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Thread: For Mass-building is Push Press a better option than Military Press?

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    For Mass-building is Push Press a better option than Military Press?

    I have been reading a lot about eccentric phase of lift is important. I have experimented some lately and slowed down my eccentric phase. Besides being brutally hard I think its definitely elevating my gains (strength wise its too early to tell about mass or anything).

    So I was thinking about OH pressing and whether it would be beneficial to switch to Push pressing now instead of more strict military. My reasoning is that A) I can get more weight on bar with push press and B) if I keep the weight same I can get more reps out definitely (like half as more added onto what I could get military probably).

    This would result in a greater stimulus during the eccentric phase (which is identical for push press and OH press at least the way I do them) and thus a greater amount of hypertrophy (provided that I feed the workout properly).

    Does this make sense/sound reasoning?
    Last edited by samadhi_smiles; 06-02-2009 at 09:18 AM.

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    kind of the same reasoning behind 'cheat curls' where you curl up bar with some momentum just so you can lower it reallllllll slowly down and tear up your muscle fibers during eccentric phase.

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    Senior Member OGROK's Avatar
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    Use your hips and lower back more, not your legs. Push press takes a lot of the tension off the muscle. If you don't lean back at all I think the OHP can be dangerous to your shoulders.
    Last edited by OGROK; 06-02-2009 at 03:19 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by OGROK View Post
    Use your hips and lower back more, not your legs. Push press takes a lot of the tension off the muscle. If you don't lean back at all I think the OHP can be dangerous to your shoulders.
    Which lift are you referring to? (bolded) OH Press, yea?
    Last edited by ZenMonkey; 06-02-2009 at 04:06 PM.
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    Is pushpress the one with the double dip or just one dip to get it started?

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    What I am referring to as push press is an overhead press with leg drive to generate the initial momentum (and then delts and tris carry the lift through to completion), You're right OG that the PP takes tension off in the concentric (up) phase. But the majority of systematic tearing of muscle fiber is done in the eccentric phase (apparently!?). So it makes sense to me to do whatever you can (SAFELY) to get the concentric phase finished with so you can sustain a brutal slow eccentric. The more weight you can use or more reps you can bust out means the more time you spend under eccentric load.

    I push it up there and then lower it down for 3-4 seconds each rep. Its very very brutal after 6-8 reps of that. I hope its 'sound reasoning' though and I'm not gypping myself out by missing out on concentric phase tension with the standard Military OH.

    All I care about is getting as nasty strong muscles as possible. If concentrating on the eccentric phase does that then I'll do that.
    Last edited by samadhi_smiles; 06-02-2009 at 07:07 PM.

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    That would be an advanced technique or a technique used to get through a sticking point. If you are to the point in your training where it will be useful can only be decided by you and your track record of progress. If youve never done it then give it a try and track your results.
    Sarvamangalam!

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    sweet! well I guess I'm wondering overall why more people don't do dynamic presses if the eccentric phase is where the real muscle fiber tears are done. It just makes sense to me I guess but in practice maybe it works out differently.

    Well I'll experiment like you say (half the fun of working out!).

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    I use both methods, I do the standing overhead press and the push press. I mainly do a strict standing press for pure strength but I also do the push press to help break pass sticking points and to increase my total body strength.

    Technique is very important with a heavy push press, very easy to tweak something in your back.

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    Quote Originally Posted by samadhi_smiles View Post
    What I am referring to as push press is an overhead press with leg drive to generate the initial momentum (and then delts and tris carry the lift through to completion), You're right OG that the PP takes tension off in the concentric (up) phase. But the majority of systematic tearing of muscle fiber is done in the eccentric phase (apparently!?). So it makes sense to me to do whatever you can (SAFELY) to get the concentric phase finished with so you can sustain a brutal slow eccentric. The more weight you can use or more reps you can bust out means the more time you spend under eccentric load.

    I push it up there and then lower it down for 3-4 seconds each rep. Its very very brutal after 6-8 reps of that. I hope its 'sound reasoning' though and I'm not gypping myself out by missing out on concentric phase tension with the standard Military OH.

    All I care about is getting as nasty strong muscles as possible. If concentrating on the eccentric phase does that then I'll do that.
    Sam provides some good information. The Push Press allows you to position the weight so that you can perform an eccentric.

    Some research has indicated that you eccentric strength can be as much as 50% greater than your concentric strength. However, that makes no sense.

    That would mean if you could Press 200 lbs, you theoritically could lower 300 lbs. I guarantee that 300 lbs would drop like a rock on you.

    A more realistic percentage for eccentrics is 20-30% of your 1RM concentric movement. Thus, if you could press 200 lbs, between 260 -260 would be your 1RM eccentric in a press.

