Health Fitness

Barrel Raise Training

Barrel lifting is just a brutal hard workout. You don’t get tougher. Everyone should do at least one barrel lifting course in their life, because as a foreign object it teaches you all those things that are so important to real strength. Balance, coordination, the body as one piece, lifting things that weren’t meant to be lifted. In this drill, you’re only going to clean and press with a barrel you can handle for reps.

I like to use a barrel because it’s a good size to work with and allows you to do a lot of moves that give you that kind of foreign object strength without being so unwieldy or big that you can’t wrap your arms around it. In this workout I want you to do one set of each type of clean and press for as many reps as you can in a minute, then rest for a minute and move on to the next type of clean and press.

Here are the variations: (Remember to use good body mechanics as much as possible. Bend your legs, tighten your abs and back, pressurize your air, and lift. Also do this outside or somewhere you can drop the weight.)

1. Parallel grip. Grab the barrel by the chin with both hands on the same side. Wipe it down to the shoulders and press it. This is the hardest way to do it and why we put it first. It is extremely difficult to balance.

2. Double lower handle. Grab the barrel by the chin with both hands under the bottom. Wipe it down to your shoulders, then readjust your hands to a split or parallel grip and press down.

3. Split grip. Grab the barrel with one hand under the bottom and one hand on the top chin. This is the most efficient way to lift a barrel and it will balance better, especially if it is only partially filled with water. Take it to the shoulders and press. It will be overhead, but at a steep angle. This helps him balance.

4. Knee kick. Buy it how you want. Pick him up and as you start to bring him up to your shoulders, push one leg under him and help him lift with your knee as if you were going to kick a pair of dumbbells up into a bench press. Then adjust your grip and press.

5. Sit clean and press. Take a bench that is relatively high or something you can sit on that will take your legs out of the movement. Then grab the barrel with a split grip and clean and press it. This makes the movement depend solely on the arm and shoulder on the movement of the weight. It’s also very heavy for the abs to stabilize as you press.

6. Twisted arm below. Tilt the barrel, wrap one arm under it like you’re holding a baby, grab the bottom under the chin with the other hand. Clean to the shoulder, readjust your grip and press.

7. Clean the barrel once as you like. Then it depends on whether you’ve been strictly pressing or pushing for the first six sets, do the opposite on this set, and then do as many reps as you can.

This should keep you busy and really work your shoulders, grip and everything else from head to toe. For even more, be sure to check out my barrel lifting DVD.

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