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  • 1 arm overhead press

    I wasn't sure where to post this, but figured you guys would have the most experience with this.

    I am currently training for power lifting using the 5/3/1 template of Jim Wendlers... On my Bench press day I use 1 arm standing overhead press as an accessory exercise (this is my 2nd exercise after I finish my primary exercise for the day). I have been doing 3 sets (each arm), trying to go a bit heavier each set. In the beginning I didn't have any problem progressing on all three sets, however recently my first set (currently up to 11 reps to failure) continues to gain a rep/week, but my heavier sets (below 5 reps) have stalled out to the point where the last 3 weeks I have only gotten 70lb (my heaviest weight attempted) for 1 rep. Should I scrap the heavier sets for a while and just focus on the 5+ rep sets, or just keep trying (assuming i'm making progress with the lighter weights) and be patient? Or is there a way to increase the weight without jumping up 5lbs in DB weight?

    Any help, or ideas about how you all approach this would be appreciated.
    -2013 USAPL Michigan State Championships 198lb Raw Mens Open, 1st Place (1217 total)
    -2013 USAPL Texas State Championships
    198 Raw Mens Open, 2nd place (1216 total)
    -2012 USAPL Longhorn Open
    198 Raw Mens Open, 1st place (1177 total)
    -2012 USAPL Aggie Showdown
    198lb Raw Mens Open, 2nd place (1137 total)

  • #2
    I would say scrap the heavier sets for now. A one arm dumbbell press is an exercise that can very lend itself to a considerable amount of body english. This could lead to difficulty in judging progress.

    If you do wish to continue, there are several methods for microloading a dumbbell. The most accurate being plate mates. If those are not in the book (they can be prohibitibly expensive), then you could always stop by a Hardward store and buy a few pieces of small chain or something else you could easily wrap around the dumbbell handle beside your hand.

    My question back to you is: How are you using this exercise to benefit the main lift?
    FEAR THE FROG


    Originally posted by John Broz
    If your family was captured and you were told you needed to put 100 pounds onto your max squat within two months or your family would be executed, would you squat once per week? Something tells me that you'd start squatting every day. Other countries have this mindset. America does not.

    Comment


    • #3
      I think I will take your advice and stick to higher reps, so that I can better judge progress like you said.

      As far as how I use to to benefit the main lift I guess I use it more to compliment my overhead press (done 3 days previously). I like this exercise, and I have been trying to stick with all pressing movements for assistance work. I typically will do 1 assistance exercise for the main lift on that day, and one assistance exercise for the other upper/lower lift the other day of the week. Here is what i'm talking about in case i'm over complicating it.

      MON:
      main lift-standing OH press
      assistance- dips (general pressing strenth)
      assistance- incline DB press (BP and OH assitance)
      assistance- pull-ups (OH assistance)
      assistance- kroc rows (BP and grip assistance)

      TUE:
      ML- Deadlift
      as- box squat (for squat and deadlift)
      as- front squat (for squat and DL)
      as- Hammer curls (for the bit of vanity I have left)
      as- coffin sit-ups (for core strength)

      THUR:
      ML- Bench Press
      as- 1 arm standing OH press (for OH press and general pressing strength)
      as- close grip DB floor press (for bench press)
      as- pull-ups (OH and bench assistance)
      as- seated pulley rows w/rope grip (bench and grip assistance)

      FRI:
      ML- squat
      as- lunges (squat assistance)
      as- Stiff leg deads (DL help_
      as- seated calf raises (vanity)
      as- hanging leg raise (core strength)
      -2013 USAPL Michigan State Championships 198lb Raw Mens Open, 1st Place (1217 total)
      -2013 USAPL Texas State Championships
      198 Raw Mens Open, 2nd place (1216 total)
      -2012 USAPL Longhorn Open
      198 Raw Mens Open, 1st place (1177 total)
      -2012 USAPL Aggie Showdown
      198lb Raw Mens Open, 2nd place (1137 total)

      Comment


      • #4
        I may put the plate mate on a Christmas list for my wife... will they stick to rubber coated DBs or is the magnet too weak?
        -2013 USAPL Michigan State Championships 198lb Raw Mens Open, 1st Place (1217 total)
        -2013 USAPL Texas State Championships
        198 Raw Mens Open, 2nd place (1216 total)
        -2012 USAPL Longhorn Open
        198 Raw Mens Open, 1st place (1177 total)
        -2012 USAPL Aggie Showdown
        198lb Raw Mens Open, 2nd place (1137 total)

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by bbjeff86 View Post
          I may put the plate mate on a Christmas list for my wife... will they stick to rubber coated DBs or is the magnet too weak?
          Too weak Jeff. I purchased them, they weren't cheap and I ended up gifting them to a friend.

          Since then I have purchased another magnetic brand that does stick. Will get the name for you if you're interested.
          SAVE 5-10% @ TRUENUTRITION.com Use code: LG100

          - Success is the best revenge

          Comment


          • #6
            i use the chain method, like John Caesar mentioned. Works great. I just got out my food scale and weighed them. (2)1.25lbs and (2)2.5lbs

            Was cheap think it cost me like 20$ for the chain and the cheap little aluminum carabiners you get in the check out isle at Lowes or HD

            works nice. so I can progress like this for example

            70lb db

            71.25
            72.50
            73.75

            75lb db

            Comment


            • #7
              Thanks for the help.... LG1 I would be interested in the name, just in case i'm too lazy to make it to HD or lowes lol.
              -2013 USAPL Michigan State Championships 198lb Raw Mens Open, 1st Place (1217 total)
              -2013 USAPL Texas State Championships
              198 Raw Mens Open, 2nd place (1216 total)
              -2012 USAPL Longhorn Open
              198 Raw Mens Open, 1st place (1177 total)
              -2012 USAPL Aggie Showdown
              198lb Raw Mens Open, 2nd place (1137 total)

              Comment


              • #8
                ummm, the only thing I can think of is that your back is limiting your progress.

