2 Tricks To Increase Your Strength When You Don’t Have Heavier KBs…

Got this question from Robert the other day about the
set/rep scheme in one of my programs and the size of the
KBs he was using.

I thought I’d pass it on to give you for a very
particular reason – which I’ll share in a moment –

First, the question…

“Also I only have the KB used for phase 1 strength sets
but that was a 6RM on C+P and now stronger then when
started. Can I use that weight, as not able to get a heavier
set in time or is there a easy way to add more weight? and
or should I do a different rep break down…ie….add a rep to
all to account for lighter weight?”

Again, this was about a very specific program (RPFL – no
longer available – sorry) yet it brings up a very specific

What do you do when you think you can move up a pair
of KBs but don’t have access to them?

Here are 2 techniques that will help you out:

1. Isometric Holds

When you’re doing clean + presses the trick is to use the
clean to drive the press. You absorb the force from the
clean and redirect it into the press.

This gives you more strength, and therefore, more

However, when you implement isometric holds, you can get


Because you dissipate that force from the clean that you’d
normally redirect into the press. This forces you to press
from a dead start.

Here’s how you do it:

a) Implement a 3 to 5 second pause in the rack, then perform
a press

b) When in the overhead position, hold the lockout for 3 to
5 seconds, then pull the KBs back down to the rack and repeat
step a) and finish the prescribed number of reps and sets.

2. Bottom’s Up Presses

I recommend you start out with just one KB before moving
on to 2 bells.

The key here is grip.

Make sure you have a tight grip on the bell(s) and when
you press you’ll need to keep your forearms vertical and
perpendicular to the floor while pressing.

BUP’s are great for working on your pressing groove. They
really teach you to link up your grip to your shoulders to
your abs to your hips to the ground.

You’ll probably need to use a lighter pair of KBs than you
normally would. This is great because it gives you more room
for your strength to grow.

When you can do BUP’s with the same KBs you’re doing now
for your presses, you’ll be much, much stronger, wouldn’t
you agree?

The key here is to start with low reps to keep your grip from

Low reps. 1 to 3 reps to start.

Coincidentally, this is the best rep range to start with
when training for strength with fixed loads, like KBs.


Because it allows you to focus on your technique, which of
course, you’ll need to do if you’re using BUP’s.

The “STRONG!” program starts with low reps and slowly builds
you up so you can end up doing 60 reps in a workout with
what once was your 4-5RM.

You can implement isometrics and/or Bottom’s Up C+Ps within
the program. In fact, doing so will turn the “STRONG!”
program into the “STRONGER!” program.

Get “STRONG!” [and “STRONGER!”] here.

Talk soon.


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