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Old 05-17-2007, 06:57 AM   #1
James Evans
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Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: London
Posts: 537
Default 12 Months of Kettlebells

Looking over my diary for last year to review previous running times I was reminded that I have owned my kbs for a year now. They were a very kind present from my now ex-girlfriend before she moved to work in Bangkok.

When they first got here I played around with some of the basic moves. Interesting the discrepencies in strength that I noticed.
  • I could press the 25k bell with little worry
  • Swinging the 16kg was ok, not fun going heavier
  • I could TGU with my right arm at 16k, couldn't move under that weight with my left arm. Had never had a problem with dbs at this weight
  • When snatching the 16kg the bell slammed over my wrist into my forearm. Same with the 20. The 25 just smashed into the low ceiling...
  • The bruising on my forearms made TGU and pressing work very painful for a while.
  • The grip came within a week and as if by magic I could snatch like a demon, well maybe not quite like a demon. I don't use my 25k much but I can easily control it and there are no new blue marks on the ceiling these days. The grip thang has been one of areas that has impressed me the most.
  • Generally kb type movements took me a while to warm in to (even with dumb bell familiarity), more mainstream strength moves were a doddle. I was struck by the fact that you have people who can swing a 16k for 100s of reps and not press a 25k.

Anyway, in honour of the first proper session I did with them back on 14 May 2006 I repeated the following last night:

5 Swings @16kg
5 Pull ups
5 SDLHP @25kg
5 Presses @20kg each arm

10 rounds for time

No idea where this came from, think I dreamt it up with the idea being high reps would have been too uncomfortable (particular in the swings and my weakness here, the pull ups) but over 10 rounds I would be getting through considerable volume.

It took me 26 mins 40 a year ago. Last night I did it in 21.20. The kb stuff is easy (well, you know what I mean), my pull ups just let me down by about 5-6 mins.*

I really like owning the bells. I'm tempted to get a second set for two armed work but far from being a priority. Primarily I think they're fun and I like their convenience. Sometimes I just can't face doing something with a barbell and I'll just do one of these:

20 swings
5 snatches each arm
3 rounds


10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1 snatches each arm


20, 10, 5 snatches each arm

These are all done in a couple of minutes.

But I do use them mainly for swings and snatches and as much as anything, to fire my heart up. I like doing snatches with dbs equally, it's just a different variation. They are not the centre of the stuff I do.

I will though use the next 12 months to start seriously attacking the 25k rather than just using the lighter bells for warm ups, circuits and quickies.

Just as a reminder, I got mine from Stan Pike:


*In light of my piss poor pull up potential (PPPUP) I've bought some bands today and am going to use some of Peter's advice to get my numbers up. I can't kip at home because the bar will come off and I will be projected Clouseau style down a staircase.
The rationale for reduced gin intake and the knowledge of the perils of alcoholism and attendant metabolic derangement has almost entirely come from physicians and researchers.
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Old 05-17-2007, 12:53 PM   #2
Derek Simonds
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Location: Deland, FL
Posts: 4,204

James, thanks for the excellent recap of 1 year of KB training. I definitely need to make the investment and get some bells.

My grip could definitely use the work.
What we think, or what we know, or what we believe, is in the end, of little consequence. The only thing of consequence is what we do. -John Ruskin

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Old 05-17-2007, 01:36 PM   #3
Bobby Spencer
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Posts: 41

They are some of my best investments. I only use KB's for my workouts during FB season when I am coaching because I hate going to the gym at such a late hour. You can get a smoker of a workout in very little time and depending in the sizes of your bells, sets, reps, etc. you can work on strength or metcon. I only have singles in various sizes from the 1pd all the way up to the 3pd. I think, however, that if strength is your goal it would be better to have doubles if your budget allows. I think my next KB related purchase will be Anthony Diluglio KB workbook.


Despite what I thought was a good routine, I've never been satisfied with my timed snatch and swing numbers. Please keep us posted on your numbers James because after I complete this SS cycle I am going back to my KB's for about 18-22 weeks.
Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

I beseech you therefore,brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. Romans 12:1
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Old 05-17-2007, 01:47 PM   #4
Rick Deckart
Join Date: Jan 2007
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You make me curious James. You should open a workout log on PM...
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Old 05-18-2007, 02:20 AM   #5
James Evans
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Oh, and goblet squats, loads of those with all three weights. Very good.

Now that the British weather is supposed to be getting better for the summer (gotta love that climate change) I'll get myself outside more and attack the 25kg and see how I get on with my numbers.

Peter, I really can't be bothered with that. It takes me enough effort to write down my stuff in the training diary without replicating it here. I'll let you know how I get on with the pull ups.
The rationale for reduced gin intake and the knowledge of the perils of alcoholism and attendant metabolic derangement has almost entirely come from physicians and researchers.
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Old 05-18-2007, 08:59 AM   #6
Ron Wilhelm
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Join Date: Nov 2006
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Good to read your experiences James. I've noticed with swings that my grip gets fatigued big time with the 20 and 24kg. Snatches are fine with 24kg.

I'm a big fan of Pavel's C&P/PU ladders. Each set is 1 c+p left, 1 c+p right, 1 pull up, 2 c+p left, 2 c+p right, 2 pu, etc.. This is the rung height.

Monday is light - up to 5 sets, each 2 rungs shorter than Saturday
Weds is medium - up to5 sets, 1 rung shorter than Saturday
Sat is heavy - up to 5 sets, up to 5 rungs.

Start with 3 sets of 3 rungs for one week, then a week of 4 sets of 3 rungs, then a week 5 sets of 3. After that you can start adding rungs on Weds and Sat.

This is the program outlined for pressing in Enter the Kettlebell. Anthony DiLugio's workbook is exactly the same. If you can figure out ETK, Anthony doesn't add much to it.
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