    In peforming 8 reps (as Sam noted above), you use load of approximately 80% of 1RM, you max. That means that in performing an eccentric press that you would use about 195 to 210 lbs for 8 eccentric reps (240 lbs X 80% = 192 ls and 260 lbs X 80% = 208).

    One of the problem associates with eccentrics is Delayed Onset of Muscle Sorness, DOMS. DOMS can be minimized if you start out with a very like load (as you would with any concentric movement) and progressively increase the load.

    Also, research show that over time you body become acclimated to an eccentric moement. The research showed that NO soreness occured after the initial first week.

    One of the keys is to easy into a new movement.

    Kenny Croxdale

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    Quote Originally Posted by samadhi_smiles View Post
    sweet! well I guess I'm wondering overall why more people don't do dynamic presses if the eccentric phase is where the real muscle fiber tears are done. It just makes sense to me I guess but in practice maybe it works out differently.
    Sam,

    The last thing anyone wants is to "tear the muscle", a misnomer. What you mean is you want to stress the muscle so that it adapts.

    Kenny Croxdale
    Last edited by Kenny Croxdale; 06-03-2009 at 10:19 AM.

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    If you are looking for shoulder mass (deltoids) there is a bit of a flaw in using the push-press to replace the military press, as it is not the same as comparing cheat curls to standard barbell curls.

    When analyzing the Military Press you generally use your deltoids to initiate the movement from your collar bone to just above your head, and then finish the press using your triceps. On the push press you initiate the movement with your legs to that point just above your head, and then finish with your triceps - so you are basically disinvolving your shoulders. This would be the opposite of what you are trying to do with the overload.

    If you really wanted to do eccentric overload for deltoid work there are not very many options - since even reverse bands or chains would be doing the opposite of what you are trying to accomplish. Your best bet would be to have a spotter assist you on the concetric portion of the lift and then do a slow negative from there.

    Overall though I would not use this principal for shoulder work. Deltoids are a small muscle group and can grow with just a few heavy sets of a safe movement like dumbell pressing. You can also include more incline pressing in your chest workouts if you would like to involve your shoulders more.

    Full range of motion is one of the most overlooked things when it comes to shoulder training, and pressing in general. If you are doing military presses from your chin then you are selling yourself short.
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    Chubbs McGee Auburn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kenny Croxdale View Post
    That would mean if you could Press 200 lbs, you theoritically could lower 300 lbs. I guarantee that 300 lbs would drop like a rock on you.
    In my own experience, I might have to side with being able to lower ~50% more than being able to press. A couple of weeks ago I worked up to a heavy single on the press at 80 kilos. A couple of weeks ago I was also able to jerk 120, then lower it back to my shoulders and attempted another jerk. Now, I haven't been training the press itself for almost a year, so it's pretty weak at the moment. But, I've done tons of other overhead work, so that may explain the discrepancy in my case.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Mutaffis View Post
    If you are looking for shoulder mass (deltoids) there is a bit of a flaw in using the push-press to replace the military press, as it is not the same as comparing cheat curls to standard barbell curls.

    When analyzing the Military Press you generally use your deltoids to initiate the movement from your collar bone to just above your head, and then finish the press using your triceps. On the push press you initiate the movement with your legs to that point just above your head, and then finish with your triceps - so you are basically disinvolving your shoulders. This would be the opposite of what you are trying to do with the overload.
    Tom,

    Excellent point.


    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Mutaffis View Post
    If you really wanted to do eccentric overload for deltoid work there are not very many options - since even reverse bands or chains would be doing the opposite of what you are trying to accomplish. Your best bet would be to have a spotter assist you on the concetric portion of the lift and then do a slow negative from there.
    I disagree. Bands allow you to overload the the movement throughtout the movement. Thus, when lower the weight a great load with the bands is produced at the top (you strongest position).

    As you lower the weight, you are in a weaker position. However, the bands are shortening, decreasing the load in you weaker position that provide the shoulders and mucles in that angle of the lift with adaquate overload.

    As an example is lowered 200 lbs from overhead. At the top of the movement, near lockout, you can easily handle the weight. However, once you enter the lower half of the eccentric movement, the load is a bit more than the shoulder can handle in that biomechanical position. The weight will drop like a rock.

    However, if you lets say have Reverse Bands attached to the bar, you are able to lower the bar much slower in the bottom part of the movement.

    That the reasoning for band or chains, accomodation of resistance.


    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Mutaffis View Post
    Overall though I would not use this principal for shoulder work. Deltoids are a small muscle group and can grow with just a few heavy sets of a safe movement like dumbell pressing. You can also include more incline pressing in your chest workouts if you would like to involve your shoulders more.
    I believe this is another effective method of working the shoulders.

