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DB vs. barbell shoulder press

Discussion in 'Weight Training/Bulking' started by KT Monahan, Apr 10, 2009.

  1. KT Monahan

    KT Monahan Active Member

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    I understand that standing barbell presses work more than just the shoulder. Because of the need to stablize the weight above your head, your core and much more than just the shoulder gets stimulated.

    My question is: do you get the same total body benefit from standing DB shoulder presses?

    I'm doing a modified Starting Strength (rows instead of power cleans, adding dips and pull ups). My barbell presses just aren't going very well and I'm having more success with the DB's. I always read that standing barbell presses have an overall effect on the body beyond the shoulders. I just never hear that in reference to the standing DB press.

    :bb::bb::bb::bb::bb::bb::bb::bb::bb:
     
  2. HevyMetal

    HevyMetal Well-Known Member

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    It does the same thing...although you might be using a little less weight because of the D/B.

    If you happen to be one of the people that have shoulder issues from barbell Mil Press....

    then when you do a barbell Mil Press:-don't bring the bar down too deep.Bring the bar down to about where your mouth is. And push it up to about 5" below lockout.

    Going down deep is what screws the shoulder joints....and the Triceps take over if you go too high.

    :)
     
  3. joe6pk

    joe6pk Active Member

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    Back problems?

    I had the same problems, then I started doing my overhead presses (both db and BB) seated and with my back supported against a high incline bench.
     
  4. KT Monahan

    KT Monahan Active Member

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    No, I just have trouble completing sets and am stalling at very low weights. I am progressing very nicely with my squat, deadlift, and bench. My dips have improved vastly. But my shoulder presses are very weak. I have the Rippetoe book, I have the DVD, I think my form is fine, it's just weak. I don't want weak shoulders to impact my bench.
     
    #4 KT Monahan, Apr 10, 2009
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2009
  5. MannishBoy

    MannishBoy Senior Member

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    Overhead pressing is hard for a lot of us to advance on :nod:

    But yes, DB pressing works a lot most of the same muscles in similar ways. If you want to add some additional core stability work, do alternating DB presses. Gets more oblique involvement.
     
  6. KT Monahan

    KT Monahan Active Member

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    Advance?!?!? I'm just trying to start.:o

    I don't know what it is. I've tried differnet grip widths on the bar, barbell just isn't working for me.
     
  7. SWO LIFE

    SWO LIFE Active Member

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    I also moved from standing to seated and saw better progress, but I am in the opposite situation. I felt I was stalling with DB so this past week I switched to barbell. I felt I was better able to squeeze out the last reps more so than with the DB.
     
  8. KT Monahan

    KT Monahan Active Member

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    I'd like to stick with standing presses because of their accumulative effect on the body. I think they are less isolated than when sitting. I'm just asking about the effect of moving to standing DB's as opposed to standing barbell.
     
  9. joe6pk

    joe6pk Active Member

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    Same here: I started 3 months ago and the squat is at 215x10, SLDL 205x10, but the bench press 110x10 and shoulder press just 85x10.
     
  10. HevyMetal

    HevyMetal Well-Known Member

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    Actually it all depends on which way you want to slice the pie,so-to-speak.


    Do you want bodybuilder "looks" ....or effective overall bodypower?

    While the standing Mil Press will train your body to act in a cohesive way from an overall power point-of-view...there is no question that you will get more weight up in the seated version that has a vertical support behind you (back of the seat).

    And if you are doing them seated, with near vertical back support on a Smith Machine......you'll get even more weight up yet. In fact you might think you've died and been re-incarnated as Ronnie Coleman.

    (If you were an Oly or Powerlifter...that's another kettle of fish entirely.)

    However the more you isolate muscles to train, the more willy-nilly the strength/power chain becomes because every muscle is trained to lift a different ratio of weight compared to other muscles that assist in a functional endeavor.

    Example:- you can Calf Raise 400lbs (using both feet)....but your Dead is only 150lbs. and your Lat Pulldown (because you can't Chin) is only 45 lbs. From a power point of view these poundages are all imbalanced ...and the body will only be as strong overall as it's weakest link.

    but:- if you were going for looks you wouldn't care too much about what muscle can lift what......because the determining factor is the mirror.

    So in your case I would do both....seated with support...and also standing. Maybe one version one week and the other the next, say.

    How many times a week does Rippetoe have you hitting the shoulder's?
     
