Time. It’s what most of us want more of. When I’m pinched for time, more often than not, I turn to kettlebells. You can do SO much with them in so little time, anywhere. After a quick warm up, one of my longtime favorite kettlebell “quickies” looks like this: 6 KB Clean and Presses 6 […]
It’s what most of us want more of. When I’m pinched for time, more often than not, I turn to kettlebells. You can do SO much with them in so little time, anywhere. After a quick warm up, one of my longtime favorite kettlebell “quickies” looks like this:
- 6 KB Clean and Presses
- 6 KB Cleans
- 6 KB Rows
- 6 KB Stiff Legged Deadlifts
- 6 KB Push Ups
Rest up to 45 seconds and repeat – but this time start with the push ups and work your way back up and finish with the 6 KB Clean and Presses.
Here’s a video that I did for my clients and I think you’ll find it useful if you want to implement it into your training or your bootcamp training.
THAT’S HOW I DID IT THEN, HERE’S HOW I DO IT NOW
So, yeah, in the video above I’m using two 35lb kettlebells and over time it becomes too easy. So I’ve tweaked it a bit and now I use two 53lb kettlebells and do the same exercises and reps EXCEPT I do 16 reps on push ups instead of 6. I repeat the entire drill two times (sets).
My goal is to complete the entire 2 sets in 4:00 minutes or less using good form while training safe. Trust me, as you get tired, kettlebells take A LOT out of you – grip, cardio, overall body strength. You have to stay focused when using kettlebells but there is a feeling that you get unlike any other piece of equipment.
HISTORY AND BENEFITS OF KETTLEBELLS
Kettlebells have been in existence for many centuries and have been used successfully to enhance the performance of a wide group of individuals ranging from military personnel, Olympic athletes and the general population. As a strength and conditioning professional, I consider it my responsibility to evaluate and deliver the highest quality information and workouts to my bootcampers and athletes. This is why I use kettlebells regularly in my training as well as in my clients.
- Kettlebell training produces strength at extreme ranges of motion. This longer range of motion recruits a stretch reflex, which increases your ability to produce force, change direction and be more agile. This stretch reflex is a naturally occurring neuromuscular function and kettlebells do an outstanding job exploiting it to better your performance.
- Kettlebell training exposes your weaknesses and corrects imbalances. Since kettlebell training is usually performed one limb at a time, it does a great job of exposing weaknesses and imbalances throughout your entire body. This weakness may come in the form of grip endurance or one shoulder being tighter than the other. Regardless, within moments of kettlebell training, these deficiencies will be exposed and allow you to address them.
- Kettlebell training creates strong yet flexible joints structures. Kettlebell training increases the demand for dynamic joint stabilization which reduces the potential for injury and allows for more efficient force production. The kettlebell’s offset center of gravity plays havoc on control and forces your entire body to participate in the movement, recruiting more muscles and joints, providing a much more realistic approach to conditioning.
- Kettlebells exploit endless exercise variations with just one tool. Simply by changing your grip or repositioning the kettlebell you can change the entire feel and complexity of the movement. This feature alone makes kettlebell training essential in a large group setting or team environment. This feature also allows you to get the most training from one kettlebell. You can progress from easier drills to very advanced versions using the same size kettlebell, reducing the need to acquire a large selection of kettlebells.
- Kettlebell training teaches your body how to absorb force and redirect it. Since so many kettlebell drills are performed over every joint in the body, you train yourself to absorb force over the longest range of motion possible, using as many joints as possible.
- Kettlebell training bridges the gap between strength training and cardio; sport doesn’t respect the difference.
- Kettlebell training allows you to never miss your workout. Train anywhere, the local park, beach, outside or inside.
- Kettlebell training creates an iron will. Kettlebell ballistic drills done for high repetitions require you to reach deep down inside you and see what you’re made of. The ability to drive forward through a grueling set of kettlebell snatches is what a champion’s mindset is made of; this must be experienced to be believed.
Try the kettlebell drill that I demonstrate in the video above and try to beat my time (less than 4 minutes for 2 sets). Use a weight that challenges you, but doesn’t create an unsafe movement.
