Friday, September 26, 2008

Kettlebells are like...

Kettlebells are a tricky tool.

They've been classified as a fad, but have been in exsistance since 1904.

They've been classified as dangerous, but competitive athletes have the lowest injury rate compared with other sports.

They've been classified as too expensive, yet they last longer than any of us or our children will ever live.

They've been called quite a few things too...

-a cannon ball with a handle
-a strange looking purse
-a cow bell
-a kettle

among other such crazy things.

So, what is it that makes them work, that makes them so beneficial in training environments, that makes people swear by them?

*they're portable
*they don't take up much space
*they are durable
*they are an excellent replacement for traditional cardio
*they are able to be used in hundreds of movements
*when used properly, you burn fat and build lean muscle

Thursday, August 14, 2008

A Week of Workouts in Review

Here are three workouts from this week. All very challenging in their own right.

Workout One

Seated Presses 5 x 5 L/R

Single Leg Deadlift 3 x 15 L/R

3 Rounds of...
Double Clean
Double Front Squat
Push Ups

30 sec on each movement, with 30 sec rest between rounds.

Workout Two

1a) Clean and Press L/R
1b) Pull Ups


2a) Snatch L/R
2b) Push Ups


Workout Three

With a running clock for 30 minutes, complete as many rounds as possible with good form.

You'll need 1 heavy kettlebell for swings, and 3 kettlebells for presses; heavy, moderate, and light.

10 Heavy Swings
1 Heavy Press L/R
3 Moderate Presses L/R
5 Light Presses L/R
Run 400m

Choose a KB for presses that is challenging but that can be used without failure.

Monday, July 28, 2008

More Training with the 115lb Kettlebell

Again we have Mike Davis DPT from Kettlebell Athletics Virgina performing a Pistol and a Pull-up with a 115lb kettlebell. Mike makes it look all to easy.

I'm proud to say that I was the first person to introduce Mike to kettlebell training. I believe that intproduction was made with a 16kg kettlebell.

Needless to say, Mike has made just a lil' bit of progress.

Click Here to Check Out Our Kettlebell Training Blueprint !

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Hard Chargers from Marine Corps Base Quantico

Some Hard Chargers from Marine Corps Base Quantico give our Kettlebell Swing/ Burpee Challenge a go.

I sincerely want to thank everyone that attended and made for a beautiful morning of kettlebell training. We know some of you traveled quite a distance and we truely appreciate it.

Also, thanks to Lisa for putting this together.

This was after 4 hours of swinging bells:

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

We have the Best Clients !

Not only are our clients in incredible shape with some sweet kettlebell skills. They're just as obsessed with kettlebell training as we are.

Where else can you find shrubs like these ?

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Kettlebell Motley Crew

Here's what we did:

24kg x 10
28kg x 8
32kg x 6
36kg x 4
40kg or higher x 2

10 elevated push-ups.

As many rounds as possible in 20 minutes.

We had some women use those weights the entire time. We also had some men go up to 44and 48kg swings.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Kettlebell Athletics - Swing / Burpee Challenge

Every month Kettlebell Athletics will have a new challenge workout. For the month of July the challenge is:

10 kettlebell swings + 1 Burpee
10 kettlebell swings + 2 Burpees
10 kettlebell swings + 3 Burpees
10 kettlebell swings + 4 Burpees
10 kettlebell swings + 5 Burpees
10 kettlebell swings + 6 Burpees
10 kettlebell swings + 7 Burpees
10 kettlebell swings + 8 Burpees
10 kettlebell swings + 9 Burpees
10 kettlebell swings + 10 Burpees

You must make it under 5 minutes to get your name on the board. So far, the closest we have is 5:15 for the women and 5:20 for the men.

Standard weight is 16kg for women, 24kg for men.

Here's a sweet video below of Litania's and Alex's efforts.

I have had the honor to learn from Jason at several different seminars and his instruction is elite. I have trained under several kettlebell tutors and Jason is second to none. His clear teaching methods and attention to detail make his class educational and enlightening. He is a master of technique and theory and is an open resource to all he teaches. Jason has always been willing to answer questions and give advice to me. His counsel has been invaluable to my development as a professional. I am proud to be his student and recommend him with the utmost confidence.

