The One Arm One Leg Pushup

If 10 Push-Ups Are Good, Eleven Must Be Better…Right? A Case for the One Arm One Leg Push-Up

In a famous scene from the Rock & Roll Mockumentary “This is Spinal Tap” the infamous lead-guitarist from the World’s Loudest Band, Nigel Tufnel, shows off his favorite guitar amplifier with custom volume knobs that don’t stop at 10, but go to 11 instead.  The interviewer asks the guitarist why not make 10 louder? All the guitarist can say in response is “These go to eleven.”  It becomes clear that in Nigel’s mind 11 will always be better than 10.  Nigel obviously values quantity over quality.  This is exactly the approach most people take towards push-ups and bodyweight training; instead of doing something better, they just do more reps.

[ Watch Nigel’s interview here: https://youtu.be/KOO5S4vxi0o ]

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It’s not difficult to imagine Nigel as personal trainer or strength coach.

Nigel Tufnel on Bodyweight Training

Imagine Nigel saw an ad hiring personal trainers and said to himself… “I could do that”. He decides to write a workout that is comprised entirely of bodyweight exercises… and all the reps for each set go to eleven.

Nigel Tufnel: The reps all go to eleven. Look, right across the board, eleven, eleven, eleven and…

Marty DiBergi: Oh, I see. And most reps only go up to ten?

Nigel Tufnel: Exactly.

Marty DiBergi: Does that mean it’s better? Is it any stronger?

Nigel Tufnel: Well, it’s one better, isn’t it? It’s not ten. You see, most blokes, you know, will be working up to ten. You’re on ten here, all the way up, all the way up, all the way up, you’re on your tenth rep. Where can you go from there? Where?

Marty DiBergi: I don’t know.

Nigel Tufnel: Nowhere. Exactly. What we do is, if we need that extra push over the cliff, you know what we do?

Marty DiBergi: Put it up to eleven.

Nigel Tufnel: Eleven. Exactly. One better.

Marty DiBergi: Why don’t you just make ten harder and make ten be the top number and make that a little harder?

Nigel Tufnel: [pause] These go to eleven.

When it comes to push-ups or any other form of bodyweight exercise most people, think along the lines of Nigel: more is better. However, at a certain point cranking out more pushups won’t build stronger pushups, just more endurance. The truth is that max-strength is built with weights or exercises that challenge you with low reps. In the weightlifting world it’s common practice to add weight to the bar and start over with lower reps, when you can eventually move a heavier weight for more reps, just add more weight and start over. With bodyweight exercises adding bodyweight isn’t an ideal option.

If you want to develop more pure pressing strength anytime anywhere with bodyweight alone and you’ve already built up to being able to perform 10 strict push-ups… where do you go from there? Instead of adding reps, the more efficient choice is to make 10 reps a little harder, or… make 3 reps really hard and build up to 5 reps. So, what kind of pushup requires attention to detail, is significantly harder, builds serious strength and requires no equipment…

The One Arm One Leg Pushup

The One-Arm One-Leg Pushup

  • Start at the top of the push-up position plank. 
  • Balance in the top position while lifting one arm and the opposite leg.  
  • Descend with control while keeping your chest parallel to the floor. 
  • Touch your non-pressing shoulder to the floor lightly, then press yourself back up to the starting position.

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One arm one leg push-up. Inspired by the StrongFirst SFB Challenge.Although my SFB credentials lapsed I’ve tried to stay true to the principles it represents. #StrongFirst#SFBChallenge
Posted by Omaha Elite Kettlebell: Stronger for Life on Saturday, March 28, 2015

Give the OAOLPU a try and may be shocked at the number of challenges it presents.
Here are just a few:

  1. The OAOLPU requires a different and much more precise technique than most people are accustomed to.
  2. Tremendous core strength.
  3. Coordination and timing of balance, tension, breathing and movement.
  4. Good shoulder mechanics,
  5. The ability to sustain a high degree of focus and strong muscular contraction throughout the movement.
  6. Finally, the OAOLPush-Up requires you to work both sides of your body equally, as your stronger arm can’t help when performing the push-up with your strong arm.

Coming Soon…

Part II: 11 Tips for Conquering the One-Arm One-Leg Push-Up
Remember, most lists only go to ten.

