Kettlebell lifting

kettlebell lifting and alternative fitness

The RKC Experiment

OK, maybe I didnt do this long enough and maybe I’m just in better condition than most but I wanted to test the theories and the hype of kettlebell lifting.  I completed the RKC in April 2008, the IKFF in March 2008 and the AKC in June 2007.  I think my technique is solid ( and I hope a few of you who know me will agree ) and I know my teaching skills are getting much better.  While in St Paul we were discussing the merits of all the training styles and whether or not one was better.  As I have been training GS for the last 9 months, my team leader Zar Horton suggested I do Hard Style for a while and then retest my GS lifts.  So, this is what I came up with — 30 Days.

My new workout consisted of pressing ladders because I wanted to press the bulldog (40kg ) for reps,  front squats both single and double bell, swings, windmills and heavy snatches.  3-4 days a week for 4 weeks

I progressed from 3 ladders of 3 rungs with the 32kg  on week 1 up to 4 ladders of 2 rungs with the 40kg on may 27th.  While I could always snatch it, pressing it was never there for me so this was a great jump.  Front squats I have always been good at and consistently worked double 24s and 32s finally finishing with a 5×5 of the 32s on may 29th.  Snatching the 32 was already comfortable for me so my snatch workout was 5 reps left and right at the top of the minute working up to 14 minutes.  Swings… man I did alot of 2 hand hard style swings.  I always finished up with windmills. 3 sets of 5 left and right working p from the 24kg to the 32 kg.  This is good strength progress for anyone.  I applied all the tension techniques, actively pulled down the swings, loaded the hamstrings and kicked ass.


1) a five pound weight gain mostly in the shoulders and thighs.  Same bodyfat (14%)

2) a definite strength gain.  Pressing the 40kg is definitely different than jerking it.


Jerks – before – 5 minutes at 6 rpms was average for me.  July 1st 6:20 at 6 rpms.  I believe the added strength helped with the rack hold which is where I normally fatigue.  With good technique the added strength was a boost.

Snatches – I used 50 reps left and right with 1 switch as a benchmark.  Before – 5:48, after 5:57 .  I guess thats a wash.  Still around 17 reps per minute.

1arm long cycle 10 minute switching on the minute- before 126 reps as a max effort (24kg ). After 123 reps.


I dont know.  I gained max strength, for that I’m thankful.  It helped with the jerks as it just felt easier to hold the bells. I gained a few pounds of muscle so thats always nice.  I like Hardstyle training and I like GS as well.  I will combine them both in future routines on opposite days.  Maybe the test was too short or to unscientific  but this is what it did for me.

Weight – before — 197.    After  – 202

Height 5’8″           Diet – not strict but aware of good choices

Suppliments – Multi, fish oil, 100 grams of whey a day.                                                                                                               



1 Comment »

  1. Great progress. Something you should keep in mind though and maybe you thought about it.

    Your previous KB training, snatches and Jerks may have enabled you to quickly progress through the Strength phase and your results could partially be attributed to it.

    I attended a Crossfit Barbell Cert over the weekend. As you know, I’ve done nothing in the last 3 months but 16kg work. I’ve done no barbell training in close to 5 years (and 7 for bench press). I still could do some pretty good numbers even being conservative.

    You’ve also taken the time to learn the lifts so that strength can help and not hinder. Sure, if you gain weight/muscle. you’ll be able to hold onto the bells longer.

    The point is that your tendons and joints are stronger as a result of the ballistic lifts.

    I’m going to try a possible squat cycle after Hamburg to see how far I can go on a linear strength cycle. I have no doubts that the conditioning and my resiliency from the KBs (AKC Methods) will allow me to work and go very high in a relatively short time.


    Comment by cimes | June 3, 2008 | Reply

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