How Strongman Jerry Pritchett Trains the Log Press

If you’re one of the people who plan on being at the Santa Monica Pier on January 19 to watch the first Arnold Strongman USA competition, then the first event you’ll see will be the Log Press for reps. With a weight of 385 pounds being hoisted, all the reps you see will be nothing short of extraordinary.

Strongman Jerry Pritchett is no stranger to this movement. Having competed as a pro strongman since 2010, he’s actually done it in competition several times. So this makes him a good resource to rely on if you want to improve your strength for your next competition.

Twice a Week Training

“I break down my log press training into two sessions,” says Pritchett. “The first one, generally on Tuesdays, is a strict shoulder log press, no momentum, no push through with the legs. I follow that up with assistance work.”

His next session will be on Saturdays. “On that day, I do competition style presses, working up to doubles or triples for my top sets.” After that, he’ll do other lifts based on the competition he’s training for.

Jerry Pritchett strongman press
Jerry Pritchett lifts the Austrian Oak

Sample Session 1 – Tuesday

  • Strict Log Shoulder Press – 4-6 sets building up to 80% max, 2-3 sets of 2-3 reps at 80%.
  • Seated Shoulder Barbell Press – 3-5 sets of 8 reps. Add weight each set.
  • Barbell Bench Press – 3-5 sets of 8 reps. Add weight each set.
  • Lateral Raise – 3 sets of 12-15 reps.
  • Rear Delt Flye – 3 sets of 12-15 reps.
  • Triceps Pushdowns – 3 sets of 12-15 reps.

The first session with the log is for the shoulders and nothing else. “I set the log in the rack with the safeties at shoulder height. The only muscles I want to be working here are the shoulders. So I can just pick it up and press.” He rests as he needs between sets.

Why both log press and seated barbell press? While the log press is performed with a neutral grip, Pritchett sees the benefits of working with a bar as well. “Using the bar and pressing it overhead supports my overall strength which can translate to the log press.”

So why the other work with the bench, laterals, and the rest of the exercises listed?

“All of those exercises work the smaller muscles like the side and rear delts along with the pressdowns working the triceps. Most guys don’t understand that they should work those muscles too because they work and support your effort when pressing the log.”

Deadlifting from a strongman
Jerry Pritchett Deadlifts

Sample Session 2 – Saturday

  • Competition Style Log Press for Reps – Work up to 2 heavy sets of 2 reps and 1 heavy set of 3 reps.
  • Followed up with other event lifts based on the competition he’s training for.

For this session, Pritchett knows that he will be working with 385 pounds at the upcoming competition so that’s what his goal weight is.

“I want to get there and do heavy sets of doubles or triples. It makes sense to stop at that weight since I’ll be lifting it at the comp. I don’t want to do much more than that with it because I need to save energy for the rest of the lifts I’ll be doing like deadlifts.”