View Full Version : overhead press experiment
09-30-2010, 06:57 PM
This is something pretty stupid I did for about a month, which didn't turn out too bad. I did high frequency lifting with the strict press. I started with 135 for 5x5 which was a PR. I continued to lift 135 lbs, 25 times every day for about a month. Very straightforward. Of course to get all 25 reps I would have to do some sets of 2, 3 or 4 depending on how much my performance had dropped. My performance dropped for about 2 and a half weeks before bottoming out. At this point I had trouble just doing a set of 2. But nearing the 4th week I had gone all the way back up to 135 for 5x5. Unfortunately I couldn't pay for the next months gym membership, so my experiment was cut short at this particular point.
Does anyone have any predictions as to what would have happened? I hope at some point I would have gone up and beyond 135. Say for example 6 reps 6 sets. Still it was interesting for me to see that despite lifting that much, I didn't blow out a shoulder, hurt myself in any way, or become a victim of the dreaded overtraining.
Arden Cogar Jr.
09-30-2010, 07:39 PM
I believe you would have continued improving on your strength until you again hit a plateau.
The human body has wonderful adaptive properties. Especially for the younger among us.
I have tried a similar strategy - every day squatting alternating heavy and light. Light days are always high bar ATG. Heavy days go from OHS/BS to FS. I'm on day 15 and I'm taking two days off to do a contest. I may be too old for it, but I could see doing it for 30 days straight, then dropping the light days for one to two weeks, then resuming for another 30 days.
Good luck and let us know how it progresses.
All the best,
09-30-2010, 08:27 PM
I agree with Arden... you would have continued to go up... but eventually hit a sticking point. I have never seen a training program that didnt eventually lead to a sticking point if some change wasnt made.
09-30-2010, 09:55 PM
I have no doubt that I would have hit a sticking point. I did it because I wanted to know if I put that much stress on my body, if it would recover. It did:)
What surprises me about it, is that it was working. I used to think that overhead pressing or any exercise for that matter, done anymore than 2 times a week with high volume was only for the advanced. Understandable ignorance on my part I suppose. Surprising how strength training is so complicated in it's simplicity.
Glenn, could you tell me if I'm correct in my thinking on this? Or is this too simplistic. My press went way down then all the way back up. So could I conclude that all you do to get stronger is tear your body down then build it back up? Not that there couldn't be certain nuances to it. But the general idea is to just cause a performance decrease then wait for, or speed up supercompensation? Auto regulation, deloads, switching exercises, whatever the strategy to allow supercompensation, it still all comes back to creating specifically, a performance decrease. If so I think this may be an art then anything else.
09-30-2010, 10:12 PM
James, you are pretty much right...
But, for a beginnner, a hard set of 5 then a day of rest is enough to "tear down then build back up" and you get a performance increase in 2 days, or 3 performance increases in a week.
For a more advanced lifter, it might take a hell of a hard workout on monday, then rest till friday (rest including one or two light workouts) and get a performance increase on friday.
For even more advanced lifters, you are looking at month or even two or three month long periods of time to accomplish the "tear down and build back up process".
Vastly different time frames, sure, but the same process.
10-01-2010, 12:34 AM
I see. I suspect your examples of the beginner and the more advanced athletes are similar to programs like starting strength, Texas method, and the more advanced 5x5 routines. Haven't I broken some sort of rule by pressing daily with decent volume then? Maybe that is not the right question to ask. But do you see the contradiction that I am seeing here? Programs like the Texas method or advanced 5x5 have rather low frequency. I'm training more than just the press but the squat and power clean as well. All with a larger amount of volume then in the 5x5 programs. While still being more or less a beginner. But I have made progress just lifting daily as hard as I can. Please don't take me the wrong way, I am just trying to understand how to get stronger. I hope this makes sense.
I'll try and expand my break down and build up idea better. Not that it is original or anything. There are obviously degrees in which you can break down the body. If I wanted to make an improvement in exactly 1 week from now, I would use the Texas method. If however I took the Texas method and added on say an extra day of volume I will likely have to wait longer then 1 week before I see any improvements. With the pressing daily that I did for a month, it could have likely have taken me 5, 6, or 7 weeks just to see one improvement. Not nearly as efficient as the Texas method. But still workable.
10-01-2010, 03:35 AM
Everything is workable. but how long did it take you to see progress? Could you have seen progress sooner if you had followed a different program?
Thats the whole point of the progression through the various programs that I have advocated for roughly the last 10 years, its all about making progress as fast as possible.
10-01-2010, 10:57 AM
Yes I agree that progress would have been faster if I had done less volume. Just enough to spur progress instead of enough to spur progress by kicking it to the ground, stopping on it and having to wait all this time for it to get back up and move somewhere.
Although one thing I noticed about lifting daily is that I no longer get very sore. Except for joint pain, but that doesn't effect my lifting or my daily life. Would adding extra light days to the Texas method, or any of the 5x5 programs keep me from getting sore? Like just adding an extra 2 light days. I don't see why not. Seeing as light days don't add to the overall stress of the program.
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