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RKC Classic Kettlebells

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Rings of Power by Mike Gillette Cool new book from Mike Gillette about Ring Training for all fitness levels. Being on this shoot with Mike was like working with a real live action hero! (And I got to put a cinderblock on him too!) Mike knows his stuff and shares everything you need to know for his versatile go-anywhere ring training.  Full progressions of every exercise, workout plans, and all the know-how to take the training as far as you wish. Good stuff, and yes, that's me on the left side of the cover  :)

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Intermediate to Advanced Kettlebell Circuit Workout From Favorite Moves!

Kettlebell favorites workoutAfter a last minute sudden location change (rain poured down from NOWHERE a full 2 minutes before small group), we carried on with the full workout you see here -- I'll also write it out in case the little graphic is too difficult to read for any reason. Also, clicking on the image will make it full size... which is huge.

With the inclusion of the 5 minutes, 100 snatches after a significant warm up, you'll notice that this kettlebell workout clearly isn't for everyone--as written.  Possible alternatives include 130 one arm swings with an appropriate weight, praticing snatches in the same time period but without a hard rep goal, or for a beginner 30:30 - thirty seconds 2 hand kettlebell swings, thirty seconds rest for the five minutes.

As for the circuit itself, the kettlebell deadlifts can of course be done with any weight kettlebell you have handy which is appropriate.  Also, instead of archer push ups from Convict Conditioning, you can choose whichever push up variation is difficult for you at a rep range of 8-10 (but note that we are only doing 5 push up reps per round).

This one was surprisingly a lot of fun and a nice way to get in some practice on a whole lot of kettlebell favorites.  Lately our training has featured a lot of weighted carries, which are fantastic, but it was nice to get back to some of the basics and some of the benchmarks like the 100 kettlebell snatches in 5 minutes test right there near the beginning of the workout. I was pleased to see that my own progress had rendered that formerly formidible test to be not a big deal.  In fact I was hardly taxed by it, and it used to practically destroy me just a few years ago. I think this is somewhat due to improvements in general conditioning but also the reality check of the SSST workouts we had been trying earlier this year. 

I had made a point to do all the snatching with the weight that I would be required to use for the RKC snatch test.  Those requirements have been updated a little while back, so if you haven't looked at it in a while, click here and read carefully

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So for those of you who would rather read it out in text here we go:

We began with a rather comprehensive joint mobility warm up (very similar to the one that's actually spelled out in the current upgraded HKC and RKC manuals...).

The Convict Conditioning Vol 2 Trifecta is simply a few reps of a bridge, an L-sit, and a twist.  We each do these at our current level in the progression (or regression) both of which are very nicely outlined and taken into the stratosphere in Convict Conditioning 2.  In fact, I actually leave a bookmark in the trifecta section of the book for that reason.

Then each person selected an appropriate kettlebell for doing 10 alternating get-ups in a row. Beginners (or anyone really) can also opt to do these thoughtful, not-rushed, get-ups without any weight at all.  At that point I'd recommend really taking full advantage of the pauses between each of the 7 segments to find where you really fit into the movement and vise-versa.

I set an interval timer to chime on the minute every minute for 5 minutes, since this can be helpful for learning or adjusting a pace for kettlebell snatches.  It's also helpful for anyone who might be doing a different variation while we're snatching.

After those 5 minutes we made sure to get some water before discussing the following circuit:

4x through this circuit (we went a little bit over our usual allotted time, so if you are pressed for time, 3 rounds might be more appropriate):

Bonus Round:
2-3x:

  • 30 second hollow body hold
  • 3 "up dog, down dog" aka "pump stretches"

Finally, we cooled down with our basic joint mobility moves.

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1. Start With Why Simon Sinek
2. Strikes: Soul Meets Body Vladimir Vasiliev & Scott Meredith
3. The Art of Racing in the Rain: A Novel Garth Stein


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Scrum: The Art of Doing Twice the Work In Half The Time Jeff Sutherland

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