What if you could use “sloppy” technique for greater
… And greater overall body strength…?
Does that sound at all interesting to you?
If so, keep reading.
First, I know, I know, I know – it sounds like I’m contradicting
myself, especially since I sent out an email the other day
saying that I focus on technique first and strength second.
AND, that the two feed each other.
So how can “sloppy” technique help you?
Indulge me with a little story, to demonstrate what I’m
about to share.
One Saturday, circa 1998/99, Alfonso wrote down the
following workout for me to perform:
Push Press 3RM
I immediately set to work, resting as necessary between sets.
Here were the results:
Jerk: 161kg / 355lbs
Push Press: 142.5kg / 315lbs
Press: 102.5kg / 225lbs
I weighed at the time approximately 225lbs.
My previous best press at that time (during that season) was
225lbs for 3.
Not too bad. Not super great. And better than it was.
What I noticed was by the time I got to the pressing, the bar
felt absolutely light and the weights just flew up.
That’s because the heavy overload of jerks and push presses
potentiated (excited) my nervous system and allowed me to
recruit more muscle fibers than normal.
That correlated with previous experiences and my current
I haven’t pressed in months. What I have been doing is a lot
of push presses and jerk. More push presses than jerks.
The other day I “tested” out my press and guess what?
Even though I hadn’t been pressing, my numbers have gone
How’s that work?
Don’t some people advocate against the push press for
increasing pressing strength saying the grooves don’t match
and there’s no carryover?
Well here’s the thing:
If you do it right, you can almost think of the push press as
a “sloppy” or “cheat” press – one where you use a little knee
dip and momentum to get the bar going up.
(As the old saying goes, “If you can’t press it, push press it.
If you can’t push press it, jerk it.”)
What that also means is that you still have to do everything
you should be doing on the press, with the exception of
(obviously) the knee dip.
More on that in a minute…
First, why’s this work?
Quite frankly, putting heavier weights over your head makes
your whole body stronger, regardless of how you get them
It improves your “systemic” strength.
So even if you “cheat” a little bit and use your legs, the very
fact that you have heavier weight over your head than normal
creates a new overload stimulus that your body isn’t used to
and forces it to adapt.
Not only will it make you stronger, it will put more muscle on
your upper body, if there’s enough volume.
Furthermore, it will improve your conditioning levels too.
Nothing like pushing [heavy] weight overhead for reps to
get the heart rate going and even strip off some body fat
Back to the technique:
Like I said, for a positive transfer to your press, almost
everything has to be the same as your press.
Your rack has to be the same…
Your breathing – or “loading the canister” has to be the
Your set up has to be the same…
Your negative rep and return to the start should be the same
(Don’t worry, you should be able to handle 130-150% more
on the “down” than the “up.”)
The only difference is the leg drive.
If you’re press has stalled out, give this “sloppy” press
technique – the push press a shot.
If you’re not 100% sure how to set up your technique in the
press and therefore the push press, I go over it in depth in
the “Kettlebell STRONG!” DVDs.
The devil is in the details.
And all the details you need to get a stronger press and a
stronger body are right here – inside “Kettlebell STRONG!”.
P.S. The push press is great for improving the “lockout” and
triceps strength – the limiting factor in locking out the press.
However, there’s a good chance you can hurt your lower
back if you do it wrong.
Don’t take any chances – learn how to push press correctly
and injury free with “Kettlebell STRONG!”.