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BarbEricScotaku

Question Regarding A Point In This Article About Improving Ohp Strength

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Specifically, point 3:

 

(the rest seems to be solid advice)


Utilizing The Stretch Reflex

 

[...]

Initiating the Stretch Reflex

To initiate a stretch reflex on the first rep of the overhead press, here’s what you do:

 

Unrack the bar so that the initial starting point is at the Adam’s apple. This should be natural if you have your hands close enough together, just outside of shoulder width.

 

Step back into position, then when ready to press (see the mental cues earlier in the article), drop the bar down an inch or so towards the clavicles to initiate the stretch reflex.

 

You should find that the first repetition will feel much easier and more explosive compared to pressing from a dead stop.

 

Here’s what it should look like. It’s a little hard to see from this angle, but note the closer grip, higher starting position, and the slight dip of the bar before initializing the concentric part of the movement:

Update: John Recently got 260lbs

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PJNSUKpbPs0#t=33

Is This Cheating?

Now I know what you’re saying, it’s not a strict press! I know, but it’s still an overhead press nonetheless.

 

Some would consider this “cheating”, but I don’t think cheating is the right word. Even with a stretch-reflex, I am utilizing the same muscle groups to get the weight up.

 

My understanding of cheating in lifting weights when it comes to the technique itself is using momentum (ex. swinging the dumbbell in a dumbbell curl), using different muscle groups than the one intended to help drive the weight up (ex. leg drive in the overhead press), or changing your body position to help get the weight up (ex. excessive layback in the overhead press).

 

Would a touch-and-go bench press be considered cheating? Or a squat that does not pause at the bottom be considered cheating? These movements would get a bigger bounce than the overhead press simply because they start from the top of the movement. With the overhead press, the bar is at my Adam’s apple, then dips down a few inches towards my clavicles.

 

I’m not against a strict press at all, but I believe to limit yourself only to pressing from a dead stop will limit your strength gains.

 

I’m sure by using a stretch-reflex in the overhead, I would be able to press more during a strict press where the bar starts at the clavicles.

 

In the end, my goal is to become stronger. Using the stretch-reflex in my lifts is just one way I will do it.

Would avoiding the stretch reflex, starting from a dead stop each time (not just for this but for any lift where possible), result in more strength with that lift? Makes sense that it would, but I'm no expert or even beyond beginner at knowing these things. :) It does seem a good way to increase the weight lifted, but more weight doesn't necessarily translate into more strength, or so I hear. Or is this like what Art says, nothing to worry about unless you're planning to compete?

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Well, in any sport that has overhead pressing (Olympic lifting, Strongman) you don't have to strict press.  In Oly it's clean and JERK.  In Strongman it's as long as it gets over your head at full lock out (push press, strict press, jerk, dancing the watoozy).  So even if you compete you don't have to worry about it too much.

 

Folks who lean back to initiate the press invoke stretch reflex using the body--this includes Rip's 2.0 version of the press.

 

I'd say do what's necessary to get volume in with this lift.  If your focus is on bench, then having a slightly more strict press with a little stretch reflex to get things going will help build your triceps.  If your focus is on the press itself then work the press and it's variants.

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It depends on the goal in mind, for example: using the stretch reflex or doing push press type variations tend to help improve the bench press. Using a strict press without the stretch reflex (stopping for 3-4 seconds at the bottom of each rep) will improve the strict press and 1RM strength in the press.

 

Like FM said, almost all competitions that involve overhead pressing aren't incredibly strict about how you get it from your shoulders to locked out overhead. So it is completely up to you and your goals to decide how you want to do it.

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It can do, there's no definite answer as it depends on the lifters strengths/weaknesses.

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Not wanting to call you out OPie but you weigh 266lbs and you are OHP'ing 100lbs.  You shouldn't be worrying about using a little cheat yet.

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You shouldn't be worrying about using a little cheat yet.

Should I not worry about getting my form perfect right from the get-go?

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I would personally recommend doing all your reps dead stop if you're trying to get your 1RM up. When going for a max, the press will be done from a dead stop so that's how it should be trained.

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