PART III: The One-Arm One-Leg Push-Up Plan

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400% Return on Investment: Omaha, NE Elite Kettlebell SFG User Course April 19th 2015 at Body Basics

 

 

 

 

Recently someone asked me why they should spend $299 on one day user course when he/she could spend that same amount on a one year membership at a local gym? The answer is “return on investment”.

It’s as simple as choosing between spending  VS.  investing, learning and saving.

A gym membership requires you to SPEND MONEY in exchange for a place WHERE you can workout and requires you to SPEND TIME on someone else’s terms (commuting, waiting for equipment, working around someone else’s exercise class schedule or gym hours of operation)

A user course is INVESTING in an education that will teach you HOW to get superior results while  allowing you to train WHENEVER and WHEREVER you choose thus SAVING TIME and MONEY to spend elsewhere.

Here’s a specific example of one student getting a 200% ROI after one hour of instruction and a 400% ROI after 7-hours of instruction.

“Congrats to Jenni Bock on swinging the 106lb kettlebell today for the first time. Jenni credited the instruction received in Stronger U classes with allowing her to make a 200% improvement in her kettlebell swing by moving from a 35lb kettlebell to swinging a 70lb kettlebell for sets of 10… during her first class. Today during her 7th class she successfully performed sets of 10 swings with the 106lb bell at the END of a hard workout. That’s a 400% increase in the amount of weight SAFELY moved per rep in 7 hours of training. Way to go Jenni!”

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Here’s what Jenni had to say after her first class:

I was a little scared & hesitant to come, but I’m really glad that I did. Stronger U class is definitely addictive & I’ll be back!

What I appreciated is that it’s not a one-size-fits-all workout. It’s not just a ‘write a workout on the board, grab your weights and go’, the instructor, Scott, helped me learn proper technique and find the weight(s) that were appropriate for me. Scott took the time and the patience to help me achieve and maintain good form throughout the class and not get hurt. 

I really liked how non-intimidating Scott made learning the techniques, and not making me feel stupid for not ‘knowing it all’. He understands that I’m here to learn and everyone starts somewhere! 

I had a great workout… and now, afterwards I feel even stronger and properly aligned.

I had already used kettlebells before with other trainers, but today I learned a lot about the importance of breathing correctly and proper alignment. The drills that Scott used to teach diaphragmatic breathing and proper technique helped me improve my form, automatically kept my core tight and kept my back from getting injured. Before today I had never swung a kettlebell heavier than 35 pounds, but with Scott’s instruction I was able to safely swing a 53 lb. and a 70 lb. kettlebell for several sets of ten! “-Jennifer Bock

Q: “How’d it feel to swing the 48kg kettlebell for the first time today?”
A: “Pretty bad a##!” ;] -Jennifer Bock

 

 

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FREEDOM: One of the Most Enjoyable Aspects of Kettlebell Training

Q: What’s so special about kettlebell training?

A: For one thing… Freedom.

24kg: 20 snatches + 5 bent presses per arm x 2 rounds.  Just one great way to take a coffee break.

24kg: 20 snatches + 5 bent presses per arm x 2 rounds.
Just one great way to take a coffee break.

You don’t need a gym.
You don’t need exercise machines.
You don’t need a large variety of equipment.
You only need knowledge.

Knowledge of the principles, methods and techniques that unlock the full transformational power of the kettlebell.

Join us on April 19th for the SFG Kettlebell User Course and allow us to teach you the principles to train with kettlebells…

Safely,
Effectively,
Efficiently and
on your own terms.

Double 32kg Kettlebell Setup

Keep Calm and Press On

So… you have successfully completed the Rite of Passage with a given kettlebell, but the next bell is just too heavy to  press consistently for three to five reps. Now what? There are many methods that work including, just starting over again with the last bell, but to many this may sound unappealing. It you’re bull-headed or just insist on lifting heavier,  I’ve got a solution custom-tailored for you.

“It’s as easy as “2,3… 1″
No, I didn’t stutter. Start the Rite of Passage over as written but instead of using the same bell again, use both the previous bell and one heavier. The rep scheme will change slightly, but the principle remains the same meaning each ladder will start off easy, progressively get harder, then start over and repeat.

