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Other/Mixed Bent Press, Military Press, Parallel Bar Dips for a minimalist program?

Other strength modalities (e.g., Clubs), mixed strength modalities (e.g., combined kettlebell and barbell), other goals (flexibility)

Jaime Sanabria

Level 2 Valued Member
I'm looking for a general strength protocol with kettlebells made as simple as possible. I have already settled for snatches/swings for my conditioning, as I respect the individual benefits that they both bring, so I decided to rotate through them both. However, I'm not sure if the bent press, military press or parallel bar dips would serve me better. I don't have a preference for any because they all seem fine, but I just want something that I can do alongside the swing and snatch that will be complete while also continue to be challenging. I know the bent press makes up the original Program Minimum for a reason, but there are so many ways to cook the military press! And the dip is as pure an upper body movement as there is. Equipment required is something else to consider- I often only have access to my kettlebells (1x16kg, 1x24kg, 1x32kg). I plan to stay with any set of minimal exercises I settle on for many years to come, so preferably the press is something I can do well into my 40s/50s+. What are your thoughts? Thank you!
 

pet'

Level 8 Valued Member
Hello,

In Joe Rogan's podcast, Pavel says that his bread and butter is swings and dips.

Notheless, all the kind of presses have values:
- Bent press for twist and mobility
- Military are 'easier' from a technical standpoint
Etc...

If you go for a daily routine, you can just rotate them through. Snatch and Bent press pair well for instance. Swings and dips or swings and MP do a good combo as well.

Kind regards,

Pet'
 

Period

Level 7 Valued Member
Bent press and military press are both somewhat more technical movements - the bent press extremely so. Unless you stack two KBs on top of wach other, you should run out of weight pretty soon on the bent press as well, even if you do "2 hand anyhows" (= bent press one bell, pick up and military press the other bell). Dips, on the other hand, are a fairly simple exercise (although harder variations exist - check Coach Sommer's "Building the Gymnastic Body" or "Parkour strength training" by Ford & Musholt). You could use all three bells at the same time for additional weight, that should give you something to work up to ;)
 

Torin

Level 4 Valued Member
I'm looking for a general strength protocol with kettlebells made as simple as possible
I still think of ROP as the classic kettlebell program.

Clean & Press / Pull-up (or Row) ladders for strength. Swings and Snatches for conditioning. Getups (or Bent Presses) on variety days if you want to do them.

The newer programs that take avantage of increased variability in weight, intensity, and density may produce greater results, but the methodical simplicity and escalating routine of ROP is almost meditative which is more valuable to people like myself.

If you're looking for simplicity, then I'd recommend ROP as a consideration.
 

Steve Freides

Staff
Senior Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
When programming snatches more than once a week, I advise less pressing. If doing mostly swings, presses make a great fit. If doing mostly snatches, less pressing. In your place, I might do swings and military presses together, or snatches and bent presses together.

-S-
 

Jaime Sanabria

Level 2 Valued Member
I appreciate all of the responses so far! I think this just proves that there isn't really a wrong choice here. I love all of the presses, it's just a bit harder for me to come across a set of parallel bars than my kettlebells. If I were to rotate between Swings-MP and Snatches-BP, how often do you recommend making that switch? And would you practice these moves daily as some have suggested?
 

Kev

Level 6 Valued Member
I personally do Geoff Neuperts “The Giant” at this point and add in dips, either ring or parallel bars, push-ups and chin-ups (I do bar and also hang climbing tools from the bar for my grip ie balls, cylinders finger holds, pinch hubs). I like to snatch on in between days and really enjoy some of iron wolfs workouts. But in a short statement it’s c+p, dips, chins, snatch and callisthenics and I’m happy as a pig in muck doing just that. I hit judo 2x a week too.
 

Ian V

Level 5 Valued Member
If I were to rotate between Swings-MP and Snatches-BP, how often do you recommend making that switch? And would you practice these moves daily as some have suggested?
Two week blocks would probably work well. I would do them daily or most days but I keep volume fairly low and also am limited on time - more volume would probably mean fewer overall sessions. Whatever you choose good luck and enjoy !
 

Jaime Sanabria

Level 2 Valued Member
If you plan on doing this long term, why not cycle the presses in different phases?
Fair enough, there's not reason why not. Just curious if doing one or the other was the most sustainable in the long run. I've heard some things about dips causing pain to the shoulders or elbows over a long period of time, stuff like that.
Two week blocks would probably work well. I would do them daily or most days but I keep volume fairly low and also am limited on time - more volume would probably mean fewer overall sessions. Whatever you choose good luck and enjoy !
I think every two weeks^ is a good idea...I'll probably do that.

I asked Pavel over email a while ago a question about these types of minimalist programs and he said that I could just do heavy snatches and that would suffice an ultra minimalist approach. What difference does omitting/including a (bent) press in this case make? Just curious if you're missing anything by doing simply heavy snatches. I appreciate it everyone thank you!
 

pet'

Level 8 Valued Member
Hello,

Snatches and swings are ballistics. Presses, regardless the type are grinds. Most SF minimalist routines combine the two.

