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-   -   Stalled on press, even going backwards (http://board.crossfit.com/showthread.php?t=52101)

Ben Sparks 10-14-2009 10:43 AM

Stalled on press, even going backwards
 
So I added some of the elements of the CFWF program to address certain weaknesses. Basically, just the squat 2x week and OH press once.

The squat is going very well - still making linear progress, adding 5lb/workout to the last 3 sets of 5.

The press, though, is stalled. Even going backwards. 2 weeks ago, last 3 sets (I was shooting for 145 across) were 145 (5), 145 (4), 140 (4). Last week, 145 (4), 140 (5), 140 (4). This week, 145 (4), 145 (4), 140 (4).

I suspect its overuse in disguise - there have been heavy thrusters, Fran, ring dips, shoulder press-push press-thruster etc. in between. So essentially, when the program calls for one pressing day per week, I'm getting 2 or sometimes more. I also don't have micro plates and don't have the option of adding 2.5lbs.

Any tips here? Anyone else get past a stalling point with something obvious? Go down to sets of 3? (I was considering this, as I can always put up the first 3 or 4 reps fine, just completely stall halfway up on rep #5. Max press from last CFT 5 weeks ago was 165.)

I know my diet & rest are pretty good, due to the gains in back squats. Yesterday I even put the presses before the squats (had been done after the other times) just in case the squats were sapping my strength. But the presses still didn't go up and the squats did just fine.

Thanks

Jacob Cloud 10-14-2009 10:54 AM

Re: Stalled on press, even going backwards
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Ben Sparks (Post 679872)

Any tips here? Anyone else get past a stalling point with something obvious?


Yep, time to get some 1.25lb plates. Made a HUGE difference for me, and helped me blow right past my previous sticking points. Also, follow the program better, and make sure you're eating enough to recover.

Kevin Thomas 10-14-2009 11:36 AM

Re: Stalled on press, even going backwards
 
Are you training at an affiliate or with your own equipment.

If you are at an affiliate or a gym that will let you write on the plates, one alternative to getting fractional plates might be to weigh each plate and write on each the true weight. There is probably enough variation in the plates that you would have more flexibility in the actual weight you were putting on the bar each time to make smaller jumps. It would also help you be more consistent in the weight that you were moving, which should help your progress as well.

If you are at a home gym or otherwise lifting the exact same plates every time, you are going to have to suck it up and get some fractional plates or 2" washers at least.

Ben Sparks 10-14-2009 12:25 PM

Re: Stalled on press, even going backwards
 
Thanks, guys. Fractional loading it is.

I work out at home, and eating enough is never a problem for me ;)

Jamie J. Skibicki 10-14-2009 12:26 PM

Re: Stalled on press, even going backwards
 
Ben,

Eat more. Fractional plates are awesome, I just used some today.

Graeme Howland 10-14-2009 02:38 PM

Re: Stalled on press, even going backwards
 
Do you breath inbetween reps at the bottom (bar on delts) or the top? I picked up a tip from one of the 70sbig guys that breathing at the top can make the press a lot stronger (stretch reflex) and that Rip has taught it that way. Going to try it myself as I am getting near my 5x3 limit (also doing CFWF as RX'd).

Justin McGinley 10-14-2009 04:49 PM

Re: Stalled on press, even going backwards
 
You might want to reset to 130-135 and get back into getting 3x5 up consistently.

Steven Low 10-14-2009 06:13 PM

Re: Stalled on press, even going backwards
 
Quote:

I suspect its overuse in disguise - there have been heavy thrusters, Fran, ring dips, shoulder press-push press-thruster etc. in between. So essentially, when the program calls for one pressing day per week, I'm getting 2 or sometimes more. I also don't have micro plates and don't have the option of adding 2.5lbs.
Fractional plates won't help when this is happening.

So.. sorry to the other people who commented about fractional plates

Clinton Canaday 11-05-2009 10:26 PM

Re: Stalled on press, even going backwards
 
I've also stalled on my press (155 max for pretty much my entire 1.5 year CF tenure) and would like some insight. I'll try getting some 1.25 pound collars or weights or whatever that I can hang from the bar. I've tried correcting form, breathing techniques, eating more (Zone/Paleo with 1:1 gr protein to # BW and 2x fat, or about 3500 cals per day), following CFFB to increase strength (haven't tried strength bias, yet)...Frustrating.

