For the last few months I have been incorporating a simple, highly effective kettlebell strength session into my training program and enjoying it immensely.
I am a huge fan of kettlebell training and am also big on meditation having spent a great many hours engaged in this hugely beneficial practice – read more about the benefits of meditation here.
Out of the Head, Into the Body.
In our hectic lifestyles we can easily become trapped in our heads, swamped by thoughts, ideas, stresses, anxieties and pressures – the result can be fatigue and if left unchecked – exhaustion.
The last few months have seen me driving the Train Strong brand further forward and thus I have found it essential to give the brain a regular re-boot and get into some movement that requires a strong consciousness within the body and out of the head.
As a personal trainer the older I get the more I experience the benefits of keeping training simple, based on fundamental human movement patterns that carry big “bang for the buck.”
Simple But NOT Easy
My current kettlebell strength session incorporates 3 powerful exercises – The Turkish Get Up, Goblet Squat and Power Swing.
I have talked extensively before in my blog about the benefits of the Kettlebell Turkish Get Up performed as a strength movement. Click HERE to read more.
The Goblet Squat is an incredible movement for developing hip mobility and good squat mechanics. When performed with a heavy kettlebell the goblet squat is also outstanding for increasing strength in the lower body, hips, core, back and arms.
The Power Swing – Love It!
The Power Swing is a movement I have fallen in love with. First developed by world renowned coach Mark Reifkind to correct swing technique, the power swing, when performed heavy is a tremendous movement for developing strength and power in the hip hinge movement pattern.
The power swing by its nature lends itself to heavy single reps of swings using a kettlebell. Between each rep the kettlebell is “parked” on the floor with the body in a hinged “get ready” position before performing the swing from a dead stop.
One of the major benefits of this type of swing is that it is an incredibly INEFFCIENT movement pattern. By being less efficient it forces the body to work harder and can really ramp up metabolic output – great for those looking to lose body fat while building/retaining muscle!
I have been performing each of these movements in the Hardstyle modality of kettlebell training with bells no less than 40kg in weight.
Using kettlebells of this weight demands a high degree of tension, stability and control. FULL attention MUST be given to every rep – which is what makes this such a powerful exercise in moving meditation.
My training sessions have looked like this:-
Kettlebell Turkish Get Up
Pyramid in weight 24kg, 28kg, 32kg, 36kg for 1 rep each side.
Then 5 sets of 1 rep each side with a 40kg Kettlebell.
Goblet Squat/Power Swing Super Set.
Goblet Squat 40kg Descending Ladder 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 rep.
Power Swing 40kg Ascending Ladder 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 reps.
So perform 5 reps of Goblet Squat then 1 rep of Power Swing. Rest 60 to 90 seconds.
Then 4 reps goblet squat, 2 reps power swing and so on.
Once the superset ladder with the 40kg bell is complete, I then progress onto my top work weight a 48kg Kettlebell and repeat the above rep range.
Progressions for Strength
Progression over the sessions looks like:-
1 GS – 5 ,4, 3, 2, 2 – PS 2, 2, 3, 4, 5
2 GS – 5, 4, 3, 3, 2 – PS 2, 3, 3, 4, 5
3 GS – 5, 4, 3, 3, 3 – PS 3, 3, 3, 4, 5
4 GS – 5, 4, 4, 3, 3 – PS 3, 3, 4, 4, 5
5 GS – 5, 4, 4, 4, 3 – PS 3, 4, 4, 4, 5
And so on.
Once 5 reps for 5 sets has been performed for each movement the next kettlebell size up can be chosen.
To end the session I finish with 100-200 kettlebell swings or snatches using a 24kg bell to get some breathing work done.
Simple Strength – Huge Carryover!
This session played a key role in building my strength for the Commando Temple Strongman Competition in which I placed 3rd with a lack of strongman equipment to train with. In addition it has helped massively with my tyre flipping strength. With no regular tyre training I am now able to flip the 350kg tyre for numerous reps with relative ease unlike the wrestling match I used to have to complete 1 rep!
This truly is a powerful combination of kettlebell strength and movement based meditation – give it a go and reap the rewards.
*Always seek instruction from a qualified Kettlebell Coach. I highly recommend Strong First qualified coaches due to the level of certification provided. With a Strong First coach you can be assured of being in good hands!