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Editor: Mark de Grasse Cover Photo: Joe Daniels Contributors: Hunter Cook Dimitri Mathews Tyler Perez Rik Brown Jonathan Celis Michael Petruso James Wilson

Chris Downie Keith Jennings Benjamin Green Greg Mihovich Joe Daniels Travis Stoetzel

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editor mark de grasse


ettlebells have been my primary workout tool since I started training with them over a decade ago. Believe it or not, back then they were still pretty unusual, and I got plenty of strange looks when I brought them to my local gym (although my long hair, beannie, goatee, and Vibrams may have added to that). Since then things have changed quite a bit. Even your most “conventional” trainer TRIES to use kettlebells, although it takes more than a couple Youtube videos to become proficient. People doubted the validity of kettlebell training as recently as a few years ago; some still wondered whether kettlebells were just another “fitness fad” to be left in the dust in the near future. Anyone who uses them seriously can tell you that they’re here to stay. In this issue you’ll find out why.

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jan/feb 2017 7 / art Hunter’s Partner Pose 8 / Getting started Magnificent Seven Kettlebell Workout 9 / GETTING STARTED How to Choose the Right Kettlebell Certification 10 / workout How to Rock the VO2 Max Kettlebell Workout 12 / exercise The Power of the Kettlebell Complex 14 / application Kettlebells for Runners 16 / application Using Kettebells to Improve Your BJJ Game

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20 / application Kettlebells for Obstacle Course Racing 25 / application Power Development Through Kettlebells for Combat Athletes 30 / exercise A Deep Dive into the Hardstyle Swing


34 / methodology Kettlebells for Mobility 40 / workout plan From Bodybuilder to Kettlebell Lifter 46 / workout plan The 7-Day Daily Dose of Iron



Partner Pose by Hunter Cook and Diana Sullivan Pham

ngetting started


Seven Kettlebell Workout


by dimitri mathews

t goes without saying that Strength & Conditioning (S&C) is one of the primary focuses for any athlete (next to mindset and technique). For combat athletes, S&C breaks down into many different attributes including general movement speed, endurance, grip strength, explosiveness, mobility, flexibility and so much more. It goes without saying that Strength & Conditioning (S&C) is one of the primary focuses for any athlete (next to mindset and technique). For combat athletes, S&C breaks down into many different attributes including general movement speed, endurance, grip strength, explosiveness, mobility, flexibility and so much more. While there are many varied training tools and programs that help to address these attributes and any associated weaknesses, programming a routine that covers multiple areas can be challenging. In the case of combat athletes, a good training program will improve one or more of the attributes listed above without sacrificing another (for example, improved speed and flexibility at the expense of strength

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or vice versa). Enter the Magnificent Seven Kettlebell Workout. No, not the cowboys and outlaws (although that would be AWESOME). This simple workout calls for four kettlebells of increasing weight (e.g. 20kg, 24kg, 28kg, 32kg) and a timer. Simple enough, right? This is where the fun part starts. As you’ve guessed, the Magnificent Seven calls for 7 drills. These are:

THE SEVEN #1 | Deadlift #2 | Goblet Squat #3 | 2-Hand Swing #4 | Single Arm Row (Left Arm) #5 | Single Arm Row (Right Arm) #6 | Clean (Left Arm) #7 | Clean (Right Arm) Before starting, a timer should be set to 49 (yes, forty-nine!) rounds, with 30-second intervals of both activity and rest. Starting with the first drill, the Deadlift, you will perform each exercise for 30 seconds, moving up in weight with each set after 30- second rest intervals. When the set is completed at the heaviest weight, continue by moving back down in weight, completing the pyramid set. Seven sets of each drill will be performed before moving to the next exercise immediately after the following rest interval. 7 exercise, 7 sets, 49 total rounds with 30 seconds of activity and 30 seconds rest. Besides the obvious benefits to

aut h o r |

strength, mobility, explosiveness, and range of motion, these exercises provide a major boost in grip strength. Of course, you do not need to be a fighter or BJJ practitioner to reap the benefits. This pyramid interval can be modified for any fitness level. Are you an experienced endurance athlete? Adjust your intervals to 45 seconds of activity with 15-seconds rest.

Dimitri Mathews

Dimitri has 16+ years of martial arts experience with formal training in BJJ, TKD, Kyokushin-Kai, Boxing, Judo and Freestyle/Greco-Roman Wrestling & Pro Wrestling. 3 years ago, along with his brother and sister, he started Tri Delta Performance Concepts (TDPC, a proud Brood 9 Martial Arts affiliate).

ngetting started


ettlebells… what do we know about them? They’re portable, universal in hitting every muscle in the body, technical, bad ass looking, and they get you strong as an ox. Now as time has gone on, kettlebells have been a huge hit in the fitness industry making them very mainstream. The downside of its popularity is that we cringe when watching a trainer/client trying to use them. How did these bad techniques begin in the first place? To put it simply, there are two common ways this has happened. First, seeing a person who specializes in using this awesome tool will come into the gym, grab the bell, and perform their exercises. As this person is executing their training with precision, the local gym users will watch from afar and say to themselves, “I can do that.” These gym users then approach the bells, try to execute these movements by muscling them up, and then injuries occur because they don’t know how to use them.

How to Choose the


Second, we should all thank YouTube on sending this evolving trend of kettlebell use for today’s generation. YouTube is a great video source for learning such precise exercises, but the downfall is that the person on the video either knows what they’re doing, or they’re performing

Kettlebell Certification For those of you in pursuit of your very first kettlebell certification and are having a hard time in choosing the right one that fits your interest, look no further. I have the answers you seek to make that decision a by Tyler Perez lot easier.

exercises terribly wrong. Being visual learners we mimic what we see as oppose to what we should feel when using the kettlebell. Having said all this, I’m going to give you some insight into the certifications you should think about pursing.

RKC/SFG Russian Kettlebell Certification (RKC) and Strong First Girya (SFG). These are the key foundations to kettlebell training. They’ve been around the longest, and they were started by the kettlebell king himself, Pavel. RKC started the kettlebell craze back in the early 2000’s, and since then, they’ve created many expert level practitioners who live and breathe this beautiful piece of equipment. The upside to this certification for both is that they cover three days of intensive training going over the foundational lifts (squat, deadlift, clean, press, snatch, and Turkish getup). The downside to this course is that there is a final based on a 100 rep snatch test which must be completed within five minutes. If you don’t hit the reps and execute them cleanly within the given time frame, you fail. Pretty difficult when your body is fatigued from gripping and keeping tension with every lift performed over those few days of training.

IKFF International Kettlebell and Fitness Federation (IKFF) are mainly for kettlebell sport. During the course you’ll learn the main components of kettlebell lifting but also understand the technical way of executing long cycle lifting. Long cycles are great for when you’re competing because you’re learning how to posture yourself when holding two bells and how to prevent fatigue of grip strength.

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The downside is that not everyone wants to be a kettlebell sport athlete, and sometimes what you learn doesn’t always transition well into your client’s needs.

ONNIT ACADEMY Onnit Academy Kettlebell Specialist is a certification I recommend after training with bells for more than a year. The certification is meant to open your mind and give you a different sense of executing new movement patterns. The message is clear not to be so dogmatic when training with this tool. They want to show you that it’s absolutely possible to breakout of the six main lifts and to start creating your flow that will still deliver results to your clients. The upside is that all the material is covered in the span of two days, but the downside is that it hasn’t reached the credible stage of getting the recognition it deserves for being one of the elite certifications here in the US. If you have SFG, RKC, or IKFF added to your resume, then you’re in to teach classes at a facility. However, if you have Onnit, then they’ll ask you “what is this certification?” There are many certifications for the kettlebell, but in all honesty I recommend you choose the one that resonates with you the most. It’s all about the message each certification delivers and how it resonates with your personal fitness philosophies.

a u thor |

Tyler Perez Tyler holds fitness certifications through the Onnit Academy, NASM as a MMA Conditioning specialist, and NESTA as Muay Thai Fitness Instructor. Tyler’s Primary Training focus is to help coach trainers improve their skills, changing the world one client at a time.

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How To Rock the

VO2 MAX Kettlebell Workout

The VO2 MAX workout is a killer, but if you are willing to do it regularly, your endurance will improve like nothing else. Body fat will drop off at accelerated rate, and even though this workout is only 40 minutes, it is possible to do it too often (it’s tough). by rik Brown


learned this protocol from Kenneth Jay, the author of the book “Viking Warrior Conditioning,” and I have done it regularly ever since. I have learned a few tips and tricks that will help you to make this protocol survivable, and something that you can add to your arsenal of challenging workouts. The beauty of this workout is that you already know how to do ALL the exercises---there’s only ONE!

THE EXERCISE The Snatch—that’s it! But wait! You most likely have never ever snatched like this before. You will learn that the beauty (and the burden) of it is not the movement or even the weight, it’s the TIMING that will make all the difference. Less than one percent of all kettlebell trainers have even attempted this level of heart and lung hammering that only the truly brave who are willing to leave their ego at the door can master.

WHAT YOU’LL NEED This is what you will need to make this brief, brutal workout work for you. Light Kettlebell | Men-16kg, dies-8-10kg.