Ballistics help to build power and conditioning. Grinds build overall strength which at the end of day, support power production.

Kind regards,

Pet'
 

Period

Level 7 Valued Member
I asked Pavel over email a while ago a question about these types of minimalist programs and he said that I could just do heavy snatches and that would suffice an ultra minimalist approach. What difference does omitting/including a (bent) press in this case make? Just curious if you're missing anything by doing simply heavy snatches. I appreciate it everyone thank you!

Snatches and swings are ballistics. Presses, regardless the type are grinds. Most SF minimalist routines combine the two.

Ballistics help to build power and conditioning. Grinds build overall strength which at the end of day, support power production.
If you're doing REALLY heavy snatches - like in the neighbourhood of a 5-10 RM -, you might want lower the weight in sort of a negative military press - at least I do that with double snatches. This way, you would have a pressing component, potentially using more weight than you could military press - at least, I could OA snatch half bodyweight before I could OA press it cleanly if I remember correctly (definitely with barbells and dumbbells, that much I'm sure of). That MIGHT potentially give you some of the benefits of grinds in addition to the ballistic component.
 

Philippe Geoffrion

Level 6 Valued Member
Fair enough, there's not reason why not. Just curious if doing one or the other was the most sustainable in the long run. I've heard some things about dips causing pain to the shoulders or elbows over a long period of time, stuff like that.

I think every two weeks^ is a good idea...I'll probably do that.

I asked Pavel over email a while ago a question about these types of minimalist programs and he said that I could just do heavy snatches and that would suffice an ultra minimalist approach. What difference does omitting/including a (bent) press in this case make? Just curious if you're missing anything by doing simply heavy snatches. I appreciate it everyone thank you!
Anything over done over long periods of time can cause issues. This is where cycling lifts come in handy.

I’d honestly say stick to one you’re excited to do. Remember, you have OAP as well which is probably the best, minimalist upper body strength press, basically because it requires no equipment.

Dips cause some people issues, no doubt. I have torn a pec and labrum and they cause me no issues, but I like to do them for reps more often than weighted. Bench and OH Barbell take up the heavy pressing. But they have certainly satisfied for a heavy weighted pressing movement when bars weren’t available. In Oaris, they have street workout competitions. A friend of mine will compete soon.

It is essentially a maximum single of
1) a weighted dip
2) weighted myscle-up
3) a barbell back squat

And the highest total weight for all three lifts wins (like a powerlifting meet).

You also have handstand push-ups and lbs floor press. If you have no pressing goals (pun intended) work on one until it stagnates then switch to another. It can be quite fun and beneficial to train new movements when you start running cold.
 

Mark Limbaga

Level 8 Valued Member
Elite Certified Instructor
I appreciate all of the responses so far! I think this just proves that there isn't really a wrong choice here. I love all of the presses, it's just a bit harder for me to come across a set of parallel bars than my kettlebells. If I were to rotate between Swings-MP and Snatches-BP, how often do you recommend making that switch? And would you practice these moves daily as some have suggested?
If I may ask what size bell and or load on the bar are you pressing? How about snatching?

Most people often forget you can make progress with a simply laid out plan
 

svencandy

Level 1 Valued Member
I like the idea of dips as they allow the most weight to be pressed, apparently not all shoulders can take them, but others have also stated that is just because of improper form.
The other reason I like dips comes from a holistic perspective, you can walk to an outdoor gym and get some sunshine which is good for vitamin D, plus you interact with the people in your local community along the way, plus looking at dogs running around and sniffing bums is a good reminder of how to live.
 

Jaime Sanabria

Level 2 Valued Member
Anything over done over long periods of time can cause issues. This is where cycling lifts come in handy.

I’d honestly say stick to one you’re excited to do. Remember, you have OAP as well which is probably the best, minimalist upper body strength press, basically because it requires no equipment.

Dips cause some people issues, no doubt. I have torn a pec and labrum and they cause me no issues, but I like to do them for reps more often than weighted. Bench and OH Barbell take up the heavy pressing. But they have certainly satisfied for a heavy weighted pressing movement when bars weren’t available. In Oaris, they have street workout competitions. A friend of mine will compete soon.

It is essentially a maximum single of
1) a weighted dip
2) weighted myscle-up
3) a barbell back squat

And the highest total weight for all three lifts wins (like a powerlifting meet).

You also have handstand push-ups and lbs floor press. If you have no pressing goals (pun intended) work on one until it stagnates then switch to another. It can be quite fun and beneficial to train new movements when you start running cold.
The only reason I shy away from the OAP is because I can knock out a few easily now after practicing them GTG style for about 8 months, and I can’t really add weight to them…
 
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