Overhead Press *whines* WHY ARE THEY SO HARD?

So I started the 5x5 program about three weeks ago and was doing great with my 5lbs adds... except for the damn Overhead press. I got up to 60lbs, and then hit a wall at 65lbs - and actually had to go backwards to 55 last night. I'm strong and solid on everything else... I've looked up some videos to make sure I'm following proper form... does anyone have any advice? I LOVE this program and am determined to make it through the first 12 weeks, I just think I'm doing something wrong...
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Replies

  • alteredsteve175
    alteredsteve175 Posts: 2,633 Member
    Sounds normal to me. I have had the same issues when doing 5x5. Quiksylver listed a good option - micro plates. Just keep working.
  • youngmomtaz
    youngmomtaz Posts: 1,075 Member
    Yup to the micro plates. Women gain muscle slower then men so they are very useful. Going up by 5lbs in such a small muscle group can’t last forever. I have been stuck at 90lbs for ages and forever but I love them!!
  • Normal. My ohp plateaued quickly. And my bench as well actually.

    I would switch to a programme that uses RPE. Try the barbell medicine beginners prescription which is fee or the bridge,also free. I’m assuming you are a beginner to lifting.
  • MaltedTea
    MaltedTea Posts: 6,287 Member
    Doing any lift with proper form takes practice and reps. Microplates are a perfect idea if you have access to them!

    There's also the idea of working the same muscles but differently (without overexertion, of course). Surely there must be an official name/term for this that fitness trainer's use...but I don't know what that is lol

    For example, maybe an eccentric workout 2x weekly?

    5x5 is kinda set up to work upper body less often than lower body so perhaps check in with a personal trainer to see if you have "room" to schedule in an alternative upper body workout if you think it could be helpful for your long-term progression.

    FWIW, I just discovered the eccentric approach as a complement to lifting thanks to the Tapp Brothers this spring so I can't say for 100% sure that it'll work. When I have plateaued on 5x5 in the past, I hyperfocused on form and/or switched to my aqua bag (where possible) so that I could get some variation and feel like I'm doing SOMETHING. I swear that program messes with my brain and self-esteem lol
  • Jthanmyfitnesspal
    Jthanmyfitnesspal Posts: 3,193 Member
    @MaltedTea always has thoughtful advice!

    My 2c is that OPs are inherently awkward. We just aren't naturally strong in this motion. It also can be hard on the rotator cuff. One thing that helps is to also lateral raises (some people do them instead).

    Here is a rando doing lateral raises on YouTube. I do it with *much* less weight. Can also be done with a band held to the floor with a foot. Start very light!

  • MaltedTea
    MaltedTea Posts: 6,287 Member
    @MaltedTea always has thoughtful advice!

    My 2c is that OPs are inherently awkward. We just aren't naturally strong in this motion. It also can be hard on the rotator cuff. One thing that helps is to also lateral raises (some people do them instead).

    Here is a rando doing lateral raises on YouTube. I do it with *much* less weight. Can also be done with a band held to the floor with a foot. Start very light!


    ☺️ Just trying to keep up with all of you! It never occurred to me to use the microplates when at the gym, for example. And perhaps I can update my home gym with some.

    Also major lol at "here is a rando"
  • sgt1372
    sgt1372 Posts: 3,974 Member
    Hard 4 men. Even harder for women. It's bio-mechanics and genetics.

    It's an opposing motion but developing the strength to do pullups will help develop the stength to do OHPs too.
  • Chieflrg
    Chieflrg Posts: 9,090 Member
    edited June 2020
    AKTipsyCat wrote: »
    So I started the 5x5 program about three weeks ago and was doing great with my 5lbs adds... except for the damn Overhead press. I got up to 60lbs, and then hit a wall at 65lbs - and actually had to go backwards to 55 last night. I'm strong and solid on everything else... I've looked up some videos to make sure I'm following proper form... does anyone have any advice? I LOVE this program and am determined to make it through the first 12 weeks, I just think I'm doing something wrong...

    Your not doing anything wrong, it's just the beast of the exercise and the LP program you chose.

