Enter The Kettlebell-Raising The Intensity

Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.~Winston Churchill

We’re in week 3 of the Program Minimum phase of Enter The Kettlebell.  If you’ve been following along, you know that we’ve been using the Art of Strength, Enter The Kettlebell workbook.  You probably also know that we’ve decided to adjust the jumps in swing reps to accommodate our hectic schedule and longer recovery rates.

For instance, Anthony has you do 10-rep jumps in the number of swings you do per week; i.e. week 3 has you doing 40 rep sets while week 4 has you doing 50 rep sets.  I know from the last go around that we had a tough time making those reps in that short, 4-week period.  So this time, we’ve decided that 5 rep jumps will work a little better and force us to move the Program Minimum out to 5 or 6 weeks from 4.

Remember, the numbers aren’t set in stone and are suggestions.  You should be realistic when you look at what you want to accomplish versus how much energy you have to accomplish those goals with.  If I try to hit those 50 rep sets in week 4 when I’m not ready for them, it’s easy to get discouraged if I can’t do it or injured with poor form if I try to push too hard.

So what’s our endgame?  To finish the program as written?  Or to get the benefits of what the program has to offer regardless of how long it takes.  If I decide to add a week or two to our sessions, I’m still getting the excellent benefits of the ETK program.  Like weightlifters who use micro-plates to make steady, continuous progress, we’re using smaller, 5-rep jumps to keep plugging along to that 50 rep goal.

I’m really excited to start the Rite of Passage workouts, but I know that those workouts will be far more productive when we’re satisfied with our Program Minimum results.  I know I’m not the only one who finds it tough to get motivated in this crappy, rainy winter weather.  God knows I’d rather just come home and crawl into bed.  But I also know that I’ll find it harder to stay motivated to make the next practice session if I don’t continue to try and progress past my last session.

That’s the “courage to continue” that Winston Churchill spoke of.

Today’s ETK Program Minimum practice:

Joint mobility work.

10 minute warm-up.  4 rounds (Substituting goblet squats for wall squats).

12 minutes of swings-35 rep sets (2-handed) with one minute of rest between sets.  6 rounds.

Compensatory cool-down movements.


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