Analysis of a Kettlebell Session


A White Dog kettlebell session can be summed up as follows. 

“I want results, I want to work fast and want my body to experience physical stress in a controlled and manner”.

I use kettlebells a lot!

They are easy to coach.  They can be punishing IF you choose the right weight.  And they are versatile as you can swing, push, press and squat them!

I use 3 main concepts when writing kettlebell sessions for the term.  The following will give you an insight into how I lay the foundations:

Complexes – Chains – Ladders

COMPLEX Kettlebell Session 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.

Ten each of the following with a Double kettlebell is a great example.

  • Swing
  • Snatch
  • Squat
  • Push press 

Rinse, repeat until thoroughly exhausted. Complete the above workout multiple times with adequate rest periods after each set.

CHAIN Kettlebell Session is a series of exercises performed sequentially.  The difference is that you perform only one rep of each exercise before starting the sequence over again.

One rep is counted each time the sequence of exercises is performed.


  • Clean
  • 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.

LADDER Kettlebell Session 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.  

Tone down or jack up a simple push/pull workout three times a week.  This allows you to workout 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 a kettlebell session at White Dog, 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 them a go. My sessions aren’t the usual bootcamp-esque workouts completed to the voice of the drill sergeant.

If I had to sum up a White Dog kettlebell session in 10 words… “Body conditioning through intense strength based movements, requiring mental fortitude”.