quite so 'beat-up' anymore). My deadlift has always
    been my 'strongest' lift and I'm progressing steadily up to 192.5 (recently dropped from
    5 lb to 2.5 lb increments).

    My presses have always been my weakest lifts, always a grind. I was using 1/2 lb
    jumps on the overhead press and last time (18/12) could only do 4 reps the last two sets at 54 lbs.
    Similarly, with the bench I was using 1.5 lb jumps, switched to 1 lb and stalled back on 3/12/18
    at 4 x 83.5, deloaded to 80 and completed 3 sets of 5 . Since then I have worked back up
    3 x 5 x 81 (9/12), 3 x 5 x 82.5 (15/12). Today (21/12) the first rep at 83.5 was a 5 second
    grind and the second rep stalled half way up. After wiggling out from under the safety bars
    I did 3 x 5 x 80 with the 5th rep being a grind on all 3 sets. I felt good, not beat-up, not sore, just
    aggravated at stalling so I went back to my 65 lb warm up and cranked out 15 reps (13 and 14
    started to grind and 15 was a grind). [Twenty-five or so years ago in a prior life my PR was
    2 x 15 x 105 lbs for the bench press.]

    Since my pressing is coming along so slowly, I'm thinking of doing the bench press every
    session, just like the squat and abandoning the overhead press until my bench improves.

    I'm in good health and my objective is to get stronger to have more "reserves". I have
    a power rack in the barn, so I don't have gym or coaching fees to motivate making 'rapid' progress.

    What do you folks suggest?

    Grinnell Jones

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Location
    Wisconsin
    Posts
    17

    Default

    I am not a coach but I can relate my experience with a coach (Karl) in case it helps. I'm 62, 5'10" and started SS at 160 pounds so in the ballpark of your starting spot. Karl had me ending linear progression much earlier than I expected and not too much after that I am on a 4 day split. That spreads the work out and is not nearly as aggressive as the normal LP. I also am more likely to do 3s instead of 5s on my heavy sets. Not always, but 3s are off the table in LP. My interpretation: the older we get the sooner we exit LP and have to moderate our progression. I have also heard it said on multiple times that the elderly are volume sensitive. So perhaps keeping your intensity up but backing off the volume would help.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Location
    Broomfield, Colorado
    Posts
    250

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    If you have never been coached I suggest you try to do something - either online, in person, or attend a seminar. Make sure you are following the model according to your anthropometry. Maybe can pick up some programming help too?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Murphysboro, IL
    Posts
    29,295

    Default

    Good advice above, but if you have fractional plates, perhaps 1/2 lb. is too big a jump and 1/4 lb. might work.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Location
    Broomfield, Colorado
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    250

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    I was hoping an SSC would chime in here. I will throw out what I think but it is only what I think. If it is way off I hope an SSC will correct.

    1/4 lb plates might work. That adds 1/2 pound to the bar. In a commercial gym this would be useless unless you had access to the same plates all the time. At least you have you own but this is hard for me to think of progress at these weights. I understand that what I do is meaningless for what you can do. Volume may be bad for you or you may need some? Reset and go back to 5X5? Hypertrophy is a good thing (and you wife will like it much better than the extra inch around your waist). Time to cut out a protein shake or two and add progress under the bar. Grinding is not a bad thing. The heavier it gets the more you get to do it (There is a video about grinding somewhere). Maybe (?) you are at the end of NLP?

    At least get registered and post a video.

    I commend you on taking up this journey. The wife may not approve of where you are today...but come summer she will.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2018
    Posts
    15

    Default

    Thanks for your ideas and good comments. I think my problem is primarily an upper body strength
    issue, because both overhead and bench presses stalled. I'm sure coaching would help some on technique, but
    I was able to lift much more weight 25+ years ago using the same (or even worse) technique.
    While NLP seems to be continuing for deadlift and squat, I may soon have to accept that NLP is
    probably already or soon to be over for the presses. So I'm going to have to start researching on
    'old man' intermediate programs. While Sully says the one-on two-off frequency I'm using is the most
    aggressive old folks option (except for 3/week), I feel that my recovery is good. I don't feel beat-up,
    sore or dragged-down, sleep is good and I feel that I could handle more volume. The book (I don't remember
    which) says that if you stall on the first rep or set the weight is too heavy.
    However, I'm not ready to quit on NLP for the presses yet, so one more time I'm going to attack my
    83.5 pound bench nemesis but this time more gradually. I've got plates down to 1/4 lb and a couple of 2 oz
    washers so I can do 1/2 and 1/4 lb jumps. I last did 3 x 5 x 80, so the next few workouts I plan to do
    3 x 5 x 81, the following session 82, then next 82.5, then 83 and then see how it is progressing. If I can't
    do all 3 x 5, hold that weight until I can, then probably use the washers and go up 1/4 lb the next time. Or
    since the first 3 reps have been less of a grind than the last 2 reps, perhaps I'll try to push the weight up
    (on my non-deadlift day) with 5 x 3 intensity and go 3 (or 4) x 5 with a little less weight (-2.5 to -4 lbs)
    for volume on my deadlift day.
    By the way, I've cut down a lot of the milk from the 3 protein shakes and the weight has stabilized.

    Grinnell

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    North Texas
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    40,393

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    Quote Originally Posted by Paulbfast View Post
    Volume may be bad for you or you may need some? Reset and go back to 5X5? Hypertrophy is a good thing (and you wife will like it much better than the extra inch around your waist). Time to cut out a protein shake or two and add progress under the bar. Grinding is not a bad thing. The heavier it gets the more you get to do it (There is a video about grinding somewhere).
    This 74-year-old underweight man is not recovering, and you are recommending that he increase "volume" and drop a protein shake???? I'm puzzled by this advice.

    OP, listen carefully: Immediately drop your work sets to 3s instead of 5s, start training 2x/week instead of 1 on/2 off -- maybe even 1 on and 3 off -- and keep the 3 protein drinks. 1/4 lb jumps would require 1/8 lb plates, and that's just silly. You can make 1 lb jumps if you can recover.

    And consider hiring some help from SSOC.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2018
    Posts
    15

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    (OP here) Thank you coach Rip for clearing away the fog. I didn't feel burned out, so I didn't think that volume was the
    problem. With your good advice, I'll switch to 3x3 work sets on Monday and Thursday. Monday squats, overhead press
    and deadlifts, Thursday squats, bench press and inverted rows (2.5 lb jumps on squats and deadlifts, 1 lb on the
    presses). Still doing 3 protein shakes with 12oz of whole milk (not 20 oz).
    Thanks again
    Grinnell

  9. #9
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    Jul 2018
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    Broomfield, Colorado
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Rippetoe View Post
    This 74-year-old underweight man is not recovering, and you are recommending that he increase "volume" and drop a protein shake???? I'm puzzled by this advice.

    And consider hiring some help from SSOC.
    Thanks!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Location
    adelaide, south australia
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    326

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    starting strength coach development program
    Since my pressing is coming along so slowly, I'm thinking of .... abandoning the overhead press until my bench improves.
    Greetings Grinnell.
    It is good you have been steered into keeping the press in your program.
    The clean and press is the finest exercise bar none.
    No other exercise equals its total body involvement and the number of muscles involved. Taking the bar from stands reduces its value by more than half.

    Yeah, i know, your press is sucking. So what? At our age we're not going to amaze anyone on the contest platform, or make astonishing improvement.
    So if i were you i would give it equal time to the bench press.

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