2023 World’s Strongest Man Mitchell Hooper has been helping CrossFit athletes prepare for multiple competitions, including how Emma Cary can improve her strict lifts before the 2023 CrossFit Games and log press training with two-time Fittest Man on Earth® Justin Medeiros.
On Aug. 6, 2023, the Canadian strongman published a video on his YouTube channel dissecting the do’s and don’ts on log press with two-time Fittest Man on Earth® Justin Medeiros. Watch the masterclass below:
Log Press Mechanics
Hooper begins with a physics lesson, demonstrating on a wooden log that the front-to-back center of mass is below the log’s handholds as the log isn’t cut out on the backside. The handles are open space, making that area less heavy.
Hooper says the goal during a log press is to keep the “center of mass of the log as close to us as possible,” meaning the handles face slightly away to keep the center of mass close to their legs and torsos.
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Hooper has Medeiros perform a proper deadlift to pull the log high on his waist/hips. Then Hooper describes “sitting” on the log when he rests the log on his quads — often referred to as “lapping the log” — and situates the log as high on his sternum as possible. This position prepares clean onto the shelf of the upper chest.
“[This is] important because if you put it in your hips, all you’re able to do is swing it out away from you,” Hooper says, demonstrating with the wooden log. “Even if you keep the log against you, the center of mass travels away and then towards…you’re going to pull that with your arms.”
Pressing the Log Overhead
When Hooper pulls the log to his hips, he drives his forearms into the edge, drops his elbows, and rotates the log along his stomach to his upper chest. The roll should leave the log resting right at the neck.
This move can be rough on the forearms as they dig into the back of the log. Wrist wraps placed high on the forearms can serve as protection. Once the log is on the shoulders, Hooper keeps the handles facing away from the body so the log stacks atop the collarbone. If the position isn’t set properly, one can “pop” the log so that it spins into the correct placement.
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To lift the log overhead, Hooper suggests not treating it like a barbell. “We can’t just stand vertically,” Hooper instructs. “We have to get used to hips underneath, and watching that log up will help with thoracic extension all the way through.”
The final move is bringing the head into a neutral position under the log once the log moves from the front of the body to directly overhead. The log doesn’t travel parallel to the ground, which is why the head needs to stay out of the log’s path until lockout.
Hooper’s Log Press Pointers
When dipping with the log before pressing to lock, Hooper suggests pointing the toes slightly outward to do a “ballerina plie” of sorts. This is a safer, more stable way of lifting the log off the shoulders overhead.
To get the best shelf for the log at the top, Hooper suggests squeezing the elbows together and flexing the chest to provide as much surface area for the log to sit on. Avoid being sweaty; otherwise, the log could slip during the clean. Using chalk can remove moisture and reduce slippage as one rolls the log to the front rack position.
Featured image: @mitchellhooper on Instagram