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  1. #1
    Registered User lpaulgib's Avatar
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    Push Press vs. Overhead Press

    I'm currently doing a 3 day Pull/Push/Legs split that focuses heavy on compound lifting for strength and power over bodybuilding, but I don't hate on muscle gain. On my push days I start with dumbbell bench press then go into a push/press. But I'm wondering if for strength and power should I do a push/press and go with a heavier weight, or go lighter weight and do a more strict shoulder form press? I'm basically weight training for MMA, but I'm trying to bulk up some.

    Basically, do you think an overhead press or a push press would be better suited for weight training for MMA? As of right now, I try to switch between the two, and my workouts are fairy dynamic with a the same couple compounds like squats, deads, db bench, weighted dips, pullups, and an overhead press of some sort.
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    Registered User Engineer_Guy's Avatar
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    Make push press your primary pressing exercise and use strict press for assistance if at all.
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  3. #3
    Registered User undie28's Avatar
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    I like to use a strict military press and sort of "superset" it with push press. ie i get my max reps out with strict form on military press, then do another couple of push press to finish it off.
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  4. #4
    squatters rights liftingson's Avatar
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    go heavy with ur overhead presses (pushpress).
    My 5/3/1 progress can be found here.
    http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=142870321&p

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  5. #5
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    For bodybuilding purposes a strict press will always be better because removing assistance makes your workouts more consistent and progressive overload is easier to track. It's better activation of the target muscle too of course.

    As for MMA, push press MIGHT be better for developing total body explosiveness (probably sound like a major bro here). Just try to keep it consistent every workout.
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    Originally Posted by undie28 View Post
    I like to use a strict military press and sort of "superset" it with push press. ie i get my max reps out with strict form on military press, then do another couple of push press to finish it off.
    This is kind of what I do as well. I do some sets with strict press, and I finish off with some sets of push press.
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  7. #7
    Registered User Engineer_Guy's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by undie28 View Post
    I like to use a strict military press and sort of "superset" it with push press. ie i get my max reps out with strict form on military press, then do another couple of push press to finish it off.
    Except the idea of using a push press at all is to use more weight than a strict press would allow...
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  8. #8
    Pale Sasquatch Pride Farley1324's Avatar
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    Strict press or just use both.
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  9. #9
    Registered User undie28's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Engineer_Guy View Post
    Except the idea of using a push press at all is to use more weight than a strict press would allow...
    sure feels heavy after a set of military presses.
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  10. #10
    Pale Sasquatch Pride Farley1324's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by undie28 View Post
    sure feels heavy after a set of military presses.
    Do you actually do a military press? Super strict, standing barbell, with your heels together?
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  11. #11
    Registered User undie28's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Farley1324 View Post
    Do you actually do a military press? Super strict, standing barbell, with your heels together?
    yes. Perhaps feet just a little wider, but inside shoulder width.
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  12. #12
    Objective optimist Xuaxace's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by undie28 View Post
    yes. Perhaps feet just a little wider, but inside shoulder width.


    That is an overhead press then, millitary is only when the feet are next to each other like a millitary pose. I don't see much reason to do the millitary version though.



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    I personally do would do strict + push press as accesory.
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  13. #13
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    Would only recommend pushpress if you can do it properly. Aka clean grip rack with good leg drive.
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    Registered User MichaelCJ's Avatar
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    I think this is quite a sensible approach for serious MMA strength training / conditioning (beyond what the actual MMA training itself provides, I mean):

    http://www.muscledog.com/article/vie...O_MMA_TRAINING

    Not just the core lifts (which are solid, mind you); the whole thing.
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  15. #15
    Under Construction unity's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Engineer_Guy View Post
    Make push press your primary pressing exercise and use strict press for assistance if at all.
    why? just curious.
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    Originally Posted by scarboro View Post
    Would only recommend pushpress if you can do it properly. Aka clean grip rack with good leg drive.
    Here is the master at work.
    Why on earth would you have your elbows up like you had just racked a clean when doing an overhead press or push press? That's certainly not what Klokov was doing in the video -- unless you're talking about the pathetic rack position that most CrossFitters have when they try to clean anything.
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  17. #17
    Lack of iron &or sleeping SuffolkPunch's Avatar
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    Jamie Lewis (chaos and pain) is a big fan of push pressing - but he recommends that you stick to strict pressing until you can get 3x5 @ 85% of bodyweight... push pressing can tear your shoulders up - I speak from experience :-/
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  18. #18
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    Originally Posted by FeelTheFear View Post
    For bodybuilding purposes a strict press will always be better because removing assistance makes your workouts more consistent and progressive overload is easier to track. It's better activation of the target muscle too of course.

    As for MMA, push press MIGHT be better for developing total body explosiveness (probably sound like a major bro here). Just try to keep it consistent every workout.
    positively EXCELLENT response!! perfect...and could have ended the thread...
    Lift as MUCH as you can, for as MANY reps as you can,
    while in complete control of the exercise.
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  19. #19
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    Originally Posted by unity View Post
    why? just curious.
    I'm no expert on MMA training but the push press is well suited for those training in sports with an "explosive nature". The push press requires you to recruit the deltoids fast. Seems like something an MMA fighter would benefit from.
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    Originally Posted by Engineer_Guy View Post
    the push press is well suited for those training in sports with an "explosive nature". The push press requires you to recruit the deltoids fast. Seems like something an MMA fighter would benefit from.
    Yes.