Timer | Gymboss or a phone app, as long as it enables you to time BOTH work and rest periods. The timer is CRUCIAL, you simply cannot do it without one. Gloves | I detest wearing gloves to train with, but torn palms are possible without gloves. Fingerless gloves are preferable. I only use gloves for the VO2Max. Portable Fan | Unless you live in Siberia, you’re going to want a fan handy. Towel & Water | You’re going to be sweating quite a bit; stay hydrated and

TIPS Use W.A.R. | W.A.R. means “within arm’s reach.” The fan should be in front of you within arm’s reach. The towel and the water MUST be very close to you—not even a single step to reach them, you won’t have time for that. Really, for the duration of this workout there is no need to even move your feet from your snatch position. Clothing | Wear as little clothing as you are comfortable with because whatever you are wearing will be totally drenched with sweat at the end of the training session. You

THE VO2 MAX KETTLEBELL WORKOUT o set up | set your timer/interval app to beep every 15 seconds. o how it works | With the kettlebell in front of you, at the first beep, start snatching with your left hand for 15 seconds. If you are like 99% of the planet, you will get 7 or 8 reps. Some will get 9 reps, but that isn’t important. What is important is that you get the same number of reps for both hands on EVERY set. Your set lasts 15 seconds, then 15 seconds of rest. Now, the right hand for 7 or 8 reps and then rest 15 seconds. Switch back to the left hand. You keep this up for the pre-selected workout length. o Getting started | I promise you that if you can get these numbers on your first try then you are a phenomenon. Start with the goal of 40 total sets, 20 on the left and 20 on the right. Slowly add sets as your wind and mental toughness improve. o TOTAL TIME | Originally, this protocol was designed to go for 40 minutes: a total of 80 sets (40 left/40 right). o Frequency | I went for a year doing it 3 times a week and at least for me, it was a bit too much. Twice a week works very well with my other training and teaching scheduled commitments.

may choose to stand on a towel as the ground will also be drenched. You might think that I am joking, but I can assure you, you are stepping into deep water filled with sharks with this workout.

CONCLUSION I can assure you that even if this is done only ONCE a week, you will soon notice great changes in your stamina, and your body fat levels will drop rapidly. If you choose to try this in a commercial gym, let the owner know in advance that you will clean up the sweat. Make sure to find an area where you won’t be disturbed or questioned as to why your bell goes off every 15 seconds. You will soon see that nobody else trains this way and it may be puzzling to them, but ignore them--you are teaching your system to recuperate in only 15 seconds, and you are on

the fast track to great results. I am Mr. Maceman and most of my training is with a Mace, but I still do the VO2MAX every Monday. If you live in Southern California, I would be happy to put you through it with me. Don’t expect me to talk much, I’ll only have 15 seconds to wipe sweat with a towel, and sip some water and then pick up that bell as I hear that beep!

a u tho r |

Rik Brown Rik Brown (Mr. Maceman) is an internationally known unconventional trainer specializing in Mace Training. He has held Mace Training workshops and certifications in countries all over the world, emphasizing life-long functional training at each one.

JAN/FEB 2017 | MAD FIT MAG | 11

The Power of the



by Jon Celis Kettlebell Complexes are hands down one of the best training methods in fitness. They are simply perfect; they’re efficient, challenging, and can be adjusted to fit into any training program, from building strength to muscular endurance (metabolic) to explosive power, complexes deliver it all.

WHAT ARE COMPLEXES? Kettlebell Complexes combine two or more exercises into one full, unbroken set. In other words, if you select three exercises in a complex, you will complete them all in sequential order without rest.

The ManMaker A1: KB Row | 1 REP per arm A2: KB Push Up | 1 REP A3: KB Burpee | 1 REP A4: (2) KB Clean | 1 REP A5: (2) KB Front Squat | 1 REP 7 minute AMRAP. Each sequence counts as 1 rep. Completing as-many-reps-as-possible in 7 minutes.

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There are literally endless amounts of movement patterns that can be combined in a complex, including any push, pull, squat, hinge, or carry. Because of this, a complex can be molded to fit into any training program or simply be utilized for standalone workouts. My advice is that you make sure your complex aligns with your performance needs.

WHEN TO USE THEM There are many ways to use Kettlebell Complexes; at the start of your workout, the middle or at the end as a finisher. Design yours to be versatile; I suggest trying different variations yourself and seeing how each one will fit into your training program. I’ve found that Kettlebell Complexes compliment both my personal and client’s results when used correctly.

workouts PUTTING COMPLEXES TO WORK Time for you to break a sweat! Below are few complexes that target strength and endurance. Feel free to add or adjust the volume as it relates to your personal fitness needs! *Quick note! Efficiency is key during training. Don’t waste any time! I prefer combining kettlebell training with bodyweight exercises. I’ve found that this combination further improves training performance by increasing functionality and exercise selection.

Reset Your Factory Default Setting

STRENGTH A1: (2) KB Strict Press | 5 REPS A2: (2) KB Deadlift | 10 REPS A3: (2) KB High Plank | 90 SEC 3-5 Sets

Endurance A1: 1-Hand KB Swing | 7 REPS per arm A2: Shuttle Run | 40 yard 5-7 SEts

Strength/Endurance A1: Renegade Rows | 14 Reps A2: (2) KB Swings | 10 reps A3: run | 1/4 mile 3-5 SEts a u thor |

Jonathan Celis Jonathan Celis is an Integrative Health Coach specializing in exercise, fat loss and nutrition for performance. Jonathan’s love for health and exercise has led him to provide solutions of health, fitness and fat loss struggles. “Results are by designs AND not by chance.”

ReHumaning takes the most up to date knowledge the modern technological world has to offer and applies it in a context that is no longer at variance with our biological foundations.


I went from not being able to run half a mile nonstop to having completed a 115 mile 24 hour race...

Kettlebells for



e all know that running is proven to increase lung function, improve heart health, aid in weight loss, boost the immune system, and improve mood. However, if you, like many, just hate the thought of running, the negative stress response

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will hinder your ability to release the hormones that aid in weight loss, boost the immune system, and improve your mood. Still, I’d encourage you to keep trying until the kool-aid hits your veins. I hated running until I was 29 years old. If you’re determined to leave the running trail kicking and screaming, “no, I’m not gon-

na!”, then fine. The kettlebell is a fun, dynamic way to get the cardiovascular training that your body needs! You can probably stop reading now. Now, for my runner friends out there, let’s chat! Like I said in the intro, I didn’t fall in love with drawing large circles with my feet until I was about 29 years old. After growing up being forced to run laps in PE, suicides at basketball practice, then going on the the US Army and being told when, where, and how fast to run, I just needed a few years’ hiatus in order to find it on my own. Find it I did! From 2008-2012, I went from not being able to run half a mile nonstop to having completed a 115 mile 24 hour race, qualified for the Boston Marathon with a 2:58 PR, was running sub-

they practice fine skills.

INJURY PREVENTION Many of the common running injuries are a result of some sort of combination of poor technique, poor posture, weak hips, quads and glutes, and overtraining. I'll address a few and plug in a kettlebell exercise that can help improve those conditions. o Runner’s Knee (Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome) | This condition can be linked to overpronation, as well as weak quads, hips, and glutes. Training barefoot with kettlebells can help to strengthen the feet, which can in turn regulate pronation. Weak quads, hips, and glutes? Simple. Swings, single leg deadlifts, and rear leg elevated squats, holding the kettlebell like you would for a goblet squat. o Achilles Tendonitis, Plantar Fasciitis | These conditions generally occur as a result of too much, too soon, and once you have them, you’re going to have to cut back on your mileage. Once you don’t have them anymore, you’ll realize that the kettlebell can give you a conditioning workout just as effective as sprints but with zero impact. Find your happy place, balancing speed training with movements and compounds featuring swings, snatches, and cleans. o IT Band Syndrome | It is often linked to weak abductor and gluteal muscles— single leg deadlifts and shrimp squats can fill in the gaps here. o Weak/Tight Hamstrings | Again, single leg deadlifts fit the bill here. 18 minute 5k’s, and sub 5 minute miles. Early on, I was plagued by constant injuries. Like many, my cross training involved a lot of cycling and swimming. I noticed that I felt slower after swimming and especially after cycling. My knees were aching, my posture was crap, and if I laid my IT band on a foam roller, all the demons from the underworld would rise up and inhabit that foam roller, plowing their fiery pitchforks into my tendons. True story. I knew I couldn’t quit because my first full length marathon was coming up. I also knew something had to change. So, I shook my magic 8-ball, and it told me to primarily train with kettlebells, cut all junk miles (we’ll get to that in a bit), and treat running like a skill. Okay, so it didn’t happen like that. Truthfully, I don’t know how it happened. It just kind of did, and it worked. I have some ideas on why it worked, and that is what Kettlebells for Runners is all about. We talked about the good things that running does for the body. Coincidentally, kettlebells check off those same boxes. Now, let’s

talk about some of the bad things that can be associated with running: petellofemoral syndrome (runner’s knee), achilles tendonitis, shin splints, stress fracture, weak/ tight hamstrings, and illiotibial(IT) band syndrome. Did you know that kettlebells can help prevent these conditions through their movements as well as provide enough cardiovascular stimulus to drastically decrease your mileage? Maybe so? Let’s explore...

RUN LESS, RUN BETTER I’ve had this discussion with runners many times when I suggest they don’t run so much, and many times, they will cling to the SAID principle. Specific Adaptations to Imposed Demands. My response is to ask if the adaptation they seek is the ability to run slowly with poor form. Take a football team. How do they train? Do they take to the field and scrimmage for 8 hours a day? No, of course not. They would burn out, become weaker, accumulate overuse injuries, and their skills would diminish. They practice plenty, but they also train to become strong in a way that serves their purpose, and

Why should runners train any differently? If long distance running is a sport, and it is, your skill is your running technique. This includes your posture, your gait, and your breath. If you’re training in a way that breaks these things down under fatigue, rather than train you to maintain them, you’re not practicing SAID as much as you think you are. A program for long distance runners that follows the SAID principles should reinforce proper breathing, counter the negative side effects of running, and provide enough cardiovascular conditioning to focus on quality miles versus quantity. While there are a million ways to skin a cat, the kettlebell can cover all these bases.

