#342 – Advanced Press Programming


The press often challenges lifters and coaches as the lifter advances.

The press uses less muscle mass and less weight than the other lifts and is less forgiving of bar path deviations.  Because of this, the press doesn’t stress the body as much as the deadlift, squat, or even the bench press.  Heavy singles and missed reps don’t wreck lifters like a heavy deadlift single or a missed squat.  The press benefits from practice, with lots of triples, doubles, and singles.  Heavy singles especially help the lifter practice for PR attempts and competitions.

Niki and Matt discuss different approaches to advance the press.  Further away from a meet or attempting a PR, they like to program higher volume, full range of motion, stricter presses.  Exercises might include seated press and strict press and accessories.  Closer to a meet or attempting a PR, they like higher intensity, overloading partial ranges of motion, and more explosive variants.  Exercises include press lockouts, press starts, and a competitive version of the press using a hip throw or the Olympic press.

The other aspects of this lift is that people will miss this lift more than any others.  Weight loss negatively affects the press.  Small deviations from the most mechanically efficient bar path will lead to a miss.  They discuss how to cope with and confront the challenge of missing reps and understanding this is to be expected with the press.




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