25 Apr Kettlebell Complexes: The ‘Secret Weapon’ for Rapid Results.
In this article you’ll learn about one of the ‘secret weapons’ to even faster and better results in a more time efficient training method.
That secret weapon is the double kettlebell complex.
“Simple doesn’t mean easy.” –Strength Coach Dan John
The concept of a kettlebell complex is very simple, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy, as quoted above.
A kettlebell complex is a series of exercises performed without rest and with the same weight.
For example, this is what a double kettlebell complex would look like:
- Double kettlebell swings x5 reps
- Double kettlebell snatches x5 reps
- Double kettlebell cleans x5 reps
- Double kettlebell front squats x5 reps
You would perform one continuous complex with no rest between each exercise, so you can see from this example that you would have 20 reps total in this complex with double kettlebells.
A complex could have 3 exercises or maybe up to 5 exercises per complex. My experience with complexes says that 5 exercises is definitely enough.
Taking your kettlebell training up a notch with double kettlebells is already extremely challenging.
As a matter of fact, double kettlebell work takes your training to a entirely new level, but now by adding complexes, you’re looking at some serious progression and muscle building benefits.
What type of benefits can you expect by adding complexes?
Here’s a few of the top line benefits.
- Improved workout time efficiency.
- Significantly increased lean body mass (fat burning and lean muscle building).
- Enhanced core strength and performance in functional activities.
I’ve written many times already how time efficient kettlebell training is.
But, by doing double kettlebell complexes, this takes things to even higher levels.
I mean really, who has time these days for any workout over an hour or more? And, it’s not necessary.
These complexes allow you to do more work in less time.
This is a concept termed density, which is defined as how much work is performed in a set time period.
For example, if you performed the workout above with two 24 kg kettlebells and did 5 complexes in 15 minutes, that would be 4800 kg (48 kg x 100 total reps) of work in that 15 minutes.
That is a heck of a lot of work in a short time period.
Next, lean body mass improvement will be enhanced with this type of training.
What will happen here is you will stimulate your hormones to burn more fat and build lean muscle.
Full body exercises (such as swings, squats, snatches) have been shown in numerous research studies to stimulate growth hormone (GH).
The release of growth hormone will help to burn body fat and build lean muscle mass.
Resistance training, higher reps, full body exercise, and minimal rest between exercises are all proven methods to stimulate GH, which are all accomplished with complex training.
Also, complexes assist in body composition changes through a mechanism known as EPOC or Excess Post Oxygen Consumption.
What this means is that following your exercise program, your metabolism will be significantly elevated.
Your body will be burning more calories even after your done exercising, potentially for many more hours post training.
This is a major benefit of resistance training compared to aerobic training, which burns calories only during the exercise.
A final benefit I’ll mention is that double kettlebell complexes will truly enhance your core strength and power in a very impressive way.
Remember, your “core” (the muscles surrounding your spine) has 2 primary functions which are to protect the spine and to act as a force transmission between the upper and lower parts of the body.
With that said, can you see how each of the above exercises would facilitate these 2 primary functions?
One of the leading biomechanics experts in the world, Dr. Stuart McGill discovered in his research that injuries were typically a result of poor spinal strength AND endurance, not just strength alone.
I’m sure you can see how doing a complex, as illustrated above, would generate a significant amount of core strength and endurance to perform.
Here’s the bottom line.
You want to build a strong core?
Learn how to safely perform double kettlebell complexes.
As mentioned, these are just a few of the benefits of this type of training.
For much more information on on Double Kettlebell Complex Training, see the great book, Kettlebell Muscle by Geoff Neupart.
There it is, the secret weapon for rapid results.
Just a reminder on this, make sure you learn how to perform kettlebells the right way, the safe way, and visit your local RKC for proper training and guidance.
Kettlebell complexes are a definitely a proven way for you to get fit, strong, powerful, and pack on some muscle.
AUTHOR’S NOTE: The workout above is the workout I did tonight! I did 4 double kettlebell complexes of the above exercises with 20 kg kettlebells and then finished off with 3 sets of pull-ups to close it down. And, I was ‘smoked’ in under 20 minutes!