22 December 2009

Going Overhead

Category 2: Your ability to pick something heavy up and put it overhead. Going overhead is a feat of strength you rarely see in a typical gym today. I'm not talking about the guy sitting down doing military presses trying to build shoulders that can't fit through a doorway. Ask that same guy to pick that weight up off the ground, to get it to where you can push it overhead, and I'd be willing to bet he'd be hard-pressed to comply. But let's start there. We know from yesterday, that to start we need to clean whatever load or object we intend to lift overhead. Upon doing so we are now prepared for the second progression from ground to overhead. Like the first category, Category 2 is broken down into three movements as well. The first movement is in fact the "Press." Pure strength, just you, your upper body and the force it can muster up. The press, from standing of course, is the movement of you pushing the load overhead my simply extending your arms to locked out. Obviously, this requires maximum strength on your part and therefore limits the amount of the load being placed overhead.

If by chance you came across an object or load that you needed to lift overhead that you could not press, are you stuck? For example, a firefighter needs to pass an important piece of equipment up to his partner through a first story window. The window's base sits at 8 feet, the firefighter stands 5'11'' tall, his strength does not allow him to simply press the equipment up above his head. This is where the next movement comes into play. He can utilize the "Push-press." The push-press operates on a dip and drive theory that incorporates your hip strength and mobility into the force used to drive the object overhead. The individual slightly dips their hips then snaps them forward explosively to initiate the driving force behind the press. With this method the firefighter is able to hand off the equipment through the window and the rescue mission continues successfully. This is what fitness is about, mastering the necessary movements to maximize body utility and adaptability.

Most people stop there, the push-press fairly easy to learn and highly effective at completing the job is considered the end-all for them. The final movement in the Category 2 progression requires too much technique for them; I however, disagree. Why limit yourself in anyway if there is potential to learn more? You shouldn't, so let me introduce the "Jerk." The jerk is an explosive movement that utilizes your body's power by working as whole unit, instead of isolating parts, to complete an objective. The dip and drive is employed explosively to force the weight in an upward direction while you force your body to drop below the load and catch it when gravity takes over - ending in a dip, drive, dip sequence.

Studying these three movements we observe that the press utilizes maximum strength in using a limited portion of the body to complete an objective. The push-press incorporates the hips into the movement and therefore adds some power, this in turn allows for a greater load. And the jerk, while employing the body as whole unit to accomplish the same task, is the strongest of all three movements. Because the jerk allows for a greater load and higher power development we will train this movement the most. Although, you'll get a taste of the push-press first in tomorrow's session:

4 Rounds
4x Deadlift @ 5RM
20x Push-press go heavy

4 Rounds
4x Single-arm snatch/Overhead squat (OHS)
20x Box jumps 30" box

Body weight only workout:
As fast as possible (AFAP)
50,35, and 20 Reps of:

Notes: 5RM for deadlift is the most weight you can lift for five repetitions before failure. Heavy on the push-press should be near or around 50-75% of your body weight. For the second circuit you will do 1x snatch then 1x OHS repeat 4x on non-dominant hand side first then switch and repeat 4x with other hand before moving onto the box jumps.
For the body weight only workout sets look like 50x pull-ups, 50x squats, 50x push-ups, 50 sit-ups then 35x of each, then 20x of each.

1 comment:

  1. Did the Body weight only workout. finished in about 23 min. i was interrupted in the middle for a few min so that really sucked.