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Thread: Kettlebell Training

  1. #1
    Who me? Chubrock's Avatar
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    Kettlebell Training

    I originally wrote this up for Stumpy, but I thought I'd post this here as well. I trained under a Steve Maxwell affliate. Our entire strength and conditioning program was based off of KBs.


    KB Training


    The Movements:


    Two Arm Swing-

    Starting position: http://www.powerathletesmag.com/arch.../robbswing.jpg

    Ending position: http://www.powerathletesmag.com/arch...b2armswing.jpg

    Things to remember:
    1. Sit back like youíre box squatting. The farther you sit back, the better.
    2. When you bring your hips through, bring them as fast as possible. Youíre looking to generate so much force that if you didnít have the KB in your hands, youíd jump forward a few feet.
    3. Donít pick up on the KB. Your arms should just act as a chain, and be linked to the KB. The height that KB reaches is determined solely by how fast you move your hips.


    One Arm Snatch-

    Starting/Mid/Finish Positions: http://www.renegadetraining.com/imag...h_sequence.jpg

    Things to remember:
    1. Speed is greater than all. Donít try to muscle it up. Generate as much speed as possible.
    2. Bring the KB as high as possible before bending your elbow.
    3. When the KB reaches the point where it seems to float, act as those you are painting a ďJĒ with your hand, and punch your hand up and through. This action should keep the KB from banging on the wrist. Once you get this technique down, it will allow you to speed the movement up, and take less time between successive snatches.


    One Arm Clean-

    Starting Position: http://www.stumptuous.com/cms/images..._kb_clean1.JPG

    Finish Position: http://www.stumptuous.com/cms/images..._kb_clean2.JPG


    Things to remember:
    1. Start the clean with your thumb pointed between your legs. When you initiate the movement, your thumb rolls around to the front, and youíre exploding upward. It continues to roll around until it is point directly into your chest.
    2. As in the picture above, when you finish, your forearm and upper arm just form a cradle for the KB to sit in. Your elbow should be pointed at about a 45 degree angle.
    3. The rotation of the thumb from between the legs to the chest allows the KB to rotate around the wrist. Without this movement, the KB will slam the arm. Remember to always rotate the wrist. Donít make the KB move around your arm. The KB should float and your wrist/arm should move around it.


    Turkish Getup-

    Starting Position: http://www.strengthcats.com/images/LBTGU_1.jpg

    Finish Position minus the Lunge Upward: http://www.strengthcats.com/images/LBTGU_3.jpg


    Things to Remember:
    1. Lock your arm out. A bent arm will make this much more difficult than it should be. Use your bone structure to support the weight, much like a climber uses his to support himself while climbing.
    2. Begin the movement by rolling to the side, and not upward. This will allow you to begin the movement more easily.
    3. If you feel the KB moving about, squeeze the handle and watch the KB. This will allow you to bring it back in line.
    4. The mid portion of the movement will have you in the lunge position with the KB directly overhead. It is important to make sure you push with the toe of your back foot and the heel of your front foot.
    5. Make each movement slow and decisive. Much like a climber makes his way up a mountain, each movement should be very locked in and precise. Do not speed each movement up in order to rush through the lift.


    Windmill-

    Starting Position: http://www.stumptuous.com/cms/images...windmill_1.jpg

    Finishing Position: http://www.stumptuous.com/cms/images...windmill_2.jpg


    Things to Remember:
    1. Lock your arm out and keep it locked. A bent arm makes the movement more difficult.
    2. Make sure your legs are slightly wider than shoulder width, and straight. Kick your hip out underneath the KB (ie if the KB is in the right hand, kick your hip to the right so that it is underneath the KB and forms a line from the KB all the way down).
    3. Point your toes at a 45 degree angle away from the KB. You should do this on both feet.
    4. If the KB is in your right hand, place your left hand on the inside of your left leg and trace the inside of your leg all the way down.
    5. Remember to squeeze the handle and watch the KB. This will keep it in line with your body and will help prevent injuries that occur when the KB tracks behind the shoulder.

    Generic Movements:
    1. Single OH Press
    2. Single Bent Row


    Constructing the Split:

    I recommend using a 3 day split (MWF). This will allow you to recover between workouts, but at the same time, get enough work in to improve your conditioning and strength.

