The overhead press is a lift that has fallen in and out of vogue with people in the gym. Could be a multitude of reasons. It’s hard, you may not be able to use as much weight as when benching, and (going back to number one) people tend to avoid things that are difficult.
It mostly has fallen out of line because of the bench press, which is a shame. I’m pretty sure that if I didn’t have to bench because of sport, I wouldn’t, and would solely do overhead presses instead. Putting your bodyweight or more overhead is just… well, it’s just damn strong. There’s really no other way about it.
But, because the OHP (I abbreviate because I can) is rarely used in any Powerlifting competition and the bench press is, the OHP is a great assistance lift to benching. Quite possibly the best accessory there is, honestly.
To those who don’t press, my buddy Ken sent me a text today citing his OHP and Bench Press maxes from the beginning of 5/3/1 until today, and both have gone up significantly. He made certain to include this quote, “I’m fairly certain these correlate”.
OHP: 135 to 250
Bench: 250 to 350
The point is, if you’re not pressing, it’d be wise to start. The press will strengthen your triceps, shoulders, the clavicular portion of your chest, and a slew of musculature that supports various structures that make you strong as an ox.
Per usual, if something’s tough, chances are it’s worth doing. So, hop to it and get some shit above your head.
Written by Jay Stadtfeld for LiftBigEatBig.com