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The Structured Flexible Kettlebell Workout

July 7, 2003 04:27 PM

I know what you're thinking, how can it be both structured and flexible at the same time? Well, read on and find out, comrade. If one was to design a well-balanced workout it should include a lower body exercise, an upper body press, an upper body pull and a full body ballistic exercise. I have taken this basic premise and added an ab exercise to the formula. The next logical step was to choose the best exercises for the task in hand. This is obviously a matter of personal preference but I believe the ones chosen are fundamentally sound. Two exercises were chosen for each category thus providing two separate workouts to be alternated for two-week cycles.

Workout 1

Lower body exercise = Deadlift
Upper body press = Military Press
Upper body pull = Chin ups
Full body ballistic = Snatches
Abs = Hanging leg raises

Workout 2

Lower body exercise = Pistols
Upper body press = Bent Press
Upper body pull = Pull ups
Full body ballistic = Clean & Jerk
Abs = Jandas

There were several reasons for the specific combinations of various exercises, e.g. hanging leg raises together with deads for spine decompression, but overall these two workouts should work every muscle in the body and probably some you didn't know you had.

O.K. I see the structure but where is the flexibility?

There are a number of ways to make this program flexible:
  1. Variations on the exercise (e.g. One legged Deadlifts instead of Conventials, Pullups with or without thumbs, long or short cycle Clean & Jerks). Just about every one has a slight variation that can be used for a breath of fresh air.
  2. How many days a week. Adjust this parameter to your goals and your lifestyle (remember to have active rest days if you do four or more sessions a week).
  3. Set and rep variation for specific goals. Follow the 3-5 rule in grinds if your goal is strength, up the reps if you want muscular endurance, go for high rep sets for cardio and fat loss, do Density Training etc, etc. You can tailor it to your needs.
  4. Decide what kind of week you want previously or play it by ear. A four-day week could be Hard, Medium, Easy, Hard or it could be Medium, Easy, Hard, Easy. Combinations are endless.
  5. Have a "forget it day". Pick one of the exercises each session and forget it. This will help with recovery in that exercise.
  6. Do the exercises in a circuit and change the order to spice things up.
  7. The same concept as in number four can be applied to the exercises in one session (e.g. work hard on the deads, medium on the military press and chins, easy on the snatches and forget the hanging leg raises).
These are my variations but you could probably come up with many others, just don't forget to flex your brain and listen to your body. This may not be the "perfect program" but I'm sure you can become stronger and fitter than the average guy or gal if you follow it.

I hope it works for you!