Completely Un-Organized Kettlebell Training for Fat Loss and Athletic-Like Conditioning: Part 2

Quick Tips

Part 1, if you made it through that novel, was me thinking out loud about systems.  Part 2, right here, is what I actually did to spark that post.

Here we go…

Using my trusty jump rope, I started the training session with a 10 minute jump session.  I always start slow with two-foot jumps and work into more progressive drills like running, single foot, etc.  I keep the rope moving continuously, only stopping to change a shitty song, scratch or grab a swig of water.

Last night, this is where the un-organized part comes in.  In the kettlebell training world, there is a world-famous tough guy test called the “SSST”.  The “SSST” stands for “Secret Service Snatch Test”.  Initially, I thought it was another gimmick workout but I later learned that there was actually a story behind it.  Interesting.

So, here is what the SSST entails:

  • Perform as many snatches as possible in 10 minutes using a 24kg (53lb) kettlebell.
  • Record your score while trying to hold your lungs and eyeballs from shooting out.

That’s it.  

My best score with the SSST is 226 repetitions respecting the perimeters of the test bulleted above.   

I haven’t attempted a full SSST for about 2 years, and I would like to think that I could get 250 reps in the 10 minute time frame.  Who knows.  I tend to not have a governor when it comes to pursuing competitive type stuff.  All or nothing.  

The kettlebell snatch is a technical move just like the dumbbell snatch, so there is a method to the madness.  Grip, arc of the bell, hip snap, etc… all make a HUGE difference in your numbers.  The first time I tried the SSST I ripped all of the skin off of both of my palms.  It’s important to note that a “rep” in the SSST is counted only if the elbow is locked out overhead.  

Back to last night…  

Initially, last night was scheduled to be a recovery style training session because of the intensity of the previous day’s workout.  Typically I would just jump rope and bike while keep my heart rate in specific BPM zones, then call it a day.  Nope, I decided to try something different.  I decided that I would mess around with mini-circuits using my kettlebells.

Here is what I did:

5 minutes each of:

1)  Kettlebell snatches (alternating hands every 10 reps)

2)  2-Hand Kettlebell swings (30 reps then rest until ready)

3)  Intense jump rope (not sure of the revolutions per minute)


For the snatches, I completed 110 repetitions and for the swings I completed 120 repetitions.  My heart rate stayed where I wanted it and I felt great during the session.  The jump rope at the end was a bear.  

All in all, the workout lasted about 30 minutes, which was perfect because that is roughly how long I would have biked for had I gone that route.  

Soreness today was not bad and overall the workout was a success.  

Is it possible to train improvised in every session?  Of course, but I am still not convinced that it is superior to an organized, progressive training system.  Attempting to train too many qualities at once seems to make a person “average” in all of those qualities.  However, for fat loss efforts and general athletic-conditioning, I think training sporadic will work just fine assuming you are using big movements with solid technique and load.  

Again, at this point I would look to stay within a system.

Also, be realistic about the SSST.  If you aren’t qualified to be snatching a kettlebell, don’t attempt the SSST.  Honestly, this is high level stuff.  I don’t mean to make myself or anyone else sound superior in any way, but injury prevention is important to me.  Snatching a 53lb kettlebell for 10 minutes straight is not for the average person.  Don’t be a hero.  If you don’t have the technique or the conditioning, stay away from it.  Building your technique, strength and conditioning and then give it a go when you are capable.  Make sure your hands are prepared, you won’t want to grab your steering wheel for a week if you don’t rough those hands up first.  


Cheers to the improvised workout…




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