Breaking Into A Kettlebell Size and Strength Program

Before I wrote several articles and came out with a comprehensive DVD on using kettlebells for size and strength, many trainees confined the benefits of kettlebell training to muscular endurance and fat loss. No doubt kettlebell training is a very effective component of an effective fat loss program (the other component being pushing yourself away from the kitchen table more often). In addition to fat loss and muscular endurance training, kettlebells can be used effectively for adding size and strength. However, many trainees are confused with how to transition into a kettlebell focused size and strength program. If you have been using kettlebells for endurance and fat loss, you have to gradually transition into high volume strength training for muscular development. Many trainees make the mistake of jumping into a 5×5 (five sets of five with heavy weights) paradigm or worse a 10×5 paradigm and go into an over trained state rapidly. A much better plan is to get used to the most effective kettlebell exercises for size and strength with a few sets and a few workouts per week. Once you get the hang of these size and strength exercises you can start adding some volume and intensity.

Lets start off with the exercises:

Primary Exercises

Double Kettlebell Clean and Press: In addition to being a full body exercise that will stimulate overall growth, the Double Kettlebell Clean and Press is an incredible upper body developer with particular emphasis on the shoulders and triceps.

Alternating Kettlebell Renegade Row: In addition to working the lats, mid back, and biceps, the Renegade Row works the core and oddly enough the pecs as well. The pecs have to work over time to keep your stable and do not be surprised if you wake up with sore pecs the next day. Thus, men with “breat envy” will love this exercise.

Double Kettlebell Swing: Great hamstring blaster that focuses on fast twitch muscle fibers which are by far the most important for developing size and strength. Great transfer to the “midnight move” as well. Hopefully, you do not need me to elaborate on this further.

Double Kettlebell Front Squat: It all start with a strong foundation and the Front squat will develop strong quads. Just make sure you hold the bells higher up like I do on my Size and Strength DVD to take the emphasis off of the shoulders.

Optional

Double Windmill or Turkish Get-up: Two great exercises for the core and shoulder stability and flexibility. Core work is no doubt important. However, you get a lot of it indirectly with the primary exercises so do not obsess about doing a ton of abdominal work. If you want a six pack, you need to have low bodyfat.

What about variety? I get bored with doing the same exercises over and over again? That is why you have a forgettable physique and strength levels that are far from impressive. Get exceptional at a few basic moves first and then add some variety down the road. Forget about variety for at least one month. Get good at the primary exercises and it will be much easier to transition into other exercises such as the Alternating Military Press, Sots Press, Double Bent-over Row, and Double Snatch. Yes this will require an attention span that most TV addicts will find painful. Too bad, life is about making sacrifices to win the prize.

Now lets go over a sample “break in” program.

Month One

Monday-Wednesday-Friday

  • A-1: Double Clean and Military Press 2×5
  • A-2: Alternating Renegade Row 2×5

Do A-1 and A-2 in alternating fashion and take ninety second breaks in between each set of A-1 and A-2.

  • B-1: Double Front Squat 2×5
  • B-2: Double Swing 2×5

Do B-1 and B-2 in alternating fashion and take ninety second breaks in between each set of B-1 and B-2.

  • Double Windmill 1×5 l,r (left and right)

Month Two

In month two go to three sets per exercise. Keep the core work (TGU and Windmill at one set). In month three, go to four sets per exercise and split up the exercises as follows:

Month Three

Monday-Thursday

  • A-1: Double Clean and Military Press 4×5
  • A-2: Alternating Renegade Row 4×5

Do A-1 and A-2 in alternating fashion and take ninety second breaks in between each set of A-1 and A-2.

  • TGU 1×5

Tuesday-Friday

  • B-1: Double Front Squat 4×5
  • B-2: Double Swing 4×5

Do B-1 and B-2 in alternating fashion and take ninety second breaks in between each set of B-1 and B-2.

  • Double Windmill 1×5 l,r (left and right)
  • Month Four: 5×5 Program

Month Four

In month four you are ready to start the 5×5 program and can start adding some variety to the program. For example:

Monday

  • A-1: Double Clean and Military Press 5×5
  • A-2: Alternating Renegade Row 5×5

Do A-1 and A-2 in alternating fashion and take ninety second breaks in between each set of A-1 and A-2.

  • Turkish Get-up 1×5 l,r

Tuesday

  • B-1: Double Front Squat 5×5
  • B-2: Double Swing 5×5

Do B-1 and B-2 in alternating fashion and take ninety second breaks in between each set of B-1 and B-2.

  • Double Windmill 1×5 l,r (left and right)

Thursday

  • A-1: Alternating Military Press 5×5
  • A-2: Double Bent-over Row 5×5

Do A-1 and A-2 in alternating fashion and take ninety second breaks in between each set of A-1 and A-2.

  • Turkish Get-up 1×5 l,r

Friday

  • B-1: Double Clean and Front Squat 5×5
  • B-2: Double Snatch 5×5

Do B-1 and B-2 in alternating fashion and take ninety second breaks in between each set of B-1 and B-2.

  • Double Windmill 1×5 l,r (left and right)

Next, you can pick any of the other programs in my Kettlebell DVD E-book which comes with my Size and Strength DVD. Do not have it yet? Pick it up today at The Aggressive Strength Online Store and start making some real progress.

Also remember that without optimal levels of Testosterone and Growth Hormone you can forget about developing a strong and muscular body that commands respect. Have your Doctor test your T and GH so you know where you are at. Ideally, everyone at age 25 should have these levels checked but it is never too late to ascertain where you are at. For more info on the importance of optimizing hormones, read this article.

If you need some more help with program design, make sure you sign up for my program design services.

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