The last few OHP training sessions felt weak. I'm trying for 265 lb x 3, and managed to get 2 sets of 2 before, but dwindled down to only 1 rep for the last workout. I set the barbell on the safety pins today instead of suspending it from chains because I thought the chains were affecting my starting position and maybe switching back to pressing from safety pins might fix it.

But I don't think it's a set up problem now (because I only got 1 rep with 265 lb today and it felt hard). I think my overhead pressing muscles are on vacation after pressing 300 lb a few weeks ago.

So, to continue to hit OHP PR's, I've finally implemented a close variation: the dead stop overhead press. I needed to play around with my grip width to get the bar touching my collar bones, and breath at the bottom (instead of the top).

Overhead Press

  • 45 x 10
  • 100 x 5
  • 140 x 3
  • 190 x 2
  • 230 x 1
  • 265 x 1
    • WEAK.

Overhead Press (Dead Stop)

  • 250 x 0,0
    • WUT. Figured I could at least perform 1 rep.
  • 230 x 3 * PR!
    • 3 rep max. I can do 6 reps with a rebound.
  • 200 x 5 * PR
    • 5 rep max. I can do 10 reps with a rebound.
  • 140 x 6

Power Clean

I think my technique is best at 140-190 lb. 230 feels like crap.

  • 45 x 10
  • 100 x 5
  • 140 x 3
  • 165 x 2,2
  • 190 x 1,1
  • 230 x 1

High Pull

  • 280 x 1
  • 320 x 1

Deadlift

  • 410 x 1
  • 500 x 1
  • 605 x 0,0
    • Wouldn't budge.
  • 550 x 2
    • Almost locked out the 3rd rep, but couldn't maintain grip. Started to slide off the tape. FUCK!

Deadlift (No Belt)

  • 510 x 2 * PR!
    • 2 rep meh
    • Tore a callus on my left hand. Dammit.

Overhead Press

  • 45 x 10
  • 100 x 5
  • 140 x 3
  • 190 x 2
  • 230 x 1
  • 250 x 1
  • 305 x 0
  • 265 x 1,1
    • Wanted 3. Maybe the chains are messing with my OHP. Going to try pressing off of safety pins next time.

Bench Press

  • 320 x 1
  • 395 x 1 * PR
    • +5 lb 1RM! Felt heavy in my hands, but came up pretty easily.
  • 400 x 0
    • Easier to take off the plates from this level.

This is not a good pre-workout:

Expectation vs reality #closeenough #hungryman #breakfast #beef #gainz #shittyfoodporn

A photo posted by John Phung (@johnny_phung) on

Breathing Paused High Bar Squat

  • 140 x 10
  • 230 x 5
  • 320 x 3

Paused High Bar Squat

  • 410 x 2

High Bar Squat

  • 475 x 1
  • 535 x 2
    • Wanted 3.

High Bar Squat (No Belt)

  • 525 x 0
    • GRR...

Paused High Bar Squat

  • 455 x 5 * PR!
    • 5 rep max. MEH.

 

I generally believe that the key to a big overhead press lies in the information written in the past during a time when 300+ lb presses were commonplace.

That's why I've added this to my library:

 

 

6 Personal Records

High Bar Squat (No Belt): 440 x 6 (6RM)

Wanted 6+ reps with 500 lb, but the bar rolled forward and I was too tired and weak to recover.

Got a beltless high bar squat 6RM instead. Probably could have did more if I didn't start off with 500x5.

Paused Bench Press: 390 lb x 1 (1RM)

+5 lb PR, and matches my touch-and-go 1RM.

I think 405 lb is just around the corner (or maybe a few corners).

Sumo Deadlift: 565 lb x 1 (1RM)

555 lb didn't feel too bad, so I went up to 565 lb.

Bar felt like it was drifting forward when I first started pulling. Immediately put the bar down and readjusted my mind in thinking to pull and lean backwards. Worked!

Overhead Press: 250 lb x 4 (4RM)

Wanted 3 reps at 265 lb, but balance & groove was off for the 3rd rep on both sets. Felt like I was falling backwards. Still getting accustomed to pressing from the chains. Before when I pressed from the safety pins, I would roll the bar back slightly as I dipped down to prepare to press. Probably just have to adjust my stance.

Paused Front Squat: 430 lb x 2 (2RM)

+5 lb PR! Lately paused front squats (and other paused exercises) have been feeling more comfortable and powerful compared to non-paused front squats (and other non-paused exercises).

Wanted to FS 410 lb x 4 or more initially, but only managed 3 reps. Can't seem to function too long with a bar pressed against my neck. Or maybe it was the trance music.

Paused Bench Press: 300 lb x 8 (8RM)

Matches my touch and go 8RM, and exceeds my best paused reverse grip bench press at 300 lb (7 reps).

Stuff You Should Check Out

  1. The Belt Bible by Greg Nuckols
    • TL;DR: Belt = more gains. Also interesting note on the differences in bracing pattern when wearing a belt and not wearing a belt.