John Wild Buckley RKC - Oakland, CA USA

P.S. If you'd like to learn directly from Team Kettlebell Athletics please check our Seminar Schedule by Clicking Here.

P.S.S. This workout came courtesy of kettlebell instructor, Jason Marshall in Lubbock, TX.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

I Have Failed You All !!!!

This was our new challenge:

1 Swing
1 Burpee
2 Swings
2 Burpees

Ladder up to 10 Swings,10 burpees in under 5 Minutes.

I didn't make it: 5:41. I will redeem myself !

Some observations:

I never do anything well my first time. I will get 5:00 minutes, hopefully tomorrow.

Swings are easy, should have used the 32kg. Standard for men is 24kg, women is 16kg.

Too much Blue Monster.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Tabata Kettlebells

Tabata Swings (4 minutes)

Tabata Snatches Right, Snatches Left, Push Ups (12 minutes)

Push Press 30 seconds right
Racked Walking Lunges, 10 steps
Push Press 30 seconds left
Racked Walking Lunges, 10 steps
3 Times

It's humid in Philadelphia.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Pulling and Dragging

Today's Kettlebell Class did awesome!

Spent the first part of class touching up cleans, and working on anchored cleans.

The workout looked like this...

3 Rounds of

Hand over hand kettlebell pulling with rope
Double kettlebell swings
Anchored kettlebell cleans

1 minute of each, with 1 minute of rest between rounds


3 Rounds of

Forward dragging with rope
Hanging knees to elbows
Heavy push presses

1 minute of each, with 1 minute of rest between rounds

Monday, June 23, 2008

350 What?!

That's 350 reps, try for sub 25 minutes, with respectable weight.


Snatches Left
Snatches Right
Push Ups
Front Squats (racked)

The last three movements are performed for a total of 40-20-10 reps.


Wednesday, June 18, 2008

"Make It A Tough One"

We work with a wide variety of people in our facility. The other day, the younger college guys tell me they are coming to the kettlebell class and they'd like it to be a tough one. They always leave class saying, "That was a good one!" but today I made it extra special for them.

Turkish Get Ups 5L/5R

3 Rounds of...
Two Handed KB Swing
Push Ups
Two Handed KB High Pulls
Pledge Push Ups
H2H KB Swings
T Stabilization Push Ups
Goblet Squats

(30 seconds of each with 30 seconds of rest between rounds)

5 Presses Right
10 OH Walking Lunges Right
5 Presses Left
10 OH Walking Lunges Left
4 Presses Right
10 OH Walking Lunges Right
4 Presses Left
10 OH Walking Lunges Left

3, 2, 1

Once again, "That was a good one!"

Nice work!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Try This 32 Minute Wonder

Today's Kettlebell Class Workout

40 seconds on / 20 seconds off of...

Snatch Left
Snatch Right
Push Ups
Clean & Jerk Left
Clean & Jerk Right
Pull Ups
H2H Swings
Goblet Squats

4 Rounds

Perform each movement for 40 seconds, rest 20 seconds between movements. The clock is constantly running on this one.

Kettlebell Athletics & Strong Women

Our first video today is of La Saun Taylor of Kettlebell Athletics Alexandia, VA. La Saun was only able to snatch the 24kg kettlebell one time before this visit to Kettlebell Athletics Base Camp in Philadelphia.

She squeezed out 3 reps on her right and 5 on her left. In my opinion, she had more in her but we'll save that for next month.

Likewise, La Saun was never able to press the 24kb kettlebell. She pressed it easily for several singles. This was after 2 hours of training.

The video below is not her best form as she was getting tired... she rushes the press a bit but all other reps were nice and crisp.

Keep kickin' ass La Saun.

Men, let this be a lesson ! We're slowly building an army of women that use the 24kg kettlebell for their standard size kettlebell.

P.S. If you'd like to learn directly from Team Kettlebell Athletics please check our Seminar Schedule by Clicking Here.

