I hope you got a chance to read yesterday’s Special Report
on Chinese + Bulgarian strength secrets for STRONGER
If not, check your inbox.
Today, I thought I’d just include my new report in this email.
It’s called “The Top 3 Short Workout Mistakes.”
Make sure you read it if you’re considering using shorter
(Heh… Who wouldn’t if you can get the same results or better
than longer workouts?).
I’ve also included what some sample workouts would look like
in the “solution” part of Mistake #2.
Read the whole thing below (in “magalog” format – so
LONGGGG sentences – LOL).
The Top 3 Short Kettlebell Workout Mistakes
Shorter workouts with the same or better results than you’re currently getting sound great, don’t they?
In. Out. Done!
No more long, boring workouts.
BUT – There are some mistakes many people make that you’ll want to be aware of so you can keep making progress – however you might measure it – inches/pounds lost or reps on a certain lift gained, or whatever.
There are three simple mistakes you’ll want to avoid. I’ve detailed them below AND showed you how to fix them so you can get the most out of your shorter kettlebell workouts.
Mistake #1 – Abusing Variety
Variety actually falls into two categories:
- Too much
- Not enough (!!!??)
Let’s take a closer look…
- Too much.
Pretty much everyone is aware of my stance on bouncing around from workout-to-workout using Workout of the Days – big thumbs down from me unless you can provide some sort of consistency in the loading so your body has some sort of clue what it is you’re asking it to adapt to.
Too much variety and your body doesn’t adapt. It just gets tired. Sure, workouts are “fun,” but results are more so. Most WODs don’t provide the consistency necessary to produce the adaptation in your body to see the results you’re looking for.
To combat this, your workouts should be part of a program that has an overall objective. You should be able to look at that program and know what that objective is. When you look at the loading, you should be able to see how the program is going to force (or coax) your body to adapt by either an increase in work over a set period of time.
- Not enough.
What??! This sounds like heresy to someone with a minimalist mentality. However, doing the same workout over and over and over and over again is a sure path to nowhere… Slowly.
For example: 100 swings a day – as minimalistic and appealing as it seems to some, will, over the long haul, fail to produce results. (I’ve advocated using this very simple program repeatedly to many people over the last 5-7 years for getting them up and running. It’s highly effective for the short term – which is exactly what many people need to build generate momentum and build consistency.)
Before you know it, it’s too late. Months have passed and you’ve barely made any progress.
The physiological Law of Accommodation.
This law simply states that the response of an organism to a specific stimulus decreases over time until it’s no longer a stimulus – it’s part of homeostasis – or equilibrium. It’s why runners who run the same distance year after year after year actually get fatter.
So you have to overcome this by either waving the load (which I’ve written about extensively in the past) – near random increases and decreases in your sets, reps, and weight, or by using “specialized variety” – which is “same but different” exercises.
Examples of specialized variety:
– 2H Swing > 1H Swing > H2H Swing
– Get Up > ½ Get Up > Get Up w/ Press
– Goblet Squat > Single KB Front Squat > Double KB Front Squat
Either way, your short duration kettlebell programs should have the right blend of variety to keep you making steady progress week after week, month after month, and year after year.
Mistake #2 – Overestimating Your Abilities
Your abilities are simply your capacity to perform any given exercise – in other words, your skill levels.
This actually changes for most people when load (increase in weight) or fatigue are injected into the picture.
If you do a lot of light to medium pressing, your form may break under heavy loads.
Or, your Swing is good for 20 reps but your form starts to fall apart as you approach 30 reps.
These things need to be taken into consideration when doing shorter workouts.
Because the temptation for some will be to panic and try to cram as many different exercises as possible into a shorter 20 or 30 minute period in order to not miss out on anything. And because they’re working at an accelerated pace, they have to lighten their weights, their technique falters and they end up getting injured. This obviously leads to frustration, disappointment, and in many cases, quitting kettlebell training altogether.
A easy method for overcoming this mistake is simply to do less than you normally do.
If you normally do 4 exercises in a 60-minute period, simply do 2 in a 30-minute period. (This is what I currently do.)
“What if it’s not enough?”
Don’t panic, rather, focus on the quality of your work, which inevitably suffers over long workouts anyway as your energy levels drop. Seek to make each rep feel exactly the same instead of just making each rep.
