I have a real love of heavy single kettlebell swings, especially in sets of 10. That rep range really lets me focus on the form and generate as much power as I can, then the set ends before anything has the chance to get weird. For this reason I really love this rep range for advanced beginners or even intermediate folks for regular swings, they don’t have time to let a bad habit sneak in, and plenty of great quality reps get in their memory banks. So, if the kettlebells are properly chosen there’s plenty of opportunity to get some near maximal moments in this simple workout. Especially when going for 10 rounds…. That being said, when I did this with a workout partner, I brought out a selection of kettlebells in case we wanted to swap heavier or lighter. So, in addition to the 32kg kettlebell and pair of 16kg kettlebells mentioned in the example workout, I had a 24kg and a pair of 12kg, a 20kg, and a pair of 10kg. Yes, I have quite the collection… I now have enough kettlebells to open my own gym, or lead a pretty decent sized group class of men and women of various fitness levels… (yes, that’s foreshadowing…)
Other things to consider when choosing your kettlebells for this workout: if you go lighter, then really focus on your skills, making every rep super perfect while minimizing rest/breaks.
Also, no matter what kettlebells you choose, don’t allow yourself to do any crummy reps. It’s not worth it, I’d rather you do 5 awesome rounds of it than 5 awesome rounds and 5 questionable ones. Likewise if you feel like the 3x reps of the double drills are getting a little iffy, then it’s time to swap down to a lighter pair of kettlebells for the next round.
One last thing — yes, you CAN just do this workout with double kettlebells for the first set of swings, but for some reason I find that switching up the grip for single kettlebell swings and then double kettlebell exercises tends to provide additional mental stimulation and oddly enough, seems to give the grip a break too.
In case you’d rather it written out instead of the graphic, here’s the workout again:
Warm up with joint mobility drills…
10 rounds of:
- 10 heavy kettlebell swings
- 3 double kettlebell presses
- 3 double kettlebell front squats
- 3 double kettlebell cleans
- 1 double kettlebell overhead walk
- 5 sitouts (be sure to start with a different side each round)
What’s a sitout? I learned these from Master RKC Mike Krivka when we worked on his awesome ebook project a few years ago (CodeName: Indestructible). Here’s a little how to video (scoot ahead to 3:00 for sitouts):