Got a new video for you to check out over on YouTube! This is the third part in the kettlebell clean and press series I’ve been working on over the last few weeks. You’ll learn how to avoid those bruised and banged-up forearms with the “towel drill” – check it out:
I also wanted to make sure you got the note I sent yesterday on a new bodyweight workout, specifically designed with men 40+ in mind. This is a great program, and also a great compliment to what you are doing with your kettlebell training:
So many guys were loving that one, thought I’d share a sample from the program with you today.
One thing I love about this program is that it pays close attention to an often neglected, but KEY, part of a strength training program – REP TEMPO.
Particularly for a bodyweight-based training plan, this can be a game changer. You will learn better control of each exercise. You will gain better understanding of movement positions. You can address positional weaknesses. You can improve work capacity. And more!
You’ll see in the workout below what’s called a “tempo prescription” – here’s what the four components mean (in order of how they are written in the sample training day below):
1 – ECCENTRIC PHASE: This is the negative portion of the lift where we are lowering the eight with gravity. 2 – ISOMETRIC PHASE 1: This is considered the midpoint of the range. 3 – CONCENTRIC PHASE: This is the lifting portion of the exercise where we are moving the weight against resistance. 4 – ISOMETRIC PHASE 2: This represents the top of the range where the working muscles are fully shortened (or contracted).
Now, give the workout a try:
“Infusion” Bodyweight Strength – Tempo Training Workout
I have reviewed the full program, it is very solid, and a tremendous value. Plus you get a ton of great bonuses, like extra abs workouts, guides to help you focus on bringing up weak points like pull ups, push ups, and more!
Train hard, talk soon –
-Forest Vance Kettlebell Expert Over 40 Training Specialist KettlebellBasics.net
I started lifting weights regularly about 26 years ago. The first way I learned to do this was using what’s called a “body part split” – by separating muscle groups into workouts on different days. For example, I might have trained chest and back one day, legs and abs the next, shoulders and arms the following day.
As I started to learn more about training different ways for different goals, I also found another way to strength train – what’s called a “full-body workout”, by exercising the whole body and all muscle groups, all in one day. An example here would be combining exercises for the lower and upper body, and the abs / core, all in one training session.
So which is better?
Though I think that for the majority of folks reading this message, full body is going to be the way to go. The majority of training plans I write, like KB/BW Hybrid Strength Training, use this approach. Here’s why:
1 – Full body workouts tend to incorporate compound exercises, which are very efficient for both functional strength, cardiovascular health, calorie burn, and fat loss! The body needs to oxygenate more muscles at one time if you’re doing, say, a kettlebell swing, vs a seated one arm bicep curl.
2 – They work very well if your schedule is a bit random, or you’re not quite 100% consistent yet. If you happen to miss a session, you won’t miss out on training one specific body part.
3 – For optimum strength gains, we need to hit each body part at least twice per week. So to move to a body part split, typically you’ll need to be strength training at least four days per week to really get the most out of it – which, added on top of cardio work or flexibility or whatever else you might be doing, starts to push the limits for a lot of people’s schedule.
Body part splits can work great too, though in my opinion should be reserved for more intermediate / advanced trainees. If you really like to train and be in the gym four, five, or six days per week – which some people do! – this is a great way to go. When it comes to maximum muscle gain, I think the body part split works great. And if you are looking to focus on a weaker body part and give it some extra attention, it can be a great way to train too.
Today’s article gives a very basic answer to the question of:
Which is better – body part split or full-body workouts?
I work with men and women over 40 who want to gain full body strength, but also stay lean, athletic, and mobile at the same time. For this demographic, I am convinced that full body training is the way to go. However, for other people with different goals, body part splits have a place as well. Check out KB/BW Hybrid Strength Training, it’s my newest training plan designed to help you get stronger at home with 3-4 days per week of 20-30 minute FULL BODY workouts:
We have a small group training program called “Lean and Jacked” that I lead at my studio.
It consists of folks who want to get as strong as possible, while at the same time, staying lean and athletic!
Brett gained 8 pounds of muscle and lost 12 pounds of fat in about 18 months time, while adding 40+ pounds to his bench press, 70+ pounds to his squat, and 100+ pounds to his deadlift. He is just one of many success stories.
Good news is, even if you can’t train with us in person at our Sacramento, CA studio, you can get similar results!
Here’s the overview of how we structure the training:
1 – We spend about 1/2 of the workout time on structured, progressive strength training. This is done with kettlebells and/or the basic barbell lifts. Not random, what you feel like for the day – but having a specific performance goal in mind, and working backwards from that to get to it.
This CAN be complex – we use spreadsheets based on maximum lift goals to calculate everything out 12 weeks ahead of time for this particular group, so that nothing is left to chance!… but it doesn’t have to be. You can use a simple progression where each week builds on the last, like we do in Kettlebell – Bodyweight Hybrid Strength Training -> https://bit.ly/kbbwstrength
2 – We also include functional movements – kettlebell swings, kettlebell snatches, Turkish get ups, push ups, pull ups, pistol squats, etc etc – as part of our regular programming. This way, our “accessory” work is not only training all of our muscle groups in a balanced way, we’re also getting conditioning work, core work, etc – so that we are staying lean and athletic and in great shape, all at the same time.
Here is what a sample workout might look like (majority of this workout is directly from Bodyweight Hybrid Strength Training! -> https://bit.ly/kbbwstrength)
PART 1 – OPTIONAL Superset:
Barbell Back Squat – 6 reps @ 75% 1RM
rest approx :60
Barbell Overhead Press – 6 reps @ 75% 1RM
rest approx :60
repeat for four rounds total
PART 2 – Do a set of 3 reps; rest 15 seconds; do a set of 4; rest 15 seconds; do a set of 5; rest 15 seconds; do a set of 6; rest 15 seconds; do a set of 7; rest 15 seconds; rest for two minutes. Repeat each exercise for 2 full rounds, rest as needed, and move to the next exercise.
