Kettlebell Workouts

Discussion in 'The Pub' started by Scott Peterson, Apr 13, 2015.

  1. Scott Peterson

    Scott Peterson Administrator Staff Member

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    I'll do my best to honestly reply but keep in mind I am not an expert on anything by any means.

    Read Pavel's book - Simple and Sinister. I read a LOT of books (many suggested on this thread) and watched most every kettlebell video on Youtube. (There are a LOT of kettlebell videos on YouTube). Of them all, I like Kettlebell Movement's overall as an excellent resource for a lot of very good advice, form and suggestions. There are MANY other great sources; but Peter's videos are excellent and he's right on point.

    That's the short answer; the longer one is to start with a 16kg/35lb kettlebell and work from there. That's a very good starting point for the swing and most other moves. If at all possible find a credible certified and experienced coach and get some instruction in person (or failing that, over the web). That's been invaluable for me.

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    As an update on my personal fitness journey, the kettlebell is king here and I am motivated and inspired to do my workouts everyday. I'm doing Pavel's Simple and Sinister (much more on the Sinister side now (I have hit the minimum requirements for the Sinister program with the 24kg)) and am doing 100 swings and 10 Turkish Get-ups with a 24 kg (53lb) and 32kg (70lb) (*though note I vary my intensity by varying the weights of the kettlebells (I have 16, 24 and 32 kg bells)). My body weight has stayed the same (163 lbs today) but my relative body fat percentage is now down to about 12% on my Accu-measure (down from about 17% when I started). I both feel and am demonstratively am MUCH stronger, everything I do on the soccer field (my personal motivation and goal) has been improved greatly. I just completed a season in an Over 18 co-ed D3 league (I am the oldest guy on the team if not in the whole league) and will be starting my D2 Over 40 Men's team and staying with my D3 Over 18 leagues on back-to-back nights (fingers crossed on doing that).

    In addition to the S&S kettlebell workout protocol (focused on the swing and the Turkish getup) I may or may not also do a lot of other moves depending on how I feel day-to-day - clean, clean & press, snatch, clean & jerk, windmill and am working now on the bent press too. I may or may not also add in a variety of body weight moves, speed work/foot work and work with the TRX suspension trainer to supplement with the core workout being Pavel's S&S.

    I can complete the protocol for the Sinister part of the program with the 24kg bell (which is about 33% of my bodyweight). I am working in the 32kg which for me is 43% of my body weight. If and when I get there I'll get some more bells and work in double bell moves.

    I find it fun, challenging and enjoyable with many real life benefits. I vary everything up beyond the core basics of the S&S and have found that kettlebells are almost perfect home gym tools for what I want to do and they fit my temperament and motivation. You can get strength training, endurance training and explosiveness along with body awareness, balance and focus (via breathing) all from one set of tools. I don't need a spotter; and I can go at it hard if I am feeling it on any given day and without fear as long as I am mindful and paying attention in the moment. Likewise, I can strip it back down and go light and focus on form and breathing if I am NOT feeling it on a given day. I bought a high quality 3/4" rubber mat so I don't bust up my basement floor if I have to bail on a move/rep. Everything I am doing (see my thread on trigger points, etc also) is carrying over into my regular life in addition to what I do playing sports.

    Attention to nutrition, sleep, recovery and a focused training regime have been paying benefits here for me. Without taking over my life, I can do what I have to do in under 30 minutes daily and I've not felt better since I was in my 20's. My next area of focus will be on my blood tests and hormones but I've also made great strides in that area - at age 48 I want to get focused on my hormone levels and keep things humming.
     
  2. daacrusher2001

    daacrusher2001 Silver Supporting Member

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    Thanks for the info...I will see who is in the area that I can go meet with.
     
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  3. gassyndrome

    gassyndrome Member

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    Absolutely agreed on that suggestion. The other thing you can do is an all day course in the basics with Strongfirst. I just did one last weekend, and even though I'd previously done a couple of sessions with an RKC instructor, I came away from it with a whole other level of precision on the basic lifts (and those are the ones that count). Dont make the mistake of practising imperfect - practise makes permanent and if you've had an injury before that spells impending disaster.
     
