Sometimes it’s a very good thing to keep it simple, and often with kettlebells and bodyweight you’ll notice that there’s a great power in keeping things simple. The same is overwhelmingly true as described by Marty Gallagher in his most recent post on barbell training over at the IronBible.DragonDoor.com blog. And while I don’t personally do a whole heck of a lot of barbell training, Marty’s barebones simple approach is one to understand, acknowledge, and implement–regardless your prefered fitness tools.
That being said, on any given day if you just don’t know what to do with yourself workout wise (and that shouldn’t really happen because I hope you’re following a coach or program, but the “real world” is in effect…), a good solution is to revisit our old favorites the swing and the get-up. The following variation on that theme uses the RKC 5 minute snatch test (I like to do it from time to time and make sure I’m continuing to maintain/progress my conditionioning). For the details of the 5 minute test, and the complete testing requirements of the new upgraded RKC, please click here… I’m tired of seeing people debate the requirements online when they can just GO TO THE SOURCE on DragonDoor.com and read the most current, updated facts. Sure, that’s not a dramatic solution, but it sure saves time and frustration. I don’t have time for needless arguments and neither do you! 🙂
Here’s what we did for a simple but interesting workout:
After a few warm up swings, it was time to set the timer for 5 minutes and choose an appropriate kettlebell for our “faux test”. For my current weight that would be the very fun size 14kg kettlebell. While I’ve done the test with 12kg and 16kg, the 14kg actually seems incredibly appropriate for my size/conditioning requirements etc. I can remember a few years ago being incredibly stressed out about testing with even the 12kg and while that was a long time ago, and my conditioning has drastically improved, so has my technique. Alternately if you’re still working on your technique or have not learned how to really snatch a kettlebell yet, a fun challenge (for anyone really) is to see how many very good 1 arm swings you can do during that same time period.
Following a short break, I lined up several kettlebells in order of size – 8kg, 12kg, 14kg, 16kg, 18kg, etc. Beginning with a bodyweight only “naked” get up, everyone then progressed through the ladder of kettlebells–paying strict attention to form, and noting any compensations etc. pointed out as the weights got heavier. Asking for a spot from me was also encouraged… as was stopping before things got silly. Depending on your ability, energy, and kettlebell collection, it can be a really good learning experience with several rounds through something like: bodyweight, 8kg, 12kg, 16kg. Adjust for your abilities of course–a large, well trained guy will probably want to lift much heavier kettlebells in most cases. Though I’d remind him to try it with a light kb or with his shoe balanced on his fist (no thumb) for the fun and learning opportunities of it.
Following our trek through the kettlebells, we had a little bit of time left for a few rounds of this fun and simple circuit:
30 seconds jump rope, 15 seconds “rest/transition”
30 seconds battling rope throws (the 1.5″ 50 footer), 15 seconds “rest/transition”
30 seconds heavy kettlebell swings, 15 seconds “rest/transition”
We ended with the heart-rate friendly Primal Move eval performed backwards.