Chase Karnes graduated from Murray State University with a Bachelors degree in Exercise Science. He is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) and Certified Personal Trainer (NSCA-CPT) through the National Strength and Conditioning Association. His philosophy is simple: He believes that whether you're an elite athlete, soccer mom, or family doctor you should have access to the most recent developments in exercise, health and nutrition science.

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  • Update

    Posted in Fitness by admin | No Comments »

    I’m now keeping my training log at

    Chase Karnes Training Log

    You can also read my bi-monthly column, Kentucky Strong, there as well.

    Chase Karnes Author Page

    And feel free to send any questions my way though the EliteFTS Q&A. Just select my name from the list and send it on over.

    Ask Chase a Question

    Increasing Your Overhead Press

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    Note from Chase: I had the pleasure of meeting and training with Dimitar last summer.  Dimitar is not only a very strong guy – he’s also really smart when it comes to how to get stronger. We talked training quite a bit that day and I left with some great gems of information. I even wrote a short article on the things we discussed titled – “Bulgarian Strongman”. So when Dimitar contacted me about running an article he wrote on the overhead press I didn’t hesitate in saying yes.  Just watch the video below and you’ll understand why.

    Increasing Your Overhead Press

    By: Dimitar Savatinov

    I want to talk about overhead press which is my favorite event in the sport, anything overhead. I started training overhead press for the first time in my life in early 2009 and I barely was lifting 225lbs for 5 very hard reps. Since then I’ve been pushing harder and harder to get my overhead to over 500lbs.

    My favorite exercise which helps me and keeps helping me to get my overhead press bigger is the incline bench press. But before I start my incline I do some work on the regular bench. Depending on the contest coming up, I change my training to lighter reps or heavier reps on both lifts. If I have 2 months with no contest, my main training is always for more reps.  In my opinion, more reps are what make you stronger. If you have to lift singles at a contest, 5-6 weeks before switch to less reps with heavier weight for triples, then down to doubles. You already got the strength made by the rep work and you just need to adjust to singles.

    When I start my regular bench, I try not to get myself too tired so I can do my main workout on the incline. What I will do is just some random numbers, 500lbs for 3 sets of 5 on the regular bench. I pick a weight that I could do at least 3 sets of 10. I use it like a warm up for the incline. I will start the incline also from warm up weights and graduate to my working sets. I will do 8-10 reps for 3-4 sets which I will try to do with weight that the last reps are very hard.

    I like the incline bench because it gives me a lot of strength in my front delts and upper chest.  These are very important for the sport of strongman because the pressing events are very hard to split jerk and you need more brute strength.  The way I like to do the incline bench and is the way that is working best for me, is to stop for a second on the chest and then try to press the fastest that you can. This is giving the explosion needed for the implement to come off the chest, of course working together with your legs. The way I place the bar on my chest for incline bench is in the middle of my chest.

    To finish the movement you need very strong triceps which I do on another day with my actual overhead press. I think that training pushing movements 2 times a week is good because 80% of the muscles you use to push are triceps, chest, shoulders, and they are smaller muscles and recover fast enough, especially if you have good nutrition.

    With all the strength and power you still need very good technique, which took me long time to get better. I see a lot of the guys I compete against make a very big mistake by holding the bar in their hands, which is very wrong. You have to keep the bar, log, axel, keg, anything you overhead, on your chest and shoulders, like Olympic Lifting, so you can use your legs for the push-press. Otherwise when the bar is seated in your hands. First, it is very dangerous for your wrists, elbows, and shoulders and back because when you squat down to do the dip for the push-press, the bar is moving with you and when you start come up the bar is still pressing down and all this pressure is going to your joints. Second, when the bar keeps moving down and your body is moving up you can’t use the inertia from your legs. What happens is your legs are already straight and then you start pushing the bar is this dip where you did was just waste of energy and you doing pretty much a strict press with a dip. But, if the bar is on your chest and you use your legs good enough, you can get easily get 8″ just legs. The  explosion you worked out with your incline bench and then you start pushing with all other muscles which are triceps, shoulders, upper chest, rear delt  and if you want to believe me, with your whole back. This is pretty much what I can think of right now but if you guys and girls like that what you see, just let me know and I can write about whole body workouts. Just let me know what you are interested in. Thanks for reading and I hope I help somebody with my explanation.

