Balancing OH lifts with equal vertical pulling

Discussion in 'Kettlebell' started by mh2324, Sep 14, 2019.

  1. mh2324

    mh2324 Still New to StrongFirst Forum

    About to start a program with high volume of double kB clean and presses (KB Strong) and wondering if I need to add some for of vertical pulling such as chins/pull-ups to balance things out. Not sure if anyone has any thoughts on this. I know the cleans involve the lats/back generally, but I just don’t want to neglect pulling completely and pay later with either shoulder problems or general loss of pulling strength. Was thinking either pull-ups between my sets or a day of just pull-ups on an off day or two each week. Don’t want to detract from the program as written but just want to maintain some balance. Thanks
  2. John Grahill

    John Grahill More than 300 posts

    Did "Strong" (C&P) more than once, with different weights. Stuck pretty much to program as written. Never lost pull up strength. Go with it as written and actively pull the bells down in the negative phase of the lift. You'll appreciate it as the volume increases.

    Everyone's mileage may vary but I found adding things to the program interfered with my recovery.
  3. Alan Mackey

    Alan Mackey Triple-Digit Post Count

    I tend to balance all my lifts, but in a slightly different way: if I'm doing a ton of press, I've found that my body needs horizontal pulling (kettlebell rows, TRX rows...). Conversely, if I'm doing horizontal presses, I'm going to need a ton of vertical pulling to keep my body happy.
  4. Mark Limbaga

    Mark Limbaga Quadruple-Digit Post Count Elite Certified Instructor

    GTG pullups averaging 10-20 total reps daily would be fine
  5. Steve Freides

    Steve Freides StrongFirst Director of Community Engagement Staff Member Senior Instructor

    As I’ve said elsewhere, balance in a lifting program is often overrated. You’re about to embark on a program created by someone who knows their stuff. My advice is simple: follow the directions.

    You might want to read ETK about the relationship between pullups and pressing.

    John Grahill and Sauli like this.
  6. Sauli

    Sauli Quadruple-Digit Post Count

    "Balance is overrated. The idea that a lifting program must touch on all the “basic human movements” is fundamentally flawed. One should move in as many varied ways as possible, at least from time to time, but that doesn’t mean heavily loading every possible movement pattern. A lifting program can do what a lifting program needs to do and only contain two lifts. A lifting program doesn’t need to be balanced—a life does."
    - @Steve Freides

    From Q&D

    And I remember also that thread.
  7. Steve Freides

    Steve Freides StrongFirst Director of Community Engagement Staff Member Senior Instructor

    ETK really nails the subject succinctly. When you're pressing a lot - in the way we teach the press at StrongFirst - pullups are optional, because you'll likely get better at them, anyway, but nonetheless good.

  8. Pavel Macek

    Pavel Macek More than 2500 posts Master Instructor

    This quote is GOLD.

    Yes, I also saved it to my notes when @Steve Freides posted it on the forum.
    Sauli likes this.
  9. John Grahill

    John Grahill More than 300 posts

    @Stevis Freides has nailed what I was trying to say. Follow as written as most of the well-known programs are written by people in this community with knowledge and experience.

    Every time I "added this or that" to "strong" because I felt like I would be losing front squat ability, pullup strength, snatching, etc. I ended up overtrained and tired, especially as the volume increased. This is especially true if you've chosen the right resistance in my opinion.

    Funny thing is that in my last go around with the program ( which is a fairly long program at that ) I just focused on the Double C&P and got stronger at pull ups and my front squatting didn't really suffer!

    One of the benefits or reasons for the "strong" program was/is minimalism and narrowly focusing on .... as Geoff says a big "bang for buck " movement that will make your whole body strong.

    Gotta think of "fullbody" movement rather than just a shoulder movement. Same applies to folks who have done the "strong" program with the Double Front Squat finding their pressing didn't suffer.

    Bottom line for me was doing it by the book worked. Mileage may vary of course.
    Marty likes this.
  10. mh2324

    mh2324 Still New to StrongFirst Forum

    Awesome input. Thanks to everyone who posted. I believe I’ll be just doing things as written with no accessory work and take the results as they come. Looking forward to it.
  11. ClaudeR

    ClaudeR Triple-Digit Post Count

    @Steve Freides ’ quote above is very good!

    if you really really want to have a pull for balance, I’d rather look at a deadlift type movement rather than pullups (GTG is fine, loading pullups is overthinking it, in my opinion)... vertical pulling doesn’t mean from the overhead position necessarily!
    The best advice is to stick with the program as many have said
  12. Shawn90

    Shawn90 More than 500 posts

    If you can complete all 3 phases of KB Strong WITH exercises added. Then you are underbelled. And honestly you don"t need any ;)

    Offtopic; bar hangs might make you feel better when doing alot of OH pushes, or other exercises that "compress" the spine.

    Recommended is doing them before bed. But i like to do them after my training when the back is warm. That, plus a full bridge.

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