For those of you in Pittsburgh looking to learn advanced kettlebell techniques while pushing yourself to a higher level of fitness, be sure to stop in at Pitsburgh Kettlebells on Wednesday mornings 10 am for Kettlebell Blast class. I have actually given this class a nickname of “beast class”, as the routines are ever more demanding than your usual circuit training. Also, the clients that I teach tend to be much further along in their lifting technique, and have there by earned their right to be called “beasts” themselves 😉 Don’t let the name of the class intimidate you though. My duty as a coach is to make sure you properly learn the technique of advanced lifts.
So…what can you expect at this so called “beast class”?
First and foremost, if you are looking to learn how to master advanced lifts such as cleans and presses, high pulls, snatches, and double kettlebell work, beast class is for you. This class is designed to take the novice lifter and turn them into well conditioned, endurance driven machines! Speaking of endurance, this class WILL push your cardiovascular endurance to a whole new level. I normally structure these classes to combine ladder routines with circuit training on top of slightly longer cycles. Here’s a break down of what a ladder, circuit, and cycle are and how I normally combine them in these beastly routines.
A ladder is a way of staggering exercises by increasing and/or decreasing a certain number of sets per lift. As an example, you can perform 1 Turkish get up per side, then perform 2 Turkish get ups per side, then 3 Turkish get ups per side which would count as one total ladder. If you want to make this more difficult, you can com back down the ladder and perform 3 get ups per side, 2 get ups per side, then 1 get up per side. Going up and down the ladder would thus count as one total set. Beast mode ACTIVATED!
A circuit is an exercise routine set at timed intervals. You perform a certain lift as many times as possible in a specific timed interval. As an example, I normally assign kettlebell swing routines set at 30 second intervals. You would perform kettlebell swings for 30 seconds followed by 30 seconds of rest. You can set the intervals for as long as you’d like, but generally you shouldn’t perform this style of training beyond 30 minutes total. In my past, I have done 25 minutes of 20kg kettlebell swings set at an interval of 40 seconds of work and 20 seconds of rest. This is not for the faint of heart. You have been warned!
A cycle is designed to be a “go all out” sort of routine. Here, you will perform as many sets of lifts as you can with good form for a specific amount of time. This is NOT interval style like the circuits mentioned above. As an example, you could practice a set 5 goblet squats and 5 kettlebell rows per arm for a total amount of 10 minutes. You would do as may sets of goblet squats and rows as you can in the 10 minute time frame, taking rest only as needed. Generally speaking, I have my clients do cycles as long as 6 minutes and progress them to doing 10 – 15 minute longer cycles over time. Constantly pushing yourself through the cycle is demanding, so making sure you rest when you need to will ensure your mastery and prevent injury. I have to take care of all my beasts after all 😉
Now that we understand what these exercise variations are and how they function, here is how I normally combine all three for a fun and challenging workout.
Burgher’s Beastly Blaster
6 Minute Cycle of Turkish Get ups
Perform one get up per side as many times possible in 6 minutes. Use a medium sized kettlebell. Ladies, anything form 12kg to 16kg should suffice. Men, you should be using a 20kg-24kg kettlebell.
rest 1-2 minutes.
6 Minute Heavy Kettlebell Swing Circuit
You will perform two arm kettlebell swings for 30 seconds followed by 30 seconds of rest. You will do this six times through, which equates to six minutes. Use a slightly heavier kettlebell than you would normally use, but make sure it isn’t too heavy where your form is compensated. Ladies, you should be able to use a 16kg or 20 kg kettlebell. Gentlemen, shoot for a 24kg or 28kg kettlebell.
rest 1-2 minutes
6 Minute Goblet Squat and Row Cycle
Perform 6 goblet squats followed by 6 rows per arm for 6 minutes (666 is the number of the Beast after all 😉 ). Do as many rounds as you can with proper form. Use a medium sized kettlebell as stated above.
1-2 minute rest.
Swing, High Pull, Snatch ladder
You will perform one, single arm kettlebell swing, one kettlebell high pull, one kettlebell snatch per side. Then you will perform 2 single arm kettlebell swings, 2 kettlebell high pull and 2 kettlebell snatches per side. Finally you will perform 3 single arm kettlebell swings, 3 kettlebell high pulls and 3 kettlebell snatches per side. All movements are performed one side at a time. You will switch between right and left sides after each step of the ladder. The ladder is not considered complete until you reach the top of the ladder (the 3 reps of each lift on each side). Use a medium sized kettlebell for this finisher. You will complete this for a total of 6 minutes and perform as many rounds as you can in those 6 minutes. Take rest only as needed and unleash the beast within!
If you would like to drop in on my Kettlebell Blast class, please be sure to stop out at Pittsburgh Kettlebells on Wednesday at 10 am. If you need additional private coaching to master the more advanced kettlebell training routines, shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org so we can go over your goals and get you started on becoming the strongest version of yourself!
That’s all I have for you today! Remember to eat smart, train hard, and enjoy your life!
Janelle Pica, RKC