I played around with them for about a year and a half but didn’t really have a system developed to train to my goals: Strong as possible while staying as lean as possible. Like most people that weight train I could gain size but usually at the price of added fat in my waistline.
Then I discovered Anthony Diluglio in Providence RI. He owns Punch Gym. This was a place I could go and devise a method to my kettlebell workouts. Anthony has created two DVD’s that focus on Kettlebell Circuits. They train the whole body in 30 – 45 minutes and allow you to focus on strength, speed, flexibility, whatever your goal is. I describe this type of training as weightlifting, cardio, Pilates and Yoga all in one workout!
The Art of Strength: Providence is a whole body workout that has 14 different exercises done in two minute intervals with a minute in between. The workout is as follows:
Round 1: 2-handed swing, one arm swing, hand-to-hand swing
Round 2: Cleans
Round 3: Chest presses
Round 4: Squats/sumo deadlifts
Round 5: One leg deadlift
Round 6: Windmills into an overhead squat
Round 7: clean and press
Round 8: Flip and squat
Round 9: Tactical lunges
Round 10: Triple crush
Round 11: Sling shot into a figure 8 with a static hold
Round 12: Seated press
Round 13: One arm row
Round 14: Pullovers, Russian twists, Sicilian crunch
Round 15: 3 minute snatch test
Some times I tweak the workout depending on my goal. For example if I want more of a cardio session I will use a lighter bell and do 15 hanging leg raises in between exercises. This basically negates the one minute rest and requires you to keep your heart rate up for over 40 minutes. If I am interested in more of a strength workout I might cut the exercise time down to a minute and increase the bell size. I alternate light and heavy usually every other workout. Another twist that I found that throws your body a curve is to do the exercises in reverse order. It keeps your muscles guessing after getting used to the sequential order and repetition of the original workout.
At least one day a week I try to blast my body with a few exercises of 10 sets of 10. For example one of my favorite total body workouts includes only 3 exercises:
My final circuit includes the use of a 16 kg, 24 kg, and 32kg bell. It involves 1 x 5 snatch with each bell in order - followed by 1 x 5 clean with each bell in order -followed by 1 x 5 swing with each bell in order. Do the above 3 times. For example:
A sample day’s food during my low carb phase is as follows:
The weekend is when life gets fun. Ice Cream, Pizza, French Fries…they are all fair game. I usually have all my junk on Friday night and then try to switch to low glycemic carbs on the second day of the reintroduction of carbs. Every one is different. Try out different things and see what works for you. You want to eat about 75% carbs on the weekend to refill your glycogen stores and get yourself ready for the coming week. You also want to eat when ever you are hungry and as much as possible. You have the ability to over fill your glycogen stores because of the carbohydrate depletion and want to take advantage of the opportunity. It is not unusual for me to eat about 1500 calories a day during the week and about 5000 a day on the weekend.
But remember to try and keep the carbs days to about 48 hours. I have found that if you go to a 3rd day you will start gaining fat. Exactly the opposite of what you want.
I urge everyone interested in this system to try it. The carb up weekend gives you something to look forward to every weekend – and actually fuels your muscles for another week of training in a carb free environment.
Rob "KettlebellRob" O'Brien is an avid fan of strength and conditioning; focusing on non-traditional training methods like body weight only, kettlebell training and shot-put training.
He is currently working in certification in personal training through the American Fitness Training of Athletics (AFTA) and will be attending the Russian Kettlebell Certification Course (RKC) in June of 2007. He resides in Ashland, MA. and can be reached through his website at: http://www.kettlebellrob.com