INJURY PREVENTION As you can see, it doesn’t take a lot of complexity to address common issues with runners using a kettlebell. An added benefit is the convenience. Runners tend to be outdoorsy. Simply pack the kettlebell in your car, and take it wherever you want to workout. You can combine kettlebells with speed training to increase your metabolic response with less impact. The options are limitless.

a u tho r |


Michael Petruso is a coach and trainer in Watauga, Texas. Using kettlebells as his primary cross training tool as an endurance athlete, he lost 100 pounds and became an accomplished ultramarathoner as well as a Boston qualifier. Him and his wife Melissa work together, using their business M-Squared Strength & Conditioning to help others sort out and reach their goals.

JAN/FEB 2017 | MAD FIT MAG | 15


ettlebell Training and Jiu Jitsu have a long history together in North America. Steve Maxwell, who opened one of the first BJJ schools on the East Coast, also had one of the first kettlebell training schools in the same building. His studio “Maxercise” in Philadelphia became famous amoung grapplers for Steve’s ability to improve anyone’s strength, power and fitness on the mats.

BJJ & THE KETTLEBELL While Steve used a variety of tools at his gym, he also relied heavily on the kettlebell because of its ability to target the fitness and movement needs of the Jiu Jitsu athlete. Steve even went on to influence the early RKC with his grappling roots, showing the Turkish Get Up to Pavel Tsatsouline who liked this old school wrestling exercise so much that he adopted it as one of the main exercises in his training system.

Using Kettlebells

to Improve Your

BJJ Game by James Wilson

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Since then Kettlebell Training has gone on to become widely known as one of the best ways to improve your BJJ specific strength, power and cardio. It is used the world over as a fantastic way to build grip strength, hip power and overall endurance while also letting you practice some great Jiu Jitsu-specific movements. And just like with Jiu Jitsu, one of the secrets to Kettlebell Training is to focus on the basics. It is easy to get distracted by all the cool, fancy moves you see online or to think that you are too advanced for the basic movements. But when you do this you run the risk of having a weak foundation to build the rest of your strength and

Be Strong Be Functional We are a school of strength. We teach the skill of strength to the average person as well as the elite athlete, through the use of minimal equipment, one’s own bodyweight, and simple programming.


fitness on top of. By making sure you have the basics covered before adding in more exercises you’ll ensure that you get the best transfer from your workouts to your rolling.

FOUNDATIONAL KETTLEBELL EXERCISES FOR BJJ As a strength coach who has worked with kettlebell training since 2004, I’ve always been impressed with how the basic kettlebell exercises translate over to so many sports. I’ve helped a lot of different athletes in sports ranging from mountain biking to golfing improve their performance using these exercises. And it didn’t take long when I started to practice BJJ myself that I saw the connection between these foundational exercises and the movement skills I needed to improve on the mats. These three exercises will have a lot of carryover to your BJJ game and improve your ability to execute several BJJ specific movements: Turkish Get Up/ This exercise has a long history as an drill for grapplers for good reason. It improves your ability to sit up using good leverage, which helps a lot when you need to create space on the bottom. Getting strong with this exercise will also help improve your Sit Up Sweep, your ability to stand up in someone’s guard, and your general posture, making it a truly BJJ-specific exercise. Goblet Squat/ This exercise improves your ability to squat down to kill hooks or get your base to avoid sweeps. If you can’t squat properly then you will tend to lean over as you do these things, which opens you up to having your posture broken. Having a strong squat will also improve your general leg strength and ability to “squeeze” with your legs. Kettlebell Swing/ Called the “King of Kettlebell Exercises,” this movement improves your hip strength

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and power, your grip strength, and your overall endurance. It can also help improve your ability to breathe properly and learn how to relax when you can, and be strong when you need to be. Overall, this is one of the best exercises you can use to improve your BJJ strength and fitness.

GETTING STARTED Here is an example of a 3-day program you could do using just these exercises and a single kettlebell. Kettlebell training doesn’t have to be a long, complicated process. If you’re new to kettlebell training for BJJ, this is a great way to get started. I suggest using a 12-16kg kettlebell for guys and a 8-12kg kettlebell for the ladies. You want to pick a weight that allows you to really focus on how you are moving; as a Jiu Jitero you care more about how you move during your workouts than how much you lift or

how many reps you do. Do all the sets for an exercise before moving on to the next one. You can also change the days you do the workouts; the important thing is to get at least 2 workouts in each week along with your usual BJJ practice.

a u tho r |

James Wilson Owner of BJJ Strength Training Systems & MTB Strength Training Systems, James has helped thousands of BJJ practitioners and mountain biking professionals enhance their strength and conditioning. Seen in the mountain biking world as one of the top strength coaches having worked with some top pro riders and having article and videos in multiple magazines and websites.


Kettlebell Workouts to Enhance your BJJ Performance. MONDAY / Workout A A/ Turkish Get Up | 1 set of 5 reps es switching sides with each rep/ rest as needed. B/ goblet squat | 5 sets of 5 reps 5 sec pause at bottom/ 30 sec chest stretch during rest period. C/ 2-Hand Swing | 5 sets of 10 reps 5-10 breathes rest between sets.


A/ Goblet Squat | 2 sets of 12 reps 30 sec quad stretch on each side during rest period. B/ 2-HAnd Swing | 3 sets of 20 reps 15-20 breathes rest between sets. C/ TGU | 3 sets of 2 reps ES Rest as needed.

Friday / Workout c

A/ 2-Hand Swing | 2 sets of 15 reps 10-15 breathes rest between sets. B/ TGU | 1 set of 3 reps ES switching sides each rep/rest as needed. C/ Goblet Squat | 2 sets of 6 reps ES 30 sec shoulder stretch on each side during rest period. Get a free 30-day kettlebell or bodyweight program! you can download complete workout plans by James wilson at

JAN/FEB 2017 | MAD FIT MAG | 19

“The kettlebell is an ancient Russian weapon against weakness.� Pavel Tsatsouline

Kettleb ells for

Obstacle course racing by Chris downie

I believe rings are the best piece of training equipment you can add to your arsenal.


bstacle course racing or OCR is a rapidly growing sport that incorporates a combination of distance running and strength/strategy obstacles. To be proficient in this sport you must have the endurance of a marathoner and the absolute strength of a rock climber.

Some focus purely on the running aspect with the mindset “if I can be faster than everyone, I can take my time to figure out the obstacles.” Other camps believe that training a bit of both is the best avenue to be a little more well rounded and comfortable with whatever will be thrown at them. There are questions that arise with both of these approaches. How do you split your training? Where should you focus more of your attention? What are your problem areas? If you spend more time training distance/endurance do you lose muscle and therefore lose your strength?

Both disciplines are so uniquely different that it raises a bit of controversy as to how to train for it.

There really is no correct answer. Like many things, it varies from

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athlete to athlete. We all have our own unique spin and reasoning behind our training. I personally decided to do long distance 1–2 times a week. Long distance is a term defined differently depending on who you are talking to. In my case, this was anywhere from 12–16KM. This was very much dependent on how I felt. I never like to force myself to do anything I do not want to do for the sake of training. You won’t put everything you have into it if you are not interested. You are basically doing it to get it done and that can be problematic injury wise and can also be a major waste of time when I could utilize that time on more important areas. Each and every morning (3:30am) would include a 3–5KM easy run. Easy meaning I was never out of breath. It was just a slow, easy, and enjoyable way to start the day and get some mileage in. Runs were always followed by a 20–30 minute session with the kettlebells, which I feel really set my training apart from others. I also incorporated sprints and bar work every other day. Bar work being anything from various pull ups, to monkey bar travel sessions, to heavy barbell work such as squats and deadlifts. My kettlebell specific work is what I feel really pushed me to my best this year. Why? Because there are very few tools that are so portable, ready to use, and that offer amazingly tough workouts in a space as small as your bathroom. Having two kids under the age of 3, it can be extremely tough to get out to a gym or even out to a park to get a training session in. With the kettlebell I was able to have them close at all times enabling me to pick one or two up here and there to get some work in. The exercises I found most beneficial for OCR specifically were the one arm swings, Goblet Squats, Long Cycle, and Farmers Carry. I will explain what each are good for followed by a sample training session for you to try out.

OCR Kettlebell

#1/ONE-ARM SWINGS In my opinion, the one arm swing is really the only swing you should be doing with the kettlebell. I think the two arm, for the sake of building strength, is far less superior. The one arm forces you to keep your shoulders aligned (do not twist in the direction of the bell) and keeps muscles balanced since you do not have your other arm to rely on to pick up the slack. This exercise is a great tool for training OCR for both posterior chain development (aids in running efficiency) and forearm strength. Strong forearms are paramount in OCR due to all the climbing and bar/ring obstacles. Damn you Platinum Rig.

#2/L.D. FARMER WALK In OCR there are bucket carries, wreck bag carries, and various other odd object carrying obstacles. Basically, you have to carry something heavy, usually uphill, for quite a distance. The kettlebell proved extremely beneficial for training these obstacles. Long distance farmer carries were a staple in my daily practice. They not only trained my shoulder and leg strength, but my hands and

grip, with the added endurance element as well. Most importantly were hands and grip. Having strong hands and a vice-like grip enables you to power through rope and bar obstacles with ease. It also helps tremendously with any rock climbing walls or holding onto a wall or bar— should your body begin to fatigue, it gives you some time to take a breath and think things through.



Complete 3–5 rounds. Minimum Weight- Men: 24kg Women:16kg

1/10 One-arm swings per side 2/10 Pushups 3/10 Goblet squats (pause at bottom for a 5 count)

4/2 Minute long cycle set

The long cycle is basically a continuous clean and jerk. It more than just builds strength in the shoulders, quads and calves, which are all of extreme importance in the OCR game, it builds some intense strength endurance. It forces you to get your breathing under control and push through your lactic thresholds— your lungs will be on fire the whole time. If you do not believe me, grab a couple 24kg bells, set your timer for five minutes and see for yourself.

#4/GOBLET SQUATS This one is sort of self explanatory. Strong legs equals strong running. Period.

