• Q&A
  • December17th

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    5 Ways to Increase Your Press

    Ever since I started pressing, I have been obsessed with making it better. Partly because I was so weak at it for so long (which meant that it had no place to go but up) and because it is simply a cool exercise to do. The death of the Press as a movement can be attributed to a lot of things, none of which actually matter. BUT, if you view this lift with as much enthusiasm as I do, use these tips to improve what I consider to be one of the most fun movements in the gym.

    1. Use a false grip

    I don’t know who told me this or why I began doing this but this made a huge difference with my pressing power and more importantly THE PATH of the bar. It may seem a bit scary at first; holding a bar over your head with a false grip. But this seems to keep the bar path perfect for me and for some reason, make it much more comfortable on my shoulders.

    2. Hold the bar in the shelf of your lats

    This is hard to explain but think about it this way; don’t support the bar in your hands or on your shoulders. “Shoulder” the load with your lats – keep your lats pinched and held tight. This will keep the bar path from getting out in front of you and make you feel stronger at the bottom. A good confidant start makes a huge difference.

    3. View it as a total body lift

    This doesn’t mean that you should turn it into a push press, something that I have caught myself doing from time to time. But because of the line of power goes from over your head to the ground, it requires your whole body to be tight. Squeeze your ass hard! “Squat” the weight up with violence. The press is NOT a shoulder exercise, it is a MOVEMENT. View it as such.

    4. Use volume to get stronger

    the first thing I did to increase my press is train to a heavy set and then back off for multiple sets of 10. This is very similar to the very
    popular Boring But Big. I have found that volume increases my press greatly – but do not forget that you have to train heavy, too. As a note – when doing my main sets of 5/3/1, my goal is to simply get the weight overhead; it is a MOVEMENT. When doing down sets, I pull my head through at the top and view it as a “muscle”, not a movement. This is a key distinction that one must have when training big lifts (squat, bench, clean, dead, press) and when doing assistance work. One is a movement, the other is a muscle.

    5. Make it a priority

    Just like any lift, if you want it to increase you have to make it a priority in your training. Once I did this, once I made it as important as my squat or bench press, it made huge increases. But please understand that of any of these lifts (squat, clean, bench or deadlift) this is the one that will increase the slowest and take the most patience. Keep at it and you will be rewarded. There is nothing better than pressing a weight that some people struggle to squat.


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  • December7th

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    Preparing for the Canadian Police

    Question:  I’m curious about your input into how my training should be set up. I’ve been placed in the hiring pool with a Canadian police service and I’m looking to add in more cardio/push-ups/ab/low back work to my training. Currently I’m doing 5/3/1 three times a week and I had planned to just add this additional training in on my “off” days. How would you set up training so it’s not a complete mess?

    Answer:  How you set up your training program is largely going to be based on what kind of shape you are in at this point.  If you are in shitty shape and didn’t play sports, or don’t compete in a real sport – your training will be much different than someone that does. For example, when I went to the Air Force Academy, I didn’t even think about what kind of physical shape I had to be in during BCT.  In fact, I took most of the summer off and was fine.  That is the power of long term training, doing things right most (95%) of the time and not being a turd.  Anyway, lucky for you military and other gov’t services routinely lower their standards so any person who has a heartbeat can pass them – I can’t imagine a mildly active person not being able to run a mile and a half in 10 minutes or whatever the requirement is. If you have a smidgen of work ethic, you will already be in good enough shape to pass these tests.

    I have no idea how your current training is set up (I know you lift 3 days/week but that is only one part of training), so I suggest you do the NOV template (lift 4 days/week, Prowler/Hills or something similar 4 days/week).  If you want to add in some pushups and other stuff, just do it as assistance work. Not a big deal.  For cardio, since you are already (again an assumption) going to do the Prowler (or something similar) 4 days/week, cardio would probably be recommended on the off days for recovery stuff and to actually do some easy aerobic work.  I’d do something very unstressful to the body (stationary bike fits the bill).  But really, doing the NOV template will probably suffice.  Again, what you do in your training now is going to be largely based on where you’ve been/what you’ve done.


    • Press
    • Assistance
    • Prowler


    • Deadlift
    • Assistance
    • Prowler


    • Stationary Bike
    • Mobility


    • Bench Press
    • Assistance
    • Prowler


    • Squat
    • Assistance
    • Prowler


    • Go outside and fuck around


    • Off

    In short, lift heavy the main, bodybuild the assistance, push heavy the object.

    Get the 2nd Edition 5/3/1 Ebook Here
    5/3/1 2nd Edition Hard Copy on Amazon