I’ve had some great feedback from this series of emails.
Some of it has ranged from –
“This totally explains what I’ve been experiencing with
why I can’t lose fat…”
“I just finished Kettlebell Burn 2.0 so I’m guessing I should
move to phase 3… What do you think…?”
“This email doesn’t have the programs in it. Can you just
tell me where I can get a template with these programs
Last week we looked at some sample exercises you’ll find in
each one of the 4 phase of productive kettlebell programming.
Today I wanted to actually give you a glimpse into one of
these workouts – something you can do for today’s (or
tomorrow’s) workout that will not only be productive, but
for many, incredibly challenging as well –
… without feeling like you’ve been hit by a truck.
First, you may be wondering which one of these 4 phases
you should start with.
Great question, especially if you’re in phases 2, 3, or 4.
Personally, I’d start in phase 1.
Consider the following:
1. Many people who are currently doing a fat loss program
have been doing a fat loss program, or fat loss PROGRAMS
Fat loss programming is extremely demanding on the body.
So doing it for long periods of time can be psychologically
and physically detrimental – especially when you have built
up movement compensations.
2. Hard core strength programs take a toll on your body.
I was just talking to a friend of mine who was telling me
about a friend of his who had to cancel an upper level kettlebell
course because more than 25% of the registrants got injured
training for the strength requirements of that course.
Now, there are several questions that statement begs, but the
point is this:
Many people just aren’t ready for hardcore strength programming.
And when they think they are, they get injured.
Or they may be like I was about 5 years ago – you’ve done
so much strength programming for so long, you’re nothing
but banged up. Feeling “good” is the exception, not the rule.
3. Even though very few people in the KB community actually
do muscle-building programs – it’s just as easy to get banged
up doing muscle building workouts as it is strength workouts -
Especially when you’re using “muscle damage” or “metabolic
damage” methods of training because those methods require
taking your sets as close to failure as possible –
And most people don’t understand the term “failure” so they
abuse it. (More on “failure” some other time, ok?)
Plus, whenever I start with a new client I always evaluate their
strengths and weaknesses.
I put them on programs that maintain their strengths, and
find, fix, and eliminate their weaknesses.
Then we build from there.
It’s just a time-tested methodology.
So, on to today’s workout.
It’s a very simple Phase 1 workout.
It’s designed to increase your reflexive core stability, your
t-spine mobility, and your shoulder mobility.
Here are the exercises (one of my favorite circuits):
A2. Dead Bugs x 10-20
A3. Get Up x 2-3
– Perform this as a “strength circuit” – A1, rest, A2, rest, then
A3, rest… Repeat.
– Rest as needed – it’s not MetCon
Here are pics of Segmental Rolling and the Dead Bugs:
And the Dead Bugs…
Now here’s why this works:
You may have heard that the Get Up is an awesome exercise
for training most of the aspects of the developmental sequence:
Rolling, kneeling, lunging, standing.
The problem arises when you’re missing pieces of that
sequence and then you go to load it by holding a KB
overhead and trying to “get up.”
Most people who are deconditioned can’t to the Get Up well
by itself and need some “help.”
(Not “help” like steroids – lol.)
And many people who have been using KBs for awhile can
do the Get Up, but it still feels…
So the Segmental Rolling and the Dead Bugs “feed” the
They make it “easier.”
So what’s the test?
Do this workout today for 20 minutes.
“Test” an unrelated movement before you get started.
What I mean is this – perform 1 to 2 reps with a medium KB
on a “grind” movement – press, squat – shoot, you could even
test a bodyweight movement like a Pistol or Pull Up or for the
really adventurous – the One Arm One Leg Push Up.
Note how hard or easy it is/feels.
(Does you or the KB move fast and fluid? Or does it feel
slow and “stuck” or “sticky?”
Go through 1 round of today’s workout and then “test”
that movement again – do 1 or 2 reps again – same weight.
Note if there’s any difference.
If it feels lighter and easier, then the circuit made your body
If it feels heavier and harder, then your body became less
(Chances are better than good that it will be the former, rather
than the latter.)
How’s that work?
Because increased neuromuscular efficiency produces
“effortless” or easier movement.
Phase 1 workouts are supposed to make your body more
efficient by finding and fixing your movement dysfunctions
And like we’ve covered throughout this series, there are a
few that are common to most of Westernized civilization –
a.k.a. People who sit a lot.
And that’s why we start there – in Phase 1.
So give that workout a shot – even if it’s your day off. (Think
of it as “active recovery.” :-] )
Remember, 20 minutes.
Test your exercise of choice for efficiency before and after
your first round and make notes.
P.S. Almost forgot – if you feel really good after this workout,
good. That’s by design.
Also, feel free if you feel really good to do an extra set or
two of Get Ups pushing the weight – but again, only if you
feel really good.