One of the most common causes is not that muscles aren’t working correctly, but rather that they are merely delayed in coming on at the right time. Consider the Japanese tea ceremony, or the work of a master calligrapher to create the perfect brush stroke and capture the true essence of the word.
They said that sooner or later barbell quick lifts just stop making you feel good, and dead lifts and kettle bells are a better way to achieve the same effect. Maybe, like me, you’ve got a lower body injury that has permanently changed your ability to train off the floor.
Maybe you’ve got some shoulder stuff going on and locking your hands in place on a bar upsets them. Whatever the case may be, there are ways to use kettle bells to get the same effect as you’d get from a bar, without many of the potential injury flare-ups you’d normally have.
The doublekettlebellclean is a perfect place to start the journey into using kettle bells to replace the bar. The reason for this is that people are often inclined to try to yank the bell into place with the clean, whereas they can’t do this with the snatch.
(Incidentally, this is one of my problems with the American swing as people will have a weak hinge and extension pattern and then rely on yanking the bell into place rather than drive it into place through the force of hip extension.) (This is actually quite similar to the barbell clean where you want arms loose and hippy, but the body locked tight and braced).
The elbow flexors are forced to quickly decelerate the bells on the drop — as anyone who has done repetitive snatches or cleans will tell you after they experience Does in the biceps the day after. Add in a double dose of weight for the swing and hip hinge portion of the lift, and we’ve got a very effective lift that won’t aggravate wrists, shoulders, or lower body issues.
Here’s what Kelly Sterrett has to say about creating torque at the shoulder, “… keep your elbows in … elbow pits forward … When you add rotation, it takes up all the capsular slack within the socket, making the joint very tight and stable.” Imagine trying to hold a towel between your upper arms and your rib cage — really keep them glued in.
For men, you’ll be able to get your hands reasonably close together, almost touching, while still keeping your braced plank position with shoulders packed down and back. For women, you’ll need to go a little wider — the Russians have long believed that resting kettle bells on the breasts is unhealthy.
The starting point is tensed glutes, as if trying to hold a credit card there. Next time we’ll look at the doublekettlebell high pull — one of my favorites yet one that often makes people feel uncoordinated.
Kettle bell STRONG!’s goal is to get you brutally strong with a pair of kettle bells and one expertly executed exercise: the Clean and Press. Written some seven years ago by Geoff Expert, former Strongest Certified MasterInstructor, Kettle bell STRONG!
From SFG II candidates and strength aficionados to individuals who simply prefer doublekettlebell training, we get many questions. Given what we’ve learned about mitochondrial functioning since its original release, are the skills and programs still valid?
Brett Jones, Strongest’s Director of Education, asked me to write an overview of Kettle bell STRONG! I was promoted to Master ROC in early 2010, just before the release of my book, Kettle bell Muscle.
When Pavel formed Strongest, I followed and was a Strongest Certified Master Instructor until 2014, when I stepped down for personal reasons—to devote more time to my growing family, because I had returned to school full-time, and to grow another business. In April 2016, completely burned out from the fitness industry, I retired.
My athletic background is college wrestling and Olympic-style weightlifting—I was a state champion and National Championship qualifier in O-Lifting. And of my 30-year lifting history, I spent most of the first 20 recovering and working around some pretty major orthopedic injuries—broken bones, dislocations, compressed nerve roots, cartilage damage—that sort of thing.
Within the greater kettle bell community, I was best known for my strength and fat loss programming. In contrast, wrestling is a power-endurance sport—explosive movements like takedowns followed by lulls in the action, like riding time.
A wrestler must train to overcome the effects of hydrogen ion and lactic acid accumulation. So my programming for performance has always been geared toward maximum force production and minimizing fatigue, regardless of the goal.
Is that you can get brutally strong with one pair of kettle bells by repeatedly performing one compound exercise well—the Clean and Press. The first is an 8 to 12-week block that trains your strength, based upon your 4 repetition maximum (RM), keeping the number of repetitions low—between 1 and 3—and the number of sets high.
Both are designed to make your old 4RM starting weight feel like a toy. This does start to get mildly glycolysis, but if you choose the “Slow and Steady,” it is not intolerably so.
Your body adapts very well, and those who stick with it are rewarded with the “Holy Grail” of strength training—more muscle mass, increased strength levels, and (usually) lower body fat levels—though this will be strongly influenced by dietary choices. This is achieved in around ninety minutes per week, regardless of age or training experience.
The majority of folks opt for the “Slow and Steady” for this reason. The third and final phase is a 5 to 8-week program that capitalizes on all the work you’ve done to date, and is focused on fat loss.
In fact, most people stop after the “Slow and Steady” and start over, using heavier kettle bells, with their leaner, more muscular bodies. It’s a conditioning program meant to be performed using the Double Swing.
This is because the Double Swing is very low-skill compared to the Doublespeak and Press, and has a much shorter stroke, so less can go wrong. And how should you use the “Strong!” and “One” programs if your main focus is anti-glycolitic training (AGT)?