Friday, June 13, 2008

More Kettlebell Training for Judo and BJJ

This is a great video from Hungary showing how kettlebells skills can carry-over into Judo, Sambo and BJJ.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Snatches In Under 15 Minutes

This is one dedicated group of individuals that we train outside of our facility. They're always interested in new movements, training inside or outdoors, and face the challenging workouts we give them each week.

This week everyone learned how to snatch a kettlebell in under 15 minutes, with respectable weight as well. All the guys started off with the 16kg, no questions asked, women with the 8kg and a quick jump to the 12kg by one. Nice work guys!!

Wednesday Kettlebell Workout


30sec Push Press Left/Right
30sec Front Squat Left/Right
60sec Hand to Hand Swings
60sec Two Hand High Pulls


Next Round add on 30sec Farmer's Walk Left/Right


Last Round add on 60sec Racked Walking Lunges Left/Right

Your first round is 4 minutes, your second is 5 minutes, your last is 7 minutes.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Kettlebell Partner Swings

Kettlebell Partner Swings are a great way to add variety to your kettlebell training program.

Make sure that you and your partner have standard Kettlebell Swings perfected before attempting the Kettlebell Partner Swing.

Also, make sure that you don't put a spin on the kettlebell handle, try to keep the kettlebell handle perpendicular to the ground so your training partner can grab it more easily.


Friday, May 16, 2008

Kettlebell Training for BJJ and Judo

My good friend, Jason Struck RKC from River City Physical Culture put together a great video on how and why kettlebell training can help enhance your performance in Brasilian Jiu-Jitsu and Judo.

Click Here: For more information regarding Kettlebell Training for Combat Athletes.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Kettlebell Training and Yoga- Program Design

Here's a short highlight of a new program that I've put together centered around kettlebell and Yoga. I've included some balance work as well just for good measure.

Let me know what you think:

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Pamela MacElree- 36kg Kettlebell Turkish Get-Up

So Pamela tries to play likes she's not competitive but she is for sure. All it took was for Dr. Mark Cheng to post a video of one of his female clients, Nikki Shlosser doing a Kettlebell Turkish Get-Up with a 32kg kettlebell to motivate Pam.

Here's Pamela's 36kg Kettlebell Turkish Get-Up:

P.S. In a few days I'll post the video of Pamela's 40kg Turkish Get-Up.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

More on Kettlebell Complexes

The first method of Complex Training we examined
deals with combining similar kettlebell drills
together to form one seamless action.

The second method also known as Complex Training
involves alternating exercises of heavy and light
loads or slow speed exercises with drills that
are performed explosively.

When discussing the other method of Complex Training
it’s important to understand that there are 2 variations
of this method, namely, Russian and Bulgarian.

Let’s examine Russian Complexes first.
Russian Complexes usually consist of 2 exercises
and involve a slow strength movement followed
by a fast strength movement.

This places the emphasis on the motor
quality known as strength- speed.

A common example would be:

A1) Back Squat for 3-5 repetitions
A2) Squat Jumps for 8-10 repetitions

This Complex would be repeated for 2- 5 sets
within one training session.

You could also place the emphasis on the
motor quality known as speed-strength by
placing the faster movement first within the complex, for example:

A1) Squat Jumps for 8-10 repetitions
A2) Back Squats for 3-5 repetitions

Below is an example of a complex with a speed-strength emphasis.

Bulgarian Complexes are simply a Complex that
contains more than two exercises and usually
moves from the slowest exercise to the quickest, for example:

A1) Back Squat for 3-5 repetitions
A2) Kettlebell Snatch for 3-5 repetitions
A3) Squats Jumps for 8-10 repetitions
A4) Box Jumps for 8-10 repetitions

Only 1-3 Bulgarian Complexes should be performed
during one training session.

Below is a good example of moving from a slower drill, a kettlebell snatch, into a faster drill:

What does all this have to do with kettlebell training?

Easy, due to the unique shape and design of the kettlebell,
as well as the short learning curve associated with
classic kettlebell quick lifts, kettlebells are the
ideal training tool for designing complexes.

Kettlebell quick lifts and ballistic exercises can
be combined with plyo-metric exercises such as box
jumps, broad jumps, very quickly and easily.

