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Kettlebell Best way to improve my press

Eric Wilson

Level 5 Valued Member
I've been doing S&S, and I'm at the point of timeless 24kg. No catchy name for that, I know it's where many of you started.

I'm 47yo man, under 130 pounds, without natural strength, and with less than a year of strength training, mainly with kettlebells (no barbells at all). I think it would be fair to say that I'm the "hardgainer" type.

My press has always been pretty week -- I'm significantly stronger than before, but I typically can't press the 16kg more than once -- and I've never hit three reps at that weight.

I've enjoyed S&S, but I want to take a break from it for several reasons:
- I don't have a 28kg or 32kg bell
- Given my poor press, I don't feel safe going heavier on TGU
- I'd like to spend more time on some other movements (snatch, squat, press, etc)

When I look at other programs I'd like to try (ROP, TTKC) it is typical to start with a bell that you can press 5-8 times. I can press the 12kg at least 12 times, so the rep schemes of those programs would break down with so little weight. But like I said, 16kg is too much for me right now.

What would you recommend as the best way to improve my press so that I can use 16kg as my working weight? I'm considering a Dan John 40 day program (easy strength style) as one option. The other idea would be to pursue a hypertrophy approach first. I'm not sure which is likely to be effective for me with my current level of strength.
 
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TravisS

Level 5 Valued Member
To press alot you have to press alot. ROP even with a 12kg will build your resilience. The volume will do its thing when doing ladders. Before you know it, the 16kg will go up more than once.
 

barrak

Level 6 Valued Member
Eric,

ROP is an excellent choice for press progression. Given that you mastered S&S with 24K, I agree with you that a 12K is probably too light.

I would suggest you do the ROP anyway with the 16K. Except that you do push presses with yielding negatives. In other words, you lower the bell SLOWLY. Make that the aim of your presses during this preparatory phase. I would stick to 3 ladders of 3 rungs till you can graduate to strict presses for all three ladders.

Word of caution, ROP racks up the volume exponentially during its prescribed 13 weeks. Therefore, once you achieve this initial goal, take a week off then attack ROP starting with 3 ladders of 3 rungs and progress from there.
 

pet'

Level 8 Valued Member
Hello,

I'm 47yo man, under 130 pounds, without natural strength, and with less than a year of strength training, mainly with kettlebells (no barbells at all). I think it would be fair to say that I'm the "hardgainer" type.
I am more or less in the same situation (60kg, 1,83m). So more endurance than strength-oriented.

RoP, even with a slightly lighter weight will build up your press to 16. To a certain extent, this is even better to start RoP lighter than we think because the volume is fairly high.

Otherwise, the Soju and Tuba may also work (way less volume, but weight slightly heavier).

Finally, another thing which works well on me: cluster
Everyday, using the 16, you can do for instance 3-4 clusters of 5. It will work very well because you build a lot of volume, without a lot of fatigue, with a relatively heavy weight.
It is something as follows:
lift, rest 30s, lift, rest 30s, lift, rest 30s, lift, rest 30s, lift, rest 30s. This is one cluster. While this arm rest, you do with the other. Then you repeat the whole sequence (right and left arm) for the desired number of sets.

Kind regards,

Pet'
 

pet'

Level 8 Valued Member
Hello,

From a recent article, written by Aleks Salkins, a steady diet of TGU (waving the load H/L/M) + GTG push ups is also a very good way to improve the press.

Kind regards,

Pet'
 

pet'

Level 8 Valued Member
Hello,

@Eric Wilson
Assuming S&S is you bread and better, the increase of you press may come from:
- a routine you can recover from, and,
- a routine which is convenient for you, and,
- a routine you like

For instance:
- if you are working from home, GTG with "plenty" of volume (and change the variation (regular, feet elevated, etc...) may be a good option
- if you are pressed by time, S&T is great

Kind regards,

Pet'
 

Eric Wilson

Level 5 Valued Member
Hello,

From a recent article, written by Aleks Salkins, a steady diet of TGU (waving the load H/L/M) + GTG push ups is also a very good way to improve the press.

Kind regards,

Pet'

I might have seen that article -- over the last four weeks I've worked weighted pushups and dips (in addition to TGU), with the hopes it would have some carryover to the press, but have not seen progress that way.
 

pet'

Level 8 Valued Member
Hello,

This is a process which takes time. Do not worry.

Kind regards,

Pet'
 

Mark Limbaga

Level 8 Valued Member
Elite Certified Instructor
What I would suggest is you can explore pike pushups and one arm pushups as thee have gotten my presses up
 

Simply strong

Level 4 Valued Member
Swap the get up for the press with your 12kg bell. Train it as often as you would the get up.
5 sets per arm. Stop each set way before failure (RPE 6). Practice a controlled negative and “pull” the bell down. After 6-8 weeks test with the 16kg bell.
 

Advenedizo

Level 1 Valued Member
Since nobody has mentioned it, and I think it is important, I will have a go.

To lift big you need big muscles, to have big muscles you need to eat like a lion. So unless you are vertically challenged I suggest putting some mass into your frame. I recommend the following routine:

1. Buy some sweet potatoes, brown rice, some beans and half a cow. Do not overdo the carbs. You cannot overdo the cow.
2. Proceed to eat aforementioned cow and veggies in the next two weeks, while you continue with S&S to make the gains lean.
3. In two weeks test the 16 again, after two kg increase in weight. Guaranteed 5 reps.
 

Eric Wilson

Level 5 Valued Member
If you really want to accelerate your progress on strength - take a few months and work with barbells.
Yeah, that would make sense. As it is, basement workouts is what works for my lifestyle, so I'm working with the equipment I have.
 

Eric Wilson

Level 5 Valued Member
Since nobody has mentioned it, and I think it is important, I will have a go.

To lift big you need big muscles, to have big muscles you need to eat like a lion. So unless you are vertically challenged I suggest putting some mass into your frame. I recommend the following routine:

1. Buy some sweet potatoes, brown rice, some beans and half a cow. Do not overdo the carbs. You cannot overdo the cow.
2. Proceed to eat aforementioned cow and veggies in the next two weeks, while you continue with S&S to make the gains lean.
3. In two weeks test the 16 again, after two kg increase in weight. Guaranteed 5 reps.

It's a good suggestion, and I've been increasing my protein, maybe not enough. But I doubt that any amount of food gives me 2kg of mass in 2 weeks.
 

John Locke

Level 4 Valued Member
I would suggest to continue with S&S.
You can tweak your Bell adding and removing plates of 2kg between reps as needed. This way you can delay the purchase of a bigger bell.
 

Eric Wilson

Level 5 Valued Member
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