5/20 Burpees 6/Long distance farmer carry (For as long as possible) a u tho r |

Chris Downey Chris is a professional fitness trainer specializing in obstacle course prepartion. He shares his random musings from a life of practice, being a student of fatherhood, and embracing frequent voluntary suffering.

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IT’S TIME FOR YOUR FIRST TRIATHLON JACK NUNN’S BEGINNER TRIATHLON WORKSHOP Jack Nunn is a 9-time Ironman competitor who has raced in over 100 triathlons around the world. Come learn exactly what kind of training and equipment is needed to compete.


Want to hold a Triathlon Workshop in Your Gym? Jack Travels! Email events@

power development through kettlebells For

combat AThletes by Keith Jennings


For combat athletes, regardless of their chosen discipline, explosiveness is perhaps the most important physical attribute. For students of Reality Based Martial Arts, this means delivering pre-emptive strikes for the clinical removal of a threat.

A grappler needs the ability to buck off an opponent from the top mount position. A striker’s need for arm strength is of minor importance compared to the ability to create dynamic hip torque in order to deliver a knockout punch. To accomplish any of that, combat athletes need the ability to explode into action at a ten while starting from zero.

It’s no secret that power comes from the ground up, and few tools are as effective as the almighty kettlebell. While often looked at as a muscle endurance tool, the kettlebell is just as effective for power development. Power is defined as the ability to accelerate a given mass as quickly as possible. Using kettlebells for power development is NOT for beginner lifters. Like combat itself, kettlebells require skill to use effectively. Before implementing a power program, the combat athlete should already have mastered the following basic kettlebell lifts: the swing, the clean and press, the snatch, and the Turkish get-up. The hip hinge, the proper shoulder packing during ballistic movements, and the overhead lockout should all be considered prerequisites.


Kettlebell ARMBAR

benefits / Besides mastering the basics of kettlebell training, the combat athlete should make sure his body is well prepped for the demands of power training. Strength and mobility are of equal importance. For kettlebell training, mobility in the hips and shoulders is particularly important. Being stiff and inflexible is a good way to not reach your power potential, and it makes you more susceptible to injury.

Enter the Kettlebell Arm Bar. The Kettlebell Arm Bar will give you flexibility in both your hips and shoulders while also increasing shoulder stability. If you want to hit hard, you’ll need to develop elasticity in both your hips and your shoulders to create the necessary torque. That torque is what gives you the ability to transmit bodily impact into your strikes.

nDirections (A) Start lying down, and press the kettlebell from the floor as if you were preparing for a Turkish Get-Up. With the kettlebell overhead, take your other arm and place it at 45 degrees on the floor. (B) Next, move your kettlebell side leg and slowly slide it over the other leg as you push your hips into the floor. (C) Make sure to grip your kettlebell tight- this will help keep your shoulder stabilized in this awkward position. (D) Keep breathing as you gently try to push your hips closer to the floor. Hold this position for 30 seconds. (E) Choose a moderately weighted kettlebell, and make sure you don’t move too quickly. It is absolutely imperative that you maintain control over your kettlebell the entire time.

Some of these exercises are best observed in action! Videos or live presentations/trainings can show you the exact form you need to use.

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exercise selection For power training, the focus will be on the ballistic lifts rather than on grinds. The term “ballistic lifts” refers to the more dynamic kettlebell exercises, such as the Swing, the Clean, and the Snatch. These are vigorous, full body exercises

exercise #1

that utilize what is known as the “tight-loose-tight” method of body tension training. The ability to go from tight, to loose, and back to tight has direct carryover to combat sports and Combatives. After all, as Bruce Lee famously said, “you

want to stay loose and relaxed until the moment of impact.” For this article, we will be looking at two power excises: the Banded Kettlebell Swing and the Power Snatch.

Banded Kettlebell Swing

benefits / The Hard Style Kettlebell swing is one of the single best exercises for developing explosiveness through the hips and strengthening your posterior chain. If you want to increase the power output demand with your swings, try the Banded Kettlebell Swing. Adding an exercise band to the handle of the kettlebell will help accelerate the backswing and add dynamic resistance to the front swing. The more powerful the back

swing, the more explosive the hip extension needs to be in order get the full extension of the front swing. This is also a good assessment tool to see if someone is lifting their swing with their shoulders or dropping the back swing below their knees. Proper timing is one of the biggest challenges with the Banded Swing, so it may take a few sets to figure out the right kettlebell weight/ band resistance ratio that’s right for you.

nDirections (A) Wrap a resistance band around the kettlebell by looping it through the handle and then stand on the slack. (b) Assume hip hinge ready position behind the kettlebell. Make sure to keep your shoulders packed and your spine neutral. (c) Hike the kettlebell back and then explode with your hips. Your arms should be extended as your drive through your heels, bringing the kettlebell to chest height. Perform ten solid reps. NOTES: Stay controlled and balanced the entire time. If the kettlebell knocks you off balance, try a lighter bell or a weaker resistance band. If you don’t have a resistance band, have a training partner power bomb the bell to create the accelerated back swing.

exercise #2

Power Snatch (aka the dead snatch

benefits / Power development

no elastic tension to help launch the nDirections kettlebell, the athlete must excomes from a combination of accel(A) Start with the kettlebell slightly behind plode from the hips in order to drive your ankles. Make sure it’s not too far back eration and proper body mechanics, where you are forced to compromise your and few exercises develop that com- the bell upward straight to the structure. (B) Keep looking forward as you bination like the Power Snatch. Unlike overhead lock position. The overreach back and find the handle of your kethead lockout should be done with the tlebell. Remember to keep your lumbar spine the standard kettlebell snatch, same snap as throwing a punch. Mas- neutral and to keep your shoulder packed. (C) which is powered by a backswing, Explode through the hips, and launch the kettering the mechanics of the Power the Power Snatch is done from the tle through your legs and up to the overhead grounded “dead” position. Eliminating Snatch requires a lot of time under position. (D) Drop the kettlebell to the rack iron, but the results are well worth position, and then place the bell once again the backswing effectively removes the investment. Attempting to simply through your legs and behind you, and preall momentum and assistance, making for an extremely challenging muscle the kettlebell when snatch- pare to snatch again. Use a kettlebell that lift. Starting from the ground, with ing will only lead to disappointment. allows for five perfect reps on each side.

Sample power workout Start out with foam rolling and joint mobility drills, focusing on your hips and shoulders. Finish the warm-up with the Kettlebell Arm Bar. Perform 3 rounds of 30 seconds on each side.

A/ Banded Kettlebell Swing | 3 sets of 10 30 seconds rest between sets B1/ Double Kettlebell Clean |4 sets of 5 B2/ kb handle push up | 4 sets of 10 60 seconds rest between sets c1/ 1-arm clean & push press | 4 sets of 5 es c2/ Medicine Ball Slams | 4 sets of 10 30 seconds rest between sets

d/ Power Snatch | single rep sets, 10 reps es Do not work until failure, and make sure to end as soon as you cannot complete your next rep with perfect form.

a u tho r |

Kieth Jennings Keith Jennings is a Chicago based personal trainer and a martial arts instructor specializing in kettlebells, functional strength training, and reality based self-defense training. He is also the co-founder of Forteza Fitness, Chicago’s most unique training facility.

A Deep Dive Into the

Hardstyle Swing As with any revolutionary Concept, there are bound to be variations. Here is a deep look into by BENJAMIN GREEN the Hardstyle swing.


he kettlebell swing has been called the center of the kettlebell universe. Dan John said, “the swing is a fat-burning athlete builder.” The benefits of the kettlebell swing read like a snake oil sales ad. Along with the Turkish get-up, the swing is considered by many kettlebell enthusiasts to be the only true exercise needed by many people. Beyond all the hype, at the very least, the kettlebell swing is a fundamental kettlebell exercise with enormous benefits that safely work the anterior and posterior chains while also helping to build incredible forward force. The following article will explain the basic benefits of the hardstyle swing, drills for properly learning the swing, how to swing, and some example practice programs and workouts. While this article is a “deep dive” into the swing, it is still just a beginning point. Literally, we could fill an entire magazine with content about the swing.

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swinging a heavy kettlebell is one of the best ways to build total body strength.

THE BENEFITS OF HARDSTYLE SWINGS o STRENGTH | Given the fact that two out of the four major kettlebell certifications have some variation of the word strength in them, this seems obvious. Regardless, swinging a heavy kettlebell is one of the best ways to build total body strength. o FAT LOSS | Again, this seems pretty obvious, but high reps of kettlebell swings are an excellent way to get rid of fat. o Grip | One of the surprise benefits of the kettlebell swing is improved grip strength due to both the fact that you are holding on to a fast-moving cannon ball and to the added neurological benefits from the constant tension and relaxation required for kettlebell swings. o Conditioning | The kettlebell swing is a go-to for conditioning, especially in combat sports. This is due to the tremendous amount of conditioning it provides along with its relative safety and short learning curve as well as all the other benefits it offers. o FORCE PRODUCTION | The kettlebell swing is great at teaching you to root and produce ground and forward force. o Posture | The kettlebell swing and its big brother, the deadlift, may be the two best exercises for practicing the good standing posture known to man. o Enhances Vertical Jump | With little modification (a focus on the downward movement of the swing), the kettlebell swing has been shown to improve vertical jump. This is most likely a result of improved force production through the ground. o Harder to Kill/What the Hell Effect | In all fairness, this is the catch all for all the kettlebell swing benefits: we either cannot explain it yet or we haven’t taken the time to. Many athletes find increases and improvements in areas not directly related to the swing when they begin consistently practicing it.

