Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The Press--Some Video

Tuesday, September 1, 2009
Work 8p-8a--159#
After losing my 20kg press when I was sick, I was bitching about it to a few fellow RKC's (in addition to posting about it), and a couple of wise friends suggested I use some Hardstyle wisdom and work on my tension with the bottoms up press...And one of those friends said, "Send me some video, and I'll tell you what I see." A blogpost was born...albeit a slightly delayed delivery.

I've been bringing my 12kg bell to work the last couple of weeks and greasing the groove with the BUP to help build proper tension. It has helped quite a bit. Tension is queen, and I've come to find the weak points in my creating it. Oddly enough, they are assymetrical. On the right, the tension comes fairly easily, but when it does slack off, it's usually in the lats. On the left, right arm/fist tension and butt tension are where I find myself lagging sometimes--mostly in the glute tension. Where last week I didn't get a single strict press with the 20kg during my two workouts like the one I did today, I got strict presses with both arms for the first 3 rounds today. The BUP has become one of my new favorite tools.

VIDEO 1: This is the first round of my workout today. The workout is set up to press the 20kg twice then grab the 12kg and do 2 BUP's, then switch arms. It was raining just enough that I was NOT getting much of a grip on the 12. You'll also notice that I dump the cap pretty quickly. I wear a ball cap almost all the time when I workout for a few reasons: 1. It keeps down on the amount of sun that gets in my eyes and therefore reduces my risk of migraine (which is a big risk because I get lots of them. 2. It keeps my hair out of my eyes. 3. It keeps sweat out of my eyes. 4. On days like today when it's raining, it keeps the rain out of my eyes. Pavel fussed at me at the RKC for always wearing a ball cap, said it hindered my line of sight and was throwing off my groove. That is never more poignantly clear than when I'm doing presses.

VIDEO 2: The rain was getting heavier, and my tension was suboptimal=Crappy first couple of attempts. I almost didn't post this video or video 1, but I decided some of the best input comes from the failed attempts.

VIDEO 3: When I realized the rain was going to keep coming (that's what you hear tap, tap, tapping), I decided to just go to the 16kg and press it 3 times/round like I did before adding the BUP to my workout.

VIDEO 4: Same as 3, but with the left arm.

VIDEO 5: After my sub-par run at the BUP this afternoon, I wanted to prove I can do it with good form and give a friend I know a good example to follow. ;) So I got some more video at work. Here's the right side...

VIDEO 6:...and here's the left.

The beauty of the BUP at a weight that one can't manhandle is that it must be performed with tension--from the ground up. Start with good tension in the clean: feet pushing through the ground, kneecaps pulled up into the quads, hamstrings pulled up into the glutes, glutes holding that imaginary quarter, lats locking those shoulders in, opposite arm tensing into a firm fist, tight grip on the bell, deep breath, pressurize and press through the bell to the sky with a hiss. Tension, tension, tension. It's beautiful.

5 rounds (did you notice I'm back up to 5?:) ) of...
20kg press x 1, 20kg pushpress x 1, 12kg BUP x 2 or 16kg C&P x 3
5 perfect elevated pushups
20kg walking lunge x 10
double 20kg Dead x 7
Plank x 30 sec
Rest 2 min
20kg Tabata Swing

YESTERDAY'S WORKOUT: ...Okay, so maybe it doesn't really count, but I did one round of 16kg Essentials because that's all the time I had.

SUNDAY'S WORKOUT: 5 (yep, I went up to 5 here,too) 4-rung ladders of black and purple band assisted pullups alternated with elevated perfect pushups. Between each rung of ladders one and 3 were knee-together squats into a one-legged pulse at the bottom for pistol work.Between the rungs of ladder 4, I worked partial pistols from the top. 2/sideBetween the runs of ladder 5, I did 30 sec of plank.


  1. Thanks for posting the videos, I can see exactly what is happening.

    With the bottoms up press, you are getting tight from the outset.

    You get tight, the forearm is vertical and you press.

    With the regular press, you:
    Lean to the outside,
    then to the inside (the bell starts upward),
    then start the press...

    The problem is that after you lean to the inside, you don't get tight. So the bell is up, but your not tight from the floor, and you collapse under the weight.

    Here is a visualization, before you start the press, try to get your shoulder as low as possible. This ensures full tension into the ground.

    You can also try the following sequence:
    * Clean the bell
    * Get the forearm vertical
    * Breath in and tighten
    * Get the shoulder low and glutes tight
    * Then press (don't lean to the outside or you will lose the tightness.

    Also, try gripping the bell closer to the outside horn (better leverage)

  2. Thanks, Faizal! I'll put all this to good use in a couple of days.