    You might be able to adjust your technique to help.

    You could adjust the volume to a more appropriate scheme like 3x5 or drop the intensity on other sets and still progress for a couple weeks more than likely.

    Unfortunately SL is a LP and not very friendly for progress of the lifts that use smaller muscles that can recover easier and doesn't allow for adding frequency or load management for much time.

    I certainly wouldn't consider it a fail, you just need more appropriate programming for that lift which isn't uncommon and would happen to 99% of people.

    If you like free review and advice, you can post a vid on my form review thread and I would be happy to help from a technique prospective as well.
  • AKTipsyCat
    AKTipsyCat Posts: 238 Member
    You guys are awesome! Thanks for all the input. I also took note that I went from lifting with a four person rotation to a two person rotation and I had a lot less time for recovery between sets, it hadn't even occurred to me that it would make so much of a difference. But yeah, duh, when you're used to 5 minutes between sets vs. 1.5 minutes, it sure does make a whole heck of a lot of difference.
  • knightmagic
    knightmagic Posts: 100 Member
    i got up to 135lbs and then couldnt get past 140 ended up going down a bit got back up and then got super sick and when i came back doing 110+lbs is TOUGH. It's a difficult exercise but it doesn't take much weight to get a good work out in. I own the .5lb micro plates so i've been using those as well. Excited for gyms to open soon and then building my own gym in my soon to purchase house! Chief is super smart and can def help. I've checked out his forum posts and yeah he knows his stuff. Once i get back to it i'll be sending him videos as well. be patient and enjoy it :)
  • RepswithRyan
    RepswithRyan Posts: 171 Member
    Overhead flexibility and mobility play factors in why the overhead press is much more difficult due to the opposing contractile forces.

    It is an exercise that requires posterior chain development and this can be developed with drills.

    https://www.t-nation.com/videos/6-weeks-to-superhero-overhead-complex
  • AKTipsyCat
    AKTipsyCat Posts: 238 Member
    Overhead flexibility and mobility play factors in why the overhead press is much more difficult due to the opposing contractile forces.

    It is an exercise that requires posterior chain development and this can be developed with drills.

    https://www.t-nation.com/videos/6-weeks-to-superhero-overhead-complex

    Thanks for the video!!
  • deputy_randolph
    deputy_randolph Posts: 941 Member
    I stopped doing OHP altogether after I injured my shoulder at 90lbs. I realized that I had probably hit a wall with progression, my form was starting to go, and didn't want to injure my shoulder again. My PL coach was pleased to hear this b/c she hated OHP anyway.

    I used microplates and tiny jumps in weight...and there was a lot of deloading and working back up in weight. I replaced it with machines and dumbbells. My shoulders look great, and my bench shot up...mostly b/c I wasn't injured.
  • I stopped doing OHP altogether after I injured my shoulder at 90lbs. I realized that I had probably hit a wall with progression, my form was starting to go, and didn't want to injure my shoulder again. My PL coach was pleased to hear this b/c she hated OHP anyway.

    I used microplates and tiny jumps in weight...and there was a lot of deloading and working back up in weight. I replaced it with machines and dumbbells. My shoulders look great, and my bench shot up...mostly b/c I wasn't injured.

    Thinking about it I stopped doing ohp since lockdown in March and switched to dB presses. I’m making some gains. Nowhere near 90 pounds tho!
  • sheena_shewell
    sheena_shewell Posts: 48 Member
    If you want to make that area stronger doing handstands may help. Start by leaning your feet against a wall and holding yourself up as long as you can.
  • mickstar_2003
    mickstar_2003 Posts: 7 Member
    Micro plates are ideal and how are you doing your overhead press. I prefer seated dumbbell shoulder press to standing military press, i find im much stronger in the seated position.
  • AKTipsyCat
    AKTipsyCat Posts: 238 Member
    Micro plates are ideal and how are you doing your overhead press. I prefer seated dumbbell shoulder press to standing military press, i find im much stronger in the seated position.

    I've been doing the standing ones.