Kettlebell Complex

Daniel Brown
• Monday, 30 November, 2020
• 20 min read

A kettlebellcomplex is a series of kettle bell exercises strung together intelligently, so they can be performed from one into the other without rest or having to stop in between. The benefits of a kettlebellcomplex are that you’re usually working the full-body in a very dynamic way with compound exercises.

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(Source: www.burpeesforbreakfast.com)


Dead lift, hang clean, swing clean, swing, half snatch, press, return to the ground and repeat. Originally designed like a barbell complex by Sealant, modified and translated to kettle bells by Caveman training.

By Matthew Brandon Garner, a member of our Caveman Inner Circle. This is a great combo that one of our members suggested including in one of our weekly workouts.

This is a beast of a combo as it’s one explosive movement after the other, you’re pulling the kettle bells up, squatting, and then thrusting them up with the power of your legs. This complex is great to work on the hips, leg strength, core, and shoulders.

To move fluidly, effectively, and safely one needs to understand and have mastered the kettle bell fundamentals. Caveman training has created two kettle bell workout books that contain kettle bell complexes in full-blown workouts, available for direct download on our site and as paperback or Kindle on Amazon.

Complex : A series of compound exercises performed sequentially with the same weight (kettle bell) and without rest. Each time the sequence is performed is considered one repetition.

kettlebell workout complex minute loss fat stationary bike aggressive perfecting sprints minutes increasing goal physical keep while under
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I first learned about complexes as a greenhorn college strength & conditioning coach in 1997 at Rutgers University. Someone had left a Muscle & Fitness magazine on my desk and I perused it during one of my breaks between teams.

In it, I found an article by Romanian Strength Coach Emeritus, Ivan “Steve” Favored on barbell complexes. This opened a whole new world to me and I immediately tried Favored Barbell Complex #1 with several of the guys on the wrestling team.

This is arguably THE most common reason for using kettle bell complexes. People are always looking for the “fastest” way to burn off love handles, the gut, etc.

When structured properly, and especially when using a pair of kettle bells, complexes can help stimulate lean muscle tissue growth. However, because the loads are relatively light they do so primarily through the factor of Metabolic Stress, which increases a number chemical and hormonal responses within the body to produce muscle.

Metabolic stress manifests as a result of exercise that relies on anaerobic glycolysis for ATP production, which results in the subsequent buildup of metabolites such as lactate, hydrogen ion, inorganic phosphate, creatine, and others (169,178). Muscle ischemia also has been shown to produce substantial metabolic stress, and potentially produces an additive hypertrophic effect when combined with glycolysis training (136,182).

complex kettlebell workout killer moves
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The stress-induced mechanisms theorized to mediate the hypertrophic response include alterations in hormonal milieu, cell swelling, free-radical production, and increased activity of growth-oriented transcription factors (50,51,171). It also has been hypothesized that a greater acidic environment promoted by glycolysis training may lead to increased fiber degradation and greater stimulation of sympathetic nerve activity, thereby mediating an increased adaptive hypertrophic response (22).

When you’re performing complexes, one side of your rib cage, or maybe both, depending on if whether you’re using one kettle bell or two – This makes taking a full deep breath hard.

These muscles strain to expand fully, and are therefore trained to get stronger in order for you to get as much air in your lungs a possible so you can keep working without passing out. As a unique side benefit, this will also make your abs stronger.

One of the ways to build grip strength is to hold an object for time. If you’re doing several sets of ballistic exercises in a row in your complex, like Swings, then Cleans, then Snatches, then your grip is going to be taxed Big Time.

There comes a time in every complex, where you’re huffing and puffing, muscles burning, when you question whether you quit or keep going. This is very simple way to build mental toughness.

kettlebell complex breaker brick workout kettle workouts training exercises dan john write strength
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The quickest workout in my book Kettle bell Muscle is a 3-exercise complex. Now of course, each kettlebellcomplex workout will vary based upon the number of exercises included, the sets, and the reps, along with the rest periods, but I think you can see, there’s absolutely zero reason you couldn’t get in fantastic shape using nothing but kettle bell complexes 3 times a week for 15 to 20 minutes.

According to Coach Favored, and I’ve found this to be true over the last 20+ years, your complexes should be built off your weakest exercise. And where you choose to place that exercise, makes it more or less difficult to perform, due to fatigue.

Running through these 3 kettle bell complexes at various times in your training, in that order, will make your pressing musculature, and therefore your kettle bell press, much stronger, without having to use heavier bells. This sounds counterintuitive, in the face of the heavy fatigue created by your complex.

