A few months ago, I wrote a post titled:
That has been my most popular post on this blog, by far.
I wrote it because I wanted to convey how simple a workout can be, and probably should be for most people.
Totally stripped down. Nothing but a timer, a towel and water bottle, and a kettlebell of a decent weight. You could make the argument that a “totally stripped down” workout would only involve bodyweight exercises, but that’s beside the point.
A lot of people avoid physical activity because of two things:
- Preconceived thoughts and anxiety about how the workout will feel.
Simple workouts are time effective and aim to limit anxiety. You look at the agenda for the workout and say to yourself, “Oh, I just have to focus on kettlebell swings today. I can do that”.
If you have a kettlebell or have the means to acquire a kettlebell for the future, I will ALWAYS encourage you to make the purchase. Don’t wait, don’t peruse, don’t over-analyze.
Just buy and be done with it. You won’t be sorry.
Well, I take that back, you could be sorry… if you buy it and fizzle out and using it. Then it’s just another heavy object holding a door open. What a shame that would be.
Anyways, I wanted to build on that post, because I felt that the workouts displayed were rock solid, and applicable to a large population of readers.
They are simple, yet brutally effective. I would consider them entry-level workouts, however, I have to admit that I continue to use the 15sec work/ 15sec rest (24 rounds) kettlebell swing protocol to this day.
The only difference is that I have climbed the ladder in weight. When I started with the protocol, I used a 20kg kettlebell from LifeLine Fitness. I then climbed to the 24kg kettlebell, then to the 28kg kettlebell and now on to the 32kg kettlebell. All were purchased from LifeLine Fitness also (yes, I promote these guys heavily, they make equipment worth buying).
Don’t be fooled by elaborate training protocols. Keep it simple and be detailed.
A simple workout/program executed to perfection will trump the world’s most complex/perfectly written program done poorly.
Stay in the “simple” zone, do it right.
That being said, I would like to say that kettlebells and suspension trainers are a match made in heavy. For roughly $300, you can outfit your home with a Jungle Gym XT and a nice variety of kettlebells ranging in weight.
The combination of a suspension trainer and kettlebells is magic.
Seriously, they are match made in heaven.
Let’s look at workout that I’ve employed over the years…
A workout like this is complete.
The kettlebell swings alone are enough to initiate a tremendous training stimulus, but when paired with the other movements, the workout is magic. Push, pull and ballistic movements for the upper and lower body are all represented here.
With high volume workouts, I typically choose simple rep schemes. It’s annoying trying to remember how many reps to complete in the middle of round, when you’re real focus should be on controlling your breathing and fatigue. Once you experience this frustration, you’ll wish that you would have picked simple rep schemes.
After completing each round, I would rest anywhere from 45-75 seconds depending on your conditioning level. Don’t be a hero and rest for 45sec in the first round if you can’t handle it. This decision may bite you in the ass in the later rounds when your fatigue levels spike.
Fatigue accumulates throughout the workout, just as it does for every workout. It’s inevitable that it’s coming, but timing it so that you complete quality work while you can is the idea here.
The number of rounds that you complete is depends on your ability to complete quality work (exercise technique, complete reps, etc). If your form breaks, you make the decision to rest before re-engaging, or you pull the plug on the workout altogether.
Safety first, always. Form good habits.
Put this workout in your back pocket for now, load it in the chamber when you need a challenging high tempo training session.
Cheers to ST’s, BW’s and KB’s!
(PS: I turned on “Location Tagging” so that you’ll really believe that I reside in God’s Country… Eau Claire, WI)