Example: 

3-RUNG LADDER DAYS = Old Bell x 2,3 + Heavier Bell x 1
4-RUNG LADDER DAYS = Old Bell x 3,4 + Heavier Bell x 1,2
5-RUNG LADDER DAYS = Old Bell x 5,5  + Heavier Bell x 1,2,2

NOTES:
Rest as much as necessary between sets to ensure you won’t miss your reps, you may even spread your workout throughout the day in a “greasing the groove” manner.

On 5-Rung Ladder Days I recommended breaking the workout up into two sessions with at least 30-minutes rest between the two sessions.

Prerequisites
1. You MUST have already pressed the lighter of the two bells for  5 ladders  x 5 rungs (that’s 75 presses per arm in a single day).
2.  You must be able to press the heavier bell for at least 3 perfect reps.

WARNING
Use good judgement and listen to your body. The inclusion of the heavier bell raises the average intensity per workout considerably, as a result you may need to take extra rest days.   Remember, the ability to train consistently trumps the ability to train infrequently at high intensity.

“That’s all folks.”

Keep Calm and Press On

Keep Calm and Press On

P.S.

How’s Your Technique?

If technique is holding you back, a lesson with an experienced certified kettlebell instructor like myself can have dramatic results.  There can be many things holding you back like poor ankle mobility, improper breathing, lack of tension at the right moments, relaxed abs and more…   I’ve had many people PR in the press within as little as 15-minutes of applying some new skill I was able to identify as missing.

What’s the “Rite of Passage”?
The Rite of Passage is a highly effective program designed around the one arm military press with a kettlebell.  It uses a unique rep scheme call “ladders” that allows you to complete a high volume of presses while keeping your fatigue low.  Over weeks the total number or presses you perform per session steadily increases. I know dozens of men and women who have successfully built up to  one arm pressing 1/3rd bodyweight for women and 1/2 bodyweight for men overhead using this program.  You can get all the details in “Enter the Kettlebell” by Pavel Tsatsouline. Check it out here.

How to Combine Kettlebells, Bodyweight and Barbells

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“What is the best way to combine to kettlebells and bodyweight and barbells?”

There are many programs available on the internet to get strong with bodyweight, barbells or kettlebells,  but there are few that provide clear direction on how to get strong integrating them together. There is a reason for this and it’s not because there isn’t a market for it.

I was once at kettlebell certification taught by Pavel Tastsouline who during a question and answer portion of the weekend handled such a question like this. “By the very nature of your question, I can tell you are not ready for the answer.”  At first this may sound harsh and dismissive to some, but it’s a perfectly honest and appropriate response. It was a concise way of pointing out that it was apparent the person asking the question didn’t have enough experience with both modalities to combine them effectively.

To put it another way, imagine a similar question about how to use various tools to build a shelf for your home or office.

Question: Should you use a hammer a wrench or a drill to assemble a shelf?

Answer: It depends on the shelf.

Question: What is the best way to use hammers, wrenches and drills together to build a shelf?

Answer: Based on your question, it’s obvious you need to spend more time using hammers, wrenches and or drills.

As you can see… to someone who has experience building and assembling shelves, this sort of question can reveal a great deal about the experience and understanding of the person asking the question.  When you have enough experience with all three tools and you’ve built a few shelves, the answers will be obvious.

So, back to the original question:

Question: “What is the best way to combine to kettlebells and barbells?”

Answer: It depends on your goals, needs and situation. Don’t be distracted by shiny tools. Learn to use each independently of the other to achieve a goal. The best way to learn is to become proficient in one modality at time.  Once you’ve done that, the benefits of each tool and the reasons for choosing one over the other will be clear.  At that point combining multiple tools into a single workout will be intuitive and obvious.


Addendum

Pros and Cons of Bodyweight, Kettlebell, and Barbells

The following list may prove helpful in deciding which tool is right for the job.

Bodyweight

Pros: 

  • Free.
  • Portable.
  • Can be used anywhere.
  • Limited only by your imagination.
  • Conducive to building balance, agility and flexibility.
  • Difficulty and load can be manipulated by manipulating leverage.

Cons:

  • A fixed weight. Not adjustable
  • Difficult to train pulling without added equipment.
  • Impossible to precisely manipulate load such as 70% of your 1 rep max.
  • Not practical for learning how to safely lift truly heavy weights.