However, this is something I learned from my first Olympic lifting coach, Mark Cohen, back in 1995. I had a nasty habit of pulling with my arms instead of extending my hips.

And of course, as their grips fatigued and hear rates soared, the kettle bell instructor candidates figured out how to perform crisp, hip-driven double kettle bell swings. This is a more esoteric reason that’s very similar to the “mental toughness” aspect of training.

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This is a time to work on centering yourself by staying at the moment and focusing on your breath. And in doing so, you remain in control, which produces a sense of calm.

First, determine what your goal is: Build muscle, lose fat, improve conditioning, Lin (Look Good Necked)… yes… For most people, the upper body pressing muscles are the weakest link in the complex.

You can use more total weight and create a greater stimulus for change. If you’re using a 24 kg for your single kettlebellcomplex and you do 100 reps total, that’s 2400 kg lifted on that day.

By contrast, if you use a pair of 16 kg kettle bells for the same complex, and you do 100 reps, you’ve just lifted 3200 kg – Plus, double kettle bell complexes are harder and more challenging.

… and sometimes I’ll even throw in the ever brutal, Double Kettle bell Jerk, which I do not recommend for beginners. Below are 10 video examples of double kettlebellcomplex workouts.

complex kettlebell double
(Source: www.youtube.com)

I primarily use these double kettle bell complexes for fat loss or conditioning. However, if you eat a caloric surplus, you can build muscle with them too.

Double Kettle bell Front Squat x30 seconds The double kettlebellcomplex for fat loss in this video is the Light Day of a 3-day a week, 6-week program called “The Universe,” found inside my book, More Kettle bell Muscle.

(Make sure you’re using a 10 rep max for your double kettle bell snatch.) This is a great kettlebellcomplex that will demand your attention leaving no muscle unused when done for maximum rounds and minimal rest: Abs, legs, hips, upper back, shoulders, arms and hands.

It’s a great kettle bell workout for stimulate fat loss because the front squat restricts the movement of your rib cage, preventing you from taking a full breath. This of course limits your oxygen and the amount of air you can consume.

(Make sure you’re using a 10 rep max for your double kettle bell snatch.) If you’d like a free double kettlebellcomplex workout program where the exercises, sets, reps, and rest periods are all spelled out for you, day-by-day, then download your free copy of “THE WOLF by clicking the image below.

complex kettlebell excuses body upper
(Source: www.fitandwrite.com)

The kettle bell has historically been and remains one of the most versatile pieces of fitness equipment available today. The kettle bell may seem like a trendy fitness implement that is here today and be gone tomorrow; it is has stood the test of time for centuries across the globe.

I enjoy occasionally creating and prescribing exclusive kettle bell complexes for my athletes and clients when applicable. These are not intended to replace conventional strength training programs that use things like barbells, dumbbells, etc.

For some, following a simple program consisting of nothing more than five or six kettle bell movements spread across the week can be a great option. Below I have highlighted three of my go-to kettle bell complexes great for developing higher general work capacity.

Depending on one's current fitness level and competency with performing each movement, the reps can vary to suit individual needs. Depending on how long these movements take, the remaining time will rest until the top of the next minute is reached.

The goal is to perform the reps at a high intensity with perfect form so that over time one becomes more proficient and recovers at a quicker rate between each round. If this prescription is seemingly too tricky or too easy, altering the rep scheme and or the load used is advisable.

complex kettlebell move five sometimes
(Source: www.burpeesforbreakfast.com)

Mom: 5 Swings, 5 Goblet Squats, 5 Single Arm Snatches each side Week 2: 17 minutes Mom: 5 Swings, 5 Goblet Squats, 5 Single Arm Snatches each side Week 3: 17 minutes Mom: 7 Swings, 6 Goblet Squats, 5 Single Arm Snatches each side Week 4: 18 minutes Mom: 7 Swings, 6 Goblet Squats, 5 Single Arm Snatches each side Perhaps one of the most famous and ironically most basic programs ever designed was Kettle bell Simple & Sinister', by Pavel Tsatsouline.

This program is rather difficult and, subsequently, doesn't necessitate a great deal of additional volume to progress it, but there are ways to make it more advanced if one desires. Incorporating different kettle bell complexes may be a fantastic addition to your overall training program, depending on your goals and needs.

Additionally, they can be an excellent option for those seeking some much-needed variety or the ability to train with limited access to gym equipment. The kettle bell may seem like a trendy fitness implement that is here today and be gone tomorrow; it is has stood the test of time for centuries across the globe.

