I hadn’t intended on this being a series, but what the hell.

Tonight was my first true attempt at another of the four main lifts of Jim Wendler’s 5/3/1 program, overhead press (the others being squat, bench press, and deadlift).

There are a few options at my gym for the press and, in the past, I’ve stuck with the military press machine.

Tonight I ventured back into the CrossFit box area of the gym, set up a rack, and got some work done.

There was a bit of guessing about weights considering

  1. I haven’t been at it very long this go-around, so my weights haven’t really settled in, and
  2. I’ve never done any of this with a barbell and free weights.

Earlier in the day, I watched a video where Mark Rippetoe gave Brett from Art Of Manliness a very thorough walk through of the press, both the what’s and the why’s of the movement.

After watching that I knew what to pay attention to and what marks to hit. I also knew that Mark Rippatoe is a very intimidating man.

I felt pretty good in the movements and, based on the number of reps for my working sets, I’d say I got the weights right. I stuck with the press for my 5×10 assistance lift sets, Boring But Big style, and ended up having to drop my weights down a couple of times over the course of those 5 sets.

I know I’ve got a few things to work on in the next go:

  • My hands were a little bit outside my shoulders. I corrected that in the late sets and felt much better.
  • I need to keep my elbows in and under my hands.
  • I need to keep the bar higher on my chest, and closer to my nose on the lift.
  • The hip hinge to start the motion doesn’t feel quite natural yet.

The upper middle of my back, in line with the bottom of my scapula, felt a bit tight or compressed towards the end. Maybe someone has an insight as to what night be causing that, though I’m sure that’s tough without a video.

I’ll echo how I felt after the deadlift, I loved this. There’s something so gratifying about it just being you and the bar doing work. I like just being alone with my music (tonight was Killswitch Engage on shuffle) and the lift.

Next up is squats, which is actually the lift I’m most intimidated by. Last but not least will be bench, which haven’t figured out how I’m going to execute without a partner to spot me. Last time I did it at a slight incline in the Smith press rack, which I liked a lot more than the machines, but I’d love to be able to just get under a barbell.

New PR (since it was my first): 1 rep at 80 pounds.

Daily Routine Exercise Self Improvement


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