I'm good naturally, at overhead pressing. I've done a strict overhead clean and press of 275x3. 225x10 on many occasions, both standing and behind the neck. I've done the 120 pound dumbbell's for 12+ on a bunch of occasions. Other than the 275 triple though, I can't tell you what all my bests are because the truth is, I don't give a shit.
Standing, seated, behind the neck, it doesn't matter. This lift has always come easier to me than any other. Most people are good at a lift, and exploit that shit like Johnnie Cochran exploited the legal system.
I'm quite the opposite. I hate shit I am naturally good at, and get bored with. I love to do shit I am not good at. Like deadlifting. So with the overhead stuff, I never kept track of all my PR's because I didn't and don't care about them. I'd like to hit 315 strict overhead at around 250 but if I don't, oh well.
Let me also add in that "overhead work" is not jumping under a fucking bar to me. That's something else. Overhead work and overhead pressing means you pressed the fucking bar over your head. You didn't jump under it. Talking about what a strong overhead guy you are when you're really just jumping under the bar is being a transvestite
With that said, I will talk a little about why I think overhead work is easier for me, and some things I have done to improve it while I did care about overhead pressing.
- Always press the barbell with a thumbless grip. I can't believe it when I still see people overhead pressing with their thumb around the bar. When you wrap your thumb around the bar, the bar gets more out in front of you. When you go thumbless, the bar gets closer to your center of gravity. Giving you a better power path.
- Do all kinds of pressing. Do clean and press, seated press, db press both seated and standing, viking press, and even machine pressing. The point is to get your shoulders strong regardless of the leverages allowed or not allowed by your torso.
- Be aware of upperback work. Unlike the bullshit that perpetuates the internet about needing lat work for a bigger bench (this is also full fucking retard), you do need to be aware that your upperback plays a huge role in overhead work. Your traps and rhomboids do a lot of work to stabilize the shoulder girdle, and your lower back works as the foundation where you are pressing from. If you don't think so, do standing overhead work with a sore or fatigued lower back and see how shitty you press. Also, the easier your clean is, the easier the press will be. This is a fact.
- Work your rear delts a lot. That is, unless you want to look like a fucking hunchback. Guys that do too much benching and overhead work at the expense of their rear delts always end up with lat syndrome, and the palms of their hands usually face them. This is an injury waiting to happen. Don't be one of these assclowns.
- Bring your grip in. The wider the grip the harder it is to get off the bottom. Yes, the lockout becomes easier, but not much. Remember that weight gain isn't as huge a factor in overhead pressing as say, the bench. So you want to rocket that shit off the bottom as fast as possible, past the sticking point before lockout.
- On the contrast, for pressing behind the neck, take your grip out WIIIIDDDEEE. If you press behind the neck wide, your shoulders should be fine. Here is another myth, that press behind the neck is bad for your shoulders. Bull and shit. If you can't do press behind the neck your shoulders are already fucked up. What's funny is, one of the exercises used to rehab shitty shoulders is shoulder dislocates. Well the motion isn't a lot different than what you do in a press behind the neck. The reason lots of guys can't do press behind the neck is because their rotators are tight. PBN will let you know if you need to take care of this problem.
- Overhead twice a week. The shoulders can take a lot of work. There are a million ways to program for this. One heavy day and one light day, or two heavy days but with different movements.
- Use the incline bench. Lots of strongmen love the incline bench and there is a reason for this. Think of it like an overloaded overhead press. My incline is usually not very far behind my bench. This is also why I think I am a naturally good overhead presser. I promise you if you improve your incline your overhead press will go up.
- Do standing french presses. This was my staple in my younger years but my elbows can't handle it now. Not because of this exercises, but just because my elbows are old and fucked up. These also have a nice direct carryover to the standing overhead press.
- Get good at cleaning and pressing heavy ass singles, doubles, and triples. I personally think that more than any other movement, reps generate less progress for the overhead standing press than any other lift I do. When I've done 225 for reps easily it was during times when I was pushing the heavy singles or triples up. Doing standing press for like 12-15 reps isn't even like the same movement.
Lastly, be patient. For some guys the overhead press goes up agonizingly slow. If that's you, just prioritize it for a while (6+ months) and go from there. Slow and steady wins the race.