I’m pretty sure this is a common question.
(Make sure your images are turned on in your email
so you can see these fancy pictures I included for you. :-] )
In fact, I think I read somewhere, that if one person in a
group asks a question at least 10 people have the same
question, but are afraid to ask.
The question comes from Victoria:
“What exactly is the difference between the Jerk and the
Push Press. Is ‘looks’ like its just the addition of the clean
in between reps? Or am I missing something?”
A Push Press is where you assist your press by driving
with your legs.
Think of it as “jump and punch” – only your feet don’t leave
the ground. (Your heels may come up.)
And it allows you to use more weight or get more reps with
the same weight than you would using a Press.
Plus, there’s a “power” component to it – the leg drive is
quick and explosive.
This means you can train your power if that’s part of your
sport and it also means there’s a higher energy expenditure
from doing Push Presses.
That of course means there’s a greater potential for fat loss
if you’re in a caloric deficit and a greater potential to improve
In the “Iron World” we have the following axiom:
“If you can’t press it, push press it. If you can’t push press it,
So the Jerk allows for heavier weights to be put over head.
It also requires more athleticism and energy than the Push Press.
And, it also allows you to train for power – to be more explosive.
Unfortunately for most desk jockeys, it requires a lot more
coordination, flexibility, and mobility to perform than the Push
More on that in a minute…
The KEY difference between the Push Press and the Jerk is
In the Jerk, you create enough power to drive the KBs off your
chest out of the rack to your hairline or just above, and “drop”
underneath the weight, catching it in a quarter to half squat,
depending on how heavy the weights are.
This requires a great deal of patience, courage, and timing.
Because of this, many people will be too intimidated by the
Jerk and never try it out.
Plus, there’s all the mobility, flexibility, and coordination issues…
And that’s a crying shame.
Because the Truth be told, the Jerk is not only incredibly fun
and empowering to do (you feel like Superman or whatever
the female equivalent is – Wonder Woman?) when you get
The Jerk makes you really strong, and when performed for
high enough reps, makes you really well conditioned –
ESPECIALLY when you add in a Clean between each rep.
You end up with what’s known as “the Long Cycle” – repeated
Clean + Jerks.
And the Long Cycle – LCCJ – is one of the best ways to use
a pair of KBs to improve your total body strength and conditioning.
Everyone touts the benefits of the Swing – and sure – they’re
great, but just doing swings with a pair of KBs is like going to
jujitsu practice and never making it past your yellow belt.
It’s kind of missing the point.
(As a black belt in jujitsu and mentor of mine said to me once,
“getting your yellow belt is learning just enough to only be a
danger to yourself.”)
Learning and practicing the LCCJ with your KBs is the
equivalent to getting your brown belt in KB lifting.
The Truth is, the Jerk, and subsequently the Clean + Jerk
are not that hard to learn.
In fact, with the right guide, the Jerk is pretty easy.
You have to have a strategy to overcome your mobility
issues – those tight shoulders and t-spine.
I’ll give them to you right now.
First, you have to be able to put your arms overhead, in line
with your ears while standing.
Second, and here’s what most people can’t do –
You have to be able to put your arms over your head, in line
with your ears while in a quarter squat position.
There are FOUR specific strategies to get you to being able
top put your arms over head.
1. Focus on specialized breathing.
2. Increase hip mobility.
3. Increase thoracic spine mobility.
4. Increase shoulder mobility/stability.
I cover EXACTLY which drills you need to do for each area
SPECIFIC to the Jerk, inside “Kettlebell STRONG!.”
The Bottom Line here is this:
Learning and mastering the Jerk makes you Strong!
It makes you powerful.
And it makes you more athletic.
If you want to be stronger, more powerful, and more athletic
at any age, and get your brown belt in KB lifting, learn how
to do the Jerk properly by getting your copy of “Kettlebell
P.S. The Jerk and the Long Cycle Clean + Jerk are also
EXCELLENT exercises for stripping off body fat –
Especially when you’ve stalled out using Swings and