“Metcon” is short for Metabolic Conditioning. It describes a type of workout that combines strength and cardio conditioning, as well as both aerobic and anaerobic exercises.
Because you recruit all three of your body’s energy pathways – phosphagen, glycolytic, and oxidative – all at the same time, you get one of the most fat burning AND lean muscle building workouts that is humanly possible!
Here’s a sample training session:
20-min Kettlebell Metcon Workout
Set your timer for 20 minutes. Do as many rounds as you can of the circuit below. Recommended weight for this one is 24k / 53 pounds for men, 16k / 35 pounds for women:
– 20 two hand KB swings (recommended weight = 24k / 53 pounds for men, 16k / 35 pounds for women) – 12 push ups (perform from knees or with hands elevated for beginners; perform from toes for intermediate / advanced trainees) – 10 KB goblet lunges per side (recommended weight = 20k / 44 pounds for men, 12k / 26 pounds for women) – 7 burpees (pick version / modification that is right for you)
Like this workout? Take the next step by signing up for my 28-day Kettlebell Metcon Challenge. Registration opens later this week!
– Forest Vance, Kettlebell Expert, Over 40 Training Specialist
Kettlebells are an awesome training tool for strength, flexibility, and endurance. The amount of different exercises we can do with them is vast, but which exercises are best for beginners trying to learn the basics? Here is an outline of my top 4 kettlebell exercises for beginners:
1.) The Sumo Deadlift
A great exercise for the legs, hips, core, and back. It’s also key to learn this one before moving on to the swing.
With the kettlebell between your feet, start the movement by pulling the hips back. Imagine there is a wall behind you and you’re tapping it with your hips.
You should feel a nice stretch in the back of the legs at the bottom of the movement. Grab the KB with both hands and stand up with it. That’s one rep.
2.) The Swing
The beginning of this movement should be nearly identical to the Sumo Deadlift. Now, instead of simply picking the weight up, snap the hips (like you’re jumping) and let the kettlebell swing up to about chest level.
This is a totally lower body – driven movement. If you’re doing it right, you should feel the hams ‘load up’ at the bottom of the move, and the weight should float for second at the top.
Keep the arms relaxed and the shoulders down and back!
3.) The 1/2 Get Up
Start lying on the floor with the KB at shoulder level. Pull it into the body, roll over to your back, and press the weight in front of your chest, kind of like you’re doing a dumbell bench press.
‘Punch’ the weight up towards the ceiling while pivoting on the opposite elbow. The same leg as arm is up and should be bent at this point with the heel planted on the ground. Come up until the arm on the ground is straight, and then simply reverse the movement. That’s one rep.
The 1/2 Get Up is another great beginner kettlebell exercise. Next comes the Squat.
4.) The Squat
Holding the KB by the horns with both hands, perform a squat. Keep the chest up and shoulders down and back! And remember to sit back – and keep the knees behind the toes.
Learn these basic four beginner kettlebell exercises before you move on to more advanced ones. They can be done by themselves in sequence, for 2-3 sets of 12-15 reps each, for a great total body workout, or ‘vertically loaded’ – done one after another with minimal rest – for a killer circuit.
These are just a few basic kettlebell drills to get you going; if you’d like to learn in more detail about how to perform these exercises, get some sample workouts, check out some great kettlebell training videos, and a whole lot more, check out a free week of my “300” Kettlebell Training plan here: https://bit.ly/300kbchallengesample
Bodyweight training is the perfect compliment to kettlebell work.
By strategically blending KBs and calisthenics, you can hit all five aspects of fitness:
Today’s workout is from the “Turbulence Training Bootcamp Workouts” ebook. I highly recommend you pick up a copy and get some great ideas on how to incorporate bodyweight workouts with and into your kettlebell program. (Turbulence Training Bootcamp Workouts is actually oriented towards trainers and fitness professionals, but truly ANYONE looking to reap the benefits of bodyweight exercise can benefit.)
Check it out:
TT Bootcamp Workout #4 – “Tabata Time” (Advanced)
*Check out full exercise descriptions in the main program HERE
Warm-up (30 seconds per exercise) – 10 minutes
• Run in Place • BW Squat • Inchworm • Cross Crawl • Prisoner Forward Lunges • Shuffle • Rest 1 minute before repeating 1 more time.
TT Strength Circuits (30 seconds per exercise) – 10 minutes
• Vertical Jump & Stick • Spiderman Pushup • 1-Leg Deadlift (30 seconds per side) • Rest 2 minutes before repeating 1 more time.
TT Tabata Circuits – 10 minutes
• BW Squats – 20 seconds BW squats plus 10 second hold in bottom position x 8 rounds • Rest 2 minutes and take water break • Pushups – 20 seconds pushups plus 10 second hold in top position x 2 rounds
Water Break – 2 minutes
TT Big 5 Conditioning Circuit (30 seconds per exercise) – 10 minutes
Total Body Abs Circuit (30 seconds per exercise) – 5 minutes
• Cross-Body Mountain Climber • Plank • Reverse Bridge • Rest 1 minute before repeating 1 more time.
