Zydrunas Savickas sets a world record in the log press (yes, there is a slight push with this press) with 500 lbs / 227 kg overhead at Giants Live Poland, 2014. 
Credit: Giants Live.

Happy Monday everyone! Today marks the start of our test week.  Our last test week was back in March and we've done a ton of great work since then, especially the recent 6-week 20 RM squat cycle.  Everyone put in solid work and felt their mental and physical thresholds pushed especially in the later weeks of the cycle. So with that behind us, let's see where we stand now in our 1RM squat and strict press. 

Today's blog is going to dig deeper into the value of the press, which has not been addressed as much as we have with the squat.  When it comes down to it, the press is the most useful upper body exercise because it isn't just an upper body exercise.  Mark Rippletoe breaks it down and explains why below:

Except for powerlifting and swimming, all sports that require the use of upper body strength transmit that force along a kinetic chain that starts on the ground. Any time an athlete pushes against an opponent, throws an implement, uses a racquet or club on a ball, or transmits force to an object, the force starts at the feet against the ground. In a press, the kinetic chain- the components of the musculoskeletal system involved in the production and transmission of force between the base of support and the load being moved- starts at the ground and ends at the bar in the hands. - Starting Strength Basic Barbell Training

Essentially, the important thing to understand about the force in the press is not solely by the upper body, rather, the shoulders and arms depend on the legs and hips generating force against the ground.  

Tables for the basic barbell exercises were developed from (1) definitions in "Practical Programming" by Kilgore, Rippetoe, and Pendlay, (2) the experience and judgment of the authors, (3) the exercise techniques described and
illustrated in “Starting Strength” by Rippetoe and Kilgore, and (4) published performance standards for the sports of powerlifting and weightlifting.
Source: Crossfit Journal 

The standards presented in the tables above represent a performance that can be reasonably expected of an athlete at various levels of training advancement using standard full range-of-motion barbell exercises. In the tables above, the term "untrained" refers to the expected level of strength in a healthy individual who has not trained on the exercise before but can perform it correctly. This represents the minimum level of strength required to maintain a
reasonable quality of life in a sedentary individual. "Novice" means a person training regularly for a period of 3-9 months. This strength level supports the demands of vigorous recreational activities. An "intermediate" is a person who has engaged in regular training for up to two years. The intermediate level indicates some degree of specialization in the exercises and a high level of performance at the recreational level. The term "advanced" refers to an individual with multi-year training experience with definite goals in the higher levels of competitive athletics. The term "elite" refers specifically to athletes competing in strength sports. Less than 1% of the weight training population will attain this level.

Internal and external rotation in the deep squat

A. 20 mins to 1RM HBBS

B. 10 mins to 1RM Strict press


500m Row
40 Air squats
30 Sit ups
20 Push ups
10 Pull ups