For those of you that have been to the HIT sessions from the beginning you’ll know that I favour kettlebells. There are a few reasons why I them as my main training tool:
Full-body conditioning. The body learns to work as one synergistic unit linked strongly together.
Big results in less time. Kettlebell training involves multiple muscle groups and energy systems at once.
Increased resistance to injury: strengthening the posterior chain of muscle, stabilises shoulders, spine and hips.
The ability to work aerobically and anaerobically simultaneously. More bang for your buck.
Improved mobility and range of motion
Enhanced performance in athletics and everyday functioning.
Major calorie burning and EPOC (exercise post oxygen consumption). Contributes to increased metabolic rate, assisting fat loss/maintenance.
My teaching, research, and training over the last 5 years has produced a reductionist training program, culminating in my choosing to focus on the “vital few” movements. I have a similar approach to Strength Training, and have written about this in previous blogs.
At the end of this term, and every term we're going to offer you the ability to benchmark yourself against the first of 5 Levels of Kettlebell proficiency that I've developed in that time.
Here's what Level 1 looks like.....
1) 500 kettlebell swings. Time limit: 45mins. 16kg KB for females, 24kg KB for males
Your 500 swings is made up of the following, repeated 5 times:
50 swings + 3 pull ups, 6 push ups, 9 air squats
25 swings + 3 pull ups, 6 push ups, 9 air squats
15 swings + 3 pull ups, 6 push ups, 9 air squats
10 swings + 3 pull ups, 6 push ups, 9 air squats
2) Modified "Enter the Kettlebell". Time limit: 45 mins. 16kg KB for females, 24kg KB for males
5 x Clean, squat and press L+R plus 5 pull ups
4 x Clean, squat and press L+R plus 4 pull ups
3 x Clean, squat and press L+R plus 3 pull ups
2 x Clean, squat and press L+R plus 2 pull ups
1 x Clean, squat and press L+R plus 1 pull up
Repeat 5 cycles of the above.
For some, the completion of the above will represent three months hard practice, for others it may take a year. As long as you train consistently, manage your own rest breaks as required (as opposed to keeping doing reps with ill looking form) and keep mentally sharp, the length of the journey becomes irrelevant. The results come from turning up and training hard.
We can extract certain components such as technique, endurance, certain movements, mobility, mental focus etc but in all honestly, just do it. Everything you need for a strong body and good fitness is in the above: Vertical pull, vertical push, ballistic hinge, squat, bodyweight work, endurance, strength. You name it, it’s there.
So for the remainder of term one we will continue to practice the basics as that’s where 90% of our gains are going to be made!