Legendary Strength Podcast Episode 19 - Stronger Pressing

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Welcome to another Legendary Strength Podcast episode, featuring Tyler Bramlett and Logan Christopher. In this episode you may find out surprising press exercise tips, a couple of myths broken and much more on presses.


  • 1.Legendary Strength Podcast Episode 19Stronger PressingGet this podcast on iTunes at:http://legendarystrength.com/go/podcastLogan: Hey there. Its Logan Christopher with the Legendary Strength Podcast and Im here with mygood friend, Tyler Bramlett, who has previously been a guest on the call. I figured Id get him to jump onhere and wed just sort of go back and forth, talking about specifically what Id like to address, thevarious forms of pressing and getting a stronger press. Thanks for joining me today, Tyler.Tyler: Sure, man. Thanks for inviting me on the call again. I love getting out there and talking to people,especially about training and getting better.Logan: Yup. Were all about that. So I guess a good place to start with is you can give us yourfoundational ideas on why the press is important and different ways that people can approach it.Tyler: Sure. The press is a very important movement. People talk about the different movements of thehuman body. If youre looking at the upper body specifically, they talk about that vertical plane pressand pull, the chest press and pull, and your dip curl kind of range, that lower press and pull.The thing that youve got to realize is that when your arms are down by your sides, its really easy to usethem and its really easy to root them into your body. As an experiment, if you guys are listening rightnow, you can just take your hands by your hips, you can make some fists, and you can squeeze everymuscle. You can see how easy it is to fire your core, your glutes, your lats, your pecs, everything can firereally easily in that position. But take your hands overhead and try that same drill, squeeze your glutes,squeeze your pecs, squeeze everything, and it becomes very challenging for you to actually utilize thosemuscles in that overhead position.Copyright 2013 LegendaryStrength.com All Rights Reserved

2. So to me, I think the press is a really great exercise because it strengthens you through a range ofmotion in what Steve Cotter who I think once said, the position of most compromise. Thats just kindof my general view on why I like the press so much. Its because it does so much more than just educateyour shoulders in how to work, it educates your body how to work in a position thats very challengingfor it to work in. Does that make sense, Logan?Logan: Yeah. Absolutely. One thing Id like to address is the most widely done press is not overheadpressing but the bench press so what are your thoughts on that as an exercise. I know a lot of people sayit sucks. I really like how Dru Patrick put it, who is obviously very strong in the bench press and a lot ofother presses as well. He was saying most people say that because they suck at it so theyre just tryingto dog the exercise and say its not important.Tyler: Ill tell you, Logan. I was one of those people.Logan: Oh, yeah. Me, too.Tyler: Because I could get under a bar and I think my best bench press ever was like 255, which is justreally not anything special, considering what Dru Patrick is benching, like 400 for reps.Logan: 500.Tyler: 500, yeah. That makes me feel like a little girl. I can definitely relate that I can be one of thosepeople, this and that, but heres something thats really interesting. When you do the bench press right,when people teach you how to get into a good position, how to press from the lats, how to do that realpowerlifting-style bench press, not only will you build that barrel-shaped chest but youre going to betremendously strong, as evidenced by you hanging out with Dru Patrick and running your SuperhumanTraining Workshops with these really strong guys. They take their bench press and they transfer it totheir overhead press. Provided they maintain their mobility, thats going to transfer pretty well.I dont know very many people these days that have a standing barbell press of over 200 pounds but Iwould be willing to wager most of them have a very strong bench press at the same time. I think thebench press is a good exercise. I dont particularly practice the bench press very much myself, in fact,not very often at all. I had like a little kick a few months ago where I wanted to do learn to bench press alittle bit more but then I realized it contrasted with way too many of my other goals. If Im trying to workon ring strength and stuff like that, the bench press is going to help me add a lot of mass and size andstrength to my upper body, which isnt exactly going to complement that bodyweight-style strengthtraining that Im really going for.I think its a fantastic exercise. I think its like pretty dang close to being the squat of the upper body ifyoure looking at the most bang for your buck mass builder out there but its not for everybody. Dontbash it just because you suck at it or