What is a good push-press program ?

Discussion in 'Kettlebell' started by Anders, Mar 17, 2017.

  1. Anders

    Anders Triple-Digit Post Count

    On my journey to military press the 36 kilo, I have gotten a bit tired of only training the military press, and hearing that some of you have had success by using the push press to increase your press, I have myself started this.

    I am currently working my way up to 24 kilo 10 reps * 5 set on each side. My max in push press is 40 kilo one time each side.

    But does anyone have a good program for push press ?

    In addition I was wondering what is a good achievement for push press ? 40 kilos 10 reps * 5 set on each side ?

    All answers would be appreciated.
  2. North Coast Miller

    North Coast Miller More than 2500 posts

    For myself, if training as a separate movement I prefer the jerk to the push press.

    I use the PP to extend my overhead press just as I might use a drop set. Once I can no longer get another rep with good form I'll apply just enough "push" to get the bell moving, lock it out and concentrate on the eccentric back down.

    I find it to be great exercise on several levels as the amount of push becomes dynamic based on fatigue, so is a whole body movement you can learn to vary it in what feels like very subtle, controlled amounts.

    Edit to add:
    I don't consider myself to be very strong overall, at 80 kg bodyweight I can hit a 32 for about 5-6 clean overhead press and another 4 with a push.
  3. Anna C

    Anna C More than 5000 posts Elite Certified Instructor

    I think there is a good push press program in Dynami but I don't have my copy with me right now. There is definitely good instruction on the push press (in addition to the squat, kettlebell deadlift, and swing) within this product.
  4. Sean M

    Sean M Quadruple-Digit Post Count

    Perhaps try ladders up to 5 rungs with a 'bell you can push press for 5-8 reps. Looks like you are doing 50 reps per side with 24kilo now. If you can achieve 5 reps with 32kilo (assuming you can, if able to do 1RM with 40kilo), perhaps 3-5 ladders with rungs up to 5 reps will help you accumulate volume at the higher weight. 5 ladders of 5 rungs each is 75 reps (per arm), for example - all at a higher weight than 10 x 5/5 with 24 kilo.
  5. Steve W.

    Steve W. Quadruple-Digit Post Count

    For carry over to strict presses, Pavel has advocated what he calls the "long push press." Rack the bell, do a full front squat, and initiate the press just after your knees and hips lock out (don't noticeably pause before press, but don't start pressing before the knees and hips lock out).

    It's subtly different from a thruster, since it isn't really ballistic. The press is still basically a strict press since you finish the leg and hip extension just before you start pressing. But some momentum from the squat still carries over to the bell and make the press a little easier.

    I think carry over from regular push presses to strict presses varies a lot by individual. IMO, the main effect is getting comfortable with a heavier weight in the rack and overhead -- more of a disinhibiting effect than an actual strength-building one, if that's a valid distinction. But it gives assistance where a lot of people are weak in their strict press instead of building strength in that range, so many people do not get significant carry over.
    Discipulus, WxHerk and taikei like this.
  6. MikeMoran

    MikeMoran Quadruple-Digit Post Count

    You can do Push Press with Kettlebell Strong or use RMF both by Geoff Neupert.
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  7. Mark Limbaga

    Mark Limbaga Quadruple-Digit Post Count Elite Certified Instructor

    Beat me to it
    Robby Jacobson and DavThew like this.
  8. william bad butt

    william bad butt More than 300 posts


    A full body program but there is extra focus on pressing (and push presses and jerks).
  9. pet'

    pet' More than 5000 posts

    Robby Jacobson likes this.
  10. Faisal

    Faisal More than 300 posts

    I'm doing the latter at the moment with push presses, very effective program but it is a double kb program as written. My working weights are a lot lighter than the OP though.
  11. Steve Freides

    Steve Freides StrongFirst Director of Community Engagement Staff Member Senior Instructor

    @Anders, I'd rather see you do 10 sets of 5 than 5 sets of 10. Shorten the rests if you wish. You'll be able to use more weight this way.

    Discipulus likes this.
  12. pet'

    pet' More than 5000 posts


    10 sets of 5, as @Steve Freides said is a very good idea. That way, you can even do something like 5L /5R based on an EMOM protocol, for the duration you want. Basically, it would be about 10 minutes. If this seems too easy, going to an heavier bell can be an option. Switching from 60s to 50s-55s intervals may be another one.

    Kind regards,

  13. Geoff Chafe

    Geoff Chafe Quadruple-Digit Post Count

    I would argue any Presses protocol could be substituted with Push Press. ROP, PTTP, etc.
  14. tangozero

    tangozero Double-Digit Post Count

    Why not run it with PTTP? Use the push-press as your press of choice. Alternatively if you're feeling really adventurous you could run it Bear style in place of BP.
  15. taikei

    taikei Triple-Digit Post Count Certified Instructor

    I'm with @Steve W. in regards to long push press. For regular push press, Initial prime mover doesn't replicate what military press is. Long push press ignites the tension in core which helps develop what you need as a launching pad for military press. 3 to 5 reps per set is good enough.

    For that matter, double front squat can be a good option as well. I remember Master SFG Jon Engum has layed out this as one of supplemental drill for military press.
    Molson, MikeMoran and WxHerk like this.
  16. J Cox

    J Cox Double-Digit Post Count

    My wife got me a pair of 28kg bells for my birthday and I was disappointed that my strong side couldn't get the bell up. Granted this was my first time doing double KB work. So, I just tried the long push press (deep squat, no momentum at the top) and the bells went up without a hitch. I did hold them there for a proud 5 count before shock really settles in. Thanks for mentioning Pavel's advice.

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