Category Archives: Conditioning

Monday Training, 4.23.12

Well, I claimed a little while ago that I would get back to blogging regularly. I didn’t. It’s been a busy spring so far! But that’s a good thing.

One promise I didn’t break was my committment to revamp my training. And I’ve been doing just that. Today was a good example of that.

I recently read a great post by Steve Maxwell. Entitled A New Year, and a New, Improved Version of Yourself, the post discussed the importance of movement-based exercises for both performing better and looking better. Steve then made some suggestions for very simple but effective workouts.

I decided to start incorporating some of those suggestions in to my own training. For example, here’s what I did today…

Warm-Up: Joint mobility work, kettlebell halos, around-the-bodys, and windmills

Circuit 1: Ten minutes alternating between Chin-ups and Dips. I kept the reps low, somewhere in the 3 or 5 range, but kept the rest periods very short, usually less than 30-sec. For Chins, I played around with different grips, i.e. palms facing me, palms facing away, neutral grips, etc.

These ten minutes alone are quite a workout. As Steve Maxwell says, “These 2 exercises provide plenty of stimulation to every muscle in the upper body. These exercises exemplify virtue: honest, simple pulling and pushing the bodyweight and pure function. You can neither cheat nor pretend.”

Circuit 2: Tri-set of Sumo Deadlift, Alternating KB Swings, and Box Jumps. I did three sets of these, keeping reps just a few short of failure.

Circuit 3: This is my own addition. Five 50m sprints. Sweet and simple.

Cool-down: 400m ocean swim and yoga on the beach.

All in all, it was a fun and productive session. I plan to do this workout at least once a week for the forseeable future. Be sure to read Steve Maxwell’s original post, and get inspired yourself!

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Time to Revamp Training

Over the last few months, my main training focus has been strength and size. You can get an idea of the sort of workouts I’ve been doing here. I’m happy with my results so far. I have gained about 10 pounds with no significant increase in body fat. My waist is the same as it was before.

However, with spring upon us, it’s time to start mixing things up a bit. While I’ll still have days focussing on strength and size, it is time to start throwing in more intense conditioning workouts as well. I’m happy about this, as one thing I love about kettlebells is the variety of training options. I look forward to starting a new regimen and experimenting with new routines.

Actually, that’s just what I did today. Men’s Health recently featured an interesting kettlebell workout. Essentially, it’s a kettlebell complex incorporating snatches, windmills, squats, and presses. Go check it out. Today I decided to give it a try. To warm-up, I did some joint mobility work, swung my Kali stick, and did some kettlebell halos and around-the-bodys. Next, three sets each of chin-ups and dips on the Jungle Gym. Now it was time for the aforementioned new workout. It was pretty challenging, especially with a 44-lb kettlebell. I finished with a bunch of swings and 25 yard sprints.

Monday Training, 10.17.11

Before training I did some yoga and Kali stick sparring with my friend Gary, so I was plenty warmed-up. The first part of my workout was built around  Jungle Gym Chin-Ups and Double Kettlebell Clean & Jerks. I alternated between the two, and laddered up to 5 reps of each 3 times, for a total of 45 Chins and 45 KB Clean & Jerks.

Next, 3 sets of 7 each of Jungle Gym Dips and Single KB Clean & Jerks.

I finished with a mix of KB Swings and sprints. I paced out 50m, and put a kettlebell on each end. I’d start on one end, do 10 KB Swings, sprint to the other end, do 9 KB Swings, etc. until I got down to 1 KB Swing.

Friday Training, 10.14.11

I warmed-up with yoga, joint mobility work, and swinging my Kali sticks. Next up: 10 sets of 5 Jungle Gym Chin-Ups, followed by 3 sets of 15 Single Kettlebell Snatches and 3 sets of 7 Jungle Gym Dips.

To finish, I did a sprint/swing circuit:

  • 5 KB Swings, 20-m sprint
  • 10 KB Swings, 20-m sprint
  • 15 KB Swings, 20-m sprint
  • 20 KB Swings, 20-m sprint
  • 25 KB Swings, 20-m sprint
  • 20 KB Swings, 20-m sprint
  • 15 KB Swings, 20-m sprint
  • 10 KB Swings, 20-m sprint
  • 5 KB Swings, 20-m sprint

Wednesday Training, 10.11.11

Another ladder-heavy day today.

I warmed-up with some joint mobility work and swinging the Kali sticks. Then it was onto Jungle Gym Chin-Ups and Double Kettlebell Clean & Jerks. I alternated between the two, and laddered up to 5 reps of each 3 times, for a total of 45 Chins and 45 KB Clean & Jerks.

Next, 3 sets of 7 Jungle Gym Dips, 7 TNT Cable Side Raises, and 10 Hindu Push-Ups. I admit it: The Side Raises are purely a vanity move, but what the heck.

I finished with a mix of KB Swings and sprints. I paced out 50m, and put a kettlebell on each end. I’d start on one end, do 10 KB Swings, sprint to the other end, do 9 KB Swings, etc. until I got down to 1 KB Swing.

I cooled down with 10-min of yoga.

Monday Training, 10.10.11

Warmed-up with 10-min of Hindu Push-Ups and Squats, 15/15 style. I also practiced some single-stick Kali techniques.

Next up, Jungle Gym Chin-Ups and Dips, 3 sets of 8 each, followed by 1-Arm Kettlebell Snatches, 3X15.

To finish, I did a sprint/swing circuit:

  • 5 KB Swings, 20-m sprint
  • 10 KB Swings, 20-m sprint
  • 15 KB Swings, 20-m sprint
  • 20 KB Swings, 20-m sprint
  • 25 KB Swings, 20-m sprint
  • 20 KB Swings, 20-m sprint
  • 15 KB Swings, 20-m sprint
  • 10 KB Swings, 20-m sprint
  • 5 KB Swings, 20-m sprint

I cooled-down with a leisurely stroll through the park.

Wednesday Training, 10.5.11

Warmed-up with some joint mobility work and yoga. For the first training circuit, I alternated between Double Kettlebell Jerks and Jungle Gym Chin-Ups. I did ascending/descending ladders of each, doing 2 Chins for every 1 Jerk. I’d work up to 3 Jerks and 6 Chins, and then go back down the ladder to 1 Jerk and 2 Chins, so the circuit looked like this:

  • 1 Dbl KB Jerks, 2 Chins
  • 2 Dbl KB Jerks, 4 Chins
  • 3 Dbl KB Jerks, 6 Chins
  • 2 Dbl KB Jerks, 4 Chins
  • 1 Dbl KB Jerks, 2 Chins

I did this circuit twice.

Next, alternating sets of KB Snatches and Jungle Gym Dips, 3X7 of each.

To finish, it was a mix of KB Swings and sprints. I paced out 50m, and put a kettlebell on each end. I’d start on one end, do 10 KB Swings, sprint to the other end, do 9 KB Swings, etc. until I got down to 1 KB Swing. This was a pretty quick finisher, but challenging, as you are in constant motion with little chance to rest.