Fundamental Human Movements Reps and Sets Load Sadly, I think this is the correct order that we should approach weightlifting.
But, please don’t think any of that is going to improve your skill set or your long term ability to do anything from sports to simply aging gracefully. At the HK, we learn what I consider to be the key patterns to human movement: the swing, the goblet squat and the get-up.
The get-up (not the “Turkish sit-up” as I often note) is a one-stop course in the basics of every human movement from rolling and hinging to lunging and locking out. So, the HK covers basic human movements in a way that is unlike any other system or school.
As I often argue, add the push-up and, honestly, you might be “done.” Here are the basics of proper training: Training sessions should put you on the path of progress towards your goals.
I have a simple answer for most people: control your repetitions. In teaching the get-up, or when using this wonderful lift as a tool to discover your body, keep the reps “around” ten.
One of the great insights, among many, that I picked up at the ROC is the idea of doing twenty swings with one kettle bell and ten swings with two kettle bells. After doing literally hundreds of swings a day, I noted that my technique held up fine in that ten and twenty range.
It is the basic teaching of sports: don’t let quantity influence quality. I usually call these the “Punch the Clock” workouts and I think they are the key to staying in the game.
Tim Ferris, ASCII, tells us in his excellent book, The Four Hour Body that there is a minimum effective dose (MED) of everything fitness related. Doing the little “Humane Burpee” with a big kettle bell is a killer workout.
When you look at movement first, then reps, then for whatever reason, the loading makes more sense too. In a one-day course, we learn and do (a lot of “do”) the three core movements of the kettle bell world.
Prepping for the HK is not as complex or deep as the three-day ROC. Showing up “in shape” and ready to learn would be ideal, but I would also recommend include some additional mobility work and perhaps some work on the hinge, squat and some basic rolling to prep for the event.
The time you spend prepping for the event pales in comparison to what you do AFTER the HK. I always send along the following Twenty-Day Program to guide our attendees deeper along the ROC path.
From there, I show the one arm press and introduce the kettle bell clean. I trained for the ROC with clean and press, swings and what I thought were snatches at the time.
Fresh from a new learning experience, there is always a tendency to want to do everything at once. But that approach is tough to do and fraught with long and short term issues.
It is recommended that you do the hip flexor stretch during each warm up and cool down period; it can be done very well with an easy set of goblet squats. 15 Two hand swings 1 Goblet squat Ten reps of high knees “March in Place” (Each time the right foot hits is “one rep”) Recovery breathing (up to two minutes) Do this for a total of 3 rounds.
15 Two hand swings 5 Goblet squats 1 Push-up 10 Reps of high knees “march in place” (Each time the right foot hits is “one rep”) Recovery breathing (up to 2 minutes) For a total of 10 rounds The three movements of the HK Care the core to conditioning, mobility and goal achievement.
Master ROC, Dan John is the author of numerous fitness titles including the best-selling Never Let Go and Easy Strength. An All-American discus thrower, Dan has also competed at the highest levels of Olympic lifting, Highland Games and the Weight Pentathlon, an event in which he holds the American record.
Dan spends his work life blending weekly workshops and lectures with full-time writing, and is also an online religious studies instructor for Columbia College of Missouri. As a Fulbright Scholar, he toured the Middle East exploring the foundations of religious education systems.
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