Likewise, there is no loading and unloading of a
barbell when using kettlebells in conjunction
with barbells during complex training.

To learn How to create killer kettlebell combos and complexes for endurance, strength and coordination that will be the envy of your teammates and competition I recommend you click here: Kettlebell Training for Combat Sports

Also, please check out "Theiry and Application of Modern Strength and Power Methods" by Christian Thibaudeau.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Gorilla Snatches and Today's Kettlebell Workout.

During our Level 2 Kettlebell Training Workshops
we cover Double Kettlebell exercises in
great detail.

When discussing double Kettlebell exercises many
variations of the basics present themselves.

For example, we teach the Anchored Snatch and
the Alternating Snatch.

Watch along below as Jorge demos yet another
Snatch variation, the Reciprocal
Snatch... or Gorilla Snatches.

You can view it here:

Today's Kettlebell WOD:

10 Rounds for time of:

1R 1L Overhead Press
10 Kettlebell Swings
3R 3L Kettlebell Push Presses
10 Kettlebell Swings
5R 5L Kettlebell Jerks
10 Kettlebell Swings



To discover 62 different kettlebell movements
GUARANTEED to sky rocket your performance and
eliminate boredom from your workouts!
Click Here !

P.P.S. Check out Jorge making the most out of his training environment.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Kettlebells and Skittles

Once you've mastered the basic kettlebell training
exercises it may be time to move onto more
complex skills.

Just handling two kettlebells is difficult enough,
then some maniac designs this movement.

Somehow this drill was re-named the Kettlebell Skittle.

Follow along as Antonia demos with perfect form.

P.S. If you're interested in Kettlebell Training for Combat Sports. This Kettlebell Training Round Table DVD has 4 of the top kettlebell coaches sharing their best tips for over an hour.

Watch along live as Jeff Martone, Steve Cotter, Steve Maxell and myself share some of our favorite kettlebell exercises for improving strength, power and speed... plus much more.

Click here to order now: Kettlebell Training Round-Table

P.P.S. I'm taking this bad boy off the shelves tomorrow so if you're interested get it fast.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Donkey Kong Loves Kettlebells

Some very interesting stuff happens at our
kettlebell training workshops.

Besides working deeply on traditional kettlebell
exercises such as Snatches, Cleans and Jerks and their
variations, trainers go a little crazy and develop some
very unique kettlebell drills.

Here's one that I would like to highlight, which
was developed by Jorge Unigarro from NYC.

We'll just call this one the Donkey Kong:

P.S. If you'd like to learn more about Kettlebell Exercises, we'll be covering basic, intermediate and advanced drills plus much much more at our Notre Dame Highschool Workshop on April 5th.

Click Here to Sign Up: Kettlebells, Bands and Bodyweight.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

10 Beast Snatches per Arm

I first met Matt Godina at a Kettlebell Athletics Level 1 Workshop in NYC. I was impressed immediately. So was the rest of the Kettlebell Athletics team.

Matt's desire to learn and put to practice everything he learns is matched by few people.

Matt Godina, kettlebell training fanatic and Kettlebell Athletics NYC representative shows off his work the beast.

10 Snatches per arm ?

Stay tuned for Part 2... Redemtion!

To Contact Matt Click Here: Kettlebell Athletics NYC

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Killer Kettlebell Complexes

There are two forms of training known as
complex training; we will cover only one method
within this article.

Kettlebell Complexes blend several distinct movements
together to form one seamless drill.

Kettlebell complexes are an outstanding
way to fire up your metabolic conditioning
and training intensity.

They’re also a great way to complete
incredible amounts of work in little time.

There are three different ways to arrange
your complex training:

• Succession
• Sequence
• Combination

Doing complexes in succession is the easiest
way to learn.

With the succession method you
complete all the desired reps of one drill
before moving onto the next.

In sequence you shift from one drill directly
into the other until you finish the entire complex.

In combinations you join several drills
together to form one smooth drill.

Combinations demand the highest level of
movement skill and co-ordination.

Ideally, introduce complexes into your
training by beginning with 2 movement
complexes using either the succession
or sequence method.