GETTING STARTED Before beginning the swing there are a couple of things to point out. First, everything in this article is specific to the two-hand hardstyle swing. There are other variations of the hardstyle swing such as the single arm swing, hand-to-hand swings, and double kettlebell swings. All of these work off the same principles. The other thing to think about before starting is what size kettlebell you should begin with. A long time ago your choices were very limited, but now you have several options. The best choice is the one that lets you practice properly and safely. Generally for females this is somewhere between 18-26 lbs (8-12 kg) or 35-53 lbs (18-24 kg) for men.


Before swinging a kettlebell for the first time, practice the hardstyle plank. This is done by assuming the top of a push up. From here pull the shoulders down towards the glutes, drive the heels back away from your head, suck the knees up toward your abdomen, and squeeze your glutes. This will create a good deal of tension in your lower body. At the same time, brace your stomach as if someone was about to kick it, pull the shoulders away from your ears, squeeze your armpits as if you were trying to hold onto a towel with them, and try to tuck your shoulder blades into your opposite hip pockets— this should help engage the lats. Finally, get tall through the neck. This is what we want the top of your swing to feel like.

CHOP & POP Now that we have an idea of what the top of the swing should feel like, the next part of the swing we want to program is the hinge (in this a case a ballistic hinge). The easiest way I found to do this is by learning the “Chop and Pop” movement which I believe Brett Jones came up with. The Chop and Pop is a simple way for most people to practice the hinge pattern before using a bell. First, stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder width. Next, bring your hands up like you are catching a pass. From here, sling the hands back, brushing the hips. At the same time, let the hips go back as far as they can and then allow the knees to bend. Again, sending the hips back is key. You want the hips to go back, not down. From here, you should feel as if you are loaded to perform a jump. Instead of jumping, however, drive the feet through the floor, suck the knees up towards the hips, squeeze the glutes, brace the abs like you are about to get spartan kicked, get tall through the spine, allow the hands to come together with the back of one hand slapping the palm of the other out in front of your body, stay wide through the chest, and pull the shoulders down and back. You should find this top position feels very similar to the hardstyle plank. Now rinse and repeat until you feel you have it.

The best way to learn the swing is to talk to a pro! Want to find a kettlebell pro in your area? Check the database at

KETTLEBELL HIKE The final drill we are going to cover is the kettlebell hike and it is exactly what it sounds like. To begin, you want to get about a foot to a foot and a half away from the kettlebell. This will vary based on your size and the size of the kettlebell you are using. Next, perform the “chop” portion of the Chop and Pop (I have been training with kettlebells for almost a decade and I still use the “chop” to set up with my swings). From that position, reach forward with both hands and grasp the kettlebell handle. Tip the bell back until almost 80-90% of the base is off the ground. Now try and snap the handle by rotating your elbows in towards your body. This helps engage the

KETTLEBELL SWING In theory, if you have dialed in the above drills the swinging should just be a simple matter of putting it all together. Do not, however, be surprised if it is not, and understand that the swing is one of those exercises you can always refine.

COMMON SWING MISTAKES o Squatting instead of hinging | hinge at the hips! Don’t Squat. o using the arms | don’t use your arms to lift the weight. With the exception of firing the triceps and packing the shoulders, the arms don’t do much on the way up or down. o doing too many reps when you start | Doing too many swings in the first session is a mistake. Start slowly, or you’ll regret it. o failing to squeeze | Not squeezing and tensing the glutes and abs. This often leads to lower back pain along with squatting.

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lats. If you actually succeed at snapping the handle, you need to buy better bells. Squeeze hard on the handle to help fire the triceps, pull the shoulders away from the ears, and again try to stuff your shoulder blades into your hip pockets. Pull hard on the bell keeping the arms locked and hike it back behind you. You should feel this mostly in the lats. Now simply take a step or two back behind where the bell is and rinse and repeat. This can actually become its own exercise if you want.

To begin the swing, first hike the kettlebell back between the legs. Before the bell touches the ground stand up hard and fast just like in the Chop and Pop. Now, driving the feet into the ground, pulling the knees up towards the hips, squeezing the glutes, bracing the abs, keeping the shoulders away from the ears and the shoulder blades back and down in your hip pockets, try to create the same effect at the top of the swing as in the hardstyle plank. From here, it is just a matter of, as they say, playing chicken with the bell. Let the bell swing between the legs, send the hips back to avoid getting hit by it, and let the knees bend returning to the “chop� position. When finished, simply park the kettlebell back in front of you where you hiked it from. Congratulations if all went well--you have just performed a hardstyle kettlebell swing! Breathing during the swing is pretty straightforward: inhale on the down swing and exhale forcefully on the way up. One of the easiest ways to do that is by counting the rep out loud at the top of the swing while also remembering to get tight at the top.

example workouts & practice sessions When beginning to train the hardstyle kettlebell swing, focus on practice rather than working out. It will be tempting to throw the swing into the middle of your workout or to create a smoke session using the swing. All in good time! First, make sure you really have the swing down as doing it wrong can lead to injury and perhaps more importantly, looking really goofy in the gym or at the park. The following are a couple examples of what a swing practice session could look like:

practice session #1

practice session #2

practice session #3

A/ Swings | 5-10 reps B/ Hardstyle Plank | 3 sets of 30 sec C/ Swings |5-10 reps D/ chop and pop |10 reps E/ Swings |5-10 reps F/ kb hike | 3-5 reps rest and repeat for 3-5 sets

A/ swing | 10 reps rest and repeat on the minute every minute for 5 minutes. Take a two to three minute rest and then repeat for three more 5 minute sets.

A/ plank | 3 sets of 30 sec B/ chop and pop |3 sets of 10 reps C/ Swings |for time Round 1 is 1 minute. round 2 is 45 sec. round 3 is 30 sec. round 4 is 1 minute. D/ kb hike |3 sets of 5 reps

Once you have a solid understanding of the kettlebell swing, some ways to incorporate it are as a part of your regular workout or training session. You could also use light swings as a warmup or cool down. Below are a few training variations focused on the swing.

Swing session #1

swing session #2

swing session #3

Swing ladders (pretty common protocol but one of my favorites). Perform swing, immediately followed by the next exercise and do as many sets as safely possible before resting. A1/ Swings | 10 reps A2/ Squats | 10 reps A3/ Swings |9 reps A4/ Squats |9 reps A5/ Swings |8 reps A6/ squats |8 reps continue through zero reps.

Swings and getups--this is the PB&J of kettlebells A/ Swings | 5 minutes Perform 5 minutes of swings resting when needed (work up to 10 minutes). B/ Get Ups | 5-10 reps Perform 5 to 10 getups on each side taking as much time as needed.

A/ Swings | 30 minutes Perform 30 sec of swings, rest for 30 sec repeat for time, rest one minute then go again. After every four sets rest adding 15 seconds to the rest period. Work up to 30 minutes of total time.

aut h o r |

Ben Green

Ben Green has studied martial arts since he was a teenager. He was a tactical athlete trainer while in the US Army, has held multiple kettlebell and fitness-related certifications, and is currently a kettlebell instructor at Tao Health & Fitness in Austin, Texas.

Kettlebells for mobility Kettlebells are amazing physical training tools that are so universal— they can accomplish anything from mobility, fluidity of movement, and coordination, even going all the way to strength, stability, and power development. Here we will take a look at some examples of how we can utilize kettlebells to better our mobility and general quality of movement. by Greg Mihovich


ettlebells are amazing physical training tools that are so universal— they can accomplish anything from mobility, fluidity of movement, and coordination all the way to strength, stability, and power development. Today’s article will take a look at some examples of how we can utilize kettlebells to better our mobility and general quality of movement. First, let’s make a clear distinction between mobility and flexibility just to make sure that we are on the same page. Flexibility vs. Mobility

FLEXIBILITY VS. MOBILITY Flexibility is basically your available range of motion of synergetic muscles, tendons, and other tissues. For better understanding, flexibility is usually broken down into three categories: passive, dynamic, and active. Generally speaking, when people refer to flexibility, they usually refer to its passive component. Of course, the flexibility types below could be combined together for training purposes, but it is important to take a look at them individually for better understanding. Passive flexibility is the ability of your tissues to presume a certain range of motion in an individual joint/ group of muscles and other tissues without the active involvement of your musculature. In other words, very little, if any, muscular effort is required to maintain a particular passive stretch— the position itself provides with necessary support or the other body parts engage to provide support, like holding your leg with the arm in a basic hamstring stretch. Another example would be statically holding a straddle stretch where the floor provides with support. Passive flexibility, although also important, has little to do with the ability of the body to control the movement throughout the full range of motion. It only has to do with the ability to presume the final position of the motion and hold it while supported. Just out of that description you can see that passive flexibility is of little help to someone who is required to move athletically and control the body through every position encountered. Dynamic flexibility is the ability to engage a particular range of motion while utilizing momentum generated at the initial stage of the range of motion, which carries the limb or torso into the final position. Dynamic flexibility is much more valuable to a person that

engages in athletic pursuits. However, it is incomplete. It has a potential of masking neuromuscular weakness by never addressing them head on and always bypassing difficult to control ranges with momentum. Active flexibility is the concept that is the closest to the concept of mobility, as it involves active control throughout the full range of motion. For example: A) Lifting your leg up on the shelf with the help of a rope attached to the ankle going through the pulley on the ceiling is an example of static flexibility. B) Swinging your leg with momentum up to the shelf level or higher would be an example of dynamic flexibility. C) Slowly lifting your leg up to the shelf level with control while avoiding building up and using the force of momentum, possibly pausing at various heights, keeping it off the shelf once you get there and lowering it under control is a good example of active flexibility. Active flexibility is very important for athletic pursuits due to the degree of control it develops though the full range of motion. It translates well to athletic movement through a variety of positions, high degree of neuromuscular control, and ability to change the course of action at will. Also, very importantly, active flexibility training drastically reduces the injury potential throughout the movement due to increased neuromuscular coordination, strength, and plasticity. As a matter of fact, the greater the difference between all those types of flexibility, the greater one’s potential for an injury. For example, if an athlete can hold his leg up on the shelf while standing on the head level but has major difficulties lifting his leg actively above the waist, all the passive range of motion above the waist is more of a liability than an asset due to not being backed up by strength and ultimately, the ability to control the limb in three-dimensional environment. So now that we took a general look at flexibility we can take a look at the concept of mobility. Mobility is very similar to active flexibility because it requires control throughout the full range of motion. Yet, the very core system of coordinates that it uses is different. When we discuss flexibility, the conversation usually revolves around a particular muscle, like hamstring flexibility, while mobility focuses more on the joints and their available and usable range of motion, like hip mobility. So in a nutshell, flexibility is a concept more related to muscles, fascia and other tissues and their available range of motion as well as some ability to control muscular tension and relaxation. When we talk about

