105kg Strongman Rob Kearney Split Jerks a 207kg Log

Rob Kearney is a professional strongman athlete who competes in the 105kg (231 lb) middleweight division. He’s been competing professionally now for four years and continues to prove to everyone just how strong he is.

His lifts rival some of those in the heavyweight classes, and possibly one of his most competitive lifts is his log clean & press. Kearney’s next competition will be the Arnold Classic Africa, which is being held May 5-7th in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Kearney recently log clean & pressed 207kg (455 lbs), which is almost two times his normal competition bodyweight (though he’ll likely be competing heavier in Africa). This clean & press matches and exceeds personal bests of some of the famous heavyweight athletes we’re accustomed to seeing.

In addition, this lift very likely makes him the lightest athlete to ever complete a log clean and press this heavy. What’s possibly the most interesting aspect of Kearney’s log presses is the split jerk he uses to complete the lockout.

It’s not common to see strongman competitors at heavier weights split jerking in a log clean & press, especially with that heavy of a weight overhead. The split jerk is performed in Olympic movements because it allows an athlete more time to get under the bar while maintaining a locked out position.

Michael Gill wrote a great article with pointers for strongman competitors interested in split jerking with a log and axle; check it out here.

The downside to the split jerk is the amount of athleticism and timing it requires to master it. A lot of strongman athletes (usually superheavyweights) stick with the push press, as it requires less athleticism and more ability to muscle through the movement, which they often can. It’s a different form than we’re accustomed to seeing at heavier weights, but maybe Kearney is on to something.

Last year in May, Kearney took first place in the 105kg weight class at the Log Lift World Championships in Lithuania. He finished with a 202.5kg (445 lb) log lift to seal the championship.

Similar to his most recent 207kg lift, Kearney uses a split jerk technique in the Log Lift Championships. His log clean & press at his bodyweight doesn’t lie, so maybe Kearney is on to something with his split jerk technique.

It would be interesting to see athletes such as Brian Shaw and Eddie Hall try a split jerk. Do you think they could be as successful and make it look as athletic as Kearney does?

Feature image from @worlds_strongest_gay Instagram page. 


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Jake holds a Master's in Sports Science and a Bachelor's in Exercise Science. Currently, Jake serves as one of the full time writers and editors at BarBend. He's a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) and has spoken at state conferences on the topics of writing in the fitness industry and building a brand. As of right now, Jake has published over 1,100 articles related to strength athletes and sports. Articles about powerlifting concepts, advanced strength & conditioning methods, and topics that sit atop a strong science foundation are Jake's bread-and-butter. On top of his personal writing, Jake edits and plans content for 15 writers and strength coaches who come from every strength sport.Prior to BarBend, Jake worked for two years as a strength and conditioning coach for hockey and lacrosse players, and was a writer at the Vitamin Shoppe's corporate office. Jake regularly competes in powerlifting in the 181 lb weight class, and considers himself a weightlifting shoe sneaker head. On the side of writing full time, Jake works as a part-time strength coach and works with clients through his personal business Concrete Athletics in Hoboken and New York City.