I enjoy occasionally creating and prescribing exclusive kettle bell complexes for my athletes and clients when applicable. These are not intended to replace conventional strength training programs that use things like barbells, dumbbells, etc.

For some, following a simple program consisting of nothing more than five or six kettle bell movements spread across the week can be a great option. Below I have highlighted three of my go-to kettle bell complexes great for developing higher general work capacity.

kettlebell upper body complex core strength advanced
(Source: www.youtube.com)

Today I’d like to introduce you to 4 highly effective KettlebellComplex workouts that get a huge amount of muscle and cardio excitement in just one fluid movement. I’ve included 4 kettlebellcomplex workouts so you can gradually progress from the easiest one to the more challenging one as your skills and strength develop.

Kettlebellcomplex workouts take two or more kettle bell exercises and piece them together into one fluid set of movements. Similarly, the kettle bell squat and press could be considered a kettlebellcomplex too.

You can perform more full body exercises in less time You can elevate your heart rate quickly and keep it raised It’s fun to flow from one exercise to the next Keeps your mind active and motivated Kettlebellcomplex workouts are more effective when they are limited to certain flowing exercises and the patterns are kept simple.

If you want to get the most out of your kettlebellcomplex workouts then I suggest you use large multi-jointed movements that target as many muscles as possible. Below I’ve listed 4 progressive workout complexes, each one getting more and more challenging.

The kettle bell should travel up in a straight line and stay nice and close to the body. At the top of the Clean the arm is wrapped around the kettle bell to avoid banging the wrist.

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(Source: www.kettlebellkings.com)

It is very important that the rear knee touches or gets very close to the floor in order to activate the buttock muscles. If you find that the reverse lunge causes you knee issues then you may be lacking strength in the legs to perform the exercise.

I would therefore recommend that first you practice without a kettle bell and if that doesn’t help use the squat exercise instead. Once you are comfortable with the Level 1 complex you can start adding in a third exercise.

Not only is the kettle bell reverse lunge and press a full body exercise but it’s very cardiovascular too. Use the same technique for the reverse lunge but then as you return to the top position use your momentum to drive the kettle bell overhead.

You may find it helpful to repeat each part of the exercise to yourself as you perform it e.g. Clean, then Squat and into Press, then back to the racked position. Take your time and make sure that each section of the 3 exercises is performed perfectly.

There is a tendency with Complex movements to rush through them and neglect good form. Kettlebellcomplex workouts are a great way to get lots of muscle activation and variety in a short amount of time.

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Before embarking on a kettlebellcomplex workout you should first master each of the individual exercises involved. Don’t rush through the movements and make sure your form is spot on for every repetition even when you start to fatigue.

All you’ll need is a pair of equal-weight kettle bells and a few square feet of floor space to pull this one off. Set both bells on the floor with the handles running vertically; you’ll maintain a neutral grip throughout the four-move complex.

Now row the bells to your rib cage, lower them back down to the floor, and hit the third move by cleaning the kettle bells to a rack position in front of your shoulders. The great thing about this workout is how it forces you to attack key body movements you want in all your overall training.

You're opening with a push up, a push move, then you're following with a row, a critical exercise to offset bad posture. This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses.

To forgo effectiveness for fun would surely flip us over the edge of reason. But to assert that fun and effective are mutually exclusive is an exhibition of broken logic.

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Sure, that sounds kind of tasty, but there’s no such metric for evaluation, nor will there ever, because not everybody’s idea of fun is the same. It just seems like (because it seems like is honestly the best approximation I got on this subject) that most, not all, but most, find tough to be more fun than easy.

I have shared my observations on what I believe to be true and will now show you how to add a little bourbon to the sauce of your training program. These workouts (the bourbon), which you can plug into just about any conditioning slot in your training program (assuming you have one), will fortify your spirit, harden your muscle, and peel away body fat.

Metabolic conditioning is now a term familiar to many, and since there is little good purpose to be served by trotting an old horse once more around the track, I will only touch on this point lightly to familiarize any new recruits, and then refer out to more extensive works. Some of the best work I’ve found on metabolic conditioning comes from Arthur Jones, who arguably coined the term back in the 1970s.

“If there is interest in totally unsupported theories, then I do have a theory… a theory that I have no great confidence in at this point; I think that the body may simply be unable to provide the required chemical changes that are necessary to work that hard for a prolonged period of time. “Once a subject becomes capable of training in this fashion without going into shock as a result, then it becomes possible to work his muscles to a point of momentary failure while maintaining both the pulse rate and breathing at very high levels throughout the entire workout.