flexibility, we usually refer to static positions where various degrees of selective static contraction could be utilized, but it is static nevertheless. Mobility, on the other hand, is more related to joint angles and ability to produce coordinated movement via articulating joints in a controlled manner to achieve a task. When we talk about mobility we usually refer to the body in movement. In other words, mobility is a much broader concept that includes many different factors such as the following: joint’s usable range of motion, strength of the connective tissue, muscular strength, quality of the muscular tissue, neuromuscular communication, inter-muscular coordination, proprioception, balance, tensegrity, joint stacking, selective tension, body linkage, stability, movement patterns, compensation patterns, breathing, timing, and many others. Control of your joints full usable range of motion means control of the body.

BEYOND THE RANGE Another very useful training concept that overlaps with mobility training is the concept of “Beyond the Range Training”. Basically it means that while an athlete is expected to perform his activities within a certain optimum range of motion, that athlete can surely expect that not all of his reps will be within the perfect range while executed in real life under pressure at real speed in an unfriendly environment and potentially against un-cooperating opponent(s). So while keeping it in the optimal performance range is, well, optimal, it is understood that due to the chaotic nature of events, an athlete would require a usable surplus of controllable range of motion in order to overcome reasonable deviations from ideal technique and still maintain performance while remaining injury-free. Thus that range and the ability to control it have to be developed and maintained. So the concept of “Beyond the Range” is somewhat closely related to mobility training. It is very useful in order to “bullet-proof” an athlete against injuries, overcome training plateaus, and introduce a great deal of variety to common exercises. Loads have to be adjusted of course in order to safely and sensibly account for the decrease in optimum mechanical leverage. Examples of such exercises could include relatively light Front Squats or Goblet Squats. These need to be performed in a very slow and controlled manner, while continuously performing either inside of outside simultaneous knee circles. The circles are performed both on the way down as well as on the way up. Care must be taken to avoid speeding up through the challenging ranges— keep breathing and keep mov-

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ing steadily. Weights should be adequate in order to facilitate proper and safe knee articulation. Just a few reps for a few sets is all that is necessary in most cases. Another example could be performing relatively light Goblet Squats while positioned on the outer edges of the feet or performing Sumo Deadlifts standing on two blocks forcing you to begin lower then you normally would. There are many ways you can incorporate that type of training into your routine. Just remember that your main objective here is not to lift massive weights but ensure confident control over the reasonable “abnormal” range of motion in the exercise.

mobility exercises Basic kettlebell exercises— such as Military Press, Snatch, Front Squat, Turkish Get Up and others— derive from natural total body movements. Their proper execution naturally results in mobility improvements, alongside with strength and power gains. For instance, Military Press requires and develops good overhead shoulder mobility, while Front Squat develops the mobility in the hips. Most exercises require both mobility and stability from various parts of the body. The opposing side often stabilizes the load while the other side is mobile. Joints that are above or below the mobilizing part often have to provide stability in order for the mobility aspect to be able to express itself and to make sure that the mobilizing part does what it supposed to do and no compensation occurs. But outside of the classical lifts there are also a whole class of kettlebell lifts that are specifically designed to enhance mobility of various joints. Some of those kettlebell mobility exercises are highly specialized for a variety of purpose— anything from improving specific mobility for performing kettlebell sport to improving a soldier’s ability to accomplish his specialized tasks in the field. Others focus on improving general mobility for the population to be healthy and to enjoy full range of motion in daily and athletic activities. For the purpose of this article we will concentrate on general mobility exercises.

KB ARMBAR KB Armbar is a kettlebell training classic that cannot be overlooked as it is a tremendous drill for shoulder mobility and stability. In this exercise the shoulder is forced to articulate the arm through front, side, and back positions while stabilizing and controlling the load. Before trying this with a bell, play it safe. Either learn it with a lighter weight and/or use a spotter that is keeping his hands near the bell to assist getting it back to position if things go south. With some practice you will have total control over this motion. The keys here are to take your time as you move, focus on the sense of perspective with your arm pointing up like a projector beam straight up to the sky, and keep the working shoulder down towards the hip by utilizing your lat. Keep breathing steady. This exercise is best when done in low reps, around 5 reps per set or so. Want to see these exercises in action? Greg Mihovich has hundreds of videos available at

KB HALO, EXTENDED EDITION Halos are also great for shoulder mobility as well as torso and hips stability development. I like to perform what I call “the extended edition” Halos in order to facilitate better control of my spiral line and rotational forces. This is a good example of a lift that is a combination stability/mobility lift; your legs, hips, and core stabilize, while your shoulder girdle articulates. It is very important to do correctly so you get the most out of exercise, and do not compensate with your core thinking that you are mobilizing the shoulders. Avoid compensating from the wrist as well and keep them still— let the active part of the motion come out from your shoulders. Inhale as you bring the bell behind you, and exhale as you come back in front and across. You can do anywhere from 5 to 8 reps per side depending on your goals.

KB DUCK WALK Duck Walk is an amazing lower body locomotion drill with many different terrain navigation, sports, and tactical applications. It is a great move that has a ton of interesting variations and is great for ankle and hip mobility. For more advanced practitioners it could be performed with a pair of bells either in the rack or overhead position. The key to proper Duck Walking is shifting the weight from leg to leg correctly— make one leg to stabilize your position while you articulate and mobilize the other. Keep breathing steady and keep your core tight under load. For weighted Duck Walks, keep your sets relatively short— 3-8 steps per side— and focus on the quality over quantity.

KB COSSACK FRONT SQUAT Cossack Lunge is a great movement to strengthen the internal rotation of the hip. Here again, we are seeing the stabilization skills displayed on one side of the body while the unloaded part is mobilized. This exercise could be done in a couple of ways: A) Squat normally first, then perform the internal rotation while shifting the weight to the other leg, then externally rotate the leg back and rise up. In this version it becomes a four count move. Repeat on the other side, of course. B) Squat, while simultaneously shifting your weight to one leg and internally rotating the other into the Cossack Squat bottom position, then reverse on the way up. In this version it is a two count move. Breathe the same way as when you do normal front

38 | MAD FIT MAG | JAN/FEB 2017

squats: inhale on the way down and exhale on the way up. Keep your core tight under load. Low reps are ideal for this drill.

FIGHTER’S SQUAT Fighter’s Squat is a great move to mobilize and strengthen the lower body and make that mobilized strength more applicable to locomotion and combat arts. Pull yourself down under control as you inhale. Keep your core tight under load. Exhale as you rise under full control. Repeat. Keep your reps low and your technique sharp.

KB SHIN BOX HIP LIFT AND SWITCH (RACK/OVERHEAD) Shin Rolls are a great way to mobilize and strengthen the hips. There are two versions of this movement— one is more rigid and promotes greater mobility the flexion movement pattern (compression and thoracic mobilization) and the other one skips the compression, is more fluid, and is better for more specialized training applications. When you get up to the shin stand, make sure to squeeze the glutes and inhale. Exhale as you switch your knees/extend the legs to the opposing shin box. Keep your core tight under load. This exercise is also best performed with relatively low reps— 3 to 5 per side.

KB OVERHEAD SQUAT Overhead squat is an awesome exercise for total body strength and stability, and it also develops a great deal of mobility in the shoulders, back, and legs. Overhead Squat is one of the mightiest and very potent exercises that work the entire body from many perspectives. Watching someone perform an Overhead Squat, especially with a load, can tell a lot to an experienced observer about the mover and his ability to mobilize and stabilize with various parts of his/her body. The two basic ways to perform it with kettlebells are with one bell or with two bells. One is easier mobility-wise, two requires a stricter ROM. To execute the exercise correctly, pull yourself down into the squat, keep your core strong, maintain a good alignment of the knees, use your lats to control and stabilize your shoulders, and keep curling your wrist(s) forward in order to keep them straight. Keep your reps low (1-5) and be very technical. When Overhead Squats are performed with a bell or two, as opposed to a barbell, the kettlebell(s), due to their off-set center of gravity, actually helps to pull the

shoulders back into the correct position.

KB ANKLE MOBILIZATION (WEIGHT ON THIGH) Kettlebells could be also used as additional load in many different positions in order to facilitate extra ROM in active stretching protocols. One example could be placing a bell on top of your thigh while in a kneeling lunge facing a wall prepared to perform some mobilization on the ankle. The weight of the bell there is very useful to promote greater ROM during the passive portion of the stretch. You can hang out in the position for a minute or two, working on relaxing the stretching tissues and accepting the new ROM. Once the new ROM is accomplished, perform a series of PNF type contractions. Makie sure to contract not just the muscle stretched, but alternately, the opposing muscles on the top of the foot and front of the shin as well. This is necessary, so the new ROM comes with greater neuromuscular connection, better mapping, and the ability to produce force (strength). In conclusion, make sure to perform various forms of intelligent mobility training daily. Kettlebells are certainly great tools to take advantage of, but do not limit yourself to the tools, and focus on the training methods. Learn to gain better control of your body throughout every joint, keep working at it and enjoy the journey! I think that at some point in the future the benefits and the necessity of mobility training will be so widely understood and accepted, that daily mobility training will become as common-place as brushing your teeth is today.

a u thor |

Greg Mihovich Greg Mihovich is the owner and head trainer of the Underground Gym. With a lifetime of experience in martial arts and fitness, Greg utilizes mul- tiple disciplines to enhance the athletic performance of his clients. His innovative approach to training has led to the development of the Compound Conditioning method.


