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iron_worker 12-08-2007 09:15 AM

DB OHP and BB OHP Question
Well, it seems I'm slowing down real bad on my standing military press progress. The way my schedule works out, it gets worked out once a week on a non bench day and then the next week it gets worked twice but both on bench days.

I was wondering what you guys thought of switching the twice a week OHP to dumbells to try and change it up and stimulate some growth. Obviously, I'm not going to be able to go as heavy on those days if bench is first anyways. I would still be hitting the once a week day real heavy with BB to hopefully progress some more.

What do you think? Is it enough? Any other ideas?



Ross86 12-08-2007 10:22 AM

At least one of the workouts during the two-a-week OHP could be DB. That's how I always try to do day DB, the other BB if I'm hitting it twice a week. I don't know about both days...I think that's something you'll have to try and see for yourself.

Personally during that week I would start the first bench workout with BB bench press and then follow it (maybe some other minor accessory exercise in between) with DB OHP. Then the second bench day I would start with BB OHP and then do DB bench. It's hard to increase if all of your OHP is done while you're fatigued so moving it to the front of the line should allow you to move more weight.

iron_worker 12-08-2007 07:03 PM

I don't like the idea of putting OHP ahead of bench since bench is a much heavier lift and seems you would benefit most from it. It does get a day where it is uncompromised once every other week. Maybe thats not enough. I don't mind the idea of the DB bench tho... Hmmm.

Ross86 12-08-2007 08:52 PM

Yeah, I know what you mean. It's a sacrifice. I had the exact same problem though. My bench is pathetic, but my OHP was even worse and after I got my bench up a little, I decided to work on that, so I moved the OHP ahead of bench on one day. It worked for me, but I don't know if there is another better way.

EricT 12-09-2007 10:35 AM

If your shoulders are healthy and you are up to overhead pressing...explain to me how benching would benefit you more except for in a benching competition or pec size. As far as general strength and performence I'd look at overhead pressing over bench anytime. For that matter, I'd look at pullups over benching as a better general assessment. Don't forget that with bench you are laying prone and your body is stable. You don't have to stabilize you entire body against the heavy weight like you do in pressing. Bench pressing is easier than overhead pressing. Leverage is a very big deal with guys that can becnch a lot..not just true functional strength. You want to see who really has the most functinal strength then overhead pressing is going to really show it not that any one exercise is "the test".

There are just many reasons to promote it....including a better bench press. There is only one strenght athlete for which bench would be more important that overhead pressing and that is the powerlifter. Before that it mainly became popular because of the size it gave and because it was "easy". Strength guys used to not touch it because of how 'easy' it was compared to the stuff they normally did. Doing an exercise lying down? What are you lazy? :biglaugh:. That's the kind of attitude I'm talking about.

How much weight is on the bar is only one aspect of the benefit of a lift. The idea that the "heavier" exercise is always better is a misguided and ultimately self-defeating way to train. How heavy you can go on something has as much to do with favorable mechanics and leverage as anything else. In other words, it has to do with how "easy" it is compared to something else that uses the same amount or more muscle. Intensity doesn't always mean the same thing with different movements. Intensiveness, however, can tell you a lot about where your deficits are.

People likewise think that lat pulldown is "better" than pullups because you get the 150 pound dude handling the huge stack. But then that dude can barely do 1 or 2 pullups and would be hard pressed to find some functional benefit from the pulldowns like he would get from the pullups.

I'm not trying to say benching sucks and nobody should do it of course. I'm just trying to take it down a few notches to a more realistic level because there is really no reason anyone should be toture by a decision about what press to prioritize. If you want to improve your overhead pressing then by all means prioritize it in whatever ways are realistic for you. Don't let bench be the decding factor. A better press will likely lead to a better bench anyway and you won't be losing much in the long run by sometimes putting bench second.

Look at how Rip lists out exercises and you will see that he puts Press first in the list before bench pressing every time.

iron_worker 12-09-2007 02:17 PM

Well I guess I never really thought of it in the sense that military press is much more of an entire body workout..and the leverage aspect.

I guess putting bench as a second priority once every other week probably wouldn't hurt in the long run.

As far as bench being an "easy" way to gain size... well thats kinda why I am working out. I want to get bigger. Don't get me wrong, I love making strength gains but size was my priority up till now. I think now that I'm cutting I'll probably focus more on strength since I'm probably not gonna gain any muscle during my cut anyways.

Thanks for the advice again Eric.


EricT 12-09-2007 02:26 PM


As far as bench being an "easy" way to gain size... well thats kinda why I am working out. I want to get bigger. Don't get me wrong, I love making strength gains but size was my priority up till now. I think now that I'm cutting I'll probably focus more on strength since I'm probably not gonna gain any muscle during my cut anyways.
Absolutely. I am not trying to get you to sidestep your goals or adapt mine :). Just trying to give you some stuff to consider to help decide on things. BUT I actually feel that I get better size benefits from overhead pressing. That could just be me because I don't get a huge chest from bench pressing anyway so in order to bring up my chest with the rest of me I have to supplement with a little "bodybuilding style" benching.

iron_worker 12-09-2007 02:32 PM

Damn you're fast! lol I read a couple other threads and what do ya know, you've responded. lol

Well I'm gonna talk to my workout parter about it. See what he figures. I think prioritizing OHP once a week would help alot.

Pitysister 12-09-2007 02:59 PM

on the size of the chest part...the only gains i've noticed in that area have been when i started doing weighted dips...benching never did anything for the chest for me...

Ross86 12-09-2007 05:28 PM

My chest gets bigger when I do DB bench AND BB bench... DBs engage the pecs a lot more than BBs...

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