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Old 04-30-2012, 07:57 AM   #1
Paul Droubay
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Pressing Help

I'm doing the press as part of GSLP, and I've reset twice now on the same weight of 122.5 lbs. For some reason, I can't seem to progress much beyond this threshold, so I've posted up some video to see if it's a form/technique issue.

1st set is a warm-up. 2nd is a work set of 5 (failing on the 4th rep), and I know I shift my feet mid-set here slightly to get away from rafters. 3rd set is another fail on the 4th rep.

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=758RQLB6NWw
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Old 04-30-2012, 08:02 AM   #2
Robert Fabsik
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Re: Pressing Help

Grip looks a tad wide, but if you've played around with it already, it might be fine.

Make sure your not just pressing with your arms, but also using your traps to help shrug/press the bar up. I used to be just a tri/delt presser and realized how much easier it is when I use active shoulders.

Try not to over arch, tough with the heavier weights, but imagine that hollow position.
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Old 04-30-2012, 08:14 AM   #3
Sean Dunston
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Re: Pressing Help

You go from the rack position, to dipping your elbows beneath the bar pretty nicely, but it appears that you keep your wrists cocked back at a 90 degree angle from your forearms. Try to lock those wrists in line with your forearm and you might see better results.
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Old 04-30-2012, 03:47 PM   #4
Matt Haxmeier
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Re: Pressing Help

I agree that your grip looks too wide, and that your wrists are too bent. Try using a false grip instead. It might take a little getting used to but most people find it beneficial.

Look slightly up, and get your head through as soon as the bar passes your forehead.

Your entire body (including the legs, and especially the lats) should be tight versus all the shifting around that you're doing on that second set.

Keep the bar in your groove and land in the same spot everytime bringing it down. You got out of your groove on the 4th of the last set and that's going to cost you extra reps. Also lowering quicker engages more stretch reflex which can be helpful for the final rep.
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Old 04-30-2012, 08:05 PM   #5
Preston Sprimont
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Re: Pressing Help

In addition to what everyone else said about form, I'll add that it might be an issue that can be resolved by shoring up weaknesses (with assistance exercises) or changing the stimulus (change in volume and/or intensity).

Is your bench improving steadily, or has it stalled as well? Do you do any focused upper back work?

If you're not doing anything for your upper back, I would guess that will help. Doing some additional triceps work may help too--something as simple as a few high rep sets of skull-crushers on your press day may do the trick. If tweaking your form doesn't fix the issue, try tweaking the program a bit. Play around with it and see what works. Also, I haven't read the GSLP book, but I'm guessing JP has some pretty good advice either in the e-book or on his forums regarding difficulty in the press, as it is usually the first lift to stall.
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Old 05-01-2012, 05:21 AM   #6
Paul Droubay
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Re: Pressing Help

Thanks guys - that's very helpful feedback!

Contrary to the press, my bench has been steadily improving. For the upper back, I just started FM pullups (and FM pushups, too). However, it doesn't feel like I'm using "active shoulders" - much of the effort is focused in my triceps/delts - so I'm going to have to try involving my upper back more.

I'll work on my grip and wrist flexion, too, so I'll see how that goes.
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Old 05-03-2012, 12:17 PM   #7
Clint Harris
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Re: Pressing Help

In addition to what's already been said (especially about tightening core and stabilizing body), it looks like your elbows are flying out. Try to keep them in so that there's a twist on the bar (thumbs against the bar) and feel like you're pulling the bar apart when you press it up(like bench).
If you look at you're 3rd rep of the warmup. See how well you got your head through ? Try to do that on all the reps, it can help engage some bigger muscles - especially when you start to fatigue like rep 4 (try to get head through may have helped you snag that rep .... maybe....)
Do I also detect the bar going around your face on the way down ?

As an aside - unless you have some sort of issue that requires a belt, ditch the belt. You shouldn't need it for this weight or exercise and developing that strength/stability (without the belt) will be better in the long run.

It may also help you keep that chest down and your back in a more neutral position - the hollow body as opposed to being bent back like that. Think belly button to spine and tense abbs and back - rather than trying to tense the lower back and curving back like that (as it appears to my eyes).

Some other things to try that may help raise some weight - look into wendler and/or do some lighter reps (like 75) and work on being fast/explosive (without going around face and be rock solid in core).

@Matt, how do you false grip the bar when pressing ? I can't wrap my head around that. Is it where people don't wrap their thumbs around the bar in an effort to get the bar along their lifelines?
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Old 05-03-2012, 08:28 PM   #8
Matt Haxmeier
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Re: Pressing Help

Quote:
Originally Posted by Clint Harris View Post
@Matt, how do you false grip the bar when pressing ? I can't wrap my head around that. Is it where people don't wrap their thumbs around the bar in an effort to get the bar along their lifelines?
Yeah, thumbless grip. Sometimes referred to as false. Like in this article from Wendler. http://www.t-nation.com/free_online_...halk_volume_11 (WFS except language)
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Old 05-04-2012, 06:31 AM   #9
Paul Droubay
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Re: Pressing Help

Well I reset and went to 110 lbs on Wednesday. I changed up a few things - specifically a narrower non-flexed grip, tighter core, shrugging the traps up, and a faster descent to get into a groove. Hit 8 reps on the last set, and it still felt tough. However, my traps and delts were much more sore the next day, and the delts are still spasming 36 hours later - so the muscles seem appropriately worked.

Clint, I'm going to try incorporating your suggestions, too. Good stuff.
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Old 05-04-2012, 09:54 AM   #10
Clint Harris
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Re: Pressing Help

Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Haxmeier View Post
Yeah, thumbless grip. Sometimes referred to as false. Like in this article from Wendler. http://www.t-nation.com/free_online_...halk_volume_11 (WFS except language)
Thanks. I had heard people say false grip before but wasn't sure what they were talking about. Found the article was a good read. I didn't notice any language issues (but I'm pretty immune/desensitized to that) ..... but it's not work safe - I was that guy laughing at his computer at work - thanks for all the looks
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