James Rios 11-06-2009 12:15 AM

Re: Stalled on press, even going backwards
 
i too have been having similar problems, only i stalled much lower at 135. its a problem that has left me quite irritated...

one idea that a crossfit trainer friend of mine had seemed like it had merit...
he said that it might be a lack of midline strength... basically the midline is not strong enough to harness the strength necessary for the shoulders to do their job of getting the heavy bar overhead.
so i started working on my OHS, and other midline stuff. im pretty sure it helped... BUUT i havent been able to see any real improvements yet because i got the flu just about the time i would have started to see improvements...
so yeah...
just an idea...

Blair Robert Lowe 11-06-2009 02:19 AM

Re: Stalled on press, even going backwards
 
James, if you think it's your midline, evaluate how much midline strength you have? Can you DL and squat a lot of weight (BS&FS)? I can do a decent amount but my core strength from a lot of gymnastics leaves me no doubt when it comes to midline strength, or I'd like to think so.

Gordon Cooke 11-06-2009 03:45 AM

Re: Stalled on press, even going backwards
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Jacob Cloud (Post 679883)
Yep, time to get some 1.25lb plates. Made a HUGE difference for me, and helped me blow right past my previous sticking points. Also, follow the program better, and make sure you're eating enough to recover.

:yeahthat:

To the OP. I am having the same issue with my press. Stuck at 125 for sets of 5 and 135 for singles and doubles. I just got a set of fractional plates to break through this plateau. I know Rippetoe has mentioned this for breaking through plateaus, especially the press.

Clinton Canaday 11-06-2009 07:50 AM

Re: Stalled on press, even going backwards
 
Well, I've thought of doing extra work, but I've always wondered whether that is smart. I've read elsewhere that doing the WOD's by themselves is all that I SHOULD do to expect full recovery and gains. That said, when and at what intensity should I get in some extra work? The only time that I work on my weaknesses is during warm-ups, which means that it's not high intensity and I'm likely to not see much benefit aside from technique (i.e. no strength gains). I also use the rest day like an extended warm-up. I guess I'm worried after having overdid it with CFFB (I don't think my core was ready for that).

Andy Gann 11-06-2009 08:53 AM

Re: Stalled on press, even going backwards
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Steven Low (Post 680150)
Fractional plates won't help when this is happening.

So.. sorry to the other people who commented about fractional plates

This is what I think also. I remember reading from the ************ program that too many pull ups (fran) will interfere with your pressing.

Try a week with no pull ups (other than the 3 sets on Monday) and no other OH work and see what happens. Rest more between sets, too ....

Clinton Canaday 11-06-2009 10:33 AM

Re: Stalled on press, even going backwards
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Andy Gann (Post 692053)
This is what I think also. I remember reading from the ************ program that too many pull ups (fran) will interfere with your pressing.

Try a week with no pull ups (other than the 3 sets on Monday) and no other OH work and see what happens. Rest more between sets, too ....

So...stronger lats (or other muscles involved in the pull-up) are fighting the press? I've heard of muscle groups fighting each other, especially chest and back, but I would say that you just need to keep pushing to overcome it. For every pull, do a push.

...Now that I think about it, we do a lot more pulling than pressing in terms of volume, like today's WOD (for me), which is the pull-up ladder. Any WOD that involves both is at most 1:1 (off the top of my head), like Fran...Filthy 50 is more push-oriented (barely)...I don't know. Any thoughts?

Andy Gann 11-06-2009 11:13 AM

Re: Stalled on press, even going backwards
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Clinton Canaday (Post 692110)
So...stronger lats (or other muscles involved in the pull-up) are fighting the press? I've heard of muscle groups fighting each other, especially chest and back, but I would say that you just need to keep pushing to overcome it. For every pull, do a push.

...Now that I think about it, we do a lot more pulling than pressing in terms of volume, like today's WOD (for me), which is the pull-up ladder. Any WOD that involves both is at most 1:1 (off the top of my head), like Fran...Filthy 50 is more push-oriented (barely)...I don't know. Any thoughts?

No. Not fighting each other. The OP mentioned a linear progression-type program.

If your goal is to add weight to the bar every week (linear progression) then you need to adequately recover and adapt to the previous stress. If you press on Monday (like in Wichita Falls) and then do ring dips on Tuesday and then Fran on Friday then you may not have given your body what it needed to recover and adapt from your press workout on Monday.

You have to decide what you are training for and focus. If you are training for strength (increases on the press every workout), then you need adequate recovery ... and fractional plates. :-)

Clinton Canaday 11-06-2009 11:40 AM

Re: Stalled on press, even going backwards
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Andy Gann (Post 692138)
No. Not fighting each other. The OP mentioned a linear progression-type program.