Kettlebells

Pros: 

  • Versatility.
  • Portability.
  • Takes up little space.
  • Requires no other equipment.
  • You can perform just about any exercise imaginable with them including barbell techniques making them a great starting point.
  • You can rapidly switch hands and seamlessly transition between exercises for maximally efficient workouts with little to no down time.
  • There are many ways to hold a kettlebell that can make more challenging.
  • It’s hard to outgrow the usefulness of the appropriately sized bell.
  • The shape of the kettlebell allows for overspeed eccentrics that can’t be performed safely with barbells or bodyweight.

Cons:

  • Fixed weight, non-adjustable for precise loading.
  • A workout that requires many different sizes in weight becomes impractical.
  • Due to it’s fixed weight, awkward size & shape of the kettlebell lifting hundreds of pounds becomes awkward an impractical.

Barbells

Pros: 

  • Commonly available in most gyms.
  • Can lift a ton of weight practically with a single bar.
  • The absolute best way to get big and insanely strong.
  • Barbells can be loaded with great precision in small increments.

Cons:

  • Not portable.
  • Takes up a great deal of space.
  • You can’t perform overspeed eccentrics safely.
  • Many lifts require a training partner to spot or a rack to perform heavy lifts safely.
  • It’s more difficult to transition between exercises with barbells than with kettlebell or bodyweight.
  • Requires many other pieces of equipment such as plates, bars, racks, benches, collars, lifting platforms, bumper plates, belts, etc…

Some Suggestions

Until you are competent in two or more modalities keep each separate from the other.

Examples:

Use bodyweight for warming-up, Barbells for strength and Kettlebells for conditioning.

You could perform a bodyweight session earlier in the day and go for a jog. Later go to the gym and get your barbell work in.  Use kettlebells at the home or office as practice throughout the week.

Later on, someone who has more experience may blend all three together in a manner similar to this

5-minute Warmup: Pump Stretches,  Swings, goblet squats and pushups.
Strength Training:  Circuit of Bench Press alternated with Double Kettlebell Cleans, Front Squats,  Pull-ups and Armbar Stretches.
Conditioning :  “Smoker”  Kettlebell Snatches & Hill Sprints
Cool Down: Kettlebell Windmills, & various bodyweight stretches.

Increasing Productivity with Technique Regression Ladders

Double 32kg Kettlebell Setup

I found the following workout in my journals from 2008 to 2010. Reading my notes made the memories and sensations flood back to me. The workout was so intense that I’ve never had the courage to repeat it as written. It was basically an experiment using my Polar Heart Rate Monitor to discover how I could burn the most calories in the shortest amount of time.

At the time I was inspired by a particular study that reported performing kettlebell snatches with a light bell could burn an average 20.2 calories per minute. I wondered to myself, “what’s possible if a certified kettlebell instructor really let it rip with heavier bells?” I tried many different exercises, combinations, weights and paces with some success, but then it occurred to me I should try double kettlebell complexes ( a series of techniques performed without setting the weight down).  Complexes are CRAZY hard, so I wanted to figure out a way to survive 15:00 minutes of double kettlebell complexes and came up with the workout that follows.

The intensity was pretty insane and I had to stop several times to let my heart rate come down to safe levels. According to my notes, my heart rate monitor calibrated for my age, gender, bodyweight and V02 max recorded a staggering average of 26 -calories burned per minute for 15-minutes; an all-time personal best.  To date, I’ve never attempted to repeat this workout in the exact same way. In fact, I think I may not have recovered from it yet.  This particular workout is definitely not the kind of thing I’d repeat often, if ever… it was just the right time for open the throttle and let it rip.

15-Minute Technique Regression Ladder Workout

(I apologize for the name. It’s a fancy way to say I used easier exercises and weights to keep going)

The concept was based on the use of ladders with a twist. Instead of manipulating the number of reps, or time for each rung of a ladder  I manipulated the difficulty of the technique used.  (If you’re not familiar with ladders and rungs, scroll the end of this post to get caught up, then come back)  What I ended up with was a series of five exercises arranged in descending order of difficulty so that the hardest technique is performed first and the easiest is performed last.  I basically started the session working as hard as possible with a pair of 32kg bells and as fatigue crept in I switched to easier and easier techniques in order to keep working safely. As fatigue approached, I’d start over using a lighter set of bells and keep going.  I’d string as many of the techniques together as possible without setting the bells down, then set the bells down only as long as necessary to feel safe and continue with good, crisp technique.

