When I come across questions like this I always think –
“Better for what?”
Strength? Hypertrophy? Fat Loss? Conditioning?
First, let’s define the See-Saw Press in case you’re unaware
of what it is and what it’s supposed to do.
The SSP is a hybrid press – it’s not really a double press
and it’s not really a single press. It’s kind of a blur or
smudge between the two.
The SSP starts with both KBs in the rack.
You press one over your head.
Then as you pull it down you start to press the other one so
they pass each other when your upper arms are parallel
to the ground.
So if I took a picture of you doing a SSP at this point, it
would look just like a double press (DMP).
The loading on the body is vaguely similar in whilst –
(Whilst? Been a long time – maybe never used that word
in one of these newsletters, methinks, good sirs and madams.)
… in the rack and at eyeball level.
What’s the SSP good for?
It’s really good for learning how to pull the KB down to you
– down to the rack position using your lat. Maybe more so
than a regular single arm KB press.
I said “maybe.”
It is for me.
Loading the opposite side really innervates my lats on
the descending side – most probably through the
“intra-limb” response –
Make a fist with one hand and “nerve-force” irradiates to
the other hand.
As an aside, this by the way is why when you injure one
arm or hand, you should still continue training the other
side. Because the injured side will heal more quickly and
maintain much of its strength. (Used to use this trick with
injured wrestlers with great success.)
Not only will the SSP help teach you to pull down into
the rack using your lats, but because you shift your weight
away from the bell you’re pulling down and under the bell
you’re pushing up, you get a nice oblique and abdominal
The SSP definitely has value.
Primarily it’s a great exercise to teach you how to pull the
KB down using your lats – and of course to strengthen up
But is it better than the Double Military Press?
In my opinion – No.
It’s a great exercise that will fortify your body for the DMP
and can be used as a “de-loading” exercise from/for the
DMP (like in “Kettlebell Muscle”) but as far as a replacement –
Not gonna happen.
Because of “systemic overload.”
The DMP places greater demand on your body – forcing/
coaxing/stimulating – whatever word you want to use -
bigger and faster adaptations than the SSP.
So when you want to get really strong – or put on some
muscle – the go with the DMP over the SSP.
But don’t just “heave” your pair of KBs up into the double
Do it correctly.
Take your time.
Use moderate sized KBs and get your technique down
Make your body solid. Turn it into a “Pillar of Power.”
This makes the bells feel light and fly right up.
Then once you’ve got the “Pillar of Power” down – take
your bells for a ride and spend a couple of months focusing
on the Press – or rather the Clean + Press by using the
(Yes, no “Workout of the Day” – shock, horror, gasp!)
Focus on strength using the Double KB Clean + Press
and the muscle will come. And so will the conditioning –
especially when you get to Phase 3 of the “STRONG!”