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Which Kettlebell Program

author
Paul Gonzalez
• Monday, 28 December, 2020
• 11 min read

When I was taught how to leverage all that kettle bells had to offer, I found that a whole new world opened up which skyrocketed my personaltrainingbusiness and my own strength/conditioning results. Pavel references this program in his latest book, The Quick and the Dead.

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Contents

This snatch protocol, in my experience, is the absolute king in minimalist training. I live in a busy metropolitan area and trainworkingprofessionals who have demanding jobs, families, and hectic schedules.

This assumes my small group or individual client has a base level of strength. For this program, we use completion of multiple sets of ten one-arm swings with an appropriately sized kettle bell.

Many coaches use dice to program series, but I prefer a progressive plan. The focus as always, is power development and constant improvement of skill acquisition.

I change up both load and volume and many of my students respond well to progressing both of these variables. The main reason is that using the five rep protocol demands a higher skill for people to get the most from the full power expression.

Still, it’s important to introduce a heavier load and reducing the reps is a great way for students to begin to understand that they can do this. Given so many busy professionals are ruled by sedentary lives, I encourage my students to be as active as they can.

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If I can see students twice a week consistently following the above program, and they do the third day on their own (some get-ups, the 044 protocol when applicable, and some cardiovascular variation work), then by the end of a short six-week period, they become drastically stronger, leaner, and healthier. Once a staple of every child’s PE class, it has fallen by the wayside as physicaleducationin s...

The Strongest school of strength offers several programs to structure yourtrainingand develop your athletic qualities... If you don't associate kettle bellexerciseswith building muscle, well, that's understandable.

But make no mistake: Kettle bells can be a huge ally in the quest for mass. As I explained in my article Grind to Grow: Try Your Squats and Presses with Kettle bells,” part of the reason the kettle bell triggers newfound strength and muscle growth is because of its offset shape.

It forces the body to stabilize its joints differently from barbells, dumbbells, and other traditional bodybuilding equipment. This forces your muscles to contract differently than normal, and increases the demand placed upon them.

Look no further than the extra depth that every lifter instantly discovers when they front squat with a pair of kettle bells in the rack position, versus a barbell across the back. With this new and increased range of motion comes increased muscular growth in your legs, and strength in your entire torso, from the inside out, including the all-important core musculature.

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Best of all, the kettle bell lends itself to a simple, but very challenging programming. This 12-week program requires only two kettle bells and time for threeworkoutsa week.

According to research by Brad Schoenberg, PhD, there are three basic ways to stimulate muscle growth: Mechanical Tension: Lifting heavier weights for lower reps, similar to the way powerlifters train; think multiple sets of 2-5 reps.

Start the program with a pair of matching kettle bells you can press approximately 4-6 times. If you're at all unsure or uncertain about your capability, drop back to swinging one kettle bell.

More important than which variety you choose is that you focus on making each rep as explosive as possible, like I explained in my article Kettle bell Explosion: Harness the Power of the Kettle bell Swing.” Your goal is to do as many sets of each exercise, with perfect form, as you can in that time.

Then, when you're ready, clean the kettle bells back into the rack position and perform a set of front squats. Your goal is to do as many sets of swings as you can, with perfect form, in that time.

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To start this phase, determine your rep max (RM) with both the military press and the front squat using your two trusty kettle bells. Always round down the number of reps if you hit a decimal point in your math.

Your goal is to do as many sets of each exercise, with perfect form, as you can in that time. Clean the kettle bells to the rack position, then perform a set of military presses.

Clean the kettle bells back into the rack position, and perform a set of front squats. Do an RM test with your pair of kettle bells for the swing.

If not, use these weeks to keep practicing with the one-handed swing, trying to build up to 20 reps per hand, each at chest height. Your goal is to do as many sets of swings as you can, with perfect form, in that time.

Once again, find your RM for the military press and the front squat. There's one big difference in these workouts: You'll clean the kettle bells to the rack position and perform a set of military presses, followed immediately by one set of front squats.

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When your rest time is over, clean the kettle bells back into the rack position and repeat. This slight variation may not seem like much, but it increases the time under tension you experience and triggers metabolic stress.

*Your RM will drop due to fatigue as the sets progress. By this point, you should be able to comfortably swing a pair of kettle bells.

Do an RM test with your pair of kettle bells for the swing. If not, keep on practicing with the one-handed swing,workingup to 20 reps per hand, each at chest height.

The amount of tension running through and across your abs will already be severe, especially combining the military presses and front squats in the same day. However, if you can't live without ab training, I recommend you do hanging variations, like hanging leg raises, to decompress your spine from all the loading.

