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-   -   Nice little complex (http://www.catalystathletics.com/forum/showthread.php?t=5831)

James Evans 10-29-2010 09:02 AM

Nice little complex
Nice little complex

These are fairly easy to come up with but as Dan John observes, natural flow is important. Some people don't seem to get that one.

Here's a quick one I've used as a warm up with my rowers. It's good with either kbs or dbs. Go heavier for a quick workout in itself.

10 Goblet Squats
5 Swings left
5 Front Squat/Push Press left
5 Snatches left
10 Push Ups
5 Swings right
5 Front Squat/Push Press right
5 Snatches right

Recover for 60 second and repeat for 3-5 rounds.

You can add 10 two arm swings to the end if you wish.

James R. Climer 08-15-2011 08:52 PM

Nice 3 rounds tonight with 45# kb, added 10 swings at end of third round. That got my mouth open wide trying to get more oxygen. (I am currently de-trained, that and the 100 degree F garage at 8:30 pm)

This complex has an admirable flow to it.

Thanx James!

James Evans 08-16-2011 04:50 AM

Cheers, glad you 'enjoyed' it!

Doug Emerson 08-16-2011 10:12 AM

I'm gonna try this one. Also, nice links on your other thread. I'll give those a go too.

I only have one KB, a 16kilo. I have been teaching myself the movements and exercises from reading and watching videos. It's kind of tough to do, but I've been getting better. It'd be nice to get to a workshop one of these days. It would also be nice to get a couple more kb's :D

James Evans 08-17-2011 07:35 AM

Wow – thread resurrected from the dead.

Few observations (and these are my observations only):

1. Master the swing. Read Dan John's article on the hinge. I coach people who get this and people who don't. Personally I cannot do a squat-style swing abomination as seen on the internetz.

2. The clean is kind of awkward to learn. If you are moderately strong and know how to use your hips then you can muscle the damn thing up. I went to a workshop a long time ago and as much as I enjoyed the day it mostly just validated what I was already doing. I like Enter the Kettlebell but there are still a few things that remain blurry from Pavel's pointers. Just keep going and you will become comfortable. The bell flies around, bangs your wrist then you get it. I try to get people to think of switching between loose and tight (while trying to avoid any trite sub Bruce Lee analogies). Learn to vary your grip to manipulate the bell. Same for the snatch, same for the swing. All the same if you can get to some decent coaching, do it.

3. Oddly, as I have worked more with double kettlebell moves I feel that the clean is more intuitive with a bell in each hand – the weight seems to hit the rack almost perfectly without much thought. I feel this applies to the double snatch as well but I would not recommend these to anyone until they were very comfortable with heavier bells.

4. KBs are relatively easy to press. They are relatively easy to snatch. Don't worry too much what others are apparently doing in cyberspace. I remember articles on Dragondoor where people couldn't get the 24k above their heads when they first got their hands on them. Now the 32k seems to be the man weight and everyone is striving to press heavier and heavier bells. All good but strive to better within your own capabilities. I know I could snatch are 40kg kb because I can do that with a db and I can do it with a BB (one arm) without much fuss. I don't expect to be able to do 100 reps though straight out because that's what everyone else did at the latest TSC.

5. Forget the funky shit, at least for a long time. Cleans (mostly as a means to rack the kb), presses, swings, snatches and TGUs are great. Goblet squats are awesome. A lot of the other stuff is fluff. I would never abandon pull ups, deadlifts, press ups etc. I do windmills sparingly. Along with the double clean and press I have grown to really appreciate double front squats. As I get older back squats are not kind to my hips and wrist and hand injuries do not lend themselves to certain barbell moves – I find the kbs very forgiving here even if I do I appreciate that they are not optimal.

6. When/if you do get some more kbs/heavier kbs don't forget the 16k. It will still be very useful.

7. Make sure you continue to have fun.

Doug Emerson 08-17-2011 11:43 AM

Wow James! Thanks for the post. Lots of good tidbits of info in there.

I already own a 16 kilo kb. So I am torn as to what to get next. I want to learn to do Turkish Get Ups, but the 16 kilo seems a bit heavy. I can do them, but I think it would be smarter to start with a lighter weight.

I was thinking of getting an 8 kilo Kb for this purpose, but thought that I might not use it too much after I got the TGU's figured out. I could use it to learn the windmill, and my wife could probably use it if I could talk her into it :D

I started doing TGU's at the gym with a 15lb dumb bell, just to get the movement down. Do you have any opinions on this? I know it's not a KB, but I think it works for learning the movement...

I want to get a 20 kilo as well. Decisions Decisions...

James Evans 08-18-2011 02:40 AM

I've just seen a faux-hawked PT training a client outside my office. It's made me realised that there is a major flaw in my coaching so that considered, imagine that while typing this I am alternating between a suitably dramatic action pose and circling around my PC like a rabid wolf giving the impression I both care and also understand how the machine is working.


You don't want to be straining, huffing and puffing when you learn these. I don't believe KBs are quite as awkward to use as many practitioners make out, indeed I believe they actually facilitate certain movements and allow a fluidity missing from dbs. However, initially they can take some getting used to. In the TGU the weight is resting against your forearm and is therefore pulling you off balance. When I started I was pretty well practiced in doing the movements with much heavier dbs but I could not get up the first time with the weight in my left hand – I fixed this in less than a week. This brings us to stability. There are loads of resources from far more experienced individuals than me available on the internetz but what I have observed is the inability of people to lock their joints and keep completely rigid under the weight. I coach a lot of people with next to no history of putting weight over their heads and they really struggle to lock the weight out. One of the guys last year was furious because he couldn't do them despite being considerably stronger than I will ever be – too much bench not enough press. A lot of popular fitness culture also does its part to mess people up here with the tendency to discourage full ROM and locking joints out because it's apparently bad for you. Get that arm and keep it straight and tight.

What I would suggest as a useful tool is a pair of adjustable dbs, a 20kg set – these are cheap (although rising metal prices have pushed the costs up over here) and will serve many purposes. Start at 10kg and work up. I bought 2 8kg KB for the women I coach and there were useful at first but they grew out of them rapidly. They're still handy for pressing work but the 12kg pair see more action and a handful of the girls are using the 16kg and even the 20kg. Save your money for something heavier.

I think the 20kg is a really useful weight to have. It can be a big step up to the 24kg. I believe that Dan John says he uses the 20 more than anything else. I would recommend a 16-20-24 package (or progression) to anyone not of beastly proportions rather than the traditional jumps of 16-24-32.

Hope this helps.

Doug Emerson 08-18-2011 02:12 PM

Thanks James! I appreciate the input. I think my next purchase will be a 20kilo and then a 24 kilo KB. I would like to get the 8 kilo KB for my wife, but am afraid I won't be able to convince her to use it.


James Evans 08-19-2011 03:10 AM

Honestly, the 8kg will serve a purpose for a short while then quickly be reassigned to duty as either:

a) a large paperweight


b) a small door stop

Doug Emerson 08-19-2011 06:51 AM


Originally Posted by James Evans (Post 92403)
Honestly, the 8kg will serve a purpose for a short while then quickly be reassigned to duty as either:

a) a large paperweight


b) a small door stop

LOL! :)

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