Quasi Reverse Pyramid Training with Kettlebells

For the last two weeks I went for a single routine with a 24 kg Kettlebell:

  • 100 Alternating One Handed Kettlebell Swings
  • 10 Turkish Get-Ups (5 Left 5 Right)
  • 50 Goblet Squats (Holding the KB right under my chin)

50 proper goblet squats with a 24 kg back to back is hard for me, so I take micro breaks (~15-30 seconds) in between the following sequence: 25-15-10-5

Well, you might ask where is the RPT (Reverse Pyramid Training) in that? A RPT usually involves the usage of different weights not just decreasing numbers of reps, right?

This week (so far), I did the above 40% with a 32 kg Kettlebell and 60% with a 24 kg Kettlebell:

  • 40 A1H KB Swings 32 kg – 60 A1H KB Swings 24 kg
  • 2 TGUs Left 32 kg – 3 TGUs Left 24 kg – 2 TGUs Right 32 kg – 3 TGUs Right 24 kg
  • 20 Goblet Squats 32 kg (10 break 10) – 30 Goblet Squats 24 kg (15 break 10 break 5)

Feel the burn baby ­čÖé

One Step Down For The Better

So 5 months ago, I got myself a 32 kg Kettlebell, thought I can handle it after successfully wielding a 32 kg dumbell in Turkish Get-ups.

Well, turned out that I am yet to develop the necessary grip strength to handle that thing in ballistic moves. Two handed swings are quite OK, one handed swings… not there yet, snatches… well these are the next step after one handed swings so not even close ­čÖé

Easy 30 Kettlebell Workout with Mixed Weights

Its been three months since my last post, no spectacular changes, only consistency and perseverance.

Not trying to downplay anything, being consistent and persevering is not a small deed. At least not for me anyway. It requires mental strength and discipline. Both very prone to reluctance, one of the major diseases of our age ruled by attention deficit disorder.

My grip was quite weak when I first started using the 32 kg kettlebell, this is still work in progress.

The Easy 30 Kettlebell Workout from www.liftkettlebells.com is a good mix of ballistic and strength moves with the Kettlebell with some bodyweight exercises thrown in to help balance the load and enhance recovery. Here is how I do it these days:

30s Jumping Jacks 
30s Body Squats 
60s 2H Swings 32kg 
30s Rest 
30s Front Squat L 16kg 
30s Front Squat R 16kg 
30s Rest 
60s Windmill L 32kg 5 reps only then rest
60s Windmill R 32kg 5 reps only then rest
30s 2H Swings Waist High 32kg 
30s 2H Swings Head High 32kg 
30s Swings L 16kg 
30s Swings R 16kg 
60s Rest 
30s Military Press L 16kg 
30s Military Press R 16kg 
30s Rest 
60s Jumping Jacks 
30s Pushups 
60s Rest 
60s 2H Swings 16kg 
30s 2H Swings Overhead 16kg 
60s Rest 
60s One Armed Rows 8 on each side 32kg 
30s Rest 
30s One Armed Rows 4 on each side 32kg 
30s Rest 
45s Pullovers 16kg 
30s Floor Press L 16kg 
30s Floor Press R 16kg 
30s Floor Press L 16kg 
30s Floor Press R 16kg 
30s Pullovers 16kg 
60s Rest 
60s One Armed Rows 8 on each side 32kg 
30s Rest 
30s One Armed Rows 4 on each side 32kg 
30s Rest 
60s Jumping Jacks 
60s Rest 
30s Snatch L 16kg 
30s Snatch R 16kg 
60s Snatch L 16kg 
60s Snatch R 16kg 
30s Snatch L 16kg 
30s Snatch R 16kg

Easy 20 Kettlebell Workout with 32 kg

So what was I up to since my last post?

I went back to basics, just as I said, doing the Easy 20 Kettlebell Workout with the 32 kg Kettlebell which is basically a stripped down version of the Easy 30. Just enough load to keep me out of breath nevertheless.

Still can’t do proper one handed swings and, obviously, snatches with the 32 so I try my best with the swings and switch to the 16 kg bell for the snatches, focusing on form and technique.