because you think its unfunctional. The bottom line is its one ofthe most functional upper body exercises out there. I just choose to focus on other things because I liketo express my body through movement a little bit more and Im not actually concerned with addingcrazy amounts of bulk to my frame. Copyright 2013 LegendaryStrength.com All Rights Reserved 3. Logan: Right. A lot of people talk about the different planes of motion and you mentioned that before,like the dip where your arms are down by your sides then you have that horizontal bench press-typeaction then overhead. Is it important for people, in your opinion, to work all these different planes ofmotion or can you really just like choose on press and stick with that?Tyler: Absolutely. Ill let the cat out of bag on this one. Im going to give your listeners one of the coolestpressing exercises Ive ever seen. This is actually a new program that I just created and not many peopleknow about this exercise.Most of your listeners are probably going to know about the Turskish getup, right? The Turkish getup isa really cool exercise because it takes your shoulders through a full range of motion and it teaches youstability and mobility components as you go through the exercise. You cant do the Turkish getup withperfect form without being fairly mobile so if you guys havent seen the Turkish getup, go on YouTubeand click. Im not going to describe how to do a Turkish getup over the phone because youll never get it.Heres the exercise. This kind of covers what you were just talking about. Imagine a Turkish getup andimagine these steps. Youre on your back and you come up to your elbow. The next step would becoming up to your hand. The next step would be popping your hips up. The next step would be bringingyour legs through into that side bending position. The next step would be a kneeling position and thefinal step would be standing.At each one of those positions, press the weight through a full range of motion. You can use a kettlebell,a dumbbell, a sandbag, a barbell, it doesnt really matter just as long as its a weight. As you do yourTurkish getup, at each one of those seven positions, youre going to press through a full range of motion.So it would look like this. I would roll over my back, I bring it up, I roll up to my elbow, I press through afull range of motion. I come up to my hands in a seated position, I press through a full range of motion. Ipop my hips up, I press through a full range of motion. I drag my legs through to that side position, Ipress through a full range of motion. That ones a weird one, by the way. Then I come up to a kneelingposition, I press through a full range of motion, stand, and press through a full range of motion.That is one of the coolest pressing exercises out there because you literally take your shoulder through afull range of motion and by adding the presses into it, you actually create that bent arm strength alongwith that straight arm strength. So thats something that Ive used on myself as well as many of mypersonal clients not only to get stronger on the press but to kind of reshape the way their shouldersmove.Because if you cant pres through different ranges of motion, you get kind of locked into a particular wayof pressing. So its kind of a cool way to shake up the mindset or the mental challenges of doing thisexercise as well as being able to press through these different kinds of mobility pieces. Its a really coolexercise.Logan: Thats six presses in one? Copyright 2013 LegendaryStrength.com All Rights Reserved 4. Tyler: Its seven. You might have missed the first one, the press on the back. Its a cool exercise, sevenpresses. Heres my rule of thumb. Ill do a set of ones and if somebody can do three sets of one at eachposition, then Ill do a set of twos at each position, then Ill do a set of threes at each position. Ifsomebody can do three sets of threes at each position, not only are they going to burn their shouldersout like crazy because theyre doing 21 reps of the press of different ranges of motion, then Ill basicallyadd about five to ten pounds and then just go up from there. Thats how I do that double progressionwith that particular exercise.Logan: What do you usually use for that, dumbbell or?Tyler: I like kettlebells personally because I have kettlebells that go up in 4-kilogram increments butdumbbells are fine in 5-pound increments. What I do with my kettlebells is I set a goal for men andwomen to achieve and it depends on what the goals. If a woman tends to take on bulk, I dont do thisexercise because then theyd be doing too many presses, too much hypertrophy training. Id just ratherstick to the Turkish getup.An example for gentlemen is I would try to get them to a 24-kilo to the point where they can do threepresses at each position. Once they get to that rate, then Im going to take them back to a 16-kilo andthen have them do a bottoms up. If youve never done a bottoms up Turkish getup and press with a 16-kilo kettlebell, youve never experienced a press, man. That is a hard exercise to master.Logan: Wow. So what do you call