Bottoms Up Kettlebell

28 Feb 3 Advanced Kettlebell Workout Progressions (Part III)

Here’s the 3rd article in the 3 part series on kettlebell training progressions.

So far, I’ve given 3 examples each of beginner workouts, then intermediate, and now on to the advanced progressions.

Where do you fall?

Are you still working on your swings and get ups?

Don’t worry if you are, we’re all working on our swings and get ups.

Keep working to improve at the fundamentals, no matter where you are in your training.

Ok, these are advanced single kettlebell training sessions.

Double kettlebell programs will be listed in other articles and if you think you’re up for that challenge.

How do you know if you’re advanced?

Well, it’s kind of subjective to tell you the truth.

But, for our purposes, let’s assume you have a “rock solid” foundation with the big 6 kettlebell exercises and you’ve received proper instruction or training, you have a more than solid baseline of strength and conditioning, you’ve been seriously training for over a year with kettlebells, and you may have even gone through a certification or participated in kettlebell workshops.

You’re a committed kettlebell enthusiast and you know the power this tool offers.

If you meet this criteria, you may be moving into the advanced level.  (I said may be).

There are many variables here and everyone is different, so keep that in mind.

And, I would even say there are different levels of advanced progressions.  There is somewhat of a fine line between intermediate and advanced, but there is a clear line between advanced and elite level.

Elite level is where very few actually ascend to.

Anyway, here are 3 different kettlebell sessions that I would classify somewhere in the advanced level because you need to have skill proficiency and baseline strength to do these.

Hope I didn’t confuse you.

Strength Training Session #1

1-The Kettlebell Pressing Ladder 5,4,3,2,1

(For the pressing ladder, use the kettlebell that you can press for a good, strong 5 reps with (your 5 RM kettlebell).  You’re going to press that kettlebell 5 times each arm, then immediately do 4, then 3, etc.  This is a very effective method to improve pressing strength and it’s always a great challenge.)

2-Then do this complex,

  • Double Hand (DH) Swings 50-75 reps or more (high volume swings, rest as needed before get ups)
  • Turkish Get Ups 1/1 (Heavy)
  • Renegade Rows 10/10 (10 RM weight)

Repeat this 3 exercise complex 4 – 5 rounds.

Strength Training Session #2

This is a 5 exercise complex, moving from exercise to exercise without rest.

  • TGU (Turkish Get Up) (Heavy) 1/1
  • Press 5/5 (5 RM weight for all)
  • Clean and Front Squat 5/5
  • Push Press 5/5
  • One Hand Swing 10/10

Repeat this 5 exercise complex 4-6 rounds and rest 1-2′ between rounds.

Strength Training Session #3

This session has a few different parts to it.  You’ll start with snatch sets, then move on from there.

1-Snatches, 3 to 5 sets of 10.

2-Then do this mini complex (do 3-5 rounds of this):

  • Clean and press 5/5
  • Front Squat, 5 on each side for 10 total.

3-Then do TGU’s (Heavy) 5 on each side, alternating sides.

4-Finish with heavy DH swings.  Here’s what you’ll do to finish off with.

  • Set the timer for 30 seconds
  • Rep sequence is like this: 5-10-15-20, rest, repeat x 4 rounds
  • Every time the beeper goes off at 30 seconds, you swing the amount of reps listed starting at 5, then 10, then 15, then 20.  More reps and less rest as you move through the rep sequence, until you get to the last set, then take the full 30 seconds rest and repeat.  (This is known as the Sinister workout, developed by Tracy Reifkind and it’s one of my favorite finishers.)
  • It’s 10 minutes of work and it’s outstanding for conditioning and mental toughness

These are just 3 training session examples and I’m only scratching the surface here with programming.

One of the most amazing things about kettlebell training is the endless opportunities for programming options.

Again, the most important thing is to make sure that your program matches the goal.

Look for more specific programming ideas to come in future articles.

If you like this, please share it.

Scott Iardella, MPT, CSCS writes about training methods to optimize health and performance. If you enjoyed this article, join a strong and growing community of passionate fitness enthusiasts and subscribe below to get a ton of cool, free stuff! Subscribe below or go to to get your FREE Report, Kettlebell Impact with 12 of my best Kettlebell Workouts.
  • Tracy
    Posted at 21:00h, 28 February Reply

    Love love love this. Thanks, Scott. And yes–TRif’s Sinister Workout truly is!!

    • Scott
      Posted at 23:18h, 01 March Reply

      Thanks Tracy! Train Strong & Sinister is a wicked one… -:))

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