Little things like this make a big difference and go a long way to making your workouts not just time-efficient, but efficient – getting more out of less.
Then over time, as you’re able to do more in less time, guess what?
That’s right – you’ll be able to do more in less time.
That means your work capacity has increased along with your “everyday” strength. (And if you read my last report, with properly structured programs and shorter rests, you’ll actually increase your maximum strength by default.) And if you’re on a fat loss diet/program, then you’ll be burning more calories, and therefore more fat. It’s win-win-win all the way around.
Here’s what this could ultimately look like for you:
(Let’s assume a very simple 20-minute workout. That’s an hour a week of working out.)
A1. Clean + Press x5
A2. Front Squat x5
*A1 and A2 are performed as alternating sets, resting as needed between sets, seeking to do at least one more set each workout.
A1. Clean + Press x5
A2. Front Squat x5
– 15 minutes
- Swing x10
– 5 minutes
*A1 and A2 are performed as supersets – no rest between them, resting after A2, seeking to do at least one more set each workout.
**B is as many sets of 10 reps in 5 minutes as possible.
A1. Clean + Press x5
A2. Front Squat x5
A3. Swing x10
– 20 minutes
*A1, A2, and A3 are performed as “tri-sets” or in a circuit – no rest between them, then resting after A3, seeking to get one more set or one more circuit each workout.
See the progression from month-to-month?
If you’re using the same or even heavier weights from month-to-month then there’s no doubt about it – you not only have gotten stronger, your work capacity has improved and you’ve probably gotten leaner in the process – more work in the same amount of time – also one of the keys to losing body fat.
Mistake #3 – Ignoring Your Weaknesses
We all know the trite old saying by now, “You’re only as strong as your weakest link.”However, how many of us really abide by that saying?
It’s true – if you have a wonky rotator cuff, you can try to gut through a press, but in the long run you’re only going to hurt yourself worse. The intelligent thing to do is to fix your rotator cuff then press.
Unfortunately, with shorter workouts many times it’s tempting to only focus on the things we’re good at and ignore our weaknesses – after all, you have to “focus on getting the important things done” – “moving the big rocks” – and all the other time-efficient mantras.
In a traditional longer workout, you may just hit your weakness as part of your movement prep/ warm-up, move on to your main focus of the day, and then come back toward the end of your workout and address it with some.
The fault with this thinking is failing to see that your weakness IS your “big rock.”
It’s THE thing that’s holding you back.
So the solution for this mistake is to aggressively attack your weakness and make your shorter workouts all about eliminating this weakness as soon as possible.
For example, using our rotator cuff issue, instead of continuing to press and get that little twinge on each and every rep –
(Hey – as an aside – did you know pain changes your body’s ability to control movement? In other words, it diminishes it. Not only that, pain makes your body develop other strategies for movement – called “compensations” – which can lead to other injuries.)
… Anyway, as I was saying, instead of continuing to press in pain, do something else to help your rotator cuff. Like Get Ups. We know that the Get Up “teaches” the rotator cuff how to work properly – to stabilize the shoulder joint – MUCH better than all those useless side-lying little pink dumbbell or theraband exercises most PTs have you do.
So spend some time really learning how to keep your shoulder packed through each and every part of the Get Up.
Simple, but highly effective way to get A LOT of HIGH quality work done in a short, short period of time. And before you know it, you’ll be pressing again.
When you avoid these 3 short workout mistakes – Abusing Variety, Overestimating Your Abilities, and Ignoring Your Weaknesses, your workouts will not only be time-efficient, but you’ll start achieving your goals at a faster than normal rate because you’ll be able to provide the appropriate stress levels and recover faster as a result.
If the idea of shortening your workouts and getting the same or better results appeals to you, then I’ve put together 100 different double kettlebell programs (that’s right programs, not workouts) inside Kettlebell Express! ULTRA – Reloaded.
Keep your eyes on your inbox over the next couple of days and I’ll let you know how to get your copy AND if you’re can’t quite do double kettlebell workouts yet or don’t have enough kettlebells – no problem – there’s also the single kettlebell version – Kettlebell Express! – Reloaded, which is 100 single kettlebell programs. I’ll also be showing you how you can get a copy of that.