However, if AGT is your primary training focus, there are two easy ways to make the program work for you: Stay with the first phase of the program and recycle it with a heavier pair of kettle bells.
Double or even triple the prescribed work sets over the course of time and use it as a pure A+A program. First, in light of the insights learned in and from Strong Endurance, the “One” program can truly be considered a glycolysis peaking program—and a longer one at that.
Second, in order to modify it for AGT purposes, since it’s already on a one-minute clock, I’d turn it into a low-rep Mom program, extending the duration of the program to build mitochondrial density. Third, once you’ve built up significant “anti-acid” capacity using AGT protocols, then bolt on the original version for a peaking cycle.
If you’d like to mix the two training strategies and lean towards the AGT side, I recommend the following: Do the first phase of “Strong!.” Then, double or triple the volume and continue running the cycle, making it a true A+A program.
Then, you will have built enough capacity to survive the “Short Course”—so run that as a 4-week cycle. Then, if you’re up for it, you should be fully prepared to run the last fat loss program.
The “2020” AGT-friendly variation would simply alternate different cycles of “Strong!” and “One:” 8 weeks of the first phase of “Strong!” followed by 8 to 12 weeks of “One,” modified to a low-rep Mom program. For Men: Hold half of your body weight with a pair of kettle bells in the rack position for 30s minimum.
For Women: Hold a third of your body weight with a pair of kettle bells in the rack position for 30s minimum. For Men: Press half of your body weight with a pair of kettle bells at least once.
Use a pair of kettle bells you can press 5 times, but would struggle to get 6 reps with. Perform one clean, followed by the prescribed number of presses.
Session # 3: Perform a Rep Max (RM)* with the same pair of kettle bells you’ve been using. Session # 3: Perform a Rep Max (RM)* with the same pair of kettle bells you’ve been using.
Rest as much as necessary between sets to get the prescribed reps. Do light mobility work or walk on non-training days, but nothing else. Everything you need to know about the “Strong!” program inside Kettle bell STRONG!, how to modify it to meet your anti-glycolitic training goals, the qualification criteria for starting the program, and two different ways to prepare yourself to meet those criteria so you can reap the benefits from the program itself.
Sags can also master how to perform and teach doublekettlebell skills by attending their Strongest SFG Level II instructor certification. Our most recent program at Queensland Kettle bells has included a lot of floor presses, with good reason.
He’s been in the strength & fitness industry since 1993 and has worked as a personal trainer, Division 1 strength and conditioning coach (Rutgers University), a personal training business owner, and an education provider. He has trained people from all walks of life, from middle school athletes, to military special operators, to arthritic grandmothers in their 70s.
ULTRA, Kettle bell STRONG!, The Olympic Rapid Fat Loss Program, Six Pack Abs 365, The Permanent Weight Loss Solution, and Pressing RESET: Original Strength Reloaded. Geoff has presented workshops on advanced kettle bell training, body maintenance and restoration, and Olympic lifting all over the world, including the US, Europe, SE Asia, and Australia.
Geoff currently trains clients online and lives in Colorado with his beautiful wife and his two children who are growing like sunflowers. The DoubleKettlebellClean is often thought of as a transition exercise — a delivery system to put a pair of heavy kettle bells in the rack position so you can drive them overhead.
However, that limited thinking is doing this magnificent exercise a severe injustice. Soviet researcher, and “Father of Plyometrics,” Dr. Yuri Verkhoshansky, noted that one set of 10 cleans using a pair of 32 kg kettle bells drove the heart rate up of elite weightlifters and it didn’t return to normal for 10 minutes!
Furthermore, not only is it a great “conditioner,” performed for enough reps, it’ll pack some muscle on the arms, shoulders, and upper back while creating explosive hips. Tuck your elbows into your sides and roll the kettle bells around your wrists up the front of your body.
During the back swing, keep the torso upright as long as possible and get out of the way at the last minute allowing the bells to pass underneath the body. To place them on the ground, toss them back down from the rack allowing them to swing forward to the start position.
In fact, it might be even been a BETTER alternative due to the “half press” found after the leg drive during the arm lockout overhead. Perform them for low to medium reps for power and strength development along with overall muscle growth.
Or perform them with higher reps to turbo-charge your conditioning levels. Aggressively hike the kettle bells behind you underneath your hips.
Tuck your elbows into your sides and roll the kettle bells around your wrists up the front of your body. Keeping the torso vertical (perpendicular to the ground), dip your knees quickly and then straighten them.
At the instant they straighten, use the force generated from your legs to drive the kettle bells overhead locking out the elbows. To lower them, either pull them back down to the rack or let them “free fall” absorbing or catching them by dipping your knees.
Re- clean the kettle bells and perform steps 6 through 9 again for the Push Press. For more details on performing the DoubleKettlebellClean and Push Press, go here.