So Actually I Was Over-training Lately…

How do I know? Well, I rested during the weekend, read this article about over-training and thought “Wait a minute…”

So today I was able to do a full set of 75 reps of two handed swings before my grip gave way after warming up with jumping jacks and squats.

And I was able to go for 10 inclined push-ups, 10 pistol squats and 10 TGUs (with 24 kg dumbbells but still) after that intense swing session.

Brought in the 16 kg KB to work more on my technique of several moves.

Definitely going to take tomorrow off, over-training is so painful and annoying, makes you feel weaker then you actually are ­čÖé

Plain Swinging

Done 150 two handed kettlebell swings in 6 sets of 25 reps, calluses becoming back part of my appearance.

Added 10  inclined push-ups, 10 pull-ups (from the edge of a table) and 10 pistol squats. Lots of stretching and rest in between as I still kind of strain my lower back a bit, trying to get used to the much heavier weight.

I will try to increase the reps and decrease the sets, maybe 3 sets 0f 50 reps? I hope my hands and forearms do agree with this ­čÖé

Mixing weights on the road to 32

In order to make the transition to the 32 kg kettlebell smoother I decided to do some moves with the 16 kg kettlebell and more basic ones with the 32 kg. This way I plan to regain proper former which is crucial to handle the heavier weight.

I was fooled by the centered mass of 32 kg dumbbells into believing that I could handle the 32 kg kettlebell just as well. My forearm pays the price (the bell slaming on it as grip is not up to par yet amplified by poor technique). I am┬áembarrassed to admit but the last 2 months just doing TGUs really took away a lot from my swing, pull, press, windmill, snatch… basically from all of the remaining moves in terms of proper form/technique.

Currently I try to focus on the two handed swing, doing the hip move effectively with proper stance as I still strain my lower back trying to adapt to the heavy bell.

Therefore I will use the 16 kg kettlebell to re-polish the technical skills.

Planning for an Easy 20 session using both 32 and 16.

Apparently… I Mean Obviously I Lack Grip Strength

The title says it all.

As mentioned in the last post, the 32 kg kettlebell sent me back to square one and then a bit further down.

I tried the Easy 30 Kettlebell workout from liftkettlebells.com and failed miserably. ­čÖü

I haven’t been doing ballistic moves for more then 2 months, just the TGUs with some bodyweight thrown in. I am out of proper form and more importantly my support grip strength is not up to the task of holding or moving the 32 kg kettlebell.

With the TGU you can have some of the weight rest on your forearm and you hold it still. Whereas with almost all the moves in the Easy 30 the kettlebell moves as well.

I decided that I go all the way back to the very basics as I┬ábarely┬ámanage 30 seconds of swings single┬áhanded┬á┬ádon’t even ask me about snatches ­čÖü

I am also in the search for supportive moves to improve my grip strength as without that nothing goes and using things like wrist supports feels like cheating to me.

But I do have decided to cheat on another area until I get the strength up: Supplements

Yes I will resume using L-Carnitine right before training, whey protein right after and Multivitamins daily for a short period of time until I’m comfortable again. I know its cheating your energy levels up and I still stand my ground that in the long run supplements are the wolf in sheep skin but this helped to get started with the 16 kg so it might very well help me with the huge leap to 32 kg this time around. May be not, but I intent to try.

I’ll keep you guys posted about the progress.

Back to Square One

Going straight to 32 kg today after 20 months with 16 kg (last 2 months doing TGUs with 24kg) got my arse kicked properly.

I feel like I’m starting anew. I originally planned on doing the GtG routine I do lately then throw in a 10 minute 40-20 swing session to kill me off for good.

Well, I only managed 10 TGUs (5L-5R), 10 Pistol Squats (5L-5R), barely did the 40-20 for two minutes and I was done. Sitting on the floor… barely, because I had to work my┬áthighs like I haven’t in a looong time. After doing 5 inclined pushups I called it a day.

I might consider going back to the Easy 20 Kettlebell Workout to get things rolling again with the 32 kg.

Never look back, never back down, stay alert and act sensibly.