BB to KB by Joe Daniels

How To Transition from a Bodybuilder to a Kettlebell Athlete


irst off, let me introduced myself. I’m Joe Daniels. If we haven’t met or talked on the internet before, you can stop wondering who the heck is on the cover of this magazine. Perhaps more importantly, WHY am I on the cover? I could, of course, leave this one up to Mark to answer, but I’ll

give it a shot. In my mind, it’s probably because I’ve been around for a while and I’ve connected with a lot of good people in the industry and still managed to stay true to what I believe in.

ing contest.

I don’t mind if you choose hardstyle, soft style, competition kettlebell, or whatever you want to call it. It doesn’t matter to me whether you’re one affiliation or another, or you think that one kettlebell is better than the other kettlebell, or any other junk measur-

What I DO care about is helping you to use the kettlebell in a way that will keep you enjoying your training and allow your brain to continually develop as your body awareness increases. This is the beauty of the kettlebell; there are so many ways to use it, and

See, we all have a common interest: The Kettlebell.


bragging about how much they could Turkish Get Up in the basement? How much could they Double Clean with kettlebells? Right. They were bench pressing in their garage like their dads before them probably did (and lots of them had chicken legs. Don’t trust the chicken legs).

#2. Not many trainees want to start learning new tricks.

HOW TO INCORPORATE KETTLEBELLS INTO YOUR EXISTING REGIMEN o Barbell/Machines + 1 Kettlebell | Good place to start for almost anyone. This way you won’t have to change too much of your current routine. Just add a few sets and exercises here and there. o single Kettlebell | Good for evening out strength symmetry and fixing lagging parts. o Double Kettlebell | This is where a tree trunk torso is important. Great for Powerlifting assistance work. o Kettlebell Sport | Trust me, you’re not ready for Kettlebell Sport lifting without 6-12 months of GPP and understanding of the kettlebell’s power. Be safe. You’ve got time to develop. o Phases | I prefer going through phases of each these. Example: 2 months Barbell + KB, 1 month Double KB, then 1 month of Single KB. Rest and Repeat. Three cycles of this for a year will get you places. most of those ways want to throw you on your face if you’re not careful or respectful of the weight. But there always seems to be so many people saying that you can’t build muscle with kettlebells, and there are many reasons for that misconception. I’ll touch on a few.

Do you think the chicken legs want to go from benching 315lbs to not being able to snatch a sixth of that weight with one arm? Forget about it. People don’t want change. It’s scary. They won’t be good at something new and that frightens them.

#3. “Kettlebells don’t weigh enough to build muscle!” A quick Instagram and Google search will show you Rogue Fitness makes a damn 203lb kettlebell. “But, but , but…. that mass is too large to do proper exercises with!” Oh, and a 200lb dumbbell gives you full ROM on your presses as well right? The thing is, you can build muscle with almost any weight (maybe not the Shake Weight). You just have to have an open mind, and while it’s open, learn from someone who has accomplished it.

See barbells , kettlebells and dumbbells are like pens, pencils and markers. They all will make marks, but some are best used in certain situations.


#1. Using Kettlebells for training is very new to the United States.

Reason #1. I was a Competitive Bodybuilder and now I’m a kettlebell Even if you’re 18 years old now, how competitor many of your weightlifting dads were

To start, I was a fairly successful com-

petitive bodybuilder for a while. I’m both the tan guy and the double kettlebell lateral lunge guy on the left. I’ll cover WHY I switched to kettlebells for another article. Now I am a competitive kettlebell athlete with MUCH more muscle density than I ever had when I was competing in bodybuilding. I’ve fielded question after question on the Swing This Kettlebell Youtube channel about what my percentage of Kettlebell lifting to traditional lifting is since 2010.

Reason #2. I’ve Worked with Champions I’ve worked with the some of the absolute world champions in kettlebell sport who wrote me ridiculously hard workouts because I “have big legs... lots of muscle. You can handle... jump squats 50 reps…. maybe 100 with 100kg,” according to Ivan Denisov in 2013. Reason #3. I’ve done ridiculous stuff with kettlebells while training with Chris Duffin at Kabuki Strength Lab and recently watched him deadlift over 1,000lbs for almost 3 reps (no biggie).

WHY WOULD IT BE ADVANTAGEOUS TO ADD KETTLEBELL TRAINING INTO YOUR WORKOUT? #1. Prevent Burnout Adaptations happen when you change stimuli. This can be wonderful for sparking new muscle growth and strength increases. Just as I said before, leave the ego at the door. I started with 2x12kg, 2x16kg and 1x24kg kettlebells. Your brain craves new simulation and if you’ve trained for a long time with machines and barbells, you know what I mean about possible burnout. It gets boring doing the same thing

ally with heavy or even light kettlebells can fill in the stabilization gaps you may have in your movements. They can easily train your ability for better proprioception (awareness of your body in a space and how it reacts to that space).

#3. It’s Neato Because they’re cool and everyone is doing it. Just kidding. That’s not a good reason to try something. No explanation needed.

#4. Easily Transportable

day in and day out. This is one reason why inexperienced trainees jump from program to program without allowing enough time to solidify their adaptations to each. There is also a big difference between LEARNING and TRAINING. Big changes take a while. Give them time. Adding a few kettlebell exercises, even if similar to your existing ones, can give you some much needed motivation to continue on the long road of building muscle and strength.

#2. Increase strength and coordination

Kettlebells are easy to transport and it’s fun to train in new environments. This was a life changer for me. On vacations I always had to find a specific gym. In 2010, I took a 35lb kettlebell in a backpack and rode my bike for miles down the beach. Had a wonderful workout by myself and the ocean. Nature is amazing. Get out there and play. You want a solid torso and grip strength for days? Farmers carry two kettlebells up (and back down) a cool hiking trail. Set up an obstacle course. Whatever your brain can think up.

#5. It’s Good for Business If you are a trainer, learning kettlebell movements can increase your knowledge AND Income. Face it . Not every one of your clients wants to or should do what you do. Using kettlebells for strength and increased movement ability is an efficient way for many people to lean down and get stronger. Training unilaterally with weights that fit many body types is always good. I feel that they are the swiss army knife of resistance weights.

GET TO WORK OK, so you’ve read far enough, you have to believe that kettlebells can build muscle or benefit you in some way. Now is the part many of you have been waiting for. The “What to Do” part. I’ll talk about a few kettlebell exercises that you can learn and incorporate into your program without having to lose what you’ve gained or get a lobotomy and start all over again. Sound good?

GLUTES / HAMSTRINGS / ERECTORS Kettlebell Swing | Learn the Kettlebell Swing to really nail down a solid posterior chain from the top of your head to the bottom of your feet. Swings help with deadlifts and squats and can be used for a wonderful bit of HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training). VIDEO:

SHOULDER/PECS | Incorporate the Strict Kettlebell Press, Push Press and Half Crush Press Rope through Kettlebell Upright row. TRAPS/LATS/UPPER BACK | Incorporate Kettlebell Farmers Walks and Heavy Cleans. TORSO/ABS/WHOLE BODY STRENGTH | Focus on Learning the Turkish Get up. QUADS / CALVES | Incorporate Kettlebell Push Presses or Calf Assistance-Only Push Presses, Rack or Goblet Squats and my Somersault Squats using a kettlebell, and Reverse Rack Lunges.

I get it . It’s going to be tough to learn intricate movements. Kettlebells will challenge you on more planes than machines will. It’s fine. Increasing aut h or | joe Daniels coordination and biome- Joe Daniels is the owner of Swing This Kettlebell and Strength. From be- coming an chanical awareness can IKFF Coach operating in an 800 sq ft studio, the benefits of a minimal yet highly efonly help you on the big fective approach to fitness has grown to a 5500 sq ft functional training facility lifts you may continue to within 4 years. Focusing on injury prevention, competitive kettlebell sport training use with barbells and ma- and stress relief, Swing This Kettlebell and Strength has hosted seminars and trained chines. Training unilater- hands on with some of the top athletes and coaches of the kettlebell world.

44 | MAD FIT MAG | JAN/FEB 2017

Barbell+1 KB Workout Program Monday / Lower Body Pull A/ 2-Hand KB swings | 2 sets of 10 reps Moderately heavy for glute activation. B/ BB deadlift | Wendler 5/3/1 program C/ 1-arm KB Row | 3 sets of 5/4/3/2/1 reps es Rest 1 min b/t sets. D/ 2-Hand KB Swings | 4 sets of 10 reps Rest 2 min b/t sets.

This should be a good start into incorporating kettlebells into your bodybuilding or strength training or even transitioning into kettlebells totally.

E/ KB Farmers Carry | 3 sets of 50ft Heavy Weight. Rest 45 sec b/t sets. F/ Banded Plank | 3 sets of 20-30 sec Rest 45 sec b/t sets. G/ KB Turkish Get Up | 3 sets of 3 reps ES Rest 2 min b/t sets.

Tuesday / upper body press A/ KB press | 2 sets of 4/3/2/1 es D/ KB Half Crush Press | 4 sets of 10-12 reps Heavy Press Ladder. Rest 2 min b/t sets. B/ wide grip bench press | 4 sets of 6-8 reps Slow Eccentric. rest 60-120 sec b/t sets. C/ KB Supine Pull-Over | 3 sets of 15 reps Rest 1 min b/t sets.

