I’ve been pretty short on time lately and I’ve been using my EliteFTS coaching log as a vehicle to get out really awesome (at least I think so) training info plus updates on what it going on here at TPS. This is a huge time saver so if you aren’t interested in what’s going on at TPS simply scroll down to the next bold header and you can read about the press.

As you may know, I am Charlie Brown and Lucy pulled the football out from me. The metaphorical football in this case is my building. It’s been sold even though I renewed my lease. Oh well, that’s business I guess. This has left me scrambling to find a new location and we have found one. In fact, I think the new one will be our best one yet. It’s 10,000 square feet and is on ground level. It will have heat, A/C, running water and lots of weights, benches, racks, platforms and turf. It won’t have much else.

With that said, demo has begun, permits have been applied for and hopefully construction will begin by the end of next week. We plan on doing this FAST. I hope to be in and operating by about mid November.

I’d like to give you more info as I get asked about 709 times a day, but that’s all I have. There, that’s my latest update.


Oh and on October 17th and 18th we are hosting the TPS/RPS Power Challenge at the Everett Rec Center. We have over 200 lifters registered over two days. We are raising money for the Everett Pop Warner Football program too. We need an army of spotters and loaders to help us out. Getting volunteers is not a problem for our annual Strongman show, but for this, it seems everyone in the gym is lifting.

So, if any of you 100% awesome EliteFTS readers are willing to volunteer a few hours Saturday the 17th or Sunday the 18th to work the platform simply comment here on this post or email me directly at murph@totalperformancesports.com. We would really appreciate it and so would all the kids in Pop Warner.

The Press, Why It's Awesome and How to Do It

OK, with all the updates out of the way I am going to talk about the Press. Not the bench press or the Military Press. The Overhead Press or simply the Press. That’s what you call it.

The Military Press is an old school exercise that is different in that it is done with technique that is in my opinion sketchy at best. Locked knees throughout, arched back and a bend backwards.


The Press on the other hand is a thing of beauty when done correctly and has, again, in my opinion a ton of carryover to other lifts and overall strength in general. I am going to say that I feel the Press builds strength that you can use because it is done from a static start, requires you to have decent flexibility and forces you to balance a heavy weight overhead after you push it all the way up. Moving weights overhead requires balance, strength, coordination and mobility. It also strengthens all of these things.
That makes it awesome.

I feel the Press gets a bad rap as being bad for your shoulders. Sure, some people with specific injuries should not do it, but when it is done CORRECTLY it is safe and effective. Correctly is the operative word.

How to Press Correctly

I am going to list bullet points here for you since it is easy to read and easy to digest without clogging up your brain with extra words.

Start Position:

Great Start Position

Great Start Postion

Poor Start Position-Elbows Too Low, Shoulders Too Low

Poor Start Position-Elbows Too Low, Shoulders Too Low


Take the bar out of the rack with it high on your shoulders almost pressing into your neck like a Front Squat

Stand tall, lock your knees and flex your glutes as hard as you can

Take a huge breath through your mouth and inflate your chest as much as you can with air (hold the air as in a bench press or squat for the entire rep) and drive your lower rib down a little to brace your abs

Shrug your shoulders up as high as you can and drive your elbows up too and push them forward-this does a few things:

It shortens the range you have to press (like arching in a bench)

It allows you to set the weight into your lats as a shelf to press from

It minimizes the work the deltoids need to do in order to initiate the Press

Initiating the Press

Shift your weight onto your heels and spread the floor just like in a squat-think TENSION from the ground up

Pull your chin back just a little so you don’t smash it with the bar or have to push forward around it, this keep the bar in the correct path

Good start, weight back on heels, elbows up, shoulders up

Good start, weight back on heels, elbows up, shoulders up




Keep the knees and glutes locked and violently shrug your shoulders up to begin

As the bar passes your nose, release the glutes and smash your head, chest and shoulders forward and smash your butt backwards. Think about if you had two armfuls of grocery bags and you had to close a car door with your butt

Finish the Press by pushing on the bar as hard as you can and locking it out overhead with a big snap of the triceps and drive your knuckles to the ceiling. You need a straight wrist at the finish.

At the finish you should have the bar over the center of your body, your head and shoulders forward, chin tucked near the chest and butt pushed back. Your traps should be as high as you can get them too. Think shoulders to ears at the finish.

Poor finish, body in a straight line, head inline with arms, butt not back

Poor finish, body in a straight line, head inline with arms, butt not back

Improved finish position, head through, shoulders to ears, butt back, on balance

Improved finish position, head through, shoulders to ears, butt back, on balance

Balance the weight for a second or two and then lower quickly, reset your posture and repeat.

Weight Transfer

This is pretty important.

You need to think about moving your body around the bar, not bending your body in unsafe positions and putting undue stress on your lumbar spine and shoulder.

Your bar path should be pretty much straight up, your body moves to accommodate this.

We need about 85%-90% of the weight on the heels at the start of the Press. As the bar moves upwards your weight naturally shifts to your mid-foot and toes. This is good, but it is critical to get the weight back onto your heels. When the bar is around your nose I instructed you to drive your head through right? This is the point where your weight is on your mid-foot. Driving your head through and your chest back forces the weight back to your heels where we need it.

If the weight stays on your mid-foot it will go to your toes and then you will either miss the lift or arch backwards and turn it into some bastardized version of a standing incline press. I see this all the time on the intewebs and my gym by those that don’t get coaching from us.

When the weight goes to your toes it forces you off balance and we never want to be off balance on the Press.

Transfer your weight. It is good and it is correct. Think heels, mid-foot, heels.

These tips apply to dumbells and the Log too. The major difference is that on a Log Press your head should be back with your eyes looking up at the ceiling.

That’s all for this week.

Get Pressing.

Ask me a question-Be sure and Type to Murph in the header

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Vincere vel mori


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