Over the weekend in our power training course, I tested out a new workout on some of our clients that I have done myself. While I have been focusing much of my attention on training with double kettlebell complexes, this particular routine is a chain. Just to shed some light on the differences between a complex and a chain, let me describe the two, and focus more on the double kettlebell chain I have named “The Elevator”.
Kettlebell complexes are exercises that are stacked on top of each other and performed without interruption. This means that you will do a certain number of reps with different lifts one after the other. Here is an example of a double kettlebell complex
Basic Double Kettlebell Complex
swing x 5
high pull x 5
snatch x 5
x 3 rounds
Now, a kettlebell chain will move from lift to lift for a certain number of rounds. I have been known to use ladders for kettlebell chains because I genuinely love counting ;). Here’s what a double kettlebell chain would look like using the same lifts we have above.
Basic Double Kettlebell chain
swing, high pull, snatch (ladder 1,2,3) x 3 rounds
notice the set up here. The difference in arranging the exercises is what matters here. While the complex above does 5 swing, then 5 high pulls, then 5 snatches for a total of three rounds, we have a ladder in the kettlebell chain. This means you do one swing, one high pull, one snatch, then two swings, two high pulls, 2 snatches, then 33 swings three high pulls, three snatches in their entirety before you set the kettlebells down. Gnarly!
Now that we have the differences between kettlebell complexes and chains ironed out, let’s get down to the nitty gritty of my very own routine called “The Elevator”.
Grab two kettlebells slightly lighter than the norm. Ladies, your MAX on this should be double 12kgs. Men, your MAX would be double 16kgs. There is a TON of volume in this routine. You will have to go lighter than you think in most cases.
Perform ladders of the following double kettlebell exercises
Clean, Front Squat, Press, Front Squat, Snatch, Front Squat, Renegade Row (1,2,3) x 3 rounds.
Instructor commentary regarding the above chain: you will notice we are shifting from upper body strength to lower body strength all throughout this routine. Imagine that you are the elevator, traveling up and down the different levels of strength. See what I did there? 😉 Also, on the renegade rows, you will be doing 1 row per arm. That means that you will be doing two total rows on the first level of the ladder, then 4 total rows on the second level of the ladder, and 6 total rows on the 3rd level of the ladder. I should also note that the front squats embedded in this chain create a unique challenge in terms of the endurance you will need to sustain this routine. Front squats require a ton of conditioning <—- FACT! And given the fact that there are front squats every other exercise in this routine, you can expect some serious conditioning to happen as a results of this routine.
Here’s a video of yours truly going though the entire sequence here to give you an idea of what this looks like. I used double 12kgs for the chain.
Last little tid bit on here is the work rest ratio and number of rounds to complete. If you are a newbie to the chain, please use a 1:2 work rest ratio. So, if it takes you 2 minutes to complete the chain, rest for 4 minutes. If you are advanced, set the work rest ratio to 1:1. If it takes you 2 minutes to complete the chain, rest for 2 minutes as this will increase the cardiovascular demands of the routine all the more. Newbies to the chain should complete at least 3 rounds of this chain for a solid workout. If you are more advanced, go for a maximum of five rounds. Fair warning, this routine WILL make you hungry! Be sure to eat well after this one.
Give this one a go everyone and let me know how you do! I would love to hear form you all on this one. That’s it for today! Until next time. . .
Master your instincts!