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Old Forum Pavel, Justa-style singles for pressing

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Well, he wrote 'rock, iron, steel' (though rumor has it that it was HEAVILY edited by ironmind, apparently Justa didn't write percentages into any of his programs).

He wrote a bunch of articles for Milo. I saw a summary of one of those online... apparently his training involved ridiculously heavy lockouts, isometrics, punching a wall for several thousand reps and forcefully stomping through a field of mud.

Marty Gallagher's Purposeful Primitive has a piece on him, with some of his PRs, training philosophy, and pictures.

John Mckean wrote an article about his training that I could post up here if people want, I've never seen it anyplace--I think it was originally published on an old version of the USAWA site.

Right now, Bud Jeffries has been putting up some videos/pictures of Justa in weird getups training in junkyards, etc.
Oh, and Justa also had a $20 mail-order course at some point, that nobody edited:

And of course there are videos of him doing partial truck lifts and singing on youtube. It's all very strange stuff. I came across one the other month in which he was doing partial bearhug lifts with an old-style cast iron sewing machine.

If I remember right, his best strict overhead press is 225, which is pretty good, though not necessarily very strong for someone Justa's size (not a small guy). But his strength definitely isn't in the well-established barbell lifts; he's got unreal levels of strength in a manual laborer type of way. I think in a really short interview in an ironmind catalog, he said his 'most dangerous training moment' was when he accidentally tripped and fell over when carrying a 700-pound barbell, in the deadlift position, like 20 steps from two chairs to put it on two other chairs. At some point while working in a grain factory he wore a 100-pound chain mail vest made of scrap metal all day and when he took it off, he felt really powerful and explosive.

...Anyway, that's all I've got off the top of my head. He's one of those mutant strong fellows who pops up at the edge of the internet, if not for ironmind I'm sure no one would ever have heard of him. Very, very strange individual, definitely a sort of savant when it comes to lifting. I'm sure that he'd be very very good at the 'normal' barbell lifts if he bothered to do them regularly. Apparently he did local strongman contests at some point, I have no idea how he placed or whatnot.

Also, I think that Adam Glass did Justa's 'daily 70% singles program' with rack pulls and weighted dips for a year and got really good at both lifts by the end of it (like, +bodyweight for weighted dips, and over 1,000lb on the rack pull, I think). You could ask him about it.
How would a routine for kettlebell presses look like? How does one deal with the weight change, since kettlebells only come in certain ways?
I'm giving the #1 program a go with single military presses. At first, I'll just try using the same reps and weight for 3 weeks, and testing with a heavier kettlebell in week 4.

Another approach I'm considering is adding a rep each week, so singles first week, doubles in week 2, and triples in week 3.

Percentages will need to be a case of close enough is good enough. But I think the point is practice whilst staying away from pushing too hard, and if not, only going hard infrequently.
Thank you, Andrew. I think I will give it a try after I finish the ROP with 16kg.

I really like the approach, maybe I should invest in a barbell
Andrew, I'm looking forward to seeing how that goes. You might have trouble with kettlebell press, because you can't increase the weight by small amounts unless you have a lot of bells. The single, double, triple method might work. But that third week will be real tough.
Andy, you're right, those triples probably would be a stretch - and not make it about singles.

The key variable I think would be rest.

My current approach would be this;

Week 1: 2-3-4-5-6-7 singles

Week 2: 3-5-7-9-11-13 singles, GTG style or 2mins rest

Week 3: 3-5-7-9-11-13 singles, 1min rest, or complete in less time than week 2.

Week 4: not 100% sure yet, but advice is welcome and appreciated.

Or use a dumbbell or barbell...
Maybe something like:


Week 1: 2-4-6-8-10-12

Week 2: 3-5-7-9-11-13

Week 3: 4-6-8-10-12-14

Week 4: repeat week 2

Week 5: repeat week 3

Week 6: 5-7-9-11-13-15

So, you start with 42 total reps in week one, work up to 54 in week 3, take a couple of steps back and then work up to a total of 60 reps in week 6.


Just one option.
I'd say compress the rest periods. Follow the program as written, but if you're stuck with non adjustable weights and still want to use the routine, start off with, say, a minute 30 rest in between. Reduce by 15 seconds every week. When you can do 15 singles with only 15 seconds rest in the one arm press, before switching arms, you can probably move up a bell size (assuming a 4kg jump) with longer rests.

The other option, of course, is microplates or small ankle weights to allow for smaller increases.
Thought I would give this thread a bump since it has been five months or so. What success did anyone who tried the singles routine with pressing get? That hasn't already been stated.

I have the same issue that Rob has, and simply don't have time for the RoP style pressing and working the singles would help perfect my pressing technique.

Im currently spending a couple weeks building some volume with the 28kg with lower rungs and ladders of the RoP, whilst I work out how to move forward. My current 1RM is 36kg on a very good day. I want to reach the 40kg (my half-BW press) In the next 6-7 weeks if possible.

Thanks in advance.
The Justa book has, if memory serves, versions of the program for lifting every other day.  The book has quite a few programs in it.

I did the singles routine for a couple of months. Started with a 16kg military press, and made the 24kg feel very easy, with no sleep and working 80+hours a week at the time.

I used the progression model from S&S.  An example;

Day 1 - 20,24,24

Day 2 - 20,24,24,24,24

Day 3 - 20,24,24,24,24,24,24

Day 4 - 20,24,24,24,24,20,20,20,20

Day 5 - 20,24,24,24,24,24,24,24,24,20,20

And so on.

When I made all 13 presses on Saturday, I then started incorporating the next size up kb.

I only stopped it because it was working. But I felt it didn't stimulate any size in my arms, so if you're happy with not putting on any weight, then this is a really great program.
I just posted something that seems  similar in a way. I did not see this post. I'm on my sixth workout of 15-20 sets of one rep. I really enjoy it. My clean and press with my two 70 lbs kettlebell has already gone from one rep to two reps. I literally just decided to try it out.
Excellent Andrew. As Aris said, well thought out and only one variable that slowly changes. Did you test your 1RM military press before or after? If you did, what affect did it have? Thank you for your time.

I do not want to put on any weight at all, so that works great!

My best MP before was a shaky 28kg - if I recall correctly 1L/2R. I pressed 28 after I worked with the 24 also. This was done on a background of minimal sleep and excessive work commitments, but it felt solid (more solid than before), so I definitely believe there's potential in programming Justa's singles routine with kettlebells. There was also no soreness from the press training.

However, with presses, there may not be enough weekly volume performing it 6 days only, like I did, so some people may need to work it 7 days per week.
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