When I was younger, I’d read all kinds of strength books
and magazines like “Powerlifting USA.” I was always amazed
at the diversity of training programs.
One champ would start at 5 sets of 10 with 50% and work
up to 100% for 2 sets of 2 before a big meet.
Another would start with 8 sets of 3 with 60%…
Another would do exclusively 5×5 then taper to 3×3…
And there were what seemed to be a million different
permutations of these programs.
I was so confused because of the variations – I didn’t know
which program to follow and so I became afraid that I was
Like there was something better I wasn’t doing…
… Something that would give me faster results…
So I was always looking for the “best” workout program –
The “best” workout structure.
So I’d jump around from workout to workout.
The only reason I got results I think was that somehow
I understood the basics and I showed up to train.
It wasn’t until I started studying and learning the principles
of program design that I understood why all these champs
could use such seemingly disparate training programs and
still all be champs.
What’s really interesting is how your “best” program needs
actually change as you age… or “mature.”
Here’s what I mean:
When you’re young, your focus is “How much can I DO.”
When you’re older, your focus is “How much CAN I do?”
As you age your focus tends to shift to “What needs to be
done” v. the wanting to DO when you’re young.
See, when you’re younger, you seem to have a lot of time
on your hands because life is less complicated.
When you’re older life is WAY more complicated so many
times there’s the inner turmoil of doing what you’d like to
do v. doing what you need to do.
Case in point:
When you’re young (or at least when I was young), it was
easy to blow 2 hours or more in the gym.
My gym is in my garage and my eye is ALWAYS on the clock!
When I was younger, I’d do workouts filled with exercise –
Bench, incline bench, decline bench, pec flies, triceps push-
downs, skullcrushers, more triceps pushdowns (with a different
grip of course)…
Or in my Olympic lifting days –
Snatch, push press, snatch pull, squat, RDLs…
Now – it’s 2 exercises – 3 max.
Today’s workout is: Cleans. Jerks. Squats.
It really all comes down to “training economy.”
So what’s the “best” workout structure?
It’s the one that:
Meets your needs while intersecting with getting you to
Here’s what I mean –
Let’s say you’ve got a goal to press half your bodyweight in
one hand. An admirable and challenging goal.
However, you have a bum shoulder, so your immediate need
is to rehab that shoulder.
And if you’re like me, you want that shoulder rehabbed
So the best program for you will revolve around rehabbing
that shoulder and building up the rest of your body for that
press goal while the shoulder heals.
What if you’re need is simply to “stay in shape” for your
two young children so you can be around as a dad and
Or your goal is to have more energy as a single mom?
What’s the “best” structure for that?
It’s the one you look at and say, “yeah, that’s doable.”
And no, it’s NOT the one that you watch on TV and gets
you all adrenaline pumped – because at the end of the day
the adrenaline wears off and you have to face the end of
the day –
Which is where your energy is lacking – and more often
than not when you need it most.
Is this making sense?
That’s why my workouts only contain 2 or 3 exercises tops.
That’s all the mental RAM I have.
Usually, less is more – at least where your workouts are
The key then to finding the “best” workout structure is to
find something that meets both your needs and your goals –
Most if not all of them.
Time efficient. Check.
Makes you stronger. Check.
Improves your conditioning levels incidentally. Check.
Even leans you out – makes you lose fat without killing
yourself in the process. Check.
That’s why I designed the “STRONG!” program inside
It meets all those criteria listed above.
It revolves around the Double KB Clean + Press – the best,
in my ever so humble opinion – all round exercise for
usable strength and conditioning, that leans you out in
the process (assuming that is you’re not a chowhound).
The best part about the program it’s designed in such
a way that you could easily substitute in other double KB
exercises: Front squat, Clean + Push Press, Clean + Jerk…
So there’s lots of room for measurable progress along with
a tad bit of variety so that you meet your needs and your
However, it’s not for everybody.
You’ll need more than one kettlebell or the ability to get
more than one KB.
And you’ll need to have “bought in” to this whole notion
that KBs are the most effective way to workout for you.
If that’s you then the “STRONG!” program will work for
P.S. If you want some “extreme” conditioning as part of your
goal then you’ll want to check out the “One” program that is
also in “Kettlebell STRONG!”.
If I was only ever forced to do “one” program for all-round
strength and conditioning, this would be it. Hence the name.
And if you could do this program with a pair of 48kg KBs
as a man or a pair of 24s as woman – you’d know what I