Today’s blog post is going to be short, quick, and straight forward. I have received a lot of questions lately about the heaviest amount of weight I am able to perform kettlebell snatches and military presses. Before we get to the answer to that question, I’d like to give a brief little lesson on how to work up to heavy snatches and military presses.
Ok, so we have our kettlebells to the left of us featured at the following weights. For a beginning female, you’d want to start at around 12kg and give yourself a good run of solid snatch and press work for a good month. You should then be able to condition yourself to jump to the next weight at 16kg (note: the jump from 12kg to 16kg equates to an increase from 26lbs to 36lbs. If that is too much of a hike for you, you can use a 14kg featured here (roughly 31 lbs) until you are comfortable with moving up to the 16kg. Here’s where it gets interesting (and I’m speaking here from personal experience). ONce I was comfortable doing snatches and military presses with a 16kg, I DID NOT go to 20 kg off the bat. Instead, what I started to do was practice heavy two arm and single arm swings using a 24kg (which translates to 53 lbs). It is sometimes helpful to do heavier swings to prepare yourself for a moderate level snatch and military press. I found this to be especially true over the summer when after one day of swinging a 32kg kettlebell, I was able to comfortable snatch a 20 kg kettlebell within a few days. talk about crazy strength gains!
Now, I am not a certified strength conditioning specialist, so as for the scientific reason behind why heavy swings = moderate snatches and military presses is beyond my ability to explain. I suspect though that the extreme load on the body, especially with heavy one arm swings prepares your body to fully elevate a moderate sized kettlebell. When forced to tackle something very heavy, it appears the body learns how to properly tense itself to gain the force required to swing a heavy kettlebell, resulting in easier snatches and presses with a weight ten lbs lighter (again, speaking from personal experience here). In any case, this just goes to show you that swinging heavy stuff results in some amazing strength gains.
In case you haven’t put two and two together, I am able to snatch and press a 20kg kettlebell. In case you think I am lying, here’s the YouTube video to prove it (note: please visit my YouTube page for notes on my military press form. Looks like I forgot to drive my feet into the ground as forcefully as I would have liked. My press is thus a little less fluid than I would have liked. HEY! It’s a learning process right?).
You know what the best part about this whole thing is? You can reach this level of strength too! It only takes practice, persistence, and determination to get there. Now, GO GET STRONG! That’s all for me today! Remember to eat smart, train hard, and enjoy your life!