                On Monday you are doing pullups and kroc rows, both hitting upper back and lats, even "middle back".
                On Tuesday you are doing deadlifts, with also using your back during both squat exercises.
                On Thursday you are using your back for stability in the press, even in bench if you arch, and at least try to keep it a tight arch. Then you finish up with more back work.
                On Friday you also use your back for squats and sldl.

                Unless you have awesome recovery, I would think your back would be hindering your progress. The simplest solution i see without changing your programming would be to try the press seated with back support. Just use the press to help build/strengthen your delts and triceps, your back should get enough work.


                ** This is only under the assumption that you are standing up, no belt, one hand on your hip, no leg dip to create a push press, and you have a pronated grip the entire length of the press...... as every aspect could create its own problem....

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by bbjeff86 View Post
                  Thanks for the help.... LG1 I would be interested in the name, just in case i'm too lazy to make it to HD or lowes lol.
                  http://www.thewegg.com/
                  SAVE 5-10% @ TRUENUTRITION.com Use code: LG100

                  - Success is the best revenge

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Interesting thread, I'm very fond of 1 arm DB presses so I'll be following this. All I can give you is to go with higher reps. I tend to progress better on DB stuff with higher reps anyway and I think that especially rings true for shoulder work.
                    Disclaimer: I am not a DC trainee/expert/guru/coach, anything I say is purely my opinion based on experience and research I've read

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Are you failing due to shoulder strength? or core/back strength?

                      I'm actually doing the same thing.. 5/3/1 w/ single arm as second exercise on bench day.

                      I just do it for high reps... 3-5 sets of 10 with 55# is about where i'm at now.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I'm fairly certain that i'm failing due to shoulder strength... I have trouble driving out of the bottom position with the heavier weights.

                        thetim, you could be right about too much back work, but i'm not sure. I'm progressing on all of my back exercises (sometimes not as much on pull-ups but those can be tricky progression wise when gaining weight anyways), and on all other exercises. I understand what your saying about OH press, bench, etc. hitting the back too... but in my eyes it would seam that the back is just acting as a stabalizer and not actually doing any concentric/eccentric work... it's more just staying tight and giving your upper torso support. I actually feared early on that I wasn't doing enough for my back as on upper body days I do 3 presses, but only 2 pulling/back movements... but then again I have the pulls on DL day, and squat day... so I suppose that equals out. I'm still pretty young (25) so my recovery, especially with the 3 days off/week from lifting is pretty decent I think.

                        I think I will try to drop the really heavy sets and stick to the 6+ rep range for now, and then if the future get some chains or plate magnets.
                        Last edited by bbjeff86; 06-24-2011, 06:48 PM.
                        -2013 USAPL Michigan State Championships 198lb Raw Mens Open, 1st Place (1217 total)
                        -2013 USAPL Texas State Championships
                        198 Raw Mens Open, 2nd place (1216 total)
                        -2012 USAPL Longhorn Open
                        198 Raw Mens Open, 1st place (1177 total)
                        -2012 USAPL Aggie Showdown
                        198lb Raw Mens Open, 2nd place (1137 total)

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by bbjeff86 View Post
                          I'm fairly certain that i'm failing to to shoulder strength... I have trouble driving out of the bottom position with the heavier weights.

                          thetim, you could be right about too much back work, but i'm not sure. I'm progressing on all of my back exercises (sometimes not as much on pull-ups but those can be tricky progression wise when gaining weight anyways), and on all other exercises. I understand what your saying about OH press, bench, etc. hitting the back too... but in my eyes it would seam that the back is just acting as a stabalizer and not actually doing any concentric/eccentric work... it's more just staying tight and giving your upper torso support. I actually feared early on that I wasn't doing enough for my back as on upper body days I do 3 presses, but only 2 pulling/back movements... but then again I have the pulls on DL day, and squat day... so I suppose that equals out. I'm still pretty young (25) so my recovery, especially with the 3 days off/week from lifting is pretty decent I think.

                          I think I will try to drop the really heavy sets and stick to the 6+ rep range for now, and then if the future get some chains or plate magnets.
                          understandable, my post was on the premise that when I do an overhead press shortly after a heavy dl day, my back is usually tired, and i end up using more of my shoulder and triceps to muscle up the weight.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Have you tried doing it as a push press just to see what kind of weight you can handle with that?

                            I've been having better luck with accessory work so far not going to failure and just using it to pump more volume into my workout.
                            Last edited by Barge; 06-24-2011, 05:09 PM.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Barge, My first rep is usually a push press to get the weight moving, and then the rest are strict form... Like I said earlier I think i'm going to take note of the suggestions and make my assistance work a little less max effort.
                              -2013 USAPL Michigan State Championships 198lb Raw Mens Open, 1st Place (1217 total)
                              -2013 USAPL Texas State Championships
                              198 Raw Mens Open, 2nd place (1216 total)
                              -2012 USAPL Longhorn Open
                              198 Raw Mens Open, 1st place (1177 total)
                              -2012 USAPL Aggie Showdown
                              198lb Raw Mens Open, 2nd place (1137 total)

                              Comment

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