Masters Pressing

by Roger LaPointe

At the Atomic Athletic Meet last fall, the Clean and Push Press was contested. Longtime masters lifter Denny Habecker knows how to press!

Fans of the now defunct Hardgainer magazine will remember John McKean. He is an avid All Round and Olympic style weightlifter who has been competing and setting records as a Master’s age athlete for … some time. Now that I am well into the Masters realm, John gave me some great advice, “Don’t hurt yourself. When you do, work around it and learn.”

That sounds like the most obvious truism ever. As a Masters Age lifter, it is reality.

Right now, while I am primarily an Olympic style weightlifter, I am focused on improving two somewhat related lifts: the crucifix and the clean & press. With these lifts as the primary ones I am working on for a 1-Rep Max, here is a small snapshot of what I am doing to help in that regard.

1. I always work the Indian clubs, for my messed up rotator cuff.
2. I still do snatches and full cleans, as well as a number of related accessory lifts, such as: overhead squats, front & back squats, clean grip and snatch grip pulls.
3. I added in the clean & press as well as the crucifix.
4. I also added in bent over rows.
5. If my back is not recovering as quickly as I need it to be, then I do the incline bench press and incline dumbbell fly.
6. I still do curls and stomach work.

The key is to listen to your body. Especially with orders of weights coming in and going out, I don’t get too hung up on sticking to some pre-determined workout. If something is going really well, then I go with it. If it is not feeling good, I switch it up and work around it.