FREE! KETTLEBELL FITNESS! (Just add work)

Happy Father’s Day!  For those fathers among us…

I can remember when I was 18.  I had just graduated from High School and had joined the Navy on the Delayed Entry Program.  I was in the basement of our house, pushing concrete-filled plastic weights, trying to put a few pounds of muscle on my 6-02, 148 pound frame.

My Dad (a former Marine) came down and asked me what I was doing.  He thought that I was wasting my time trying to get bigger.  His advice to me(which I should have listened to), was to concentrate on bodyweight exercises or exercises that would make me stronger for Boot Camp not the beach.  It struck me recently how his advice was like Pavel’s, he thought I would be better served being “skinny strong” rather than bulked up with a bunch of muscle.

As it was, I only gained a few pounds over the next several months, and lost most of it when I went to Boot Camp and ate a diet consisting of jelly sandwiches and chocolate milk(I used to be a pretty picky eater).

I only wish I had a 16 kg kettlebell back then to swing and snatch before I went to boot camp.  What a difference that would have made!

At any rate, as part of my Father’s Day present this year, my wife and kids went off yesterday morning to handle Costco and give me some quiet time alone.  Naturally I took advantage of my present and took the time to do my ETK heavy practice.

I had eaten a late breakfast and my energy level was pretty high.  So by 1:00, I was ready to go.

I started off with jumping rope (250 reps straight) followed by 10 minutes of wall squats, halos with my 16 kilo kettlebell, and pumps, getting through 5 circuits at the 10-minute mark.

After waiting about 5 minutes, I started my kettlebell work with my 28 kilo bell.

Ladder 1

Clean and Press for 5 rungs together with

Neutral-grip pull-ups for 5 rungs.

Ladder 2

Clean and Press for 5 rungs together with

Pronated-grip pull-ups for 5 rungs.

Ladder 3

Clean and Press for 5 rungs together with

Mixed-grip pull-ups (Left over, right under) for 5 rungs.

Ladder 4

Clean and Press for 5 rungs together with

Mixed-grip pull-ups (Left under, right over) for 5 rungs.

Ladder 5

Clean and Press for 5 rungs together with

Supinated-grip pull-ups for 5 rungs.

By my last set, I was really gassed.  So when I rolled the dice to set my time for swings, I was praying for a really low number…like 2.  Unfortunately, I rolled a 7, so I decided to cheat and roll again.  Now if I was playing Monopoly, double 6s would be a killer roll.  However, when you’re upper body is feeling like it’s going to fall off my bones, 12 minutes doesn’t look so great.

So 7 minutes it was.  (See?  Cheaters never prosper!)

I did them 2-handed because the rest of me was so fatigued, and I did them in sets of 25, setting the bell down for 1 minute rest periods.  I finished with 125 total swings, which was more than enough to finish this heavy day.

Pavel recommends that when you can get all five rungs of 5 ladders that you move up one weight.  For me, that will be up to the 32 kilo kettlebell.  Now the real work begins!


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