Two Pressing Issues for Gym Rats

February 26, 2020 | John Paul Catanzaro

pressing issues for gym rats video

Most gym rats are “pushers” not “pullers”, and most do too much “horizontal” pushing and not enough “vertical” pushing. If you’re able to press 100-pound dumbbells lying flat on your back, then you should be able to press 70-pound dumbbells overhead for the same number of reps. And for every pushing pattern you do, you should also do the corresponding pulling pattern. For example, a great antagonist for the standing one-arm dumbbell press is the half-kneeling one-arm cable pulldown.

On page 66 of The Elite Trainer, I discuss how pressing strength decreases an average of 2-7% every 15 degrees from a decline, lying position to an upright, seated position. In the example above, you also have to take into account a standing versus a seated position along with the bilateral deficit, but the point is clear: If you have a huge discrepancy between horizontal and vertical pressing strength, your body won’t look or function right and you’re setting yourself up for injury. Likewise, if you prefer having rounded shoulders and a forward head, just keep pushing without pulling!