An Early End To Enter The Kettlebell

girevoy sport kettlebell workoutsWinning isn’t always finishing first.  Sometimes winning is just finishing.” ~ Manuel Diotte

Please accept my apologies for going almost a whole week before posting again.  I’m usually better about that, but our evenings were pretty full last week and I didn’t have the time to train and write, so the writing went by the wayside.

Last week we finished our “medium” and “heavy” days with five ladders of four and five ladders of five, respectively, on March 4th and 6th.

For our “medium” day endurance work, we did fifty rep sets of swings, with twenty seconds of rest for eight minutes, totaling 200 reps.

For our “heavy” day, Val used her AOS 12 kg while I used my AOS 24 kg.  When you do your first 5 ladder / 5 rung workout there’s really no way to prepare for it other than the progressive build-up we’ve been doing for the past eight weeks.  Once you’re in it, you either finish or you don’t.  We did.  And strongly too, I might add.  Don’t get me wrong, you’ll feel those last few rungs and you should be pushing with laser-like focus when you do those reps to prevent injury.  But it was very satisfying to complete all our reps as we had planned.

Our “heavy” day endurance work was short and involved twenty-five rep sets of swings with five seconds of rest for three minutes.  We got 100 reps in a few seconds over three minutes.  That was brutal.

Once we finished, I looked forward in the AOS ETK workbook and saw four more weeks of the same thing.  I know the program volume is designed to raise one’s strength level to one significantly higher than where we started from, but completing the 5 ladders of 5 rungs was enough for both my wife and I and neither one of us was looking forward to 4 more weeks of the same clean and press ladders (Sorry Pavel and Anthony).  We’re were starting to get a bit bored so we’ll switch into something else.

In fact, when I last asked for ideas for our next program, my friend Bob Garon, from Synergy Kettlebell Training, suggested I give Girevoy Sport (GS) training another go.  While I’m still not convinced GS is my thing, I might have tried to do too much too soon (who me?) before, which might have had a bit of an influence on my decision to switch back to Hardstyle.

At any rate, I’ve decided to take a few days of rest and then split the difference between Hardstyle and GS and do two days a week of the Art of Strength Resolution program, and two to three days of GS work.

Specifically, I’m going to try to earn either a Rank III in the World Kettlebell Club system for the biathlon, or a Rank IV in the IKFF system.  I’ll write a little more about how I’m going to accomplish that tomorrow and what those numbers look like.  It’s 10:30 now and time for bed.


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3 Responses to An Early End To Enter The Kettlebell

  1. Hi, are you saying that you only went through the 5×5 ladder once? I understand that the last 4 weeks of ETK look pretty boring seeing as they are basically just “more of the same”, but I don’t think I would have experienced the strength gains that I have through ETK had I not persevered at the end and pressed out that 5×5 volume. I ran through ETK using the 20kg kettlebell at the end of last year and my pressing strength absolutely shot up. From struggling to complete ladders with the 20kg at the start of ETK I am now routinely completing 3×5-rung press and pull-up ladders with the *24kg* and I am sure that the final few weeks of ETK was what consolidated that strength gain. Maybe you’ve just made that gain very quickly, in which case good for you, and more strength to you, but I really wouldn’t write off the last stages of ETK too quickly. Perhaps consider doing a modified finish with perhaps just two workouts, medium and heavy, with 5×5 ladders? Anyway, all just my opinion and no offence intended 🙂 I will be back to have a good rawl through your blog at some point.


  2. Hi Dave,
    Thanks for reading and commenting. This was our second time through ETK. The first time we went all 12 weeks. My strength did go up, to the point that I went from a 24 kg to a 28 kg kettlebell. At the same time though, my elbows really started to bother me, whether from the presses or the pull-ups and they are constantly an issue for me now if I push too hard. This is where I am at week 8. I can feel the same elbow issues developing. At the same time, my wife has achieved good strength gains as well, however, she was not looking forward to 4 more weeks of the same thing. It’s very important for both of us to exercise together and to do that we want to be on the same page and use the same program. So to alleviate the elbow/boredom issue, we’re moving on to a different program. I don’t feel like we’re missing out on anything, as we both achieved our 5×5 with the weight we wanted.


  3. Ah, yes, that does make more sense to me now. Obviously on your 2nd time through you would appreciate the value and make a good judgement. I also experience some elbow pain, but mostly on the pull-ups rather than the presses. My wife and I also went through ETK side by side, but she has now restarted to go through again after upping her kettlebell weight. I am not looking for strength gains right now, so can only cheer from the sidelines 🙂 I aim to up my cycling, running and climbing as summer approaches, so my emphasis is more just on calorie burning cardio to get some weight down for the outdoor pursuits 🙂


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