I was playing around in my garage gym this morning, still enjoying implementing kettlebells into my workouts and because I am known as the “fitness games guy” I began dreaming up a cool kettlebell games workout. I noticed a deck of cards by my desk in the garage and one thing led to another and “BOOM”…kettlebell cards for bootcamp training was born.
HERE’S HOW TO PLAY!
Let’s say that you’re limited on kettlebells and you’re at the park. Let’s assign one kettlebell for each team of 4 people and let’s pretend that you have 12 people total.
- 3 decks of cards
- 3 kettlebells
- 3 teams of 4 people
So typically in my own training, we’ve been playing deck of cards as an extra activity AFTER the main workout. The reason for this is because just playing deck of cards the REGULAR WAY for the entire class has gotten kind of stale. Don’t get me wrong – it’s a great workout, it’s just too much of the same thing since 2005 when I first started running bootcamps.
OK so here’s how you can implement Kettlebell Cards in your bootcamp training:
Do a main bootcamp activity that lasts about 20 minutes. Once the activity is over rest 3-5 minutes, grab a drink and during this time you, the instructor, will explain how kettlebell cards works.
Have your people form three groups of 4. You have 12 people in your class. Of course you never know how many are going to show up but let’s pretend for a moment.
So you have three teams with 4 people. Your next step is to play rock-paper-scissors between the teams until you have one “winner”. Here’s a secret – the other 2 teams have really won. They won because the other 2 teams get to pick the worst possible (toughest) exercise for the rock-paper-scissors winning team to do if they draw a joker. Number of reps is 20.
Play rock-paper-scissors again quickly with the two remaining teams. Same thing. The losing team gets to pick the toughest joker exercise for the winning team (it cannot be burpees or even a variation of burpees if that was already assigned to the first team). It must be something different like push ups, sit ups, squats, squat jumps, etc.
You, the instructor, get to pick the joker exercise for the last team remaining. Each joker exercise has to be 20 reps and cannot be the same or similar exercise as the other 2 exercises.
This whole process should take less than a couple of minutes. Remember, this is the rest period as they will have just completed the main workout.
NOW FOR THE GAME
Hearts = KB Hang Position Bottoms Up
Spades = KB Snatches
Diamonds =KB Double Hand Swings
Clubs =KB Clean
The instructor will say on your mark get set, go!
One person from each team picks a card. Let’s say the card is 8 of Spades. That person is going to do a 8 KB snatches, 8 left, 8 right.
The other members have to agree on an exercise that starts with an S and do 18 (8 becomes 18) of them trying to finish as quickly as possible to earn more cards.
So how about 18 squats, or 18 squat jumps, or 18 scissor kicks, or 18 situps or 18 side bridges?
They all do the same exercise for 18 reps total. It can be 9/9 if they choose side bridges or any other “one side at a time” movement.
Let’s say the next card is 6 of clubs. So the person would do 6 KB cleans left and 6 KB cleans right.
The rest of the group has to quickly decide on an exercise that starts with the letter ‘C’ and do 16 of them (6 becomes 16). Ideas include Crunches (all variations including reverse crunch, oblique crunch, regular crunches, double crunches, etc.) Also, how about “chest push up”? It’s up to you if you want to let them have some freedom in choosing exercises that begin with a ‘C’.
Pretend that the next card is a JOKER! That team has to STOP and do 20 reps of whatever exercise they were assigned and then they continue on with the next person pulling a card. This time the card is 10 of Diamonds. So that person will do 10 KB Double Hand Swings.
The rest of the team chooses an exercise that starts with a ‘D’ like dips, diamond push ups, duck walking for 10 yards (get creative), double crunch, double leg press outs, or a “dynamic” warm up like high knees, butt kicks, etc for 10 yards
Finally, let’s say the next card is an Ace of Hearts. That would be a total of 11 reps of KB Hang Position Bottoms Up.
Everyone else does 11 reps (11 remains an 11) of an exercise that begins with an ‘H’. How about High Knees for 11 seconds or 11 Hip Circles, Hip Thrusts, Hip Extensions or any hamstring exercise?
Face cards are 10 reps
Aces are 11 reps
1-5 become 11, 12, 13, 14, and 15 reps FOR THE KETTLEBELL EXERCISE.
6-10 are 6 reps, 7, 8, 9 and 10 reps FOR THE KETTLEBELL EXERCISE.
The instructor sets a time limit of say 6 minutes and the team with the most cards pulled wins. As always, you can tweak this to suit your needs, adjust things to save time, etc. This Fitness Game was created off the top of my head as I was playing around with kettlebells this morning in the gym – this is what happens when you’re possessed!
Have a great weekend!