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Metabolic Workout: Kettlebell Complex

Before I get into what kettlebell complexes are and what purpose they serve I will quickly give some background info on metabolic conditioning for those that are new to the game. Metabolic conditioning workouts are structured patterns of work vs rest periods designed to elicit a specific response from the body. This response is usually maximizing the efficiency of a particular energy system. The body has several different ways in which it gets its energy. Different ratios of work to rest periods will utilize different energy systems and as a result cause specific adaptations in the body.These adaptations should be specific to the trainees desired outcomes and fitness level. For example, a sprinter would have a different work:rest ratio compared to someone who wants to get lean or put on muscle. Simply pairing difficult exercises together and going through a circuit without taking into account timing will not reap the same results.

 

What Are Kettlebell Complexes?

Kettlebell complexes are compound exercises performed successively and with no rest in between. (If you are unfamiliar with what compound exercises are: compound exercises require coordinated movements that recruit multiple muscle groups to move multiple joints through a range of motion simultaneously.)

Complexes can be performed with dumbbells, barbells or kettlebells. All are efficient training tools, however the kettlebell, because of its compact nature and offset center of gravity adds a unique twist complex training.

 

What You’ll Need: a kettlebell, skipping rope, timer, and willpower!

My Workout:

Warm-up: 5min

  • Kettlebell Complex 1min:
    •   5x kettlebell swing
    • 5x goblet squat
    • 2x single arm swing (R)
    • 1x clean & press (R)
    • 2x single arm swing (R)
    • 1x kettlebell snatch (R)
    • 2x single arm swing (L)
    • 1x clean & press (L)
    • 2x single arm swing (L)
    • 1x kettlebell snatch (L)
    • 3x kettlebell swing
    • 3x goblet squat
  • Skipping 30sec

Rest: 30sec

Repeat: for 8 rounds

Cooldown: 5-7min stretching

Total time: Under 40min

Here’s what it looked like

 

Happy Training 🙂

Monday Motivation

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There’s something about holding a kettlebell that makes me oh-so-happy :).. so with the weather not being nice today I decided to do my workout at home. It was just me and my kettlebell (60pds) and good ol’ rope.

So today’s workout was a circuit:

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☆Sumo deadlift 15×8
☆2-hand press 6×8
☆Kettlebell swings 25×8
☆Jump rope drills 90sec x8 (not pictured)

Total time: 48min 52sec 😥

Benefits of Kettlebell Training

▪ Most people are unaware of over  training the front side of their body (ex: chest, abs &quads, aka: the mirror muslces). However, the back side of the body (posterior chain) is equally important for functional and esthetic reasons. Kettlebells promote coordination among all the muscles of the posterior chain. Training these muscles corrects posture, imbalances and reduces lower back pain among others.

Quick Fact: Your posterior chain is a group of muscles, tendons, & ligaments on the back side of your body. These are the lower back, glutes, hamstrings and calves.

▪ They promote hip flexor flexibility & strengthen the abdominal muscles. This reduces pelvic tilt & decreases lower back pain.

▪ Trains your body to work as a unit. No kettlebell exercise is ever a single joint movement. Every swing, lift, or press engages many joints & muscle groups forcing the body to always work as a unified whole.

▪ Teaches proper bracing of the abdominal cavity. People tend to suck in their stomach when told to ‘engage the core’. Kettlebells teach ‘bracing’ the mid-section (as if someone was about to punch you in the stomach). This internal pressure created by your breath and abdominal wall supports your back, making you stronger.

▪ The acceleration/deceleration of moving a kettlebell strengthens connective tissues (tendons, ligaments, cartilage). This increases mobility, strength & flexibility reducing the possibility of injury.

So there you have it.. just some of the benefits these awesome chunks of iron can have on the body when incorporated into your workout.

Happy training 🙂

Tick-Tock….6 Weeks To Go

Ok so there are SIX weeks till showtime. I must admit I haven’t been 100% on top of my game. This week has proven to be the most difficult yet. Due to unexpected occurences I am home all week. My workouts have been totally modified. I have had to make due with the little equipment I have in the basement.

My arsenal includes:

  • a TRX
  • 40 pd kettlebell
  • 15pd dumbbells
  • old school bench and weights ( by old school..I literally mean it; cement weights, that bench with the attached leg curl/extension)
  • a punching bag
  • skipping rope
  • yoga mat

I did legs on Tuesday. Was able to get in sumo deadlifts. Instead of leg curls for the hamstrings I did single leg RDL with the kettlebell. Then I did bulgarian split squat with 30pds superset with trx piston squats. I threw in a mini circuit of rear delt flies, pike pushups, 40pd weighted crunches & leg raises..(since I missed shoulders on monday). I am feeling the results of that workout today..good old DOMS!

I sent my biweekly report a day late (monday) which I hadn’t ever done. I was expecting to get a lecture from coach..but to my surprise she responded very positively to my picture update. She said I have noticeably tightened up & leaned out. This brought a huge smile to my face. It just goes to show how your perception of things changes when you’re feeling down in the dumps. Mind you, I had been getting lots of comments from my clients on how my arms are looking so much more defined or how much smaller my waist looks. But one bad week totally threw me off.

Then last night I got a new workout plan from coach. Nutrition will be the same (yay :s) and every 6th day I am going to be doing a heavy carb day. By heavy I mean HEAVY.

Workouts are including a lot more cardio…15min of skipping as soon as I wake up on some days. I do lower body twice with one of those days finishing off with a killer lower body circuit.

I will start this new workout schedule on sunday. Will see how it goes.

Today I will manage to do back & biceps. I will also throw in some bag work along with my skipping intervals.

Here I go… 002

Turkish GetUp

The Turkish Get-up

This has to be one of my favorite exercises right now. I had done it only a few times before.. But I can say I mastered it this past July when I took a kettlebell training course.
Apart from being one of the most functional exercises ( I would categorize it right along with dead lifts), it totally builds your confidence when you can handle a chunk of iron with grace.

I started off with 35pds, then one afternoon I decided to challenge myself & was able to handle a 50pd kettlebell with ease. (Mind you, I was only able to get in a couple reps on each side).

The awesome benefits of this exercise?

• Strengthens your shoulder girdle. In order to keep that kettlebell from falling into your face the scapula must keep retracted & as stable as possible. The continual motion of the exercise challenges the entire shoulder girdle in multiple planes to work constantly to stabilize the weight.

• Core. Trust me you will feel your core after doing a few of these. Your core works overtime to stabilize you as you go from the floor to standing. Try it & you will experience first hand.

• Strenth. The TGU is really like 5 exercises in one (in progression): Floor Press, Weighted Situp, Weighted Plank, Weighted Lunge/Split Squat/Squat, and overall isometric hold. The more weight you do with each, obviously you will get stronger.

• Proprioception. When you have a big chunk of iron directly above you, you become super aware of each part of your body and where it’s at and where it needs to go. You will notice how the slightest adjustment affects what you’re doing and becomes immediately clear.

• Balance. I think this speaks for itself. Any deviation from proper form will send that kettlebell (or you) right down.

• Focus. You have to constantly focus and be aware of every movement throughout this exercise. After getting in more then 3 reps will power is what will help fight off fatigue & let you get in that last rep (or two).

• Grip. A big one for me. If you have weak grip, this will help strengthen those forearm & wrist muscles. Your wrist an forearm work to keep any lateral movement of that kettlebell from occurring. You will feel it the next day.

These are just some of the benefits of this exercise. Kettlebells overall are great to use in your routine.

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