Using the Clean & Press as an example,
a complex designed in succession would look like this:

Complete 5 Cleans and then complete 5 Presses.

A complex designed in sequence would look like this:

Complete 1 Clean and then complete 1 Press
until 5 reps of both movements are completed.

In other words, re-clean the kettlebell on each rep.

High-Pulls and Thrusters are classic
examples of a 2 movement complexes
designed in combination.

In the video below, follow along as John, a great trainer and kettlebell athlete from Long Island demonstrates a sucession complex on his right arm, and a sequence complex on his left.

Both complexes consist of the same drills, which one looks more difficult ?

As you become more acquainted with complex training you can increase the number of movements within one complex. Your only limitations is your fitness level and kettlebell skill set.

Several traits should be considered when designing complexes:

• Your fitness level.

• Your ability to recall movements quickly.

• Your skill set.

• Your flexibility

• Your tolerance for pain.

Other things to think about when designing kettlebell complexes:

• How well does each movement flow into the latter drill?

• How well does each movement flow into the next drill?

• Where are the most complex drills? Are the drills that require the most co-ordination in the beginning of the complex while you client is fresh?

• Where are the most explosive drills? Are they in the beginning where full power and speed potential are recognized?

Taking all of these consideration into account, there are no limitations when designing kettlebell complexes.

The number of drills within one complex can reach upwards of 10-15 if you're able to tolerate and remember each drill, as well as having mastered each drill before their inclusion within the complex.

P.S. If you'd like to learn more about Kettlebell Complexes, we'll be covering their design and practice during our Notre Dame Workshop. Early bird registration ends on Friday.

Click Here to Sign Up: Kettlebell, Band and Bodyweight Workshop

Monday, March 3, 2008

Kettlebell Punch Cleans

During our Kettlebell Training Worskshops for Fitness & Sport we meet some incredible people with great ideas and diverse training backrounds. Our good friend Ray Simpson happens to be one of those incredible people.

Ray has been a combat athlete for many, many years now and is always looking for ways to make his training more effective.

From his training as a boxer and as a skilled kettlebell athlete, Ray created the the Kettlebell Punch Clean. Once Ray showed me this I had to try it myself.

If you like that tight, tense ending to your Kettlebell Cleans, then the Punch Clean will add even more zip to your technique.

Watch along as Ray demos the Kettlebell Punch Clean.

Click Here for more information on Kettlebell Training for Combat Sports.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Video Clip: Kettlebell Circular Cleans

Once you have the basic Kettlebell Exercises down, such as Swings, Cleans and Snatches, you may find yourself looking for more dynamic kettlebell drills.

The Circular Kettlebell Clean is an intermediate kettlebell exercise that adds another dimension to a Classic Kettlebell Exercise. This is a favorite among our wrestlers.

You can view it here:

Friday, February 1, 2008

Today's Kettlebell WOD

This is only for Internet tough guys and weak performers:

50/50 Snatches
50/50 Cleans
50/50 Front Squats
50/50 Swings
50/50 Push Presses
50/50 Jerks

For time:

Post time to comments.

Kettlebell Training & HUngarian Judo Part 2

This is the video with English subtitles:

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Kettlebell Training and Hungarian Judo

Kettlebell training has been a staple of combat sports physical preparation and athletic development for centuries in Eastern Europe. The video below shows how the Huhngarian Judo Team trains.

Click here for more info on Kettlebell Training for Combat Sports.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Kettlebell Power-Metrics

Kettlebell training purists (self included) like to point out the fact that many kettlebell exercises such as the Swing, Snatch and Clean extend the range of motion by allowing the kettlebell to float behind the hips during the lowering or eccentric portion of the drills.

Kettlebell purist are equally as fast to point out that the extended range of motion and the eccentric or yielding contraction simply doesn’t exist in barbell Olympic lifts, since the athlete usually drops the barbell under control once the lift has been performed successfully.

In fact, this one benefit of kettlebell training has been credited to improving deadlift numbers, increasing beneficial hormonal responses to exercise, and positive body composition changes.

