More affectionately nicknamed the “Carousel of Carnage” by our “knack for nicknames” guy at kettlebell small group, this circuit of stations presented some interesting challenges in the un-relenting Florida heat yesterday evening. In addition to bringing some ideas from various other related projects to the mix, I also brought the grip balls from StrongerGrip.com to further mix things up a little. The hooks are a little on the small side for some kettlebell handles – we used them with the thin handle “women’s” 16kg kettlebells from Dragon Door (which I love btw – they are perfect for some of us with small hands – even though I like to swing the thicker handled ones just as much, it’s great to have all the options. Also, if I am doing high rep snatches, or the RKC snatch test, this is the kettlebell I always use.)*
- We performed our favorite joint mobility warm up (which is about to get UPGRADED… so stay tuned), did a few kettlebell deadlifts and swings then it was time for an interesting practice…
- Heavy or heavy-ish (your choice) kettlebell cleans and HOLDS with max tension 20 seconds on, 10 seconds rest/transition for 8 rounds. For a fun challenge, use a kettlebell you can press once, or twice on a VERY good day. Pay absolute strict attention to form, make sure everything is engaged, crush the handle! That 20 seconds is an interesting time to explore what you are doing with cleans and fine tune as well.
- Medium heavy to heavy kettlebell rows – same pattern, 20 seconds on, 10 seconds rest/switch sides for 8 rounds. Strict attention yet again to form, breath, keeping shoulders square, etc.
Onto the infamous “carousel.” I searched the internet far and wide for that scary carousel monkey picture there, so I hope you appreciate it! (Photo by Bradley Gordon, CC license) Next, 4 stations (because for reasons I can’t seem to figure out, if you make a circuit that involves people moving around to stations, it seems “fun and different.” And yes, it has this effect on me too. Hey, whatever works!) We chose to do 30 seconds work, 20 seconds rest/transition/setup, with a longer rest at the end of each complete rotation of the (hahaha) “Carousel of Carnage” – which rotated a total of three times. Rest can be increased if necessary, or if the stations are far away.
- Heavy Swings (a selection of heavy kettlebells was available, so the swings would be challenging, but never ever ever ever at the detriment of good form) 24kg, 32kg, 48kg for example
- Leg raises (breathe lower back into the ground!) or “evil wheel” rollouts from the knees
- Grip Ball Farmers Carries (using the aforementioned pair of 16kg kettlebells) these started out easy and got really difficult at the end
- Pushups – from the knees, standard or a progression/regression of this classic move from Convict Conditioning
Finally, we ended the workout with our joint mobility exercises and called it a day!
*I need to get creative at the hardware store – a carbiner and a short piece of chain could be attached to the hook, so that any kettlebell could be carried (at least for a short while) with the grip ball.