Press Day

It was Press Day at tosabarbell on Tuesday. The press is my favorite lift, not my best lift, just my favorite. I don’t know why, probably because it’s a lost art. Sure there are bunches of people running linear progression who start pressing but once it stalls out, many put it to the side.

Another popular trend I’m seeing in recent press videos around the www. is to use just a little, itty, bitty part of a knee push in some big presses. Sorry luv, you can’t produce force out of the knee’s and still call it a press or a strict press. Knee use=push press. They are good push presses, but not a thing called a press. If you want to go old school and use an Olympic style press with a lot of hips at the beginning go right ahead. But no knees. Not at all. Not. At. All.

Personally, I’m working towards a “big” press (the “big” means big for me, obviously), 2-3 kilos at a time. I run 531 for three weeks and during my deload week I run up to a heavy single. I know, I know: Deload, I’m doing it wrong. This week I wanted to go from 55kg last month straight to 60. The bar had other plans. I hit 58 and I’ll take that, it’s still a PR. The nice thing is that my coach video taped the lift (ok, it was Oz. But he jumped in and said what I told him to at the correct point so we’ll say for that moment he was my coach.)

This also gives me a chance to see why I was missing 60. See how I push the bar slightly out instead of up towards my nose? Rookie mistake, I’ll know better next month. Hips. I need to use more hips also.

After, a new client came and pressed and is also falling in love with the lift. His reconstructed shoulder that hasn’t been put to use properly for years is finally feeling good and he can actually reach behind himself and be a useful human. Nahhh, he’s pretty useful already. The point is, he feels better than he has in years just from Pressing. Yup, it’s that good.

Then the Bigg man came in to work up to a slightly heavy double after that. Or what I thought was going to be a double. Memo to me, don’t stop taping until the bar is re-racked. Another rookie error. Anyways.

348# for three (but you only get to see two. MyBad.) I know, 348 is a weird number, it’s just how the iron and kilo plates ended up and we’re not douches so we don’t fudge the numbers. See? No Knees. Makes it a press. Cuz he’s not using his knee’s. No one does here actually and gets to call it a Press.

The best activities for your health are pumping and humping.

Arnold Schwarzenegger 

About tosabarbell

For training opportunities at tosabarbell, call or text Juli at 320-296-9313. e-mail to At tosabarbell, I build relationships cultivated in a strength and learning environment. There is no 12 week magic pill program to strength but rather a lifetime commitment to be the very best and most useful human you can be. tosabarbell is a private, home grown gym with three lifting platforms; squat rack; prowlers; throwing implements; bars, bumpers and everything else needed for an effective strength and conditioning program. Straightforward barbell programming including the Olympic lifts; sound (read: not fancy bullshit) diet advance for weight gain or loss; and strong coaching will ensure you will meet your goals such as becoming stronger, more explosive, and better conditioned. I have been coaching teams and athletes for over 30 years. I grew up participating in various sports at various levels but was always drawn to those that require strength training. I have multiple local, national, and world records in the sports of Weightlifting and Highland Games Heavy Events as well as a combined total of 5 World Championships. My 5 years of training and coaching under Mark Rippetoe provided a wide range of influence from some of the top strength & conditioning and throwing coaches in the country. I will strongly encourage tosabarbell athletes to compete (and prepare you to do so.) However, tosabarbell is also for those who wish to be stronger and go through life feeling better. Matt WanAt is a retired Professional Strongman who competed frequently with Strongman Champions League in Europe. He played a year of D1 football with Iowa before concentrating on his Chemical Engineering degree in Iowa City. He is a native of Wauwatosa and still remains a staunch supporter of Tosa East. This blog will be a mixture of strength notes, coaching and nutrition tips, personal shit; bacon delicacies, and a whole lot of fun.
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