    Our warm up went like this:

    Two Arm Swings x 20
    One Arm Snatch x 10/10
    One Arm Clean x 10/10

    We partnered up, so while one was lifting, the other was resting. This comes out to be about 30 seconds rest between movements. I recommend using a lighter dumbbell when warming up.

    The regular working sets are set up much like a circuit. We go through all the movements and do roughly 4 rotations of the cycle. Hereís how I recommend setting it up (including warm up).

    Two Arm Swings x 20
    One Arm Snatch x 10/10
    One Arm Clean x 10/10
    Windmill x 5/5
    Turkish Getups x 5/5
    Single OH Press x 5/5
    Single Bent Row x 5/5
    Two Arm Swings x 20
    Windmill x 4/4
    Turkish Getups x 4/4
    Single OH Press x 5/5
    Single Bent Row x 5/5
    One Arm Snatch x 10/10
    Windmill x 3/3
    Turkish Getups x 3/3
    Single OH Press x 5/5
    Single Bent Row x 5/5
    One Arm Clean x 10/10
    Windmill x 3/3
    Turkish Getup x 3/3
    Single OH Press x 5/5
    Single Bent Row x 5/5
    Two Arm Swings x 20
    One Arm Snatch x 10/10
    One Arm Clean x 10/10


    Start off resting a bit between sets. As you become accustomed to the movements lessen your rest. I canít see this taking anymore than 40min. Some movements will take more time than others, but overall, you should be able to finish in a fairly quick time. Let me know if you have any questions.



    Author: Andrew Smith

    Fuck, fight, or hold the light.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Sensei's Avatar
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    There are also video clips of Steve Cotter performing some of these at: http://www.groundfighter.com/details/prodid/202.html
    A child does not learn to squat from the top down. In other words, he does not suddenly make a conscious decision one day to squat. Actually, he is squatting one day and make the conscious decision to stand. Squatting precedes standing in the developmental sequence. This is the way a child's brain learns to use the body as the child develops movement patterns. Therefore, a child is probably crawling, rocks back into a squatting position with the back completely relaxed and the hips completely flexed, and stands when he has enough hip strength. This approach makes a lot of sense and can be applied to relearning the deep squat movement if it is lost. -Gray Cook
    Lifting Clips: http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=johnnymnemonic2
    Blog: http://squatrx.blogspot.com/

  3. #3
    Who me? Chubrock's Avatar
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    Appreciate the link Sensei.

    Fuck, fight, or hold the light.

  4. #4
    Silenced Radical jamrock's Avatar
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    I see KB training mentioned a lot on strength websites.. The thing is that most of the people who do this type of training don't seem all that big to me (there are exceptions).. Is this just for grip/lower arm/core work?? can things other than kettle balls be used? I was thinking of making my own larger kettle balls by mixing cement in a bucket and using a 2" piece of steel pipe as a handle..

    anyway, sorry for the thread jack..

  5. #5
    King Nothing ericg's Avatar
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    KBs are great for explosive strength and metabolic conditioning. You follow the circuit that Chubs made up and it will get you on the verge of puking im sure! In some of the movements that he mentions you could sub a DB for the KB. If you can make your own go for it!!
    Current Stats --------------- Training Goals: Improve athletic conditioning.
    Squat - 305lbs - 1/23/06 ----- 335
    Deadlift - 415lbs - 2/4/06 ---- 435
    Bench - 90s*7 ----------------- 100s*5
    Weight - 208 ------------------ 190
    Height - 5'10"

    My Journal|My Routine|My FitDay
    WBBB|"Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up" - Thomas Edison

  6. #6
    Silenced Radical jamrock's Avatar
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    Chubrock, thanks for taking the time to put this up...

    Is this to be used in conjunction with a strength training program? I'm looking to work on my strength but for now focus more on my stamina/cardiovascular health/wellness.. I just quit smoking, tired of being winded.

    This looks like something I could do along with some HIIT cardio..

  7. #7
    Who me? Chubrock's Avatar
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    You can use something like this in conjunction with a more traditional strength program, but it will be important for you to make sure you don't overtrain. I would set it up where you have KBs M/W and a more traditional compound movements strength based program on T/TH. You'll find that, especially for the first several weeks, your body will be trashed after a solid session with the KBs. People don't realize how weak their core and stabilizers are until attempting some of the movements at a more serious pace.


