16 Aug 4 Great Ways to Progress Your Kettlebell Training

KettlebellsLooking for new ways to progress your kettlebell training?

In this article, I’ll tell you about 4 great ways to really take your training to an entirely different level, provided you are ready for it.

How do you know if you’re ready to take things up a notch?

The best answer is by having a strong foundation with your single kettlebell exercises, such as the swing, the get up, the snatch, the clean, the press, and the squat.  If you don’t have a good foundation with these exercises, then you are not ready for the progressions below.  Get the fundamentals down first before you attempt any of this.

Now, assuming you have your fundamental kettlebell exercise skills, here’s 4 great progressions for you, explained in detail.

  1. Double Kettlebell Exercises.  I say all the time that by going to double kettlebells will take your training to an entirely new level.  Double kettlebells is double impact. As if single kettlebell training wasn’t hard enough, 2 kettlebells are literally double the work.  For a much more physically demanding, challenging, and time efficient workout, double kettlebells can’t be beat.  The great thing is, once you have learned good technique with single kettlebell exercises, the progressions to doubles, is not that difficult (in terms of learning).  It is difficult in terms of the physical demand. Personally, I love to incorporate double kettlebell work into my training program. Think there’s not much of a difference between single and double?  Try a few sets of double kettlebell snatches or double kettlebell front squats and get back to me…
  2. Double Kettlebell Complexes.  Now, to take the double kettlebell training up another notch, just start doing double kettlebell complexes.  What are kettlebell complexes?  A complex is a series of exercises performed in a sequence with the same weight and without rest. For example, a double kettlebell complex would look like this:  Double kettlebell swings x 10, double kettlebell presses x10, double kettlebell front squats x 10.  Do this in one sequence with no rest between exercises.  I can tell you, kettlebell complexes are vicious!  This is serious training. If you think you’re ready, this is a great way to progress your training.  The combination and variety with complexes is also really amazing.  You’ll never be bored and you’ll constantly be challenged.  For serious progression, and dare I say “rapid results,” kettlebell complexes are simply outstanding.
  3. Snatch Test Training.  Let’s not forget the power of the snatch test.  The “snatch test” is one of the physical requirements for the RKC certification.  Men are required to perform 100 kettlebell snatches in 5 minutes or less, demonstrating good snatch technique, using a 24 kg kettlebell (or if over 50, a 20kg kettlebell).  Women must do the same using a 16 kg or 12 kg, depending on body weight and age.  100 reps of kettlebell snatches in 5 minutes or less! Let me put it to you this way, it’s not easy.  It may get easier the more conditioned you get with your kettlebell training, but it is NEVER an easy test.  So, how is this an exercise progression?  Simply by training to perform the test is a tremendous workout in itself.  If you’ve never attempted a ‘snatch test’ before, go ahead, grab your appropriately sized kettlebell and see what your baseline is for kettlebell snatches is in 5 minutes.  Let me know how that goes and if you think that test alone is one of the most physically demanding workouts you’ll ever do.
  4. Bottom Up Training.  And finally, bottom up training is a great exercise progression.  Bottom up training is simply training with the kettlebell in an ‘inverted’ or ‘bottom up’ position.  The kettlebell bottom is up or facing the sky.  A common exercise to perform bottom up training is the bottom up press.  Not only does this develop phenomenal grip strength, but there is tremendous overall muscle tension in your body to perform this exercise.  In order to stabilize the kettlebell in the bottom up position, your whole body is forced to ‘stabilize’ to keep the kettlebell from tilting.  This is something I’ve recently gotten more into, as I have found it incredibly challenging to perform.  Another stellar way to progress your training and challenge yourself in new and unusual ways.

There’s 4 fantastic kettlebell training progressions.  Remember, have a good baseline with your single kettlebell exercises before attempting any of these, as they are each very physically demanding.

Let me know how things are for you and your kettlebell training and it would be great to get your thoughts on these (and other) exercise progressions.

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