The History of the Log Press
In its first years, the Strongman Champions League introduced the World Log Lift Championships. The event had been a staple of strongman competitions since the early 1980s. It all began with the 1980 World’s Strongest Man contest, where Bill Kazmaier hoisted 157 kg, winning the event and setting a world record. Over eight years Bill Kazmaier increased the record to 170 kg. Jamie Reeves then became the winner of the 1989 World’s Strongest Man contest, managed 177 kg in 1989 and 180 kg at the 1992 World Mighty Man contest in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Since then, there has been many strongmen who have raised the bar with their outstanding weight increases within the Log Press. But Since 2012 when Žydrūnas Savickas (Big Z) set his world record of 220Kgs, there have only been two strongmen who have managed to match his world record and as of today Big Z is the only man to have raised his own bar 5 times.
About The Log Press
The log press is a unique event to the strongman sport. While many of the other event exercises are trained within the gym or used for general conditioning, it is rare that you’ll find a log presser that doesn’t have an interest in the strongman sport. The idea is simple, get the log from the floor to the overhead position with a full lockout. Unlike a conventional barbell overhead lift, the log is cumbersome, making it difficult to get into the correct position to press. On top of this a log requires a neutral grip, something that will seem unnatural to the unexperienced lifter.
In competition the log press is usually for maximum weight, most repetitions in 75 seconds or as part of a medley of overhead lifts.
Training for the Log Press: Training for the Log Press can be fairly simple, hard work, but simple. Most gyms have a long hammer curl bar, which can be used as the log, although it will not be the same due to the log being cumbersome and difficult to lift. Using the Hammer curl bar to help perfect your technique of “The Clean” and then “The Press”, will allow you to build up and develop the stabilizer muscles that are needed to be able to press well within the Log Press event. When preparing for this event, if you are a beginner to this type of exercise (the clean and press). It is most certainly advised that you train and develop your muscles with compound exercises before trying to lift heavy weight and throw it above your head. It is always better especially with the Log Press training, to perfect your form and technique before adding any major amount of weight and trying to overhead press with it. With that being said, a lot of strength gyms and most certainly strongman gyms will have a log which you can use. Start light, perfect your technique and then start to add some weight as you get more experienced with the lift and gain strength from your training.
Big Z is the accepted champion of the log press. His current record was at 220kg set at the World’s Strongest Man 2012 final. Since then he has gone on to beat his own record 5 times! Although there are others who have become champions within the Log Press due to an overall score between the different types of presses, Big Z is the only one who holds the top 6 places on the scoreboard in the heaviest lift category.
|Date of Event:||Name of World Record Holder:||Location of Event:||Record Weight:|
|Mar 8th 2015||Žydrūnas Savickas||Arnold Strongman Classic, Rio, Brazil||228Kgs|
|May 2nd 2014||Žydrūnas Savickas||Giants Live, Poland||227Kgs|
|Mar 2nd 2014||Žydrūnas Savickas||Arnold Strongman Classic, Brazil||223Kgs|
|Oct 20th 2013||Žydrūnas Savickas||World Log Lift Championships, Vilnius, Lithuania||222.5Kgs|
|June 29th 2013||Žydrūnas Savickas||Europe’s Strongest Man, Leeds, UK||221Kgs|
|Sep 30th 2012||Žydrūnas Savickas||World’s Strongest Man, Los Angeles, USA||220Kgs|
As you can see, since 2012 no strongmen have managed to beat Big Z’s world record title. In 2018, Eddie Hall came very close to lifting 230Kgs in the Log Press, but unfortunately he could not get a full lockout overhead and failed to gain a new world record.
Here is the incredible footage of Big Z pushing his record of 228Kgs in Rio, Brazil. He performed his amazing push in front of the legendary Arnold Schwarzenegger himself. What an achievement!