    With that said, the beauty of KBs is that you can go and do almost anything with them. The above mentioned workout is just an example (though IMO they're are probably some of the best movements to use) and can be changed to meet needs or limitations.


    I'm not sure how many people are interested in KBs, but if people are interested, I can write up something every 2 weeks or so showing a new move and how to incorporate it into a split.

    Fuck, fight, or hold the light.

  8. #8
    King Nothing ericg's Avatar
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    Definitely use it along with the rest of your routine. I would use the KB workout that chubs posted as a metabolic conditioning workout, same as hiit. Depending on your routine, I personally would make sure to have your weight training days before the hiit/KB/MetCon stuff. Other WBB members please correct me if I am wrong but I believe that your body gets hit pretty hard during some hiit/KB/MetCon, more so than a weight training day? I think Anthony has some info on what I am talking about.
    Current Stats --------------- Training Goals: Improve athletic conditioning.
    Squat - 305lbs - 1/23/06 ----- 335
    Deadlift - 415lbs - 2/4/06 ---- 435
    Bench - 90s*7 ----------------- 100s*5
    Weight - 208 ------------------ 190
    Height - 5'10"

    My Journal|My Routine|My FitDay
    WBBB|"Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up" - Thomas Edison

  9. #9
    Who me? Chubrock's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jamrock View Post
    I see KB training mentioned a lot on strength websites.. The thing is that most of the people who do this type of training don't seem all that big to me (there are exceptions).. Is this just for grip/lower arm/core work?? can things other than kettle balls be used? I was thinking of making my own larger kettle balls by mixing cement in a bucket and using a 2" piece of steel pipe as a handle..

    anyway, sorry for the thread jack..


    Some of the biggest PLers in the world are now using KBs to supplement their work. Granted they don't follow a pure KB based program (obviously), but they do use KBs to work on their conditioning and to strength the core and stabilizer muscles. Most of the athletes who have used KBs are more concerned about mobility, overall strength and athletic ability more so than pure strength, and this is why you haven't seen many "big" people. I could get big using KBs, if I so desired. Gaining size isn't anything other than more calories in than out.

    As far as making a KB, I'm thinking you'll run into problems with the way you're going about this. Most KBs are cast iron. There are also reasons for the thickness and height of the handle, as it allows the KB to properly seat in your hand and against your arm. Honestly, I think you'd be better off looking around and buying a KB for as cheap as possible. I recommend the Powermax KBs. While they aren't the best thing on the market, they are worth the price.

    Fuck, fight, or hold the light.

  10. #10
    Who me? Chubrock's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ericg View Post
    Definitely use it along with the rest of your routine. I would use the KB workout that chubs posted as a metabolic conditioning workout, same as hiit. Depending on your routine, I personally would make sure to have your weight training days before the hiit/KB/MetCon stuff. Other WBB members please correct me if I am wrong but I believe that your body gets hit pretty hard during some hiit/KB/MetCon, more so than a weight training day? I think Anthony has some info on what I am talking about.
    I always had my workouts structured in a reverse manner. KBs M/W, and then compound lifts T/TH with 2 BJJ classes on T/TH. With that said, I have no scientific evidence to back up using this type of setup over the reverse. I do know that at times I'd be a bit stiff, but I was also doing 45 minutes of joint mobility work, so that wasn't too much of an issue. I also believe that my body had become conditioned to it all, so I may not have been feeling much fatigue based on acclimation. I will say that you'll feel thrashed for a couple of days after completing a hard workout. People tend to underestimate what the little cannonball look alike can do.

    Fuck, fight, or hold the light.

  11. #11
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    so if im doing 2 days weighs 2 days bells shoud i alternate monday bell tuesday weights thrusday bells friday weights?

    im confused lol.
    2000 or bust

  12. #12
    Who me? Chubrock's Avatar
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    Eric is saying that Anthony posted something awhile back stating that the body becomes more fatigued after a KB session than your traditional strength session, and for this reason you should have your traditional days before your KB days. Personally, I've never had too much of a problem with that, though my body was much more used to the KBs than most people here.

    I like the split you just suggested. M KBs, T Weights, W Rest, TH KBs, F Weights. I think that would work quite well, though it differs for every person. I would suggest adding in some joint mobility work, especially focusing on your hips, groin, hamstrings and lower back. They'll get hit the hardest when you first start out. Also you may want to work on your shoulder flexibility in order to more easily perform the Windmill and Turkish Getup.