1 – KB Snatch (3/4/5/6/7 reps per side) (Women:12k+,Men: 20k+) 2 – KB Suitcase Pendulum Lunge (3/4/5/6/7 reps per side) (Women:12k+,Men: 20k+) 3 – Pull-ups, Band assisted pull-ups, or 1-Arm KB Row (3/4/5/6/7 reps per side) (Women:12k+,Men: 20k+) 4 – Hand to Hand KB Swing (3/4/5/6/7 reps per side) (Women:12k+,Men: 20k+)
Work every muscle in your body, torch calores, and rev your metabolism with today’s 12 minute kettlebell ladder challenge!
12-min Kettlebell Ladder Challenge
Start with one rep of each exercise, and complete moves in a circuit format. Once complete, repeat, but this time doing two reps of each exercise. Once complete, repeat, but this time doing three reps of each exercise. “Climb the ladder” and get as high as you can in 12 minutes:
A – Turkish Get Up (one rep per side – do NOT rush reps; just keep rest to a minimum in transitioning to next move) (prescribed weight = 24k men / 16k women, but start with the load that is right for YOU) B – Pull Up (modifiy with double reps of inverted rows – so you’d go 2,4,6, etc) C – Burpees (modify as needed for your fitness level + goals)
Use this one to finish off your next workout strong, or even as a stand-alone “minimalist” full-body session.
Talk soon, and STAY TUNED! If you liked this workout, you’ll LOVE my new kettlebell workout plan – it’s coming out later this week…
-Forest Vance Kettlebell Expert Over 40 Training Specialist KettlebellBasics.net
I love to finish my workouts with one to ten minute kettlebell “finishers”. These consist of a few moves done at high intensity, incorporating both cardio and resistance exercise, to full exhaust the body.
I like to think of it as a final chance to push my limits and maximize fat loss and / or muscle growth for the day!
Here is one of my favorites:
5 Min Turkish Get Up + Burpee Kettlebell
Prescribed weight = 24k men / 16k women
Set your timer for five minutes.
Start doing Turkish Get Ups. Switch sides after every rep.
Every minute, on the minute, stop and do three burpees.
I use finishers like these – customized to each client’s individual goals / needs / fitness level, of course – with most, if not all, of my KB Fit Over 40 – Personalized Coaching clients. If you are interested in getting a program designed SPECIFICALLY for you, so that you can reach your kettlebell goals as fast and safely as possible, CLICK HERE.
Today, I want to talk about the importance of a daily stretch routine, specifically for kettlebell lifters over the age of 40! Stretching will improve a person’s kettlebell workouts. The improved movement that will come as a result will help in every day life. Better kettlebell workouts and more inspired daily activity leads to faster fat loss!
First, stretching regularly will improve a person’s kettlebell workouts. Performing the kettlebell exercises with good form and with progressively heavier weights requires the right amount of mobility. Hips being too tight to squat to to depth, or shoulders being too inflexible to press overhead, no longer is a limitation.
Second, improved movement that comes from regular stretching helps with every day life. For example, getting down on the floor to play with small children is so much easier if a person’s hips are flexible enough to sit cross-legged for 15 or 20 minutes. Putting on one’s shoes without having to sit down is another example of an activity that is way easier to do if one stretches regularly.
Finally, as a result of working on flexibility regularly, athletic performance and every day life activities are improved, and as a result, more fat is burned! If one moves more without pain, they end up being more active, burning more calories throughout the day, and losing weight faster.
To sum up, flexibility and mobility will help with kettlebell lifting for men and women over 40, as well as in every day life. As a result of these improvements, one can burn more calories and lose fat faster as well.
Check out the program at the link below for a daily 8-15 minute stretch routine for kettlebell lifters over 40:
**HEADS UP – Interested in KB Fit Over 40 – Personalized Coaching? Just a couple of spots remain at the time of this writing! – details and submit your interest form here -> http://bit.ly/kbfitover40forest
If you are otherwise healthy, lower back pain is NOT something you should be experiencing when training with kettlebells.
Here are three common KB training mistakes that could be a cause, and how to fix them:
1 – Swinging the KB too close to the ground
Many people swing the Kettlebell too low to the ground as it comes down.
This makes the move much harder and less efficient … and it is also potentially dangerous.
Instead, make sure that the handle of the KB stays above your your knee level as it comes down. This will give you the best leverage and keep the pressure off of your back.
2 – Using sloppy form to pick up the Kettlebell
As people get set to swing the ‘bell, a SUPER common mistake is that they simply use sloppy form.
People will round their back and give zero thought to engaging the core muscles. This is a BIG no-no, and very dangerous.
It puts your back in a poor starting position, and it also sets you up for bad technique during the exercise.
Make sure that your back is flat and your abs are engaged when you pick up the KB and get it set for your first rep of a set.
3 – Overextending at the top of the movement
It can be easy to let your hips go too far at the top of a KB swing
This is hard on the back, and also you lose power when you do it. Instead, think about finishing the exercise in a “standing plank” position.
At the finish of the exercise, your knees, hips, shoulders and head should all form a perfectly straight line.
Kettlebells swings are a fantastic tool for rapid fat loss, and sending your conditioning levels through the roof.
But make any of the mistakes outlined in today’s article when you do them, and you put yourself at risk for lower back pain.
Stick to the recommendations to improve your form, and you will be on your way to SAFE rapid fat loss with Kettlebell swings!