Cool-down, Stretching & Water Break – 10 minutes
To sum up, bodyweight training and kettlebells are like a match made in heaven. Master the basics of both, and you’ll have everything you need to stay lean, strong, and athletic – at ANY age. Be sure to check out the full TT Bootcamps program HERE. And here’s to your continued success!
-Forest Vance Master of Science, Human Movement Kettlebell Expert Over 40 Training Specialist KettlebellBasics.net
No other exercise simultaneously trains both stability and mobility, across so many joints, and in so many positions.
However, if you are working around an injury, are just learning the exercise, or just don’t quite yet have the strength to do the full version, it can be quite tricky.
Check out today’s video! show two beginner / entry – level variations of the movement – the “1/2 get up” and the “foot switch get up”.
And if you like this one, also be sure to check out my Lifetime Kettlebell Fitness program for men and women over 50 – we show you how to do different versions of all the different kettlebell moves, so that you can make faster progress and avoid injury at the same time:
I am using workouts a lot like this “Hurricane” Training workout to prepare for a 50k Spartan “Super Beast” I have coming up in about 10 weeks… and I have to say… I feel like I’m in some of the best shape ever, at the age of 40!
Double KB rack carry – 50ft out and back + Jump rope – 1 minute
Set #3 – CIRCUIT – As fast as possible:
Burpees – 15 Run / Bike / any other cardio type – 3 mins Crawl – 15 feet out and back Run / Bike / any other cardio type – 3 mins Burpees – 15 Run / Bike / any other cardio type – 3 mins Crawl – 15 feet out and back Run / Bike / any other cardio type – 3 mins Burpees – 15 Run / Bike / any other cardio type – 3 mins Crawl – 15 feet out and back Run / Bike / any other cardio type – 3 mins
Over the last eight or nine years, I’ve trained 11 different groups for various different Obstacle Course Race – type events.
Without fail, the people who make it through the training get leaner, stronger, and just overall BETTER by the end.
I put together a 12-week training plan, based on these experiences, to help YOU do the same. You can get the same benefits, whether you are specifically preparing for an Obstacle Course Race or not. This 12-week training plan is going on sale later this week, so stay tuned!
– Forest Vance Master of Science, Human Movement Certified Personal Trainer KettlebellBasics.net
“PT” simply stands for “physical training” – typically formation runs, calisthenics, and conditioning exercises.
Here is a “Ruck PT” workout we used in a 12-week Obstacle Course Race prep training plan I put together some time back. It’s also a perfect addition to your on-going regular KB training plan if you just want to add some extra cardio training into the mix:
Ruck PT Workout
Ruck 3 miles. Stop every 1/4 mile and rotate through the exercises below:
10 push ups w/ ruck on your back (at 1/4 mile; 1 1/4 mile; 2 1/4 mile marks)
5 “weighted burpees” (ruck is on the ground and goes up over your head at the top of each rep) (at 1/2 mile; 1 1/2 mile; 2 1/2 mile marks)
15 squats w/ ruck on your back (at 3/4 mile; 1 3/4 mile; 2 3/4 mile marks)
8 lunges per leg holding ruck in front of the body (at 1 mile; 2 mile; 3 mile marks)
I do a workout like this about once per week, and that free backpack has been my go-to rucksack for the last few months – highly recommended:
Cluster Training is a little-known method that works amazing if you want to gain the most amount of strength in the least amount of time. It involves using short inter-set rest periods, which allow you to do more reps with a heavier weight. It is one of the main methods used in the Muscle Explosion – rapid strength gain plan.
One of the main benefits of cluster training is that you can do more reps with a heavier weight. You can overload the muscles more than you would in a standard rep set up. This results in faster improvements in strength and muscle gains.
Let’s take a cluster set of kettlebell presses for example. Let’s say the maximum weight you can press for five consecutive reps is 32 kilos / 70 pounds. With cluster training, instead of doing one set of five with that 32 kilo / 70 pound KB, we do four “mini-sets” of two reps, with a 10-15 second break between each mini-set. This allows us to basically do eight reps with our five rep max. We lift more, progress faster, and get stronger and bigger than we would be able to otherwise.
The new 28-day Muscle Explosion program put together by Nick Nilsson uses cluster training as one of its main methods. Using this little-known method in a specific and strategic way is how you are able to make very rapid gains in strength in a short period of time in this program.
To sum up, cluster training is a special training method we can use for rapid strength and muscle gains. It is not widely known, but it is very effective. It is one of the main methods used in the 28-day Muscle Explosion course. Learn more and pick up your copy at the link below: