T Nation

Increase Overhead Axle/Log Press?


ok i could really use some pointers. i'm fairly new to strongman but did powerlifting for two years before so the strength is there. i'm having trouble pushing good weight with my overhead axle and log presses and can't quite figure out why. i have good arm and leg strength, benching and squatting over 300# for reps in both categories, but can barely max 220# on the overhead axle and 200# on the log. i feel like i should be getting more than these two numbers. i realize there's a lot of technique in these two lifts and have been trying to find the right one that works for me but i'm not quite there yet. and ive been stuck on this number for about 4 months now, not increasing at all, but on every other exercise imaginable i am. any help/tips would be greatly appreciated!


hows your leg drive?

is your core nice and tight?

do you pull your head threw at the top?

have you tried using O shoes?

i know on the log breathing becomes hard so i try and hold my breath from lap to overhead and i will get light headed. can you breath ok throughout the lifts?


yes to the first 3, haven’t tried the O shoes but this sunday during my axle training im gonna try some steel toe boots that have good thick heels. also planning on tryin a little staggered foot placement before the press for stability bc today i went through the motions with light weight and noticed that as soon as i start to press i fall forward slightly without realizing it. and yea i could concentrate a little more on breathing bc honestly sometimes i forget to time it perfect with the clean. thanks for those suggestions, they definitely help!


Post a video would make a huge difference in what we can offer you in advice.


Whats your training look like?


if you are falling forward it may be that you are leaning to far back and also not getting your head through at the bottom.


im training the axle tomoro so ill post a video afterwards. planning on just workin on techique though instead of an actual max because im working for a comp on the 25th of this month. thanks for the tips guys, gonna take them into effect tomoro and really concentrate on every detail


here’s a video from about 2 weeks ago, a failed attempt at 225# and right before i got 200#x4 but it wasn’t to failure. ill post another video of tomoro’s training


your leg drive needs to be much faster with a lot more snap. its like you are doing a partial front squat to help start the lift.

i do the same thing when i get tired. i know i lose my snap as when i nail it i dont start to slow down till im a few inches from locking out.

have you tried a more narrow grip? or a suicide grip? i know they both helped me move my push/press on up. i know the suicide grip is hard when also cleaning. i do skip that grip at times especially if i use a standard bar.

the good thing is it looks like you are not leaning to far back and it looks like you are getting your head through.


I’d focus on making the axle sit on a more front squat-style racked position with your elbows flared up as opposed to your forearms being parallel with the wall or your torso. This will force the bar in a more linear path, and because of this bar position higher on your chest, you do not have to squat as deep on the bend.

The aforementioned tip on being more explosive with your leg drive is also important.


thanks guys, and that definitely makes sense about the leg snap, i did that today and got 220# alot easier than ive ever gotten it and almost locked out 240# after 230#(PR). it helped when i concentrated on everything working together instead of just gettin it over my head


What do you do aside from clean and press? What do you do the day before? Getting a better press is not going to be achieved by JUST pressing more.


the day before i do axle is my day off, but i do seated military presses with the axle (sometimes with bands on the floor, sometimes reversed) and the log press. neither of those are impressive either. also do some tricep lockouts with boards


Fix technique. If your triceps aren’t strong enough to lock it out, and you’re not driving it up with the legs enough, then it’s not getting locked out.

Try a push jerk or low split jerk maybe on the axle.


that was my thought exactly, fixing technique to get under that bar easier