this exercise? Do you have a name for it?Tyler: I call it the Turkish getup and press. Thats it. I guess I should call it the Turkish press up orsomething like that.Logan: You should probably call it the Bramlett getup or something.Tyler: No, I cant take credit for it. It was actually at the first Superhuman Training workshop where oneof the guys there described it to me. I cant remember his name. He said thats how he learned how topress really strong. I said, What? Ive never heard of that before. I took it home. I was having someshoulder issues and I was doing the biofeedback stuff where I was testing movements for a month and ahalf straight. The Turkish getup and press and one-arm rows tested good every single day. By the timethat month and a half was over, not only was I pain-free but I felt twice as strong as before.Logan: Wow, thats really cool. What sort of weight have you worked up to, doing that exercise?Tyler: In that exercise, 24 kilos regular style and then in a bottoms up, I didnt go all the way through a20-kilo but Ive been trying to get the 20-kilo in the bottoms up style when I practice it. I can do the 16bottoms up, which is pretty fun but the 20 kilos eluded me. Its that side bend position, I tell you. Its atough one.Logan: Yeah. Thats a really cool exercise. Ill have to give that a try because Ive not done that onebefore and I understand that, like you were saying, it works the shoulder in all ranges of motion with fullCopyright 2013 LegendaryStrength.com All Rights Reserved 5. ranges of motion so if youre looking for something that will get you strong and mobile at the same timewithout spending a lot of time, that sounds like a great exercise for it.Tyler: Exactly, because you get to work that bench press range of motion in there, too. Also, youregoing through these different positions so youre working that core stability at the same time, which asyou know is pretty key when it comes to developing all around real world strength.Logan: Yeah, cool. One thing I wanted to talk about as well is the idea some people go with bodyweightonly and you can work a lot of presses with that and then all the different sort of weighted presses. Howdo you mix and match and bring those together or do you do a lot with both as well?Tyler: Yeah, absolutely. I think its critical that you divide your training into those two components thatyou just mentioned, Logan. One side is learning how to move your body better and the other side islearning how to move external objects with your body better. The crux of my philosophy would just bethose two things. Youre either going to learn how to move stuff better or move yourself better.So bodyweight training is super critical and I feel like people who get married to weights and dont doany bodyweight training are short selling themselves. Then vice versa, people who do just bodyweighttraining but dont do any weights are also short selling themselves. However, I would probably lean alittle bit more towards Id rather see somebody do a lot of bodyweight and a little bit of weights than alot of weights and just a little bit of bodyweight. That being said, there are some really cool exercises.I do whats called movement progressions. If you guys have seen the Convict Conditioning books oryouve been in gymnastics for any period of time, everybodys coming up with these movementprogression things but as you and I both know, Logan, its all just kind of like a sexy form of gymnastics.The reason why people are catching on to this is because gymnasts are the strongest people out there.You cant do anything that they can do but they can pretty much do everything that you can do. Its justincredible the way these guys learn how to move their bodies and they learn how to do that through amovement progression.Ill give you a real simple kind of movement progression that I use with the bodyweight pressingexercises. Ill start with something like the kneeling pushup, just a crazy simple exercise that everybodyshould be able to do. The first thing I want to do is I want to make sure that they have symmetry. Whensomebody is doing a kneeling pushup, their hips arent tilted out to the side, not rotated or twisted insome funky direction. If theyre not symmetrical, then Im going to focus on improving that symmetrythrough some drills that I use in terms of feeding the flaw or having them avoid contact with somethingto keep their posture perfect. Then Ill basically get them through a full range of motion so that theirarms can come all the way up behind them and they can do that full kneeling pushup.Heres the funny thing. Some of you guys listening might be, Hahaha, a kneeling pushup. Whateveryou come to my house and do kneeling pushups with me, youre not going to be laughing anymore.Because if you do a pushup right, and you take everything through its full range of motion, and youmove properly, sometimes it can be much more challenging than you think. The kneeling pushup isCopyright 2013 LegendaryStrength.com All Rights Reserved 6. something I start. Literally everybody Ive known, people dont move past tha...