    As you note, dumbbell pressing is a great shoulder movement. It for one thing, it allows you to work the shoulder from different angles.

    I've also found that Band and Chain Dumbbell Pressing is a great movement.

    Reverse Band Dumbbell Pressing. This movement can be peformed with Country Power Hooks. http://www.powerhooks.com/

    Place the dumbbell in the hook in a power rack. Then hook a band to the top of the power rack. Just as with bands attached to power bars, as you lower the weight, the bar deloads with less resistance in your weaker position.

    As you drive the bar back up, the bar reloads it with more resistance in your stonger position.

    You can use bands or chain on a dumbbell by attaching a Spud Strap. It would be easier to demonstrate this in a video, rather than describe it.

    While we're on the subject of Spud Staps, they are a nice training tool but over priced. You can purchase the same basic strap at McMaster-Car.com for about half the price.

    Enter "Lifting Straps" in "Find Products" at top left of the McMaster-Car.com site.


    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Mutaffis View Post
    Full range of motion is one of the most overlooked things when it comes to shoulder training, and pressing in general. If you are doing military presses from your chin then you are selling yourself short.
    Another good point.

    Kenny Croxdale
    Last edited by Kenny Croxdale; 06-03-2009 at 11:10 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Mutaffis View Post
    Full range of motion is one of the most overlooked things when it comes to shoulder training, and pressing in general. If you are doing military presses from your chin then you are selling yourself short.
    Would you say the standard OH press is better, in that you lower to your clavicle, use a bit of back snap, and press directly overhead rather than slightly out in front of your face? IE the press used in Starting Strength.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Auburn View Post
    In my own experience, I might have to side with being able to lower ~50% more than being able to press. A couple of weeks ago I worked up to a heavy single on the press at 80 kilos. A couple of weeks ago I was also able to jerk 120, then lower it back to my shoulders and attempted another jerk. Now, I haven't been training the press itself for almost a year, so it's pretty weak at the moment. But, I've done tons of other overhead work, so that may explain the discrepancy in my case.
    Auburn,

    You may be the exception to the rule in this case. However, the majority of lifters/athletes who believe they can lower 50% more than they can push up are out of their fricking tree.

    That would mean a guy who could bench press 300 lbs X 1RM (I am sure there are quite a few on this board), would then be able to lower 450 lbs.

    I can pretty much guarantee that in that eccentric senario, the weight is going to drop like a rock on the lifter's chest.

    Even better, don't believe me...load the bar up to 450 lbs and take it for a ride...

    Kenny Croxdale

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    Chubbs McGee Auburn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kenny Croxdale View Post
    You may be the exception to the rule in this case.
    Sure, it's possible. I really have no idea about most eccentric strength, so I tried to give reasoning behind why I may be an exception above. Also, I'm relatively weak, and if I had to guess I'd say the eccentric:concentric ratio may be higher for those like me.

    I certainly don't believe any arbitrary number would hold for a whole population, even if it did for a certain groups. I've found statistics as a whole to be bad math.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kenny Croxdale View Post
    [COLOR="Navy"]

    I disagree. Bands allow you to overload the the movement throughtout the movement. Thus, when lower the weight a great load with the bands is produced at the top (you strongest position).

    As you lower the weight, you are in a weaker position. However, the bands are shortening, decreasing the load in you weaker position that provide the shoulders and mucles in that angle of the lift with adaquate overload.

    As an example is lowered 200 lbs from overhead. At the top of the movement, near lockout, you can easily handle the weight. However, once you enter the lower half of the eccentric movement, the load is a bit more than the shoulder can handle in that biomechanical position. The weight will drop like a rock.

    However, if you lets say have Reverse Bands attached to the bar, you are able to lower the bar much slower in the bottom part of the movement.

    That the reasoning for band or chains, accomodation of resistance.
    I agree that bands and chains are very valuable and a great tool for shoulder training.

    When you are talking specifically about eccentric training though, bands would defeat the purpose in my opinion since they are providing more assistance toward the bottom. Then again, as you mentioned there are biomechanical disadvantages and the bands may help to balance things so that you have the same amount of perceived tension throughout the entire range of motion (which makes sense).

    It would really come down to how they were set up and if the band tension matched the actual differences in your top and bottom range. Perhaps better for someone with a shorter range of motion, or for others simply pressing out of the bands at the top and letting the bands pick up when the bar is halfway down.

    Overall I think that we are in agreement that band / chains are good tools to use, and that eccentric training for shoulder development is not the most effective way to increase hypertrophy for that muscle group.

