Viking Push Press vs. Standard Push Press

One of the services I offer is distance coaching and many of my distance coaching students have fat loss and body composition change as one of their main goals. In my opinion, the best way to get lean (in addition to a clean diet, of course) is with kettlebell snatching. The problem is, especially with distance students because I don’t have my eyes on them all the time, is that people many times just aren’t ready to start kettlebell snatching and I don’t want to program them into distance programs if I can’t have my eyes on them. In this case, for added conditioning, I often program Viking Push Presses in a Viking Warrior Conditioning style training. (For more information on Viking Warrior Conditioning you can check out Kenneth Jay’s book by the same name.)

When a student sees the “Viking Push Press” in their program the first question is always “How is this different from a standard push press?” It’s an excellent question because the exercises are, in fact, very different and for very different goals.

As mentioned earlier, the Viking push press is a great tool for improved body composition and is a high intensity, high rep quick lift. The push press is a way to get a heavy bell over your head and you wouldn’t perform NEARLY as many repetitions as in a programmed Viking Push Press program. We like to say, “If you can’t press it, push press it. If you can’t push press it, jerk it. If you can’t jerk it, bent press it.” The idea is, for example, you can strictly press a 24kg bell you would push press the 28kg to get used to having it overhead and for a heavy exercise focused on athletic power production. Conversely, the Viking Push Press is done a bell (or two) lighter than your strict military press bell with a narrower stance many reps as fast as you can.

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