Requirements: 3 different size kettlebells or sets of bells.
Duration: Perform each exercise for 30-seconds per arm for single arm work or 30-seconds total if using double bells. Rest as necessary to ensure safety & quality.

Heavy Bell(s) 32kg

  1. Snatches
  2. High Pulls
  3. Cleans
  4. Swings
  5. Deadlifts

Medium Bell(s) 24kg

  1. Snatches
  2. High Pulls
  3. Cleans
  4. Swings
  5. Deadlifts

Light Bell(s) 16kg

  1. Snatches
  2. High Pulls
  3. Cleans
  4. Swings
  5. Deadlifts

Modifications

if I were to do this workout over again I would take several weeks to progress in some fashion.

Applying this concept to other exercises

Obviously this concept can be applied to other techniques in addition to kettlebell ballistics.

Example A: Loaded Carries
First Ladder:
Round 1 & 2: Double Kettlebell Mixed Walk (One Bell overhead + One in the Rack) / repeat with other arm
Round 3: Double Kettlebell Walk with both bells in the rack position
Round 4 & 5: Double Kettlebell Mixed Walk (One bell in the rack, one held at your side) / repeat with other arm
Round 6: Double Kettlebell Farmer Walk
Second Ladder: Repeat with medium weights
Third Ladder: Repeat with lighter weights

Example B: Pull-Ups
First ladder:
Round 1: Weighted Pull-ups (hardest)
Round 2: Weighted Chin-Ups
Round 3: Weighted Flexed-Arm Hang
Round 4: Weight Dead Hang (easiest)
Second ladder: Repeat with a lighter weight
Third Ladder: Repeat with Bodyweight

Example C: Pushups
First Ladder
Round 1: One Arm Pushups (hardest)
Round 2: Diamond Pushups
Round 3: Standard Grip Pushup (easiest)
Second Ladder: Repeat rounds 1-3 with hands at higher elevation
Third Ladder: Repeat rounds 1-3 with hands at highest elevation

There you have it; an intense and powerful way to train while managing fatigue and literally getting tons of work done.  Remember… “With great power comes great responsibility.”

Use wisely & enjoy responsibly.


What are “Kettlebell Complexes”?

Kettlebell complexes are series of two or more kettlebell techniques performed back to back without setting the weight down. 

What are “Ladders”?
In the world of resistance training most are familiar with the terms “sets” and “reps”. But fewer are familiar with the use of ladders. Ladders are simply a way of making an exercise systematically easier or harder each round. Ladders are a great way keep the fatigue relatively low by occasionally performing a hard set alternated with easy and medium sets. This allows for faster recovery between sets and therefore allows you to achieve high levels of total work in a single session maximizing productivity. 

Rep Ladders & “Rungs”
A typical rep ladder looks like this: 1 rep, rest. 2 reps, rest. 3 reps, rest. 
Each set within a ladder is called a “rung” The example  above has three-rungs in a single ladder. 
A workout consisting of ladders may look like this
(1 rep, rest. 2 reps, rest. 3 reps, rest. ) start over & repeat for three rounds. 

Time Ladders
Another way to create ladders involves manipulating time.

For example, you can increase the amount of time under load for each rung of the ladder like so: 
10 seconds of work, 10 seconds rest, 20 seconds of work, 10 seconds rest, 30 seconds of work, 10 seconds rest. Repeat.
or
you can manipulate the amount of rest between rungs like so:
30 seconds of work, 30 seconds rest, 30 seconds of work, 20 seconds of rest, 30 seconds of work 10 seconds rest. Repeat. 

Reverse Ladders
Ladders are generally arranged to get progressively harder each rung before starting over, but the can be arranged in reverse as well so they get progressively easy with each rung. Both have their place .

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Getups: Shorthand for Recording Progress

If you’re a fan of hardstyle kettlebell training then chances are you’re familiar with the Getup or the Turkish Getup.
The getup is an amazing exercise that takes students from the ground to standing and back again while holding a weight overhead. The benefits include mobility, stability, strength, overall coordination, focus, shoulder health and more.One of the beautiful things about the getup is that it can be broken down into several stages and depending on the individual or the weight being used you can work just a part or all of the getup. You can perform single reps or continuous reps. There are full getups from the ground up, or reverse getups from standing to the ground then back up again. You can combine getups with presses added at each stage along the way or make them part of a larger complex, etc… All variations offer their own unique sets of challenges and benefits.