If your goal is to add weight to the bar every week (linear progression) then you need to adequately recover and adapt to the previous stress. If you press on Monday (like in Wichita Falls) and then do ring dips on Tuesday and then Fran on Friday then you may not have given your body what it needed to recover and adapt from your press workout on Monday.

You have to decide what you are training for and focus. If you are training for strength (increases on the press every workout), then you need adequate recovery ... and fractional plates. :-)

I am not training for anything in particular. I'm not an athlete. I just want GPP. I was following CFFB, which includes a strength regiment, from March to August. I was not making progress in the press after several months using 5lb increments even with Zone/Paleo + Dairy @ 1:1 gr protein per # BW and 2x fat and plenty of (good?) sleep. I am trying to stick to Crossfit main for now (because CFFB left my lower back in a perpetual state of soreness/stiffness), scaling to what I think is my ability level (usually heavier), but I will add the fractionals when strength days come up.

...Sound like a plan?

Gonzalo Fernandez 11-06-2009 12:10 PM

Re: Stalled on press, even going backwards
 
Save your money on overpriced fractional plates.

http://www.fastenal.com/web/products...0159694&ucst=t
(w/f/s)

A set of these weights in at 1.26 lbs and costs $6.

Clinton Canaday 11-06-2009 12:15 PM

Re: Stalled on press, even going backwards
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Gonzalo Fernandez (Post 692177)
Save your money on overpriced fractional plates.

http://www.fastenal.com/web/products...0159694&ucst=t
(w/f/s)

A set of these weights in at 1.26 lbs and costs $6.

Not a bad idea...or hang a small sack of rocks from each end of the bar or something. Easy to make, easy to weigh for accuracy.

Ryan Webernick 11-06-2009 01:12 PM

Re: Stalled on press, even going backwards
 
I think we are drifting a bit off topic, but how much does an actual 1.25 pound plate cost?

Clinton Canaday 11-06-2009 01:16 PM

Re: Stalled on press, even going backwards
 
I just thought I'd mention the following from the CFT that I did yesterday...
Got up to 155...slowly locked it out
Went for 165...got it to my mouth
Dropped to 160...got it to the top of my head (a little higher than with 165)
Dropped to 155...slowly locked it out

...Five pounds makes a big difference.

Andy Gann 11-06-2009 01:18 PM

Re: Stalled on press, even going backwards
 
I got some fractionals delivered from ebay for less than 15 bucks.

Gonzalo Fernandez 11-06-2009 05:17 PM

Re: Stalled on press, even going backwards
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Ryan Webernick (Post 692220)
I think we are drifting a bit off topic, but how much does an actual 1.25 pound plate cost?

A 1.25 lb. plate is actually adding 2.5 lbs to the bar, which for some people is too much, especially for the press. That is why you need two 0.63lb plates.

Jared Ashley 11-06-2009 09:26 PM

Re: Stalled on press, even going backwards
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Gonzalo Fernandez (Post 692177)
Save your money on overpriced fractional plates.

http://www.fastenal.com/web/products...0159694&ucst=t
(w/f/s)

A set of these weights in at 1.26 lbs and costs $6.

actually, if you do the math and calculate the volume (43.17 cm^3) and then the weight from the density of 7.9 g/cm^3 of steel, they weigh a little more... about 341 grams, or 0.75 lbs. (Sorry, it's the engineer in me)

If you want something that's a bit more "fractional" here's another one:

http://www.mcmaster.com/#98023a045/=4e6cji (WFS)

That one weighs about 0.41 lbs and costs $2.85 a pop. buy ten and you'll have increments of 0.8, 1.6, 2.5, 3.3, and 4.1 lbs for thirty bucks.

For those with standard (1" diameter) bars *points to self* here's one that weighs 0.52 lbs and costs $2.95:

http://www.mcmaster.com/#91117a250/=4e6fu6 (WFS)

Gonzalo Fernandez 11-07-2009 10:11 AM

Re: Stalled on press, even going backwards
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Jared Ashley (Post 692448)
actually, if you do the math and calculate the volume (43.17 cm^3) and then the weight from the density of 7.9 g/cm^3 of steel, they weigh a little more... about 341 grams, or 0.75 lbs. (Sorry, it's the engineer in me)

If you want something that's a bit more "fractional" here's another one:

http://www.mcmaster.com/#98023a045/=4e6cji (WFS)

That one weighs about 0.41 lbs and costs $2.85 a pop. buy ten and you'll have increments of 0.8, 1.6, 2.5, 3.3, and 4.1 lbs for thirty bucks.

For those with standard (1" diameter) bars *points to self* here's one that weighs 0.52 lbs and costs $2.95:

http://www.mcmaster.com/#91117a250/=4e6fu6 (WFS)

Do you actually own these? I do and my kitchen scale has 2 of them weighing in at just over 1.25 lbs, which interestingly enough correlates to the weight that the company posts on their website.

