Strength Training For Cycling With Kettlebells Strength Training For Cycling With Kettlebells | Ironbell Athletics

Strength Training For Cycling With Kettlebells

iStock 000018656807Small 300x300 Strength Training For Cycling With KettlebellsHappy New Year to everyone!  First off, thank you to everyone who purchased Worlds Kettlebell Club products through my site.  In a previous post, I said that I would donate any commission I made to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society through our team page.  I’m very happy to say that during the last quarter I earned $175.00 commission and donated that to LLS as promised.  Thanks!

My wife and I have been training the pentathlon exclusively since September, when we signed up with Team in Training to ride the Solvang Century this March.

As you might imagine, riding 104 miles take a lot of preparation, especially for two people who haven’t ridden bikes seriously for about 25 years!  I was working on rank 2 for longcycle, but the doubles work was increasingly taking a toll on my energy levels for cycling.  In addition, my wife wanted to train with me, but not for timed sets for GS.  So I had to come up with something to take care of the strength training part of our overall cycling training.  As it turns out, the pentathlon takes care of that perfectly.

For those not familiar with the kettlebell pentathlon, it’s a five exercise event, done for 6’00 sets with 5’00 rest periods between lifts.  The pentathlon is done with a single kettlebell and multiple hand switches are allowed.  In addition, the lifter may use whatever weight he/she wishes for a particular exercise.  For example, a lifter may choose to use a 28 kilo bell for cleans, and a 24 kilo bell of one-arm jerks.  It all depends on one’s strength and conditioning.

The order of exercises is as follows:  Clean, one-arm longcycle press, one-arm jerk, half snatch and push press.  Each exercise has a maximum rep number per minute and therefore a max rep number per 6’00 set.  In addition, each kettlebell weight has a numerical factor assigned to it in order to facilitate score keeping.  8 kilo kettlebells have a factor of 1, 12 kg – 1.5, 16 kg -2, 20 kg – 2.5, 24 kg – 3, 28 kg – 3.5, 32 kg – 4, 36 kg – 4.5, 40 kg – 5.  The factor is multiplied by the number of reps completed during the 6’00 set.

We started with 3 exercises per workout and rotated through them in the given pentathlon sequence in order to add variety to our practice. So for instance on Monday we’d do the clean, one-arm longcycle press and one-arm jerk.  On Wednesday, we’d do one-arm longcycle press, one-arm jerk and half snatch.  The next workout we’d just rotate out the first movement from the previous workout and bring in the new one.  We worked 4’00 sets with 3’00 rest periods.  I started with my 20 kg while my wife began with her 8 kg.

We made a point to work the max reps per minute and after a month bumped the weight up one increment (24 and 12 kg) in the clean and then half snatch. By the end of October, we added one more exercise but kept the rotation as before. During the first week of November, I had to go out of town for a conference in Santa Barbara. I took my 16 kgs with me and did a 10’00 set of longcycle, getting 82 reps. The pentathlon is obviously helping keep the endurance up!

After getting back home, we continued with our workouts and by the third week in November, we were both up to using the 24 kg and 12 kg exclusively for all our exercises with one or two backoff workouts with the lighter kettlebells. Our last full workout (4 exercises) was on December 13, where we did one-arm longcycle press – 43 reps, one-arm jerk – 65 reps, half snatch – 56 reps, and push press – 60 reps.

The week before Christmas, I decided to cut back our training for the week to just 2 exercises to give us more time to prepare for family and parties, etc. Since Christmas, we haven’t touched the kettlebells at all, but have done a 30 and 38 mile ride each weekend. We’ll pick up the bells again tomorrow and get back at it with our goal being to move up one more weight increment.

The rotation of exercises works very well to prevent getting bored, and the ability as many exercise as we have time for allows for a lot of flexibility as well. We’re very happy with our results so far.

Enter the WKC Performance Kettlebell

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The new year brought us a surprise from the World Kettlebell Club — introducing the Performance Kettlebell!

I’ll let Valery himself describe the benefits of this new training tool:

We developed what I consider the most modern kettlebell available. We put research money into manufacturing procedures to give a more consistent kettlebell, tougher paint and a smoother handle.

The main advantage of a Performance Kettlebell though is the softened curve of the ball. This does two things. 1. It spreads the surface area some so that the pressure on the arm is less. 2. The hand/arm actually fit inside better and put the kettlebell at an advantageous angle for a more perfect trajectory. Some may also find that it sits in the Rack easier and allows for a better lockout alignment.  Regardless, overall it is more comfortable. We went with the angle of comfort being the driving force towards performance. In Kettlebell Lifting, the more comfortable you can get, the more you are willing to stay and work. The only way to make it perform better would be to magically make it lighter. It’s not a guarantee of results just by its use alone, but it eliminates the excuses concerning the tool and puts them more on you, the lifter, and your training. It also makes training less agonizing, so you do it more often!

These new Performance kettlebells are available right now! In addition, regular ProGrade kettlebells are deeply discounted right now.  So make the most of your Christmas cash or tax return and add to your kettlebell arsenal!

Finally, I’d like to invite everyone to visit our Team in Training page and see how we’re doing in our training and perhaps even donate to this important cause.

Happy New Year everyone!

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