I’ve mentioned before how Long Cycle (kettlebell clean & jerk) is my absolute favorite bang for your buck conditioning exercise. There is no other movement that tests your fitness quite like Long Cycle does! Today’s workout is my favorite type of Kettlebell Sport training: short interval sets.
Here are the workout guidelines: – Complete the following intervals: 30s, 1m, 1.5m, 2m, 1.5m, 1m, 30s.
– Work = rest, so each rest periods will be as long as the time you spent lifting in the previous interval.
– Choose a pair of kettlebells with which you can complete a pace of at least 8-10 repetitions per minute.
Want more Kettlebell Sport workouts? Check out my 4-week training programs here.
I’m a firm believer that just like running a half marathon, completing a half marathon with a kettlebell is something everyone should do AT LEAST once in their life (coincidentally, I’ve completed both of them exactly once). While most of us probably won’t do anything as crazy as setting a Guinness record for the kettlebell marathon, we can still have fun, challenge ourselves, and reap the cardio benefits from doing a long, steady state kettlebell set.
As you may have guessed, today’s workout is to complete a kettlebell half marathon (30 minutes)!
Here are a few guidelines for the workout…
Choose from 1 of 3 lifts: swing, clean & jerk, or snatch (clean & jerk is the easiest as you can rest in rack; swing and snatch will fatigue your grip much more).
Complete 30 minutes of nonstop lifting (meaning you cannot set the kettlebell down until the end of the time).
Switch hands as many times as you like.
Pace yourself! It’s a (half) marathon, not a sprint.
While kettlebells are most commonly known for building explosive hip power with a ballistic swing, in my opinion the type of training kettlebells are most optimal for is strength-endurance. That is, lifting kettlebells for minutes at a time, without setting them down (aka Kettlebell Sport training). Kettlebells have been used for this type of training throughout history, and for good reason! This type of training builds incredible conditioning, endurance, and mental tenacity. While Kettlebell Sport competitions are incredibly tough and not for everyone, I believe the training can be used effectively for anyone who enjoys lifting kettlebells.
Whenever I give one of my athletes a tip or technique tweak to work on, they almost always lament that their lifting feels harder or more awkward. Most of us have this idea in our head that the “right thing” should immediately feel easy, but this is usually not the case.
One of my favorite quotes applies well to this situation: “Easy choices, hard life. Hard choices, easy life.” This can easily be adapted to apply to Kettlebell Sport: “Easy practice, hard competition. Hard practice, easy competition.”
The hardest part of Kettlebell Sport is doing focused technique work. What exactly do I mean by this? Continue reading →
If you’re not familiar with the Pentathlon, it was created back in the day by Kettlebell Sport OG Valery Federenko.
The Pentathlon is made up of 5 single-arm exercises: Clean, Clean & Press, Jerk, Half Snatch, and Push Press. Your goal is to find your maximum number of repetitions in a 6 minute set of each exercise, with a 5 minute recovery period between each set. However, there is a repetition maximum (which is different for each lift). You can choose any weight you like for the lifts, and the weight can vary between lifts. You can switch hands as many times as you like, but you cannot set the kettlebell down.
I competed in my first and only Pentathlon event in Aberdeen, Scotland in 2015 with my friend Abigail Johnston. It was a lot of fun, and a nice variation from the typical kettlebell competition. Every once in a while I like to throw it at my students and see how they do. Since the Pentathlon can be quite a long workout, I created an abbreviated version for you in today’s training!
Give it a try and comment on the video with your score.
This has been a long time coming: I’ve created a series of 4-week Kettlebell Sport training programs! So many of you have asked me for programming but can’t afford to do my online coaching, which I totally understand (it’s a big commitment).
The programs do not include technique instruction (stay tuned for a more in-depth program coming later this year), but are perfect if you already know the technique and just want a specific program geared toward a particular Kettlebell Sport lift.
One of the things that made me fall in love with Kettlebell Sport training was the fact that it was the most difficult type of workout I had ever done. If you know me, you know I like a challenge, and this challenged me like nothing else. Not just technically, but physically and mentally as well.
As a runner who thought she had pretty good cardio to begin with, I was shocked by how much training to last 10 minutes under a kettlebell improved my cardiovascular fitness. As someone who already trained with weights, I was pleasantly surprised to find how much my strength increased from lifting kettlebells for endurance. Continue reading →
This is the most frequently asked question when it comes to Kettlebell Sport lifting, which requires the athlete to complete as many repetitions as possible in a 10 minute set.
The technique used in Kettlebell Sport is different from the technique most people learn through a hardstyle kettlebell certification (StrongFirst, RKC, etc). However, that doesn’t mean it’s wrong.Continue reading →
My absolute favorite conditioning exercise with kettlebells is the Clean & Jerk (also known as Long Cycle). If I had to choose just ONE kettlebell movement to do to get in shape, this would be it. There’s something about the combination of a hinge movement plus bringing the bells overhead that just gets your heart rate going like crazy!
Don’t believe me? Try the workout below and let me know how you feel afterwards.
(And if you don’t know how to do a kettlebell Jerk – no problem. Just do a push press and you will get the same result.)
The assignment is to complete 8 sets of 15 repetitions. Start at your competition weight and decrease weight by 1-2kg each set. Your goal is to complete this workout as quickly as possible. As always, safety is my priority, so please be sure that you are maintaining your form and using kettlebell weights appropriate to your level of experience.
An alternate workout that Kim mentions in the video is for those who don’t have enough kettlebells (consider purchasing True Grit kettleweights or PlateMate weights). Instead of decreasing in weight, you will decrease in repetitions each round with 20 seconds of rest in between (i.e. 15 reps, 14 reps, 13 reps… down to 1).
For those of you who don’t know who Kim is, she is a pioneer in the world of women’s double kettlebell lifts, and the first woman to ever officially compete in 2x24kg Long Cycle (and smash most of the men’s numbers too!). She is the owner of Fox Fitness in Wichita, Kansas, and coaches her own Kettlebell Sport team. You can check out more videos from Kim on her YouTube channel.