Jacob Cloud 11-07-2009 10:21 AM

Re: Stalled on press, even going backwards
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Ryan Webernick (Post 692220)
I think we are drifting a bit off topic, but how much does an actual 1.25 pound plate cost?


I got a pair of Ivankos for about 10 bucks, shipped.

Ben Sparks 11-07-2009 11:06 AM

Re: Stalled on press, even going backwards
 
In the end, I just switched from a 3x5 to a 5x3 until I can push ahead enough to backtrack & reset with 3x5 at a higher weight.

Was failing at (145x5)x3. So went to (145x3)x5. The next week was (150x3)x5. This week will be (155x3)x5. If I make that without failure, I'll try for (150x5)x3 in another week. Put up 170 on the CFT the other day, previous was 155, so something's working.

I also cut out any other overhead pressing on the other 6 days, subbing other angles (pushups, dips, etc) if pressing comes up in a WOD.

Jared Ashley 11-07-2009 02:18 PM

Re: Stalled on press, even going backwards
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Gonzalo Fernandez (Post 692593)
Do you actually own these? I do and my kitchen scale has 2 of them weighing in at just over 1.25 lbs, which interestingly enough correlates to the weight that the company posts on their website.

I do not... don't have a 2" bar. So I will have to defer to your kitchen scale.

Richard Paul Ham-Williams 11-10-2009 05:11 AM

Re: Stalled on press, even going backwards
 
OP,

if you suspect overtraining pressing have you tried the obvious; stop pressing for 10-14 days?

If you come back stronger then your answer is there.

Ben Sparks 11-10-2009 09:59 AM

Re: Stalled on press, even going backwards
 
Thanks, Richard. Yes, in the last 2 weeks of the strength cycle I stopped all overhead work (press, push press, thruster, HSPU, etc.) except for the single press day of the week. It helped, but changing the rep scheme was even more valuable.

Pedro Nabais 11-12-2009 10:36 AM

Re: Stalled on press, even going backwards
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Andy Gann (Post 692053)
This is what I think also. I remember reading from the ************ program that too many pull ups (fran) will interfere with your pressing.

Try a week with no pull ups (other than the 3 sets on Monday) and no other OH work and see what happens. Rest more between sets, too ....

This is interesting, because it seems to me that crossfit has more pulling than pressing, I don't have lifting experience prior to starting crossfit and I do believe my pulling strenght is much stronger than my press, in coach Sommers book "Building the gymnastic body" I could do all the progressions for pull-ups and only achieve 2/3 levels of pushups or HSPU. Maybe there is too much of a bias towards pullups in crossfit?

As a side note my press is at a lowly intermediate level from mainpage only, so I would also like to improve it.

Richard Paul Ham-Williams 11-12-2009 01:18 PM

Re: Stalled on press, even going backwards
 
Hi Ben, glad things seem to be on track for you.

Out of interest; how close to failure do you push at the moment?

Ben Sparks 11-12-2009 01:35 PM

Re: Stalled on press, even going backwards
 
Every pressing workout pretty much contains a failure. 3rd rep of the last set (3x5 or 5x3 - seems to happen the same place either way) I just try & bounce it back up but then stall about halfway over head. I have to bring it back down, take a couple breaths, and then finish the set with a new attempt. I don't go so far as to put the bar on the rack, though. I hold it the whole time, just need a pause to reset.

Max from last CFT was 170, and I'm working currently at 147.5 which is around 85%. Is there a better way to go about that? If so, I'm definitely listening...

Richard Paul Ham-Williams 11-12-2009 01:46 PM

Re: Stalled on press, even going backwards
 
How long have you been training without a break?

If you're looking for max strength in a lift then I would suggest backing off 147.5 (over 85% of max) for a while if your max is 170. Practice the lift as often as possible (3-5 days per week) with as much rest as possible between reps - avoid anything approaching failure for a while and just "grease the groove" for a week or two. Then perhaps try a max again and see what happens.

If you are rested enough and dont get a new max then it is possible you have reached your max strength with the size and technique you have.

You may just need to get bigger. Any muscle has a limit on what it can do at a particular size.

Aaron Gainer 11-12-2009 03:15 PM

Re: Stalled on press, even going backwards
 
Take a break. Regressing is a sign your body is overtrained and needs more recovery.