For the entire collection of Arthur Jones notes on metabolic conditioning, I highly recommend that you head over to ArthurJonesExercise.com and read his full article on Flexibility and Metabolic Condition. The goal is to keep the system under stress, and working as a whole for some prolonged period of time.

complex kettlebell
(Source: www.youtube.com)

The simplest way to do this is to string together a series of compound exercises, and presently I will show you how to achieve this effect through kettlebellcomplex training. But to perform them successively and uninterruptedly means to string these exercises together and execute them without the luxury of rest.

My mentor, Brian Petty ROC, a lifelong fighter, once told me that kettle bell training is the closest thing you can get to fighting without throwing a punch. He explained to me that kettlebellcomplex training allows us to generate “high quality fatigue” and that the feeling of lactic acid flooding the system to the point of one feeling almost panicked, or poisoned even, is the reality of a physical confrontation.

To understand why this is important is to know that a fight is often won in the last round, and when there are two competitors of equal skill, the winner is the one with greater strength and staying power. I should also mention that when coupled with a workable diet, metabolic conditioning will melt fat like raw meat on a hot grill.

The great deal of stress and systemic fatigue generated from kettlebellcomplex training stokes the metabolic furnace, creates a large oxygen debt, and promises prolonged caloric after-burn. To understand this is to know why short and intense kettlebellcomplex training sessions are far more effective for melting fat than low-intensity aerobics ever were.

I believe kettle bell complexes are such handy fat-chopping devices that every fitness enthusiast should have at least five pegged to memory. Once you run your first set of The Great Destroyer, I think this will strike you as a pretty good analogy.

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The fatigue, like a night prowler, creeps up and slams you unexpectedly. Imagine what it’d feel like to have a thousand cold knives slipped into your quads, twisted, and withdrawn.

The sequence of this complex is based off the Fibonacci series in reverse, starting from eight, and combines double kettle bells cleans and front squats. Once you’ve completed the series on one side, switch arms and repeat.

I got this kettle bell “sandwich” idea from Jim Jitsi champion Steve Maxwell, when he paired the double kettle bell clean with a push up on the handles. The sandwich reference indicates that there are two pieces of “bread” from which to load ingredients (exercises).

Begin by performing one rep of the double kettle bell snatch and the renegade row. Even at the risk of being overly repetitious, I’ll reiterate that these workouts are brandy to the sauce of ordinary conditioning routines.

Pat Flynn is a certified Russian Kettle bell Challenge instructor, fitness philosopher, and 7th degree black belt in hanging out. Pat is the founder of ChroniclesOfStrength.com where he talks mostly on how to chop fat and multiply muscle through kettlebellcomplex training.

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Fortunately, you only need one weight to work your entire body with this complex by Omar Golden, former Broncos safety and Super Bowl 50 champ. By using an offset load, you significantly increase how hard your abs and obliques have to work during each phase of the exercise to keep your body in a straight vertical line.

Onnitonnit.com“Keep a super tight core when doing this,” says Men’s Health fitness director Ebenezer Samuel, C.S.C.S. , explaining that total body tension is critical to owning the kettle bell rack position and getting the most muscle-building benefits.

It will also help keep you from arching your lower back, which is a common mistake when performing cleans as well as overhead presses. That tension also applies to your arms; keep your loaded wrist straight and elbow directly underneath it like Golden does in this video.

If you have existing shoulder issues or pain during overhead presses, you can easily skip that part of the complex. This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses.

A fellow in great distress came to me through email and inquired as to which of my kettle bell complexes are best for the agreement of strength. Complexes are not the best investment for strength, nor is Cuba the place for a snowman, whatever that means.

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But you mustn’t belabor a person too much all at once, else they may quit the business of breathing altogether, and then what’s the point? For a complex to be an effective measure towards strength, it must visit upon the customer a substantial muscular encumbered and overload.

Armor building, as Dan makes the distinction, is not hypertrophy, per se, but rather, a hardening and toughening of the flesh with the expected accompaniment of strength. Because I am a believer in the same but different approach, I hold the character amongst my colleagues of being the fellow who very seldom changes his routine.

Training in a chain offers you variations on speed and tempo by waving the load. Programming is a matter I’d rather not get too much into right now, as I do not wish to too openly encourage that single most unpardonable sin against your neighbors of being successful.

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1 www.ironmaster.com - https://www.ironmaster.com/categories/dumbbells-and-kettlebells/
2 fitnessmastered.com - https://fitnessmastered.com/fitness-exercises/best-adjustable-kettlebell-weights-review
3 www.360fitnesssuperstore.com - https://www.360fitnesssuperstore.com/strength-training/kettlebells