Starting Strength Book Club (SSBC) - Chapter 3: The Press

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  • Vailara
    Vailara Posts: 2,453 Member
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    So now I'm confused. This is an Olympic press - is that different to a "conventional" press? I've been reading this (nice pictures near the end) and still not clear if this is the one in the book or not.
  • MissHolidayGolightly
    MissHolidayGolightly Posts: 857 Member
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    Pretty sure they are the same.* Rippetoe explains in the intro to the chapter that the press used to be performed in the Olympics but people were bending back so much to perform it that it was almost like a bench press. Then the bench press became more popular and the press got stigmatized as bad for the shoulders.

    *I'm typing this from memory so I might have made some errors.
  • MissHolidayGolightly
    MissHolidayGolightly Posts: 857 Member
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    I worked on my hip bounce today. It made the exercise much different but it felt really cool! I took a video which I'll put on Instagram tonight or something.
  • ar9179
    ar9179 Posts: 374 Member
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    I tried the hip bounce, too, and was a hot mess! I noticed that I do it within a smaller range, already, but starting out like the video demonstrates (with hips far forward) did not go well. I'm going to experiment with just the bar this weekend and see if I can coordinate better...after practicing some air presses this week.
  • MissHolidayGolightly
    MissHolidayGolightly Posts: 857 Member
    edited May 2015
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    Here is the video. Don't mind my fanny pack. Let me know what you think.

  • canadianlbs
    canadianlbs Posts: 5,199 Member
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    i tried it yesterday too. i'm completely uncoordinated at it - and weak. couldn't get a thread of a bounce onto even the 20lb bar and the bar path sure feels different. but with all that said, it was almost disconcerting how evenly the bar seemed to go up and keep right on moving, compared with my previous form. it's a lot more like lifting the bar with your whole body instead of just from your armpits up. and the lockout felt different too, somehow.

    one note i made was that 'quads' was a little too imprecise for me. when i tried it, i kept that whole discussion with rippetoe in mind, where tommy's saying 'the very top of your quads' and poking rip in the seam of his boxers almost, and rip's going oh, hip extensors. if i don't keep that in mind i found i was letting the epicentre of my quad tension point move down my legs a little and centre more in the middle of my thighs. but really i think suggs is saying it's a much smaller area of tension than that and it should be much closer to your hipjoint.

    i'm kind of torn but i have a feeling i won't be able to leave this idea alone, at least for a while.
  • MissHolidayGolightly
    MissHolidayGolightly Posts: 857 Member
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    It felt a tad awkward but it felt much more powerful once I started. Instead of deadening my lower body and using only the upper body, everything was a part of it.

    You're right the bar went right up and down. I was surprised to see how straight of a travel line it made. It helped I performed it in a part of the gym that is a funhouse of mirrors so I could see.

    Don't remember much about the feeling in my quads or hips. I'll need to pay attention to it next time.

  • canadianlbs
    canadianlbs Posts: 5,199 Member
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    Instead of deadening my lower body and using only the upper body, everything was a part of it.

    exactly this, yes. i never could get rippetoe's version of it right, so all this time i've just been standing like a stock and pushing the bar into the air. i was using every muscle i've got, but most of them i was just using isometrically to keep myself straight. it's not uncommon for me to get a quad cramp while i'm standing around with the bar over my head, actually. so far ime with the suggs form, there's a lot more glute than legs going on.

    (ima be boring and think out loud here) in my old style, i keep my hips stacked right over my feet and my shoulders right over my hips, except for a couple inches of deviation at the start to make sure that i don't take my nose off. with this one, it looks like your shoulders stay over your feet but your centre of gravity doesn't. it moves out in front of them, then back behind them a bit. and then it comes forward again until you're re-stacked by the time you lock out. i'm pretty reluctant to lose that stacking because of all those fragile little shoulder muscles, but when i was doing the suggs thing it didn't feel like i was out in front of myself. i think i ended up with the bar further back than you seem to, but maybe the camera angle's deceiving me.

    did it feel okay on your back, to you? the main thing that worries me about this style is not trusting myself to to know the difference between what's right for this lift and lumbar overextension that would be well bad for me.
  • canadianlbs
    canadianlbs Posts: 5,199 Member
    edited May 2015
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    i'm a theory nerd tonight. for those who dont' have the ss book, i found this e-version of the press chapter online:

    http://www.allthingsgym.com/the-overhead-press-starting-strength-chapter/

    i don't know if posting this infringes anything but of course i hope not.
  • Vailara
    Vailara Posts: 2,453 Member
    edited May 2015
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    I posted above and didn't post the link to what I was reading! Here it is: http://startingstrength.com/articles/olympic_press_starr.pdf . The pictures at the end show something like what we see in the Tommy Suggs video above. But it's not what I think I see in the book (where there's just a slight lean back), or the wiki http://startingstrength.wikia.com/wiki/FAQ:The_Lifts#The_Press (slight hip extension and no back lean) or the videos: http://startingstrength.wikia.com/wiki/Press_Videos. So I was wondering if the Tommy Suggs video is showing a different lift, or a different technique. I can't seem to put the two demonstrations together.

    I suppose that in competition, you'd want to lean back more so you could push extra weight? But that it's not needed in the Starting Strength programme, where you're just building strength (and have the bench press as part of it too)? Or is this an improved, updated technique that I should be using instead of the old one? (Or am I just reading the book wrong - ha ha!).
  • canadianlbs
    canadianlbs Posts: 5,199 Member
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    i'm not sure. again, wish he'd given ohp the same love that he gave to the squat, instead of all the railing about physiotherapists (although that has its place too). or that he'd explained any differences during the video at some point. the only real difference i see between this and the rippetoe form is that layback and the second hip pop. but i don't know if the difference is intentional or if rip just somehow forgot to mention that it should happen while you're 'slamming your torso' etc.

    i read the starr article and picked up another shred of information. he said you tighten all the muscles but don't lock your knees while you do that first forward push from the hips. the locking comes in when you shoot them back over your foot as the bar's starting up. it was also interesting to see from starr's thing that i'm not imagining the speed of the bar when i do it suggs-style. guessit really is moving much faster than when you stand like a pillar of salt and just move your arms.
  • MissHolidayGolightly
    MissHolidayGolightly Posts: 857 Member
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    My back felt fine. I was careful not to lean back too far and I kept my core and glutes tight so as not to leave weakness there. I visualized the movement as a chain reaction: tighten, lean back slightly, pop hips, shoot arms up, return to start. Even if this isn't exactly as Rippetoe describes, he isn't against it considering he did a video with Suggs. It goes without saying that I could put up more weight eventually this way than with isolating the upper body.
  • MissHolidayGolightly
    MissHolidayGolightly Posts: 857 Member
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    Realized I was pressing 65 instead of 60 last workout which explains my struggle. I'm going to start a chapter 4 thread, as well.