It’s always been a passion of mine – sometimes more like an
obsession – whether it was hanging from the clothesline pole
at age 3 for time or training for the Nationals –
I’ve always been obsessed by strength.
And that’s carried into my business and my passion for helping
people attain and regain their health and fitness.
Mark Rippetoe, author of Starting Strength, quipped,
“Strong people are harder to kill.”
I guess to a certain extent that’s true.
If you get in a fight, assuming you know some basics, you’ll
If you’re strong, chances are pretty good that you’re also
relatively healthy, meaning you’ll have a stronger immune
system and will be less susceptible to illness.
If you’re strong, there’s a greater likelihood that you’ll age
gracefully and not have the worries that other elderly folks
have – like falling, and osteo-you-name-it, and high whatever.
Case in point – one of my clients, Bob, who’s 60+, training for
the SFG2, and can press a 36kg either side.
He travels and loves hanging out with his family, especially
That’s what being strong allows you to do –
All the things in life that are really important to YOU.
Spending time with family…
With few if any cares…
Being STRONG makes life EASIER.
My friend Brett Jones likens strength to a cup –
The bigger the cup, the more it holds.
If you’re stronger, it’s easier to train for endurance events like
the SFG Snatch Test.
All this begs a question:
How then do you get “Strong?”
The #1 way to get strong is to use Progressive Overload.
That means adding a little bit of difficulty – or a little more
difficulty – virtually every time you train.
Notice I said “train” and not “work out.”
The difference you ask?
Training revolves around a long-term goal.
How then do you train with KBs to get stronger?
1. Add reps.
This is also known as increasing volume or total workload.
It’s the #1 way to progressively overload your body using KBs.
For example: Start with 50 swings in a workout. Then over time
add 5-10 reps per session until you’re up to 100 reps.
2. Add weight.
There comes a point of diminishing returns when doing more
and more reps with the same size KB.
Then it’s time to get a bigger KB and start the process over
3. Increase complexity.
Learn more challenging and more demanding exercises for
For example: Once you’ve done enough Swings, move on
to the Snatch.
The increased distance you have to move the KB requires
and produces more strength in your hips, arms, and hands.
4. Increase systemic demand.
What I’m about to say won’t be popular, but it’s the truth.
A 24kg (53lb) KB isn’t heavy for a man.
And a 12kg (26lb) KB isn’t heavy for a woman.
If they feel heavy to you it’s because you’re weak.
Yeah, that goes over about as well as a fart in church.
It seems… Insulting.
It’s just factual.
And I tell you that because I respect you and I’m not into all
this “touchy-feely” PC crap.
So spending all your time with a single 24kg KB or a single
12kg KB is just short-changing yourself.
Those weights are basic “entry level” weights.
They’re “pay to play” weights if you will.
You’re not good at the piano because you can play notes
or put scales together.
Like the 24kg and 12kg those are starting points – foundations –
for the work – and the REWARDS to come.
Once you’re at that point where those weights feel relatively
easy, it’s time to move on – time to GROW.
The best way to do that is to demand more from your body
as a whole – as a SYSTEM.
And the absolutely hands down way to do that is to learn
to start using a PAIR of KBs.
When you learn to use a pair of KBs, your strength skyrockets
and all the single KB lifts become… EASY.
Case in point:
When I went to my RKC 10 years ago, we still had an “endurance”
style Snatch Test.
For my weight, I had to do 76 snatches with a 24kg with one
hand switch and I couldn’t put the KB down.
My training background was in heavy Olympic lifting, and even
though I was recovering from an injury while I was training
for the RKC, my strength background made the single 24kg
feel like a toy.
My Snatch Test workouts – were all done with a 32kg.
When I did the 24kg, it felt like what it was – light.
What then is the best “method” for using a pair of KBs and
making your single KB lifts feel really light?
… For making yourself as strong as possible as quickly as
Don’t take my word for it.
Here’s what one of my customers, Mike Moran, said:
“IF you have never done DOUBLES or need more
work with them then I would suggest STRONG for
2 reasons. The instructions are GOLD and the program
will do just what it says. Make you STRONG. Also, it
won’t take up too much time or energy.”