David Meverden 11-12-2009 05:59 PM

Re: Stalled on press, even going backwards
 
I too have been frustrated by the press. I thought if I tried to make only small jumps (typically 2.5 lbs per week to the top set of ascending sets, was using a regime similar to CFSB: I made 1.25 lb "plates" out of lengths of chain I bought at the hardware store) I could get away with 1 day a week pressing. Wrong. In short, I couldn't make novice, workout to workout gains with my current schedule, caloric excess, and sleep schedule. If I rearranged my life more, sacrificed more for my press, or was going to accept more weight gain maybe I could make this pressing stimulus be enough, but instead I'm attempting to use more intermediate programming to accomplish the same end.

What I'm trying now is a Texas Method inspired change. In the Texas Method (an intermediate program that Rip advocates once novice gains are exhausted) you do a lift 3 times a week. Example:
Monday: 5 sets of 5
Wednesday: 3x3 or 2x5, fairly light
Friday: 1 HEAVY set of 5

Now I'm pressing twice a week, once 5x5 and once 1x5, heavier. I get more pressing stimulus without having to spend the time necessary to do two entire press workouts (1 set of 5 and warmup can be knocked out pretty fast before a WoD), and I don't feel as daunted since I'm not always trying to duplicate the last workout--but with more weight.

I'll let you know how it goes.

Ben Sparks 11-13-2009 10:36 AM

Re: Stalled on press, even going backwards
 
Well, I took an inadvertent "break" last week - had the flu. Couldn't even get out of bed for 4 days, then another 5 went by before I had the strength to do any kind of workout. Finally went back to it Saturday, just about coughed up a lung, but did squats & presses. Picked up where I'd left off with the press before and couldn't complete all 5 sets. So the rest period didn't help either...

I actually finished my whole 8-week strength cycle 2 weeks ago. I had a brachialis-insertion injury which prohibited pulling and demanded rest, so I did 8 weeks of the squats, press, and DL portions of the CFWF program, and used non-pulling mainsite WODs for the metcons, with a 10-minute cutoff, completed or not. That program worked very well on the squat, my 3x5 went from 245 to 285 and max went from 305 to 325. I did a CFT on each end, and went from 870 to 900.

So I planned next to do the 20-rep squat cycle. 8 weeks, twice a week. You take 80lbs off your 5-rep max (so for me, 285 to 205) and do 1 set of 20. You add back on 5 lbs per workout, and by the end of the 8 weeks, you're doing a 20-rep set of your previous 5-rep weight. I was going to carry on with the press work also, but I'm just not sure its really helping.

Yesterday, after the C&J's I did Herm Blancaflor's supplementary work prescription of choosing front squats, hang sq. cleans, or rack jerks and doing 3-3-3-3-3 of that, whichever was weakest in the C&J. I did the jerks, at 80% of my max C&J, and they felt really good. So I might change from strict pressing to more push press/push jerk/split jerk type work to build overhead strength for a while. I know if I add in push presses, OH squats, power snatches, etc. it will help my overhead strength and eventually raise the strict press as well.

Sound logical?

David, I'm very interested in your progress also. Keep us posted on how the TM works for your with your pressing.

David Meverden 11-13-2009 04:21 PM

Re: Stalled on press, even going backwards
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Ben Sparks (Post 695554)
Well, I took an inadvertent "break" last week - had the flu. Couldn't even get out of bed for 4 days, then another 5 went by before I had the strength to do any kind of workout.

David, I'm very interested in your progress also. Keep us posted on how the TM works for your with your pressing.

Remember that the flu isn't rest for your body, your body is working damn hard to fend off the disease. Some strength loss is to be expected.

I'll keep you posted on the results of my current press effort.

Graeme Howland 11-14-2009 11:36 AM

Re: Stalled on press, even going backwards
 
Have you tried breathing between reps at the top of the press versus with the barbell racked? I think I suggested this earlier. I just say it again because I am right around your numbers, I just did 145 for 3 sets of 5 this week and my best single is 170. I find breathing at the top makes a huge difference.

Aaron Gainer 11-16-2009 05:21 PM

Re: Stalled on press, even going backwards
 
You need to scale back your 1rm max a bit(10% off your current 1rm) and start over. Frustration and tons of misses means your not ready for the weight yet.

It sucks taking a step back, but I myself have seen more benefits from going a bit lighter when programming than using a current 1 rm and struggling to pr weights. Reason why I like Wendler's 5/3/1 program. Teaches you to scale back, think outside the box and don't just fall into the mindtrap of weight prs, when you can make rep prs with a weight that will increase your 1rm in the long run.

Patience is a virtue. We all have good and bad days in the gym. Failing is part of the game, but multiple failures equals more time spent reprogramming and getting back on the tracks.


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