    For bench press doing reverse band and overload work makes sense when talking about CNS conditioning, etc.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Auburn View Post
    Sure, it's possible. I really have no idea about most eccentric strength, so I tried to give reasoning behind why I may be an exception above. Also, I'm relatively weak, and if I had to guess I'd say the eccentric:concentric ratio may be higher for those like me.
    Auburn,

    You reasoning was a logical answer.


    Quote Originally Posted by Auburn View Post
    I certainly don't believe any arbitrary number would hold for a whole population, even if it did for a certain groups. I've found statistics as a whole to be bad math.
    Statistics is only bad math if incorrect data is collected. As the saying goes, "Garbage in garbage out."

    However, when the right protocol is utilized in gathering data, the statistics can be deadly accurate, within a certain margin.

    Two of the factors necessary in the accuracy of statistics are:

    1) Large numbers

    The larger the number of participants, greater ability to predict an event. Insurance companys are great examples of the use of Large Numbers in their research.

    2) Repeatable outcome.

    For any research to be accurate, you must be able to repeat the experiment and get the same results with multiple group people.

    There is some additional criteria used as a means of insuring the accuracy of the statistics.

    Kenny Croxdale

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    Strongman Tom Mutaffis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kenny Croxdale View Post
    Auburn,

    You may be the exception to the rule in this case. However, the majority of lifters/athletes who believe they can lower 50% more than they can push up are out of their fricking tree.

    That would mean a guy who could bench press 300 lbs X 1RM (I am sure there are quite a few on this board), would then be able to lower 450 lbs.

    I can pretty much guarantee that in that eccentric senario, the weight is going to drop like a rock on the lifter's chest.

    Even better, don't believe me...load the bar up to 450 lbs and take it for a ride...

    Kenny Croxdale
    Great point, that figure may have been intended for untrained individuals or beginner lifters. I know that when I was first starting out and my bench press (common exercise) max was around 190 lbs, I could have probably loaded the bar with 250 lbs and done a relatively controlled negative.

    If you talk to someone who is a 400 lbs bencher and told them to load up 600 and see if they could lower it, then it would probably not end well.

    Those numbers especially do not apply to explosive movements. My best best push jerk is 340 lbs, and there is no way that I would ever want to try to lower 510 lbs from above my head in a standing lockout position!
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    ^ I wonder if that is because not a lot of people incorporate eccentric training into their program. They lift for the concentric max, which would after a while 'catch up' with the naturally higher eccentric strength (cause the eccentric portion would always be trained submaximally when one is maxing out the concentric strength). Does this make sense?

    So I wonder if you had taken that same 400lb bencher and had them do specific eccentric training to maximize their strength concurrently with the concentric programming. I bet their eccentric strength would start creeping up into much higher numbers than their concentric strength with that direct specificity of training.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kenny Croxdale View Post
    Sam,

    The last thing anyone wants is to "tear the muscle", a misnomer. What you mean is you want to stress the muscle so that it adapts.

    Kenny Croxdale
    yeah sorry speaking poorly...I meant the systematic stress that controlled weightlifting provides. You're right to correct that use of my phrasing.

    Some awesome info in this thread! Thanks so far for all your thoughts! Real interesting stuff.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kenny Croxdale View Post
    Statistics is only bad math if incorrect data is collected.
    I have issues with how the observations are applied, much the same as I do with epidemiology. Generalized statements tend to not make a difference on the individual level where random and unpredictable events have far-reaching consequences. My biggest pet peeve is when researchers take a collection of data points and distribute an average across the set. So when I hear women say they have to get pregnant at 29 because certain risk factors go up when they hit 30, a little part of me strokes out and dies. But, this discussion is about overhead pressing, so I don't want to take it off-topic.

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    Quote Originally Posted by samadhi_smiles View Post
    ^ I wonder if that is because not a lot of people incorporate eccentric training into their program. They lift for the concentric max, which would after a while 'catch up' with the naturally higher eccentric strength (cause the eccentric portion would always be trained submaximally when one is maxing out the concentric strength). Does this make sense?

    So I wonder if you had taken that same 400lb bencher and had them do specific eccentric training to maximize their strength concurrently with the concentric programming. I bet their eccentric strength would start creeping up into much higher numbers than their concentric strength with that direct specificity of training.
    An excellent research article on this is Warren Frost "Eccentric movements..." http://www.strengthandconditioning.o...20Training.pdf

    Chris Thibaudeau is a proponent of incorporating eccentric into your program. Thibaudeau has written about it in his books and articles at t-mag.

    Dr Micheal Yessis' book, The Secretes of Soviet Sports... goes into eccentrics.

    Kenny Croxdale

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    do you think a good way to incorporate eccentric training is doing what DCers do with 3-5 second eccentric phases? Or would you suggest other means of focusing on eccentric training? (like having assistance during concentric like Tom mentioned).

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