Pavel Tsatouline, the man responsible for bringing the kettlebell back to life in America even has a program based around kettlebell quick-lifts such as the Snatch, Swing and Clean. Pavel calls his program “Fast Tens” and many athletes report dramatic changes in lean muscle mass and strength levels.

A similar phenomenon occurs with kipping pull-ups. Many athletes report that their strict pull-up numbers, weighted and nonweighted sky-rocket after a focusing on a program based around kipping pull-ups. What do kettlebell quick-lifts and kipping pull-ups have in common that illicit such positive training responses?

Before we get into details let’s cover some basics. There are 3 types of muscular action, concentric or overcoming, eccentric or yielding and isometric.

Concentric muscle actions are a shortening of the muscle to overcome an external resistance. Eccentric muscle action is a resisted lengthening of that muscle or simply a muscle exerting force while being lengthened. An isometric muscle action simply refers to a muscle exerting force without any actual movement or change in its length.

The focus of this article will be on the eccentric muscular action or to be precise a fast or over-speed eccentric action.

Below are several reasons why we’ll be focusing on fast eccentric contractions:

To increase Reactive Strength: Reactive Strength is a term used to describe how quickly you can shift from the eccentric portion of a lift to the concentric portion of the lift. Poor Reactive Strength will increase the amount of time it takes you to shift from eccentric to concentric actions. This all translates into less force production and less power output during the concentric contraction making you slower and less explosive.

To Alter Motor Unit Recruitment: Research shows that fast eccentric contractions recruit a greater amount of Type 2 (fast-twitch) motor units. The greater involvement of Type 2, higher threshold motor units translates into more explosive movement and greater power output.

To promote structural changes. Some researchers have also found a decrease in Type 1 (slow- twitch) muscle fibers after a period of training using fast eccentric contractions. Type 1 fibers are slow twitch, endurance fibers and the less you have of them the better if you’re interested in being a power/speed athlete.

The Drills

We’ll be using standard kettlebell exercises such as the Swing but we’ll be adding one simple twist, an environment of hyper-gravity. Instead of allowing gravity to bring the kettlebell back down on its own, we’ll be actively lowering it either by our own force or through the use of a trusted training partner.

The Active American Swing:  We use the term active to illustrate the fact that you are pulling the kettlebell back down and not gravity. You’ll be doing this through a powerful shoulder extension and hip flexion. As the kettlebell reaches its peak height above your head pull the kettlebell back down between your legs and hips using your upper back musculature and your hips flexors.

The Power-Bomb: For this variation you need a training partner that you trust 100%. Perform two standard kettlebell Swings to get set, on your 3rd repetition have your training partner throw the kettlebell down as fast as you’re able to handle. Change directions as fast as you can in the bottom position, touch and go!

The Power-Bomb Figure 8: Swing a kettlebell around your legs using a figure 8 pattern. Traditionally this is performed with a slight pause in the up position. For this variation however you’ll throw the kettlebell back down between your hips as fast as you can handle.


The Active American Swing can be used within any metabolic conditioning workout to improve your time and power output. Simply replace this variation with your standard Swing.

The Power-Bomb works best as a component of a power couplet. A power couplet is two explosive drills performed back-to-back for low repetitions. Power-Bombs work well with Clapping Push-ups and Clapping Pull-ups.

Power-Bombs also work well within a complex using a plyo-metric drill or box jumps, again for low repetitions.

The Power-Bomb Figure 8 is simply thrown in as an active recovery drill or alternated with other less intense activities such as agility ladders or rings.

If you’re not used to fast eccentrics break into them slowly as they cause more muscle damage, particularly to fast twitch fibers. You’ll be happy with the results regardless. Enjoy.


Sunday, January 6, 2008

The # 1 Rated Russian Kettlebell Challenge Instructor !

I just wanted to take a moment and say "Thank You !" to everyone that I've worked with and to everyone that has helped me along the way. I truely appreciate the testimonials that were sent in helping to make me the # 1 Ranked Kettlebell Instructor.

Stay tuned for some incredible content and information. 2008 will be our year !

The above photo is taken for HardStlye Magazine.

To download your own copy of HARDSTYLE MAGAZINE Please Click Here: