Ages ago, I posted on ways to get over that plateau that inevitably rears its ugly head with the press. Probably everyone’s first lift to transition to the Wendler progression in the gym, the press can be frustrating when you don’t see improvement. In the last post, I mentioned Bill Starr’s suggestions of trying to switch to triples and/or adding weighted dips as an accessory exercise after class or on active rest days.
A few other ways to work on improving your press are:
1: Press Starts: After your regular press set, load the bar with more weight and drive off your shoulders as fast and hard as you can. Repeat for a total of three reps.
2. Push Presses: If you struggle with the end of the press, try heavy push presses. Load the bar up with enough weight so that the bar’s momentum stops about 4 inches from lockout. Press the remaining 4 inches. Repeat for a few sets of triples.
3. Kettlebell-Banded Presses: Loop bands on both ends of the barbell and hang a kettlebell from the band. Keep the total weight well under your press work weights. The moving/bouncing kettlebells will force you to stabilize and maintain a more rigid trunk.
If you find your press hitting a plateau after resetting your Wendler progression, check to make sure you’re not overtraining, your nutrition is dialed in, and you’re getting enough sleep. If none of those factors are relevant, talk to a coach about the above suggestions as well as the ones mentioned in Part 1.
Press 3×5 / Wendler
8 Heavy Kettlebell Swings
10 Toes to Bar
30 Double Unders