If you like these kinds of kettlebell challenges and want to see more, click here.
For my in depth video review of Ultimate Kettlebell Bootcamp Workouts that are awesome for you bootcamp, click here.
A lot of people have reported that this is one tough workout. Maybe too tough. Personally in my own bootcamps, I have seen people
- Throw Up
- Pull in the parking lot to my bootcamp, see the cones, recognize what the workout is going to be and then quickly drive away.
I kid you not.
You can approach this workout in many different ways. You can:
- Divide your group up into teams and see which team finishes first. Pick the team with the top 3 finishers to make it more interesting.
- Create a solo event and see who finishes first.
- Make this workout an add on to your main workout.
- Make this workout a starter or ice breaker prior to the main workout.
I’ve done it all of these ways and they all work fine.
Warning – this is a brutally, scary workout. Perfect for Halloween and beyond!
The sledgehammer is an amazing conditioning tool.
The new core hammer, which is similar to a sledgehammer, is even more versatile. Watch the video below to see how you can use the core hammer in a unique way.
Warm up for 3-5 minutes first by doing some light stretching, jogging, 10 yd sprints at 50 % of max effort, etc.
- Core hammer side to side x 30 seconds
- Wall sits with core hammer hold x 60 seconds
- Sprints x 50 yards
Beginners complete 1 round, Intermediate complete 2-3 rounds, Advanced complete 3-5 rounds. Adjust exercise times based upon your capabilities. For example, instead of 30 seconds, perform 60 seconds of the core hammer side to side strikes. Instead of 60 seconds of wall sits, perform 30 seconds of wall sits, etc.
Training in this manner is different, which helps alleviate boredom, and it works your body in a totally different way. You can find a sledgehammer in the local hardware store, the core hammer here or you may already have a sledgehammer in your garage.
This concludes my “Smash Monday” series – for videos 1, 2 and 3 and much more information on how you can benefit by including sledgehammer training in your program, use the links below:
A lot, if not most, bootcamp exercises are initiated with the feet applied to the ground.
The more force one can apply to the ground, with good balance, the greater the potential for speed, power and improvement. Training this way incorporates the use of more joints, bones, prime mover muscles, synergistic muscles, stabilizer muscles, tendons and ligaments together. Therefore, the training of our bootcamp clients on their feet and with ground-based calisthenics trains the athlete similarly to what happens in sport – and a lot of my clients play sports.
Ground based training develops more athletic ability.
The more athletic ability developed, the greater the chances the athlete will maximize his/her athletic potential, provided the specific sport skills have also been developed. The ground-based lifts and activities that I use and coach are are: power cleans, hang cleans, power clean-n-jerk, power snatch, hang snatch, dead lifts, standing press, push press, front squats, back squats, one leg squat, step-ups on box, lunge, pushups, core variations, neck exercises for football players, handstand pushups, cone drills, bag drills, ladder drills, resisted sprints, sprints, core hammer drills, tumbling and more.
One of the best ways to develop the core body in the standing position is to perform different sledgehammer exercises. When you are using a sledgehammer or core hammer, your core body must provide great core stabilization to perform the lift.
smash monday – workout #3
This one is going to be tough.
It may not look like much but you will be working:
Watch the video first and then read the information below for clarification.
Smash Monday – Workout #3 – Cardio and Core
Warm up first and then do:
Power Jacks x 30 seconds
7 second rest
Plank With Alternate Front Raise x 30 seconds (15 sec each side)
7 second rest
Side Plank With Alternate Raise x 30 seconds (15 sec each side)
7 second rest
That’s 1 round.
Beginners: 1 round
Intermediate: 3 rounds
Advanced: 3-5 rounds
* increase time from 30 seconds to 60 seconds as you become stronger and improve your cardio
With this workout, you’re hitting cardio (power jacks), shoulders (power jacks and front/side raises), core (plank).
Holding a sledgehammer or core hammer is drastically different than using a dumbbell. You can experiment with your grip placement, closer to the sledgehammer head, further away from the sledgehammer head to make it easier or harder. Dumbbells don’t give you this option.
Austin’s Fittest Man Over 50 (2015)