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  4. Scott Peterson

    Scott Peterson Administrator Staff Member

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    :aok

    Today was the day - from raw Kettlebell beginner just about 1 year ago (when I posted this thread) - that I completed the "Sinister" version of the Simple/Sinister Kettlebell workout with the 32kg (70lb) kettlebell (bodyweight of 164 lbs): 100 swings - straight in under five minutes, then 10 TGU straight in under ten minutes. Whole thing in 15 minutes total. Slowly, surely, *still* progressing at 49 years old? Keep moving! Keep learning! Next up - getting 100 snatches with the 24kg in under 10 minutes. I'm up to 60. #notdeadyet
     
  5. fetishfrog

    fetishfrog Member

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    RKC cert is 100 snatches in 5 mins :)

    I can get it with a 20kb bell. 24kb is a big step up.

    I am no where near a 32kb get up though. That's most impressive.
     
  6. Scott Peterson

    Scott Peterson Administrator Staff Member

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    I've thrown 20kg for 100 in 10 minutes - that's not 5 minutes. lol. I've not gone for any certifications - just trying to find the best ways to functionally keep moving. Might take me another year to where I want to go; might never get there. I might be able to do the qualifier with a 16kg if I trained it for that. Five minutes is not a lot of time. You'd have to be REALLY moving to get 100. I've watched young women throw up 160+ reps in the snatch in 10 minutes with 24kb; my form isn't efficient enough yet to turn it into speed. Search out Kettlebell sport if you haven't on YouTube. It's unbelievable what people can do.

    It's one of the things about working with the bells - studying and learning the moves never stops. The complexity of them, from the breathing, the grip, the body positions, the tension/relaxing... it's fascinating and interesting to me.
     
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  7. StanG

    StanG Member

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    That's pretty badass Scott, and not just for an old guy. Now mix in some lunges with a weighted bar overhead, push ups, burpees, some wall walkups just for fun, and keep it up for 20 minutes and you'll be doing cross fit:)
     
  8. Scott Peterson

    Scott Peterson Administrator Staff Member

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    LOL. Don't get me started on cross-fit. I believe in GOOD form throughout every rep and varying up intensity in 'waves' or 'cycles' depending on how I feel, injuries, time available, etc.. I'm also a 'lone wolf' that likes to workout alone. Nuff said there; if any crossfit people are reading this - no hate; just not my bag. I do TRX stuff, weight stuff, functional movement/speed/footwork, HIIT stuff; generally try to mix it up and keep it interesting. My workouts are a means to the end of playing soccer well. So far, so good. Playing in two leagues every week, having fun and what's nice about being older is that I appreciate it more now.
     
  9. Jarrett

    Jarrett Member

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    I just started doing Gold's Fit which is basically Cross Fit Light. Cross Fit without the Olympic lifts and other injury prone techniques/mentality.

    They have us doing quite a bit with the kettlebells in lieu of barbell lifts. Swings, dead lifts, dead lift high pulls, snatches, farmer holds, farmer carries, etc. No turkish get ups thus far though. All of that coupled with HIIT, rowing, bodyweight stuff and some yoga seems to make up their system.

    I'm really enjoying it thus far. Body weight isn't really changing so much, but I am getting stronger, leaner and feeling better. My mobility and functional movements are really improving which was a bit of a surprise. I'm sore in all new muscle groups than I have been in the past when doing traditional lifting.

    I do the Gold's Fit 4 days a week now and dialed the cycling back to 3-4 days a week. Can't wait to see what it does for me long term.
     
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  10. Scott Peterson

    Scott Peterson Administrator Staff Member

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    That sounds like a good varied program. I do many of the moves you mention - carries, etc and bodyweight, speed work (footwork), HIIT, yoga and mobility - and find it fits what I like to do. Mobility has been on the key things I have learned and worked so very hard in this past year in conjunction with the functional training (kettlebells, TRX, etc) that has paid off immensely in everyday life.

    I think the key to stay engaged long term is to find stuff that challenges you, that you enjoy doing and that benefits what you do in the real world.
     
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  11. orogeny

    orogeny Supporting Member

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    scott,
    just wanted to chime in and let you know you inspired me about a month or more ago
    the bells have become a part of my regular workout
    messed up the first week with bad form on the basic swing
    knew it when my knees started hurting (somehow not my back, though it was tight)
    my chiro and massage therapist are attached to my gym
    i told them i was inspired but thought i was doing something wrong
    we brought a small bell into their office and they watched me
    and said, "i thought you said. . . . "
    yeah. . . i was doing it wrong
    but i KNEW
    so i am working on just getting the very basic swing RIGHT
    i actually use a bench or a chair to make sure my a*s hits it on the down-swing
    i'm committed to 1000 swings at the lightest bell until it is auto-pilot
    (i also do it in between dumbell curls and a dumbell press)

    so. . . .

    thanks

    by the way

    . . . knees don't hurt anymore
     
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  12. fetishfrog

    fetishfrog Member

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    Couldn't agree more.

