Paul Oneid – Bench Assistance and a Tip for the OHP

I recently competed at the EPC Open Challenge.  The meet was over on my second squat where I suffered a re-injury to my right quad.  Due to personal and professional commitments, I have decided not to compete until Fall 2018.  Between now and then I will be focusing on first getting healthy and then working on some very glaring weaknesses in the bench and deadlift specifically.

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I’ve been feeling quite under the weather the last few days, so I didn’t expect much on this day.  Ended up being a good session and I felt better after sweating a little bit.

A common fault I see with many powerlifters when performing the standing overhead press is not emphasizing a stable overhead position.  Often, due to a lack of shoulder mobility, the range is cut without a full lockout.  In my opinion this robs the OHP of one if its main benefits – a stable end range of scapular rotation.  In this position, the scapula are upwardly rotated and the entirety of the upper back is engaged and the triceps are locked in.  Your core is also very active because the load is far away from the centre of mass.  A static hold in this position (if you can get there) is EXTREMELY taxing.  You can see I held this position on the last rep, and I did so every set.  Spending time to establish stable end ranges in all our movements goes a long way towards injury prevention and is something I personally have neglected in favour of a quick turnover and stretch reflex, but not anymore.  I would go so far to say that if you cannot lock out the barbell above the head and hold your end range with a stable midsection, the strict press would be a contraindicated lift for you.  The juice wouldn’t be worth the squeeze.

Note – I do concede that I am quite arched through the entirety of my spine during the movement.  This increased as I fatigued.  Before initiating the first press, I rooted myself into the ground and set my glutes and core.  This position degrades during the set because I had to breathe.  When I perform the static hold, I do my best to re-establish my core positioning.  Something I have been doing to address my overhead position is handstands.  The lower back is unloaded and you can cue your bracing very well.  It is a work in progress and I will get better over time – hence why I am starting with such light weights.

Bench Assistance

  1.  Standing OHP – 4×10 RPE 6 (up 10lbs)
  2. Dips – 4×10 RPE 5 (up 10lbs)
  3. DB Flies – 3×12
  4. Laterals – 4×10
  5. Biceps /ss triceps – 5x20ea
  6. DB Reverse Fly – 10×10 w 10sec rest
  7. Off-set Farmer walk (one hand goblet, opposite hand suitcase) – 5x50ft./side w 60s rest per set.


  1. Daily hip rehab sequence
    1. 5 minutes cardio
    2. Supine Alternating hip lift x20
    3. Deadbug hip reset x6/side
      • These two movements are aimed to centre the pelvis laterally and anterior/posterior
    4. McGill Big 3 – 5x10sec each movement
    5. Single Leg Glute Bridge – 3x10sec iso hold per side
    6. Iso Deadbug – 30sec/ side
    7. Single Leg RDL Iso hold – 30sec/side
  2. ShoulderRok – 2 sets
  3. McGill t-Spine – 1 set
  4. Scapular wall slides – 1set
  5. Handstands – 3x20sec hold against a wall



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Paul Oneid

Paul is an elite level raw Powerlifter with personal bests of an 805lbs squat, 440lbs bench, 725lbs deadlift and a 1960lbs total in the 242lbs class, as well as an 800lbs squat, 430lbs bench, 700lbs deadlift and 1930lbs total in the 220lbs class. Paul brings a deep educational background to the team as he has earned Master’s degrees in both Sports Management and Exercise Science. He is a former D1 Collegiate Strength and Conditioning Coach, who now works as a Functional Rehabilitation Specialist in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Paul provides coaching services in the areas of training and nutrition through his company Master Athletic Performance and is also the co-founder of a technology company, 1-Life Inc. Stay tuned for more information on that in the future!
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