Rest 1 min b/t sets. E/ KB Clean to Rack Squat | 4 sets of 20 sec ES Rest 1 min b/t sets. F/ Divebomber Push Ups | 3 sets of 15 reps Rest 1 min between sets.

Wednesday / off: NO WEIGHTS! Work on tissue rejuvenation or HIke/ Walk/ Massage/ Float tank etc Thursday / Lower body Push Quads/Calves A/ BB SQuat | Wendler 5/3/1 program d/ Calf only KB Push Press | 3 sets of 10 reps ES Heavy weight. B1/ KB Upright Row w/Rope | 3 sets of 8 reps B2/ 1-arm swings | 3 sets of 20 reps Rest 90 sec b/t sets. alternate arms for swings every 5 reps. c/ Reverse KB Rack Lunges | 4 sets of 5 reps es step back w/leg OPPOSITE the KB side. Rest 90 sec.

Rest 1 min b/t sets. e/ KB Somersault Squat | 2 sets of 25-30 reps Rest 1 min b/t sets. f1/ Push Ups | 100 reps f2/ Heavy KB Swings | 50 reps f3/ McGill Curlups | 100 reps Can be broken down into sets.

Friday / upper body Pull & Arms A/ Pull Ups | 40 reps E/ KB spider curls | 6 sets of 8 reps ES can be cut up Into as many as 7 sets. B/ low row machine | 4 sets of 9-11 reps can be substituted for high rep tBar row,1-2 sets. C/ KB clean from floor | 4 sets of 5 es form practice. Rest 1 min b/t sets. D/ tate presses | 3 sets of 25 reps Rest 1 min b/t sets.

Rest 1 min b/t sets. F/ battle ropes | 8-10 sets of 15 sec es Rest 30-45 sec b/t sets. G/ Banded Tricep Pressdowns w/External rotation | 75 Split into sets as necessary.

JAN/FEB 2017 | MAD FIT MAG | 45

The 7-DAy Daily

Dose of iron

Kettlebells provide the amount of versatility you need to create endless workouts... but you by Travis Stoetzel still need a plan!


ne of the reasons I love throwing around kettlebells so much is because of the endless amount of versatility they supply. There’s literally an endless amount of set ups and different variations you can use when you train with kettlebells. One day you can be lifting heavy, grinding out some presses, rows, or squats, then on to the next you could be doing jerks, cleans, and snatches; all with the same piece of equipment. You could honestly do a different workout every single day if you really wanted to. However, while having an endless amount of set ups and variations is great, it can also be somewhat of a double edged sword. Why is this? Well, if you’re after long term results, constantly focusing on an endless amount of variations isn’t always the key. Let me explain... If LONG term results are what you’re after, you’ve got to have consistently. Your focus needs to be on progression. If you’re always doing something different, never focusing on a constant increase of progression, you’re just “working out.” While having variety is great, you’ll want some sort of “meth-

46 | MAD FIT MAG | JAN/FEB 2017

od to the madness” along with variety to help ensure you keep consistently progressing ahead.

If not, you’ll never see steady gains. I, for one, know how it can get sometimes when all you do are random workouts. Do XYZ one day, ABC the next… It’s fun, but most the time you just find yourself spinning your wheels going nowhere. But hey, if all you’re after are “workouts” and you don’t care about consistent progress and results, that’s totally cool, keep up with the “WOD’s.” But, if you want a “method to the madness,” here’s how I like to program a full week with kettlebells. It’s the set up I’ve used for years that gives you the variety you want, but the consistency you need for steady results and gains overtime. What I’ve done for you is broken down each day into a specific focus and given you examples of what the actual routines might look like. This is what I like to call, The 7-Day Dose of IRON. It’s taken from my Kettlebell RX system (learn more about it at Let’s dig in...


Here is your 7-Day Dose of Iron. Follow instructions closely.

Day #1: Power Strength Day To kick off the week, I like to focus in on heavier strength mixed in with power. I do this on day one to help endure we’re good and fresh. I want to body ready to be able to lift heavy and move with explosiveness. What I really like to use on Power-Strength Days is

the Every Minute On The Minute Method OR so sort of interval close to that. So an “Every 75 secs” or even Every 90 secs” type set up would work great as well. Here’s an example. The movements you use in these sets up are all strength and power based.

A1/ Hang Snatch| 6 Reps E.M.O.T.M. x 10 Mins (Switch arms each round) B1/ Strict OH Press | 5 Reps E.M.O.T.M. x 10 Mins (Switch arms each round) B2/ KB Rack Squat| 5 Reps E.M.O.T.M. x 10 Mins (Switch arms each round)

Day #2: Burn Day This is a conditioning based day that blends

The set ups are usually lighter in weight and together bodyweight and kettlebells to- higher in reps as well. We’re after the BURN gether via circuits, intervals, and AMRAP’s. baby! Here’s an example:

A1/ Burpees| 10 Reps AMRAP x 10 Mins A2/ Russian Swings| 10 Reps AMRAP x 10 Mins A3/ Lunge Jumps| 10 Reps AMRAP x 10 Mins A3/ Russan Swings| 10 Reps AMRAP x 10 Mins

Day #3: Mobility Day Not that I don’t recommend doing mobility EVERY day (which I do), I like to take a full day out of the week to really hammer it out to help improve overall performance and achieve some focused recovery. For Mobility Day I like to incorporate Kettlebells to help assist the process. A few of my favorite KB assisted movements include The following drills. perform each for at least 5 minutes, resting as much as necessary.

Nasty Ankles | put a light to medium sized KB on top of your knee to help assist in mobilizing your ankle KB Armbar | this helps in improving both shoulder mobility and stability. Also great for opening up the chest and T-spine. KB Sumo Squat Sit | This will help with opening the hips, improving squat positioning, and improving overall squat posture.

JAN/FEB 2017 | MAD FIT MAG | 47

Day #4: Meta-Strength Day After a solid day focused in on Mobility, it’s with no breaks in between. Each movement is time to crank up the intensity again with Day 4, Meta-Strength Day. For this day I like to combine both Metabolic Conditioning and Strength into one. Typically I do this with either a nice little kettlebell complex or chain set up. For a complex, you do a number of movements one right after the other

joined together typically in a nice and fluid set up that allows for easy transitioning from movement to movement. For the set up below, Hit each movement without setting the KB down. Once you hit the final movement, switch sides and repeat.

A1/ KB Power Clean| 5 Reps x 5 rounds A4/ KB Push Press| 5 Reps x 5 rounds A2/ KB Hang Power Clean| 5 Reps x 5 rounds A5/ KB 1-Arm Swing| 5 Reps x 5 rounds A3/ KB Front Squat| 5 Reps x 5 rounds

Day #5: Core Focused Day After Meta-Strength Day is done, we slow tlebell based movements either; I’ll mix KB things down again with a Core Focused Day. For Core Day it’s similar to Mobility Day where I’ll use KB’s to specifically dial in on Core work. Obviously anything done with KB’s already hits the core a great deal, but when it comes to core day, we’re dialing in a bit more deep. It’s not only about doing Ket-

movements with bodyweight core movements like planks, hanging leg raises, etc. All good fun because ABS right? Pick at least 3 of the following exercises and mix with 3 bodyweight movements. Select a set scheme and work for at least 30 minutes.

KB Ab Exercise/ Turkish get ups KB Ab Exercise/ weighted hollow rocks KB Ab Exercise/ windmills KB Ab Exercise/ oh lunges & Squats KB Ab Exercise/ weighted russian twists

Day #6: BEnchmark day This is the day where we really let loose. To IMPROVE performance. Typically I repeat It’s designed around hitting specific tests to measure progress. There’s a couple of common tests I’ll use. The options are limitless but the main theme always remains the same:

certain Benchmarks every 3-4 weeks. It’s important to test and re-test to keep up on progress. And, it’s just fun as hell to challenge yourself on a weekly basis.

TEST #1 / The 5 Min Snatch Test TEST #2 / The 5 Min Russian Swing Test TEST #3 / The 5 Min Clean & Press Test

TEST #4 / Race To 100 Goblet Squats Test #5 / 10-1 Ladder Of Strict Pull Ups & Double KB Strict Overhead Press

The options are limitless but the main theme always remains the same: To IMPROVE performance. Typically I repeat certain Benchmarks every 3-4 weeks. It’s important to test and re-test to keep up on progress. And, it’s just fun as hell to challenge yourself on a weekly basis. Are you wondering how to do these exercises & tests? download Travis Stoetzel’s ebooks at e at

Day #7: Loaded Day To round things out, the final day is what I call, “Loaded Day.” This is where I incorporate a lot of carry’s, hold’s, and static-type stuff. Exercises I like using on these days include: Farmer walks | OH Carrys | Rack Walks | Goblet Walks | Around the Worlds | Halos

I’ll typically have loaded days set up in a circuit type fashion that might look like the following workout. Be sure to switch arms and repeat on the opposite side. Rest as needed between rounds. No rest between switching arms.

A/ Farmer Walk| 100ft x 3-5 rounds (for quality, NOT for time) B/ Rack Walk| 75ft x 3-5 rounds (for quality, NOT for time) C/ OH Carry| 50ft x 3-5 rounds (for quality, NOT for time)

CONCLUSION So, that’s what a week typically looks like within my KB RX Method of programming. You hit a LOT of variety, but when you dig deep to the core of it, there’s an ultimate “method of madness” in play. This method of madness will no doubt help you get the results you’re after with kettlebells: more strength, power, and endless amounts of endurance. All good stuff. Use this to set up your own programming OR check out my system, KB RX at [LINK]

a u tho r |

travis stoetzel Travis Stoetzel lives and breathes for all things strength and conditioning and is 110% committed and determined to help turn you into a complete BADASS both in and out of the gym. His “Aggressive” Methodology and Attitude towards attacking training and life will help you DESTROY your weaknesses.

JAN/FEB 2017 | MAD FIT MAG | 49

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