However, this also makes it tricky when I’m comparing students’ training records or comparing my own training records to another’s. Looking back at my notes over the years I’ve been frustrated at all the different ways I write down progress for all the possible variations on full or partial getups. I may write down getup-situps or continuous partial getups, get-up to standing, full getups, etc. What one person writes down as a partial getup could mean just about anything.  Or 5 getups could mean the bell was set down between reps or done without setting the bell down. You get the idea.

Recently, I’ve been using the following shorthand and it’s working great, so I thought I’d share and hopefully some of you might find it useful.

Getups are indicated as “TGU”, then I add one or more of the following extensions to indicate how much of the getup was completed and may add another extension to indicate bodyweight, shoe, water bottle, etc..
TGU = Turkish Getup
.E = to elbow
.P = to palm
.K = to kneeling windmill
.L = to overhead lunge / half kneeling
.S = to standing
.F = Full
.R = Reverse (from standing, down, the back up)
.C = continuous getups (multiple reps without setting the bell down)
BW = bodyweight
Shoe = with shoe
H20 = water bottle getup
Theoretical Example 
This example shoes the progress made by a theoretical student over time
BW TGU.P x 3/5 = Partial Getups to the palm using bodyweight x 3 reps for five sets per arm.
Shoe TGU.K  x 1/3 = Partial getup to the kneeling windmill balancing a shoe for 1 rep x 3 sets per arm.
H20 TGU.F x 1/1  = Full getup balancing a water bottle on the fist or 1 rep x 1 set per arm.
16kg TGU.E x 1/5  =  Partial getup to the elbow with the 16kg for 1 rep x 5 sets per arm
16kg TGU.C.L-S x 5/3  =  Continuous reps from the kneeling lunge to standing then back for 5 reps x 3 sets
16kg TGU.S L, TGU.F x 1 = Getup to standing on the left (but not back down) then one full getup on the right.
16kg TGU.C.E x 5/3 = Continuous partial getups to the elbow with the 16kg for 5 reps x 3 sets per arm.
20kg TGU.F x 1/3  = 1 full getup per arm x 3 sets with the 20kg.
24kg TGU.S-P x 1  = The student stood up but only made back down to the palm before the spotter took the bell.
32kg TGU.C.F x  2/3  =   Continuous Full 32kg getups per hand for 2 reps x 3 sets per arm
48kg TGU.F x 1/3  = One Full 48kg getup for three sets per arm.
10:00 48kg TGU.C.F x 2/1 + 1/3 = In 10-minutes Two full continuous getups per arm, then 3 sets of 1 full getup per arm
There you have it.
Let me know you what you think.
Double 32kg Kettlebell Setup

Strong Coffee & Fast Workouts

One of the biggest obstacles (a.k.a “excuses) to fitness is finding time to train. One solution is learning to properly use kettlebells and bodyweight so you can efficiently train at home.
For example…
My Simple & Sinister Breakfast today involved alternating rounds of the following circuit with different aspects of preparing then eating breakfast.

Circuit =
Two 28kg Kettlebells x 10 Cleans & 5 Push Presses, + 3~5 One Arm Pushups/arm.

Put the coffee on & Turn on the stove
Circuit Round 1 + Cook eggs
Circuit Round 2 + put eggs on plate & pour coffee
Circuit Round 3 + Consume Eggs & Coffee

The best part…
No Gym Membership
No commute or traffic to and from the gym
No looking for a parking spot
No changing into gym clothes
No waiting for equipment
Breakfast & a morning recharge workout done inside of 15 minutes.

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Double 32kg Kettlebell Setup

What Does It Mean to Be Strong First?

The phrase “You can be anything you want… But you must be strong first.”  is a powerful statement written by StrongFirst’s Chairman Pavel Tsatsouline.

What does it mean to be strong first? 

Strength is not the only quality, but is a very important one that takes many forms and is not measured solely in pounds or kilograms.

The discipline to achieve  requires you first have strength of mind and character.
The ability to help others first requires you to be strong enough to help yourself.
Flexibility first requires you to be strong enough to achieve a position.
Posture first requires you be strong enough to hold a position.
Speed first requires you be strong enough to move your body.
Endurance first requires the strength to endure…
and the list goes on.

