14 Dec The “Triple-Double” Kettlebell Swing Program (Part II)

This article is for the kettlebell enthusiast or coach who wants to put into practice the many unique benefits of kettlebell training. This article is part II of an article I wrote titled How To Build a Strong Posterior Chain You Can Be Proud Of. If you haven’t read that article, I highly recommend going back and reading that first.

Interested in a simple, proven way to build a strong, athletic posterior chain?

Here’s a simple program template for building the posterior chain with the kettlebell swing.

As it’s designed, it can be for the intermediate to advanced kettlebell enthusiast who’s experienced with using double kettlebells. However, this template can also be perfectly adapted for the novice who’s still learning and improving their kettlebell swing. I’ll discuss this more in a bit.

Remember, there are many benefits to the kettlebell swing, but building a strong posterior chain is the real beauty.

Here’s the program I call the “triple-double.”

THE TRIPLE-DOUBLE (SWING) PROGRAM

Triple is for 3 days per week.

And, double is for using double kettlebells.

That’s the “triple-double.”

Yes, you can also use a heavy single kettlebell for this, but it’s better with double bells for the reasons I mentioned in the first part of the article series.

Keep in mind, this is not a “stand-alone” program, meaning that you can do (and should do) something else in addition to this.

This is what I call a “plug-and-play” program (similar to what I created with the Peak Performance Blueprint, although that is a much different program and approach).

This means that you can plug the program into what you’re already doing. You may need to play around or tweak your exercises – and other training variables – to effectively accommodate the program. That’s what I mean by “plug-and-play.”

What should you do? Well, that depends on your current goals and what else you want to work on. There are many other things that can easily be combined with this program. All that’s required is that you use common sense and good judgement.

Remember, the “triple-double” is a kettlebell swing program.

THE PROGRAM

THERE ARE 3 SIMPLE REQUIREMENTS FOR THIS PROGRAM

1-You must have technical “know-how.” That is to say, you need to know how to perform the basics of a kettlebell swing.

2-You need to be consistent. Follow the program.

3-You should have the correct load (intensity). After the first week, you’ll have a good idea whether you’ve gone light or too heavy. You want the load to feel “just right.” When in doubt, be conservative. Let’s talk more about intensity.

WHAT KETTLEBELL SIZE SHOULD YOU USE?

Use a “reasonable” kettlebell size (if you are, in fact, using doubles).

In general, go with your most common kettlebell size or probably even 1-2 bell sizes up if you’re more experienced.

For example, if you typically use 24 kg kettlebells for double swings, consider using 28 kg or 32 kg kettlebells as long as your technique is solid.

If you do use a single kettlebell, use the heaviest kettlebell that you can perform with excellent technique.

Kettlebell Size Selection Tip: Select the most appropriate kettlebell size that you can perform the prescribed number of reps with, with excellent technique.

The volume with this program is conservative and reasonable. But, it’s also quite the challenge when you have selected the appropriate weight.

Kettlebell size matters.

HOW MUCH SHOULD I REST BETWEEN SETS?

Rest as needed between sets or go with every minute on the minute (I prefer the EMOM, which is an excellent pace for this).

All sessions are done 1o minutes or less. Obviously, this is very time-efficient.

Session #1, week #1 will feel kind of easy and it’s supposed to feel that way.

Over time, this is a progressive escalation of training volume and you’ll feel gradually more challenged as you move through the program.

WHAT IF I CAN’T PERFORM DOUBLES YET – CAN I DO THIS WITH ONE KETTLEBELL?

Absolutely.

Even though I wrote this as a double kettlebell progression, I think it’s almost the perfect single kettlebell program that’s suited very well for a novice who is still learning how to swing a kettlebell.

Why?

The volume isn’t too much and it progresses gradually over the 6 week time frame. It’s simple and it’s effective.

The approach with this program is not overly aggressive and that is intentional.

WHAT’S THE PRIMARY PURPOSE OF THE PROGRAM?

The primary purpose of this program is to enhance muscular development of the posterior chain muscle groups that I discussed in part I of this article.

The question is, how do you measure that?

It’s difficult to measure the deep muscle groups that the double swing builds, but you should subjectively feel a difference in your posterior chain muscle groups during this program (paraspinals and glutes most notably). I know this is subjective, but I can tell you it’s how I feel with added double kettlebell swing work. You could also take out the camera and take a back picture before and after for objective and visual assessment. Maybe that’s not a bad idea.

You will also get stronger with double kettlebell work, so you could certainly do a strength test pre and post program to assess the difference and get objective, measurable feedback there.

For example, you could perform a kettlebell snatch test (strength-endurance test) pre and post to see how things compare. The expectation would be that the snatch test would objectively improve after an approach like this because double kettlebell work generally makes you stronger (my personal experience and self reports from other kettlebell enthusiasts).

You could certainly test/retest your deadlift, as well.

So, the purpose of this program is to build the deep back muscles and generally get stronger.

There will be some conditioning benefit, but the volume could be considered on the lower end of the spectrum for high level conditioning. Of course, variables can be changed to further increase conditioning (shorter rest time, for example).

CLOSING THOUGHTS

The kettlebell swing is a clear winner in the development of a strong, powerful posterior chain.

But, don’t take my word for it.

You’ll have to test out the “triple-double” and see what you discover for yourself.

This one’s simple and you can start it today.

Anything I haven’t answered for you? Post your question below.

Feel free to share this anywhere you’d like by clicking on the social share icons on this post.

Scott Iardella, MPT, CSCS is a strength coach, athlete, and former “physio” who’s mission is to bridge the gaps in strength, performance and injury prevention. At Rdella Training, you’ll learn how to train at a high level of strength and performance while minimizing (or negating) risk for injury to achieve an unsurpassed level of results.

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2 Comments
  • Benno
    Posted at 11:36h, 25 March Reply

    Hello Scott,
    Iam 54 years old and l did this program with with joy.. because iam a busy working father I did not always succeeded in doing it 3 times a week but l did it and l feel satisfied. I completed it with 2×24 kg. Iam certenly stronger and my tecnique is better.
    My question is That l would like to learn the kettlebell longcycle clean and jerk and practice this like this triple swing program. Do you have any advice?

    Greetings,
    Benno

    • Scott
      Posted at 12:20h, 10 April Reply

      Hi Benno, just seeing this comment. Let me consider this and I’ll post an update here in a few days. (Sorry I didn’t see this before). Stay tuned.
      Scott

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