I live in a great area of California, and an amazing and unique part of the world, really …
In 90 minutes or less, I can be riding a cable car in San Francisco, wine tasting in Napa valley, or snowboarding in Lake Tahoe …
So, my wife and I headed into the mountains for a long-overdo trip to the snow this last weekend … and we had an absolute blast.
Now back in High School and College, I would go up for the first time of the season, and I would be SORE as heck. In muscles that I forgot I had.
Interestingly, these days, I don’t get very sore at all, even after a long layoff. And I’m convinced that the biggest reason for this, is the difference in my approach to training, vs. how I used to.
Back in my high school and college days, I took a much more “traditional”, bodybuilding-style approach to my workouts. I would train with both free weights and machines, and largely focus on training specific body parts. I DID get strong, and better at the specific moves I was doing … but looking back, there wasn’t a ton of real-life carry over. In other words, I never felt like my strength in the gym helped much in the real world.
This has totally changed in recent years … and I think one of the biggest factors has been my discovery of kettlebells. KB’s are the ultimate all-around training tool. You train all your muscle groups at once, and focus on athletic-based movement patterns, rather than isolating specific muscle groups.
They prepare you for whatever life throws at you … you get strong and in great condition at the same time. With the end result being, you can do things like go snowboarding, or play a pick up game of basketball, or run a 5k, or whatever else you like to do – and be in great shape to do it!!
Now to get a little more specific with how I set up my kettlebell workouts … one thing I do myself and with my personal training/boot camp clients is regular KB challenge workouts.
I talked a about these in more detail the other day – so instead of repeating myself, if you want to know more about the challenge workout concept, how it is used in an overall workout programming scheme, etc., you can check out that post here:
And, today, I got another kettlebell challenge for you to try. First, watch the video, then read through the recap below it:
This one is really simple, there’s three exercises- burpees, goblet squats, and two-hand kettlebell swings. These exercises are done in a ladder fashion for time.
So you’re going to start off with one burpee, make sure you clap above your head. Have your kettlebells set up about 5 feet in front of you so you can do your burpees then take a step forward and do your goblet squats and swings. So step forward, grab your kettlebell and do two goblet squats. Then do three kettlebell swings and set your kettlebell down. Step back and go to two burpees, 4 goblet squats, and 6 swings. Then 3 burpees, 6 squats, 9 swings. Go all the way up the ladder, as fast as possible, until you get to 10 burpees, 20 goblet squats, and 30 swings.
Record your time then come back and do the workout again in a couple of weeks or a month to see if your fitness level improves. This should be in addition to your normal workout program, it’s not a stand alone program. It’s just a fun way to mix it up and challenge yourself physically and mentally. And it’s just a kick ass workout.
That’s all I got for ‘ya today. KB training is THE way to go, if you’re looking to change your body, get into great overall shape, and be ready for whatever life throws at you. More specifically, we use kettlebell challenge workouts as a core programming concept at FVT, with great results. Plug them into your routine to take things to the next level today!
Thanks, and talk soon -
Forest Vance, MS, RKC II
PS - We’re putting the finishing touches on a new complete kettlebell challenges program, and will have all the details on it for you available very soon. If you’re interested, and you haven’t signed up for the KettlebellBasics.net email newsletter, make sure to do so now to get first news of it’s release! Just drop your best email address into the box at the upper right of the page.