TODAY I performed my best ever overhead press with anything, ever. My OHP has been my slowest-progressing lift of all, thanks to injury, surgery and, generally, having ‘small shoulder bones’*. I’ve had a fair bit of cartilage shaved off, and some Kevlar screwed into the humeral ball, to make it stronger. But considering I could clean-press a 90-95 kilo log or axle two years ago, pressing 110 today is a personal achievement way, way behind the curve for a heavyweight Strongman with my training history. I should be, as a conservative estimate, clean-pressing 120-130 for reps. I have a lot of work to do in this area, and I have to be smart about how I program it. The low volume, twice-per-week approach has been working well. I just have to know when to quit, like today. That 110 was a strict press, and it was a struggle; continuing on would have aggravated either my shoulder or tendon while achieving nothing. Very, very happy to report that neither was an issue, and neither became an issue, today.
Realistically, my programming is going to have to further change, including my expectations for my pull routine, unfortunately. To begin with; heavy SM events training is off the cards between now and the Perth Cup. I’m still going to do some stuff, like pressing and carrying, but max effort Yoke, Farmers, Car walk, etc is not a good idea, for a couple of reasons. My CNS is stable for now, but that is going to change as my weekly loading increases. And I really should get my knees fixed before I try a heavy walk again, and fuck them good. The best man to see for those has a long waiting list.
Each week I resolve to resume squatting the following Monday, and each week something happens to further aggravate them, particularly the right one. It’s always my right – I am so left-dominant that I am underdeveloped on my right side, and that disparity promotes injury. Right shoulder, right hip, now right knee.
Anyway, back to my ever-changing programming; after discussions with my coaches, it’s apparent I’m going to have to scale back those deadlift rep ranges if I want to have enough left in the tank for the comp. Not by a lot, just one rep here, two reps there. For instance, while trying for 10 of 250 kilos is theoretically achievable next week, I won’t recover enough to then go balls-to-the-wall with 260 the week after, and then try the same with 270 the week after that… something’s gotta give, and it will be my CNS.
Ordinarily, what I’d programmed would have been right on the money for a training cycle; making those big, big reps for as long as I can will reap dividends down the track, but I want to build my strength as much as possible over a set period – which is a different, shorter-term goal – and without risking burnout.
*This was the prognosis of the first surgeon I went to see. While discussing my x-rays he remarked that I had very small shoulder bones for a strength athlete.
warmup w/DBs & bands
minor accessory work
Swiss bar OHP (strict)
35 kgs x 8
55 kgs x 6
75 kgs x 3
85 kgs x 3
90 kgs x 3
100 kgs x 1
110 kgs x 1 PR