What's in the programming of an HIT session?

White Dog HIT sessions can be summed up as: “I want results, I want to work fast and let my body experience physical stress but still in a controlled and methodological manner”.

I use kettlebells in HIT sessions a lot! They are easy to coach, can be punishing IF you choose the right weight and are very versatile in that you can swing, push, press, squat them as well as a number of other uses.

I use 3 main concepts when writing the HIT programming for the term and the following will give you an insight in how I lay the foundations:

Complexes - Chains - Ladders


A kettlebell COMPLEX is a series of exercises performed in a sequence with the same weight and without rest. All reps of an exercise are performed BEFORE moving on to the next exercise. Example:

Double kettlebell swing x 10

Double kettlebell snatch x 10

Double kettlebell squat x 10

Double kettlebell push press x 10

Rinse, repeat until thoroughly exhausted. The above workout would be performed multiple times with adequate rest periods after each set.

A kettlebell CHAIN is a series of exercises performed sequentially, but the difference is that you perform only one rep of each exercise in the sequence before starting the sequence over again. Each time the sequence of exercises is performed, it counts as one rep. Example:


Offset squat

Drop lunge+press

Offset squat

Change arm, cycle and repeat for 10 reps total (5 each arm)

Typically, we’d be pushing the above cycle for a set period of time, say 8 minutes trying to achieve as many reps as possible with impeccable form. This is what I call an AMTAP. As Much Technique As Possible and is the antithesis to the infamous AMRAP workouts that are so pervasive in the HIT community at present. R=reps.

A kettlebell LADDER is used with an exercise and you add a rep for each rung of the ladder. Clean and press example: You do 1 rep with the left and then switch hands and do one with the right. That would be the first rung of the ladder. Then do 2 with the left and then 2 with the right = rung 2. You can do 5+ rung ladders and multiple ladders

The best example of a ladder is Rite of Passage workout that I am a big fan of. Just google.  A simple push/pull workout that can be completed up to 3 times a week and can be toned down or jacked up depending on skill and energy levels that day. It’s a combination of two moves, a Clean & Press and chin ups. Two moves performed in ladders with compressed rest intervals. Simple, brutal and effective. ROP is the definitive staple of my sessions delivery in HIT as it’s been around a long time and has a whole community devoted to it and offering modifications and progressions where needed.

For those of you already doing HIT I hope that helps you to understand what you're doing in class. For anyone not signed up, it might help you make the decision to give HIT a go. My sessions aren’t the usual metafit, bootcamp-esque workouts completed to the beat of the drum or the voice of the drill sergeant. If I had to sum up the White Dog HIT sessions in 10 words… “Body conditioning through intense strength based movements, requiring mental fortitude”.