    Dimitar Savatinov is an ASC Pro Strongman. He finished 3rd place at the “American Strongest Man” competition at Olympia, just 1/2 point out of 2nd. For more information on Dimitar look him up on Facebook and YouTube.

    Dimitar on Facebook:

    Dimitar on YouTube:


    Training Log

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    A. Circus DB Clean & Press








    B. Keg Clean & Press



    230×4 – PR


    C. Frame Carry

    440 x 50 ft.

    440 x 50 ft.

    620 x 50 ft. – 12 seconds – PR


    C. Keg Carry and Load / Prowler Push Medley

    210#/230#/250# keg x 80ft./50ft./25ft. loaded over yoke.

    180# Prowler sprint x 80 ft.



    A1. Straight Leg Sit Ups

    3 sets of 20

    A2. Stir the Pot

    3 each direction x 3


    B. Sled Drags

    360# x 80 ft. x 3 trips with 90 seconds rest



    A. Deadlifts




    585×1 – PR

    600×1 – PR

    Add new deadlift suit to start breaking it in.






    A. Log Clean & Press



    290×4 – PR


    B1. Overhead Press






    B2. Blast Strap Row

    5 sets of 10


    C1. Band Tri Ext

    4 sets of 25


    C2. Band Pull Apart

    4 sets of 25


    D1. Hanging Leg Raises

    3 sets of 10


    D2. Rollouts

    3 sets of 10



    Training Log

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    A. Axle Clean and Press

    215 x 1

    245 x 2

    275 x 9 – PR

    290 x 3


    B1. Bench Press

    220 x 3

    250 x 3

    285 x 10


    B2. Chins 4 sets of 10


    C1. Cable Curls 4 sets of 25

    C2. Band Pressdowns 4 sets of 25


    D1. Hanging Leg Raises 3 sets of 10

    D2. Rollouts 3 sets of 10

    D3. Face Pulls 3 sets of 25



    A. Circus DB

    75 x 1

    95 x 1

    120 x 1

    135 x 1

    155 x 1

    175 x 1

    175 x 1

    195 x 0

    * I had misloaded the dumbbell and had planned for two singles with 155 and one single at 175. Instead I hit two singles at 175 and missed 195, thinking it was 175. When I unloaded the dumbbell I counted the plates to realize my loading mistake.

    B. Frame Carry 440 x 50 ft. 620 x 21 ft. – PR – Tore the rest of the callus off my left hand and dropped it here. The pick on this frame is so low it’s like a trap bar so I just let it be.

    C. Stone Carry and Load

    230#/240# x 1

    300#/340# x 1 – No drops – PR



    A. Deadlift




    530×5 – PR


    B. Car Deadlift

    Implement + 800 x 5 – Raw

    Implement + 1220 x 8 – Suit – PR

    *Tore Callus off on second set


    C. Keg Carry/Sled Drag Medley

    210# keg x 80 ft. / 360 sled x 80 ft. x 1

    210# keg x 80 ft. / 360 sled x 50 ft. x 1



    A. Log Clean & Press





    B1. Overhead Press





    B2. Blast Strap Rows 5 sets of 10


    C1. Band Tricep Ext 4 sets of 25

    C2. Band Pull Aparts 4 sets of 25


    D1. Rollouts 3 sets of 10

    D2. Hanging Leg Raises 3 sets of 10

    Training Log

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    A. Keg Press

    210 x 1

    210 x 4 – PR

    230 x 3 – PR


    B. Yoke – 50 ft.






    C. Yoke/Sled Drag Medley

    720#/450# x 50 ft. each – 51.1 seconds – PR


    D. Keg Carry/Sled Drag Medley – 80 ft. each

    250#/360# x 1

    210#/270# x 1




    A. Squats






    515×1 – PR


    B. Atlas Stone Carry and Load

    230#/240# stones x 1

    260#/300#/340# stones x 1 – PR




    A. Axle Clean & Press



    290×5 – PR



    B1. Bench Press





    B2. Chins

    3 sets of 10

    C1. Cable Curls

    4 sets of 25

    C2. Band Tricep Pressdown

    4 sets of 25

    D1. Face Pulls

    3 sets of 33

    D2. Rollouts

    3 sets of 10

    D3. Hanging Leg Raises

    3 sets of 10