Since this is a strength and muscle program, you need to eat a lot. A tried-and-true starting point is to multiply your body weight (in pounds) by 15-20 for total calories.

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In my book, you can't beat the time-tested 30/40/30 split of protein/carbohydrates/fat when growth is the goal. If you start putting on fatter than you'd like, cut back.

Otherwise, your assignment is simple: Eat, sleep, lift, and grow. Themechanismsof muscle hypertrophy and their application to resistance training.

In Greek mythology, Prometheus is a Titan, who is credited with the creation of man from clay, and who defies the gods by stealing fire and giving it to humanity, an act that enabled progress and civilization. You should have plenty of rest between sets in the form of stretching and mobility work.

Take one week off and work on flexibility and mobility or something with light weights. In the video, I demonstrate the workout with the BEAST (48 kg/106lg) for the swings and rows and use a 32 kg/70lb for the jerks.

Buy the program to understand what weight to start with,alternativeexercises, why the rep range, how to make it heavier or adjust the program if you only have lighter kettle bells, recommendations for rest time, key safety points, what to do when you’re too sore to train, bonus material, etc. You get access to several coaches and are able to askquestionsabout the program, your progress, form check, and the newworkoutswe post each week.

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This is truly a full-body kettle bell workout, you’ll be hitting every muscle in your body with these two compound exercises. The row is also considered a compound exercise as it works multiple muscle groups at the same time, but I personally would put it low on the list of compound qualities, however, there is a clear reason I included this in the program and that is to work those areas often neglected in kettle bell training.

The focus of the jerk is the quadriceps, gluteus Maximus, biceps memoirs (long head), semitendinosus, semimembranosus, adductor Magnus, triceps brachial, Antonius, deltoid, serrated anterior, coracobrachialis, and biceps brachial. The kettle bell jerk is a push press and then dip under with elbow fully extended and the arm positioned overhead.

The focus of the bent-over row is the rear felt, latissimus Doris, tears major, and triceps brachial (long head), but there is way more going on as you create a stable base to row/pull the heavyweight from. You lunge forward and take a step back to create the position to row from.

Yeah, OK, I actually wanted to see the programming, so I copied it into a spreadsheet. Press/Pull supersets are 8minuteslong and I don't know how to summarize their progression.

Swings are seven reps per minute for the prescribed number of sets. Seven swings will take about 10 seconds; rest for the remainder of the time.

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Walk around for a couple of minutes, and do the pull ups in the same descending rep ladder of 5-4-3-2-1. I love super setting pull ups and presses, it's fun and feels great.

Overall the program looks similar to a short term, wavy Top, with slightly reduced press volume and no snatches. It also looks a good bit quicker than Top, with the longest press days being 32minutesinstead of the hour plus for heavy Top days.

This looks like a mix of the new Endurance protocol, the ladders from Top and, EDT type training. Jeffry, we support table formatting here on the Strongest forum.

I've given a sample below, both how it looks and then in a “code” section, what you do to make it happen. You might wish to use the BB Code editor, which you get when you click at the top right of the editing/composing window. AbbreviationMeaning 1RM 1 Rep Max A+A Galactic + Aerobic.

The Muscle and Fiction article on my tablet is hard to open without pop ups and redirects. Gave the press/pull day today, seems pretty tough to get all those presses one after the other.

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Guess I'll need to build some volume up elsewhere before I give this a proper try. Day 33, curious as to why they note the swing test as 3xRM, 1XRM...to me that's just 4xRM unless I'm missing something....

Maybe some specific amount of rest was listed, I don't remember, you can check the link. TBH, I have no idea why the test was done that way, and without a good explanation I'm a million percent sure I'd skip it.

Edit, actually, here's a screenshot, I have no clue... Matthew did you start with that first day, 3x(5,4,3,2,1)? I will offer an opinion based from Top where I believe Pavel talks about varying rest periods for goals, rest more and you will still get stronger just by a different mechanism.

This lets you rest your press while you pull and vice versa, but all the stabilizers and everything else is still going pretty steadily. Jeffry I agree with you on the density involved and I've gone for your option C. I was using a 28 kg which I can get 7 good reps on each side out of, I've shifted down to the 24 kg now, and might take a second run at the program after completing it with a bigger weight.

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Sources
1 www.t-nation.com - https://www.t-nation.com/training/tip-kettlebells-are-overrated
2 www.gains.af - https://www.gains.af/blog/kettlebell-overrated
3 www.reddit.com - https://www.reddit.com/r/kettlebells/
4 www.reddit.com - https://www.reddit.com/r/kettlebell/
5 www.rdlfitness.com - https://www.rdlfitness.com/avoid-kettlebells