    Fuck, fight, or hold the light.

  13. #13
    King Nothing ericg's Avatar
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    Yeah sorry to confuse you guys. I know what I read wasnt specific to KBs, but was geared towards HIIT and hard metcon workouts, which i think KB training can fit into that. I will try to find out where I read it since shortstack (anthony) seems to be MIA.

    Stump - now if it were me i would do M - weights, T - KBs, W - off, Th - weights, F - KBs. I am assuming that you will be focusing on conditioning with the KB training. That being said, the KB could be subbed with HIIT cardio as well.
    Current Stats --------------- Training Goals: Improve athletic conditioning.
    Squat - 305lbs - 1/23/06 ----- 335
    Deadlift - 415lbs - 2/4/06 ---- 435
    Bench - 90s*7 ----------------- 100s*5
    Weight - 208 ------------------ 190
    Height - 5'10"

    My Journal|My Routine|My FitDay
    WBBB|"Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up" - Thomas Edison

  14. #14
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    eric yeah that sounds cool, im doing the bells for conditioning/strength/fat loss. i suppose id just run a upper and lower in the gym since the KBs are full body
    2000 or bust

  15. #15
    Who me? Chubrock's Avatar
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    I don't see any reason why an Upper and Lower wouldn't work. With that said, keep an eye on your lowerback and hamstrings. You'll find that your posterior chain tends to take a beating when you first begin using KBs.

    Fuck, fight, or hold the light.

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    ok i will
    2000 or bust

  17. #17
    King Nothing ericg's Avatar
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    Oh yeah. Good post Andrew. I wouldn't mind seeing more KB movements described once in a while. Even though i don't have any i think its a great topic.
    Current Stats --------------- Training Goals: Improve athletic conditioning.
    Squat - 305lbs - 1/23/06 ----- 335
    Deadlift - 415lbs - 2/4/06 ---- 435
    Bench - 90s*7 ----------------- 100s*5
    Weight - 208 ------------------ 190
    Height - 5'10"

    My Journal|My Routine|My FitDay
    WBBB|"Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up" - Thomas Edison

  18. #18
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    man i just looked over that circuit again, imma be dead as hell after that! lol
    2000 or bust

  19. #19
    King Nothing ericg's Avatar
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    Make sure you video it!!!
    Current Stats --------------- Training Goals: Improve athletic conditioning.
    Squat - 305lbs - 1/23/06 ----- 335
    Deadlift - 415lbs - 2/4/06 ---- 435
    Bench - 90s*7 ----------------- 100s*5
    Weight - 208 ------------------ 190
    Height - 5'10"

    My Journal|My Routine|My FitDay
    WBBB|"Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up" - Thomas Edison

  20. #20
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    Wow this looks really cool! I might rework my program next year to inccorporate something like this. Is there any particular reasong you shouldn't use dumbells for these lifts?
    I'm a broke student and my gym doesn't have any

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by RedSpikeyThing View Post
    Wow this looks really cool! I might rework my program next year to inccorporate something like this. Is there any particular reasong you shouldn't use dumbells for these lifts?
    I'm a broke student and my gym doesn't have any
    the kettlebell is a very odd shape and the handle is very thick, awkward object = hard to lift and that = BIG GAINS!
    2000 or bust

  22. #22
    Who me? Chubrock's Avatar
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    Stump, definitely film it haha. Not only can I get a chuckle, but I'll be able to let you know what you're doing wrong to begin with.


    As far as doing these lifts, you can use a DB. DBs don't rotate in your hand quite as well, so the weight may shift around a bit much. A lot of people do Turkish Getups with DBs and even BBs. Talk about a helluva grip workout.

    Fuck, fight, or hold the light.

  23. #23
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    lol ok man ill tape some of it i have the swing down path pretty good

    i also just ordered pavels book "russian kettlebell challenge" along with a ton of other books, and the KB of course, 50 lbs
    2000 or bust

  24. #24
    Who me? Chubrock's Avatar
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    Just for the record, that routine I posted isn't that bad. I can make much much worse haha.

    Fuck, fight, or hold the light.

  25. #25
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    i looks awesome to me man i just wanted the book lol
    2000 or bust

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