    #10 HevyMetal, Apr 10, 2009
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2009
  11. KT Monahan

    KT Monahan Active Member

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    It's an alternating A-B workout, so the overhead press is done three times in a two week period.

    Because my weight is so low for the shoulders, I'm contemplating greasing the wheel if you will by working them out three times a week as well as doing dips and chin ups three times a week.

    I'm not looking to be a body builder, nor am I looking to be a powerlifter. At the moment I'm focusing on increasing my strength. Then by mid to late May, I'm going to try and maintain or slowly build strength while I incorporate cardio and lose some fat around my torso. That's the plan at least.
     
  12. HevyMetal

    HevyMetal Well-Known Member

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    You say your bench is progressing nicely...but you don't want weak shoulders to mess up your bench.....:doh:


    I don't think you should alter his program by adding additional shoulder work or such.

    His program is made up of components to benefit the whole...

    Everybody has one bodypart that's a little weaker than they'd like.

    But unless you are an advanced lifter you might be setting yourself up for all kinds of problems at this stage of the game if you start tinkering with exes on the side.

    Certain other lifts that you are doing now will contribute to shoulder strength over time as part of the package.

    The main thing is:- are you progressing at all on Delt work?....or are you stalling out each and every time.?

    Are you trying to go too heavy too soon because you think your Delts are weak?

    Don't judge yourself by what others can do....work with a weight where you will be able to make the required number of reps and sets.
    Then fractionally try to improve...even if you have to use magnets or washers for extra weight.

    Give the program a chance.....:)

    Simply adding additional exes and load to the Delts won't work....if you can't handle what you've got allready.

    :)
     
  13. KT Monahan

    KT Monahan Active Member

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    Yeah, you're right. I've got a little case of workout ADD. Thanks Hevy.
     
  14. 1FastGTX

    1FastGTX Elite Member
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    I agree.

    Start with just the bar if you have to.
     
  15. tensdanny

    tensdanny Well-Known Member

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    I'm at 3x5 @ 120, and its getting damn hard to progress. One thing I've found that works for me is sort of using more of my body to force the weight up, then lower it down very slow.
     
  16. HevyMetal

    HevyMetal Well-Known Member

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    The thing with a standing overhead lift is that, while your delt muscles might be able to handle it seated, your brain is making the decision that this amount of weight is all it trusts you with neurally due to 'wholebody factors' coming into play.

    Which is why doing extra delt work will not necessarily make any difference to your overhead power.

    Once your brain determines that every muscle in your body is strong enough to progress (not just delts) and that the synchronicity of all nerves and muscles (including stabilizers and core) is good....it will let you progress.

    Also....when doing a standing Mil Press you have to think about two things simultaneously...

    (1) keep the focus on the delts doing the lift....not the triceps

    and...

    (2) think of the whole body as an involved unit....keeping the entire body "flexed" as you perform the lift. If you just let your belly sag etc...this sends a message to your brain that your posture is not optimal to perform the lift and as a result you won't get as much weight up.

    also....as I said before.....don't bring the bar down too deep, and don't lift it all the way to lockout ( the last 3 or 4 inches of the lift is mostly triceps anyway.) Try to rep it in a generous "mid-range".....that's all you need for good delt growth/work.
     
  17. Barber

    Barber Well-Known Member

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    Solution:

    Stretch bands
     
  18. hun113

    hun113 Active Member

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    First of all sorry to OP to hijack your thread but I thought instead of creating a new thread, I'll ask here.

    Your advise is always great and very helpful Hevy.

    I too have the same problem as OP.

    My delt routine is as follows:

    4 x 7 standing mil barbell press, only bringing down the bar to my nose.

    4 x 10 lateral rise, slightly bent down. I follow your other thread to hit the side delt more by bending down and looking at the mirror to see where it hits the side most.

    3 x 10 front rise.

    3 x 15 bent over lateral rise.

    I am after the look as my delt is my weakest link. Is the workout above oke?
    Is it necessary to add on weight every 2 - 3 weeks on my standing military barbell press if I am after the look? or should I switch it to DB press as I find it difficult just like OP to advance with Barbell press?

    Cheers,
    Don.
     
  19. HevyMetal

    HevyMetal Well-Known Member

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    hun113...how many times a week do you do this?
     
  20. hun113

    hun113 Active Member

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    Ops, sorry, I do them once a week as currently I am doing split.

    Cheers,
    Don.
     

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