    The program I posted a link to has both (or at least, can). Interestingly, the OHP is set, and the PP optional. Then again, it always has Power Cleans / Power Snatches.

    Personally, I've found PCs to be extremely good, for my mix of martial arts. I'll have to have a proper go at the PS some day (as opposed to simply experimenting for fun ).

    Fact is, you can do almost any lift explosively. However, some of them just come that way, and you can go as heavy as possible and they must still be explosive.

    At the very least, I'd suggest having one such lift in your program, OP.

    Clean (power/oly) and Press is quite a nice combo, fwiw.
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  21. #21
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    Strict press for hypertrophy, etc. (BB), push press for explosion (MMA/Football)
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  22. #22
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    Originally Posted by thomasDB View Post
    Strict press for hypertrophy, etc. (BB), push press for explosion (MMA/Football)
    I have not found this to be true. Prior to training for strongman, I never did push presses. Always seated, always strict, and liberally sprinkled in all manner of DB fly/raise etc. My shoulders generally looked "meh." After swapping over to push pressing various objects my shoulders blew up. I do some strict pressing (band resisted from a seated position with no back support), but the lion's share of my training is push pressing.

    Someone earlier mentioned that PP allows more weight than you can strict press, which is true. I rarely use weights that are greater than I can strict press. Probably less than 10% of my total training time. What I concentrate on is primarily speed and a solid/stable catch. I might even characterize what I do as a "push jerk" as I do rebend at the knee to catch the weight at lockout. I really only mention this as I have not found the conventional "strict pressing for muscle mass" to be true in my experience. Likewise, I've never found strict back movements to be conducive to growth either.

    Food for thought, nothing more.
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    Registered User Engineer_Guy's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by CookAndrewB View Post
    I have not found this to be true. Prior to training for strongman, I never did push presses. Always seated, always strict, and liberally sprinkled in all manner of DB fly/raise etc. My shoulders generally looked "meh." After swapping over to push pressing various objects my shoulders blew up. I do some strict pressing (band resisted from a seated position with no back support), but the lion's share of my training is push pressing.

    Someone earlier mentioned that PP allows more weight than you can strict press, which is true. I rarely use weights that are greater than I can strict press. Probably less than 10% of my total training time. What I concentrate on is primarily speed and a solid/stable catch. I might even characterize what I do as a "push jerk" as I do rebend at the knee to catch the weight at lockout. I really only mention this as I have not found the conventional "strict pressing for muscle mass" to be true in my experience. Likewise, I've never found strict back movements to be conducive to growth either.

    Food for thought, nothing more.
    Glenn Pendlay would agree with you on that one.

    http://www.t-nation.com/free_online_...pendlay_secret

    T NATION: Break down the push press for us. Why should the bodybuilder use it instead of, say, a military press?

    Pendlay: The push press has more carryover to pressing in general – bench press etc. – than any other upper body exercise. Show me a guy who can push press a big weight and he's going to be able to excel at any other pressing movement, even if he's never done it before.

    A big bench presser doesn't get that same carryover. I don't want to have 400-pound bench pressers who can't do anything else. The guy who can do heavy push presses doesn't have that problem. He's strong at everything.

    And that can't be done with the strict military press either. It's too hard to get it moving. You have such a weak point at the start that it limits the amount of weight you can use.

    With a push press, you can put 10 to 20% more weight over your head. You're forced to develop the ability to recruit those muscle fibers very quickly because you're pushing the bar off your shoulders with your legs and then your arms have to come into play, fast, so it doesn't stall. The ability to do that is very, very valuable.

    Second, with the push press there's just a huge overload at the top. That last six inches at the top is like doing a partial. That has a powerful effect on the body.
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    bring da ambalamps scarboro's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by darinaldi View Post
    Why on earth would you have your elbows up like you had just racked a clean when doing an overhead press or push press? That's certainly not what Klokov was doing in the video -- unless you're talking about the pathetic rack position that most CrossFitters have when they try to clean anything.
    Clean grip rack doesn't mean elbows pointing forward. It just means the bar resting on the shoulders and clavicles instead of on your wrists. Depending on your flexibility and proportions your elbows could be down or they could be much higher.
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    Originally Posted by scarboro View Post
    Clean grip rack doesn't mean elbows pointing forward. It just means the bar resting on the shoulders and clavicles instead of on your wrists. Depending on your flexibility and proportions your elbows could be down or they could be much higher.
    Yep the bar needs to rest on the deltoids where as most people tend to rest it on the clavicles.
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    Originally Posted by Engineer_Guy View Post
    Yep the bar needs to rest on the deltoids where as most people tend to rest it on the clavicles.
    Imo either one > wrists which I see most people doing.
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    Yeah, a little more I guess to show what I'm doing for a Pull/Push/Legs split....


    5x5 DB Flat Bench. (Currently pushing 105lbs full ROM)
    3x8 Push Press (Pushing around 155lbs)
    5x5 Weighted Dips
    3x8 Smith Incline Bench

    Then I'll do various burn out sets afterwards for a strong pump.

    My main concern I had with my program is I'm trying to gain some weight and I understand the importance of getting under some heavy weight. The main reason for not doing barbell flat bench is I've had a lot of shoulder problems stemming from it even with good form. I took a good honest look at my lifts and felt I was seriously weak in my overhead pressing ability.


    For the record, been doing push presses for several months, and my flat bench has sky rocketed, and my core feels great. I feel like I'm standing taller, and my core is getting insane work keeping those loads stable. Thanks for the advice guys!
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