Two-time reigning World’s Strongest Man (WSM) champion Tom Stoltman and his older brother Luke — the British log lift record holder — are taking the rest of the 2022 strongman season off. They declined their invitations to the 2022 Rogue Strongman Invitational, where Tom finished as the runner-up to Martins Licis in 2021.
Despite deciding to take a more extended off-season to heal and prep for 2023, the Stoltman brothers still train at the gym. On Oct. 7, 2022, the Stoltman brothers taught their younger brother, Harry, how to log press, vicariously teaching their 210,000 YouTube subscribers as well. Check out the entire video below:
Following the cold open, Luke kicked off the video with a pretty major announcement: He intends to break the all-time log press world record in 2023, currently held by Chieck “Iron Biby” Sanou, who locked out 229 kilograms at the 2021 Giants Live World Tour Finals.
After that reveal, the Stoltman brothers warmed up with resistance bands and got to work. Luke suggested that strongman beginners train with a metal log rather than a wooden one because the former is often lighter and, therefore, better for building technique. Their wooden log weighs 140 kilograms, while their metal log weighs 90 kilograms.
The first several sets were progressing overhead presses. Working sets included the clean with each rep — while wearing a lifting belt, elbow sleeves, and knee sleeves, each rep involves lapping the log (a position of rest), extending the hips to roll the log to the front rack position, and then jerking the weight overhead. As is often the technique with increasing strength with any lift, Luke touts progressive overload as how Harry will improve his max lift.
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While raw strength is essential for a big log press, the precise technique is just as vital. When Luke misses an attempted press, his technique allows him to remain upright in a proper front rack position to potentially make another attempt rather than allowing the weight to fall forward.
Harry used that technique immediately when he missed two attempts at 110 kilograms (242.5 pounds). While he expressed discontent that his strength wasn’t yet there, his technique evolved to the point where he maintained the weight for multiple attempts before dumping it. Luke disagreed about the strength and instead pointed out the positioning of Harry’s elbows — rather than high and tight in front of Harry during the front rack, they were noticeably flared.
Flared elbows put most of the weight on the triceps rather than the shoulders, making the lift substantially more challenging. Luke then demonstrated by making 150 kilograms (330.7 pounds) look like child’s play. When Harry followed his brother’s pointers, he was able to lock out the 110 kilograms (242.5 pounds) he missed just minutes earlier.
In log press training, progressive overload with a focus on technique, particularly elbow positioning, will likely get the best bang for your buck. We’ll see if Luke can continue his progression and claim the record from Sanou sometime during the 2023 season.
Featured image: @luke.stoltman on Instagram