Barrel lifting is just a brutal hard core workout. You don’t get any tougher. Everybody should at least work through one course of barrel lifting in their lifetime, because as an odd object it teaches you all of those things that are so important for real strength. Balance, coordination, the body as one piece, lifting things that weren’t meant to be lifted. This work out you’re just going to do the clean and press with a barrel you can handle for reps.
I like to use a keg because it’s a good size to work with and allows you to do a lot of movements that give you that odd object type of strength without being so unwieldy or large that you can’t get your arms around it. This workout I want you to do one set of each type of clean and press for as many reps as you can in one minute, then rest one minute and go one to the next type of clean and press.
Here are the variations: (Remember to use good body mechanics is as much is as possible. Bend the legs, tighten the abs and back, pressurize your air and lift. Also do this outside or somewhere you can drop the weight.)
1. Parallel grip. Grab the keg by the chins with both hands on the same side. Clean it to the shoulders and press it. This is the toughest way to do it and why we put it first. It’s extremely hard to balance.
2. Double under grip. Grab the keg by the chins with both hands under the bottom. Clean it to the shoulders, then readjust the hands to either a split grip or a parallel grip and press.
3. Split grip. Grab the keg with one hand under the bottom and one hand on the top chin. This is the most efficient way to lift a keg and it will balance best especially if it’s only partially filled with water. Bring it to the shoulders and press. It will be over the head, but at a tilted angle. This helps it balance.
4. Knee kick. Grab it which ever way you like. Bring it up and as you begin to get it to the shoulders shove one leg under it and help kick it up with your knee as if you were going to kick a pair of dumbbells up to bench press them. Then set your grip and press.
5. Seated clean and press. Grab a bench that’s relatively high or something you can sit on that takes your legs out of the movement. Then grab the barrel with a split grip and clean and press it. This makes the movement solely arm and shoulder dependent from moving the weight. It’s also very heavy on the abs to stabilize as you press.
6. Crooked arm under. Tilt the barrel over, wrap one arm underneath as if you were holding a baby, grab the bottom by the chin with the other hand. Clean to shoulder, readjust your grip and press.
7. Clean the barrel one time any way you like. Then dependent on if you’ve been strict pressing or push pressing in the first six sets do the opposite on this set and then get as many reps as you can.
This ought to 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.