Since 2008 the way I have been taught in the original RKC by Pavel and now StrongFirst has always emphasized quality over quantity. I’ve always been taught that in order to become strong, I must first learn to move well, then learn to add strength to good movement. At the instructor courses I’ve attend and been fortunate enough to assist at I’ve consistently witnessed candidates being taught to emphasize form and quality  before emphasizing quantity of volume, intensity or load.
Repeatedly I’ve heard the message that strength is useless if you can not move your body well enough to use it efficiently. Finally, the instructor certification experience itself is built around requiring candidates to first become strong enough to perform the techniques well before teaching them to others.  Just as I’ve been taught these lessons by my team leaders, senior and master instructors, I too have striven to teach movement and quality first to my own students.

I believe…

A fast movement is inferior to an equally fast movement performed with more strength and therefore less perceived effort.
A harsh action performed from a position of weakness is inferior to a gentle action performed from a position of strength.
A beautifully executed movement is inferior to an equally beautiful movement that is also stronger.

I believe strength has a higher purpose.
Become strong enough to make life better… for yourself and others.

FREE 6-WEEK KETTLEBELL SWING PROGRAM

Here’s a simple & FREE kettlebell swing program that requires three different bells (small, medium, large) and as little as 5 to 10 minutes a day, 3 days per week.

You’ll arrange the bells in various prescribed orders and simply move to the next bell every round. Each day the total number of rounds change and every two weeks the order of the bells change. That’s it.

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The idea is that the lighter weights teach you how to move the heavier weights and the heavier weights teach you how to generate power with the lighter weights. The goal is make every rep look the same regardless of the weight used.

It’s a very simple program that follows principles of waving the load by manipulating the most variable of variables… volume.
This program gives you one easy, hard and medium workout per week. Over the course of six weeks you’ll gradually increase the difficulty, back off, then build up again. By week six you’ll more than double the amount of work performed on week 1, day

The 3x3x6 KETTLEBELL SWING PROGRAM

3 Bells x 3 Configurations x 6 Weeks

INSTRUCTIONS

Choose the heaviest bell you can perform 20 continuous swings with, then choose one lighter and one heavier bell.
Women can use 4 to 16kg jumps between bells, Men should use 8 to 16kg jumps between bells.

Example:
Women use  12kg, 16kg and 20kg or  16kg, 24kg, 32kg or  24kg, 32kg, 48kg
Men use  16kg, 24kg, 32kg or  24kg, 32kg, 48kg

You’ll perform the workout three days per week. e.g. M,W,F or Tues,Thurs,Sat for anywhere from 5 to 10 minutes.

Every 30 seconds perform 10 reps.
Switch bells every 30 seconds.
Alternate which bells you use every set in such a way that you use the middle bell every other set and the first bell every 4 rounds like this (Left bell, Middle bell, Right Bell, Middle Bell, Left Bell, Middle Bell, Right Bell, Middle Bell….etc.)

Arrange the order of the bells by placing the LIGHT bell in the middle and the medium bell on the far left. Start round 1 with the leftmost/medium bell.
On Day 1 perform 10 rounds
On day  2, 14 rounds.
On day 3, 12 rounds.
On day 4, 16 rounds
On day 5, 20 rounds
On day 6, 18 rounds
Change the order of the bells by placing the MEDIUM bell in the middle and the light bell on the far left. Start round 1 with the leftmost/light bell.
Remember to use the medium bell every other round.
On Day 7 perform 10 rounds
On day  8, 14 rounds.
On day 9, 12 rounds.
On day 10, 16 rounds
On day 11, 20 rounds
On day 12, 18 rounds

Change the order of the bells by placing the HEAVIEST bell in the middle and the medium bell on the far left. Start round 1 with the leftmost/medium bell.
On Day 13 perform 10 rounds
On day  14, 14 rounds.
On day 15, 12 rounds.
On day 16, 16 rounds
On day 17, 20 rounds
On day 18, 18 rounds

DONE!

If you already train three days per week, just perform this workout either after your normal workouts or on separate days. It’s time efficient and repeatable while featuring the most accessible, powerful and transformation kettlebell technique, the swing.
Now, go forth and be strong(er).