    If you can get the instructor to work them in, go for it. It's a great move. It went from my most hated to most favorite in short order. After doing some, all my other lifts improved pretty quickly.
     
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  13. TheGuildedAge

    TheGuildedAge Supporting Member

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    My basement ceiling is a hair under 7 feet. Do you think kettles are still worth it with such limited height?
     
  14. Scott Peterson

    Scott Peterson Administrator Staff Member

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    Awesome stuff.

    The form is the biggest thing; once you get it down (hip hinge being the biggest part IMHO) then you'll find yourself 'dropping into' the movement naturally and no back strain, no knee strain. Here's a video that I *really* like; she's very good communicating proper swing form (I favor the 'hard Russian' style FWIW).

     
  15. Scott Peterson

    Scott Peterson Administrator Staff Member

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    How tall are you? Can you touch the ceiling by raising your arm up straight overhead?
     
  16. TheGuildedAge

    TheGuildedAge Supporting Member

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  17. gassyndrome

    gassyndrome Member

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    Scott - thats seriously nice work. I've never been able to follow it so consistently with life getting in the way, but I just need to man up and get into it.

    One note though - it is the 'simple' goal to do it with the 32kg. The 'sinister' goal is with the 48kg! You'll be an absolute monster if you ever get to that but it sure seems like a good challenge.

    How does your body feel now you've got that to that standard? Better than a year ago?
     
  18. Scott Peterson

    Scott Peterson Administrator Staff Member

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    You won't be doing any overhead presses, TGU, snatches in your basement. At 6' 2" you need some overhead clearance

    Shhh! I'm old and small! ;)

    Yes, you are right. I had to pull my book back out to look. Crap. Well, I am sinister at 32kg then! I won't get to 48kg; that's 106 lbs.! No way lol. My plan is to work with what I have right now and pickup a 36kg bell next. Then work up, etc.. Do I feel better than I did a year ago? Emphatic yes. I can do things that I did not think I could ever do, I recover better, I don't tire out, I'm stronger. My core is much stronger. I feel better than I have in years and I've been in good shape the last few years, but not like this. That's my personal assessment - I have a lot to learn, a lot more to do but I'm 49 and that's what it is. Progress comes slow and looking over my workout logs it's come very slow but I've put in the volume and been consistent with 6 days a week on average and playing in two leagues for soccer (two games a week (Monday/Tuesday back to back nights)) since fall and holding up. Mobility and watching my diet and my sleep have also helped - I also cycle my intensity greatly during weeks; I'm not doing all my workouts at 100% at all; for instance on Monday/Tuesday (my game days) I run lighter versions of the kettlebell work and focus on yoga, etc.. I do a lot of work with a hard roller and lacrosse ball daily and *especially* pre-game and post-game when I play.

    It's interesting getting older; I'm just glad that I can still do this. I have so many friends that have stopped doing things they love because of different reasons - but age being a contributing factor. Like I noted earlier in the thread - I appreciate every moment I can get out on the field and compete now.
     
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  19. The Captain

    The Captain Supporting Member

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    Scott, I need to keep you in a cupboard in my doctors office, so I can trot you out to harangue about half my patients. As a relieving doc, I see a lot more acute patients than chronic ones, and so many of them have musculo-skeletal problems that are just caused by weakness, especially back pain. The number of people who hurt themselves doing nothing is depressing. I see people who are in jobs requiring "correct lifting technique", meaning, lifting from a squat, yet they can't even nearly do a simple body weight squat, let alone add even a 5 or 10kg weight to the lift.
    I spend a lot of time trying to get them to think about re-conditioning and strength training as the basis for their recovery and future wellness, but it's an uphill battle.
    I use the phrase "I don't believe in many things, but I believe in strength" a lot.

    Now, if I had you handy, I could just say, "see the man the corner with the kettle bell and the gun".
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2016
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  20. Scott Peterson

    Scott Peterson Administrator Staff Member

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    LOL - love your post. I do agree with you; in my language, you start dying the moment you start stopping.

    One thing these kettlebells have taught me is the hip hinge - my constant advice to my wife when she stoops over to pick stuff up is: "Your ass protects your back, drop it!" I would not recommend saying that to your patients. ;)
     

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