Tag Archives: kettlebells
One item wonder.
Today I will give you a little something to show you can get epic results with one piece of kit and a whole load of heart.
Heart is the crucial element.
That and patience.
The kettlebell, one of my personal favourites for this.
While all the kit int he world is nice, it gives people too much choice and as a result the procrastinate, less truly is more sometimes.
Many claim you can’t build much muscle with them, however those are usually the same people who can’t really use them.
Here is your end game goals in stages:
– Double Clean & Press
– Pistol Squats
– Double Snatch
All for 10 reps with 16kg, 24kg and finally 32kg bells
If you’re superhuman you could go for using the Beast.
These three movements will add slabs of muscle, epic amounts of strength and remove any mental weakness because you’ve got to have some stones to attempt these.
*If you have access to a sturdy pull up bar then 10 full reps with a single 32kg bell is worthy of your attention s well.
So, where do you start?
With a pair of 16kg bells and mastering the above movements, then from there you can use multiple methods to progress to the above goals.
Here are some of my favourites.
– Ladders (1-5 x5, or 1-10)
– Complexes (4-6 reps per movement)
– Chains (4-6 singles of each movement)
– Double & Triple Prog (8×2 > 8×3, or 3-5×3-5 >5×5)
The big thing is to never miss a rep, ever.
You also have the option of building your strength with movement variations if you’re lacking, for example.
16kg Push Jerk >Push Press > Press > Bottoms Up Press > Kneeling Press > Kneeling Bottom Up Press > Z Press > Bottom Z Press > Sots Press > Bottoms Up Sots Press.
(This is without even using yielding/overload options)
^^ You’d aims for hitting ladder sets of 1,2,3,4,5 for 5 total ladders before moving on to the next variation.
Or you could use EMOM’s of 30min until you hit all the reps with a clean reps (no grinding)
Can you see how much room you have for progression and tweaking variables?
I’d say a classic Pull-Push-Legs-Rest rotation will suit most.
Give the humble kettlebell some thoughts.
There is a lot more to this and programming for it, however I’ve written plenty on that subject over the years, so if you have any specific questions pop them below.
I’m sure you’ve heard of kettlebells.
They’re great, Tony would approve, especially after earning your stripes to increase the Pood you use.
Pood = measure of kettlebell weight.
There are only half pood jumps, which is 8kg, meaning as you may have guessed 1 pood is a whole 16kg.
Did you know in Russia you use standard bells:
1 pood = 16kg – The Rabbit
1.5 pood= 24kg – The Fox
2 pood = 32kg – The Badger
2.5 pood=40kg – The Bulldog
3 pood=48kg – The Beast*
*The beast & bulldog are known names, some kettlebell practitioners came up with the other three which seemed to stick in the community. Plus they sound cool.
There is no 4kg, 8kg, 12kg, 20kg, 28kg, 36kg or 44kg kettlebell in the mood system of measuring. Obviously you can buy these weights as they are sold by plenty of manufactures, however do you know WHY the poods are set the way they are?
Have a think.
It’s because you have to earn your stripes by increasing the volume with the lower weights before taking the leap of faith and that massive 8kg jump to the next one.
Now I know what you might be thinking.
8kg is a massive jump, and you’re right, it is, however it means that you have to spend a decent amount of time building your strength through various kettlebell movements, not to mention exercise options to help your body bridge the gap from one bell to the the next.
If we take the strict press as the example.
You might easily be able to press 24kg with ease, perhaps for 5 solid reps, however you won’t get near the 32kg for one, or so you think.
Enter training techniques to close the gap.
- Upping volume – turning 5 reps in to 10
- Utilising eccentric overload – push press the 32kg and work the negative portion of the rep with pauses at certain stages of the lift for 3-5 reps
- Implying yielding & overcoming presses with the 32kg
There are a lot of options, that’s only three potential ones without even looking at static holds overhead, floor presses, windmills, get ups and other such movements.
Thankfully we live in a world where there are 4kg and sometimes 2kg jumps between each kettlebell.
Feel free to progress through them however you choose, however it you want to do it the Russian way, acquire the 5 bells above and be prepared for one hell of a journey to the most impressive 48kg press.
Stringing exercises together one after the other with the same piece of kit if known, no rest and not putting said kit down is often known as a complex.
You can do them with dumbbells, barbells and a personal favourite, kettlebells.
Here are three short kettlebell complexes to hit the entire body and build strength, lean mass and strip fat (provided calorie requirements are also correct).
Each complex is done with 2 kettlebells.
– Push Press
Start off with one rep of each, then two, then three, aim to work up to 5 without stopping. 3-5 rounds of this will help create an impressive upper body, increase the weight of the bells by 4kg once you can do 5 rounds of 1-5 unbroken.
– Swing to Pull (pull elbows towards hips)
Reps, sets and progression as above.
– Lunge (any variation of your choice)
– Rack Tip-Toe Walk or Rack Walk
Reps, sets and progression as above.
Now this could be one workout three times per week, several smaller workouts during the day (morning, afternoon, evening) or a short 10-20min workout for each day depending on your commitments and available time to train.
This style of training is one that lends itself well to daily practice (push day, pull day, leg day, repeat works well).
These are by no means the only options, they’re just simple ones to get you started, you’ll find some great complexes in the writing of Dan John.
Give them a go.