101 Kettlebell Workouts: Double The Fun. Double The Bells
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Part two of my training experience, using Charles Staley's Escalating Density Training system and Kettlebells. Inspired by David Whitley's ebook, 101 Kettlebell Workouts.
Workout #2 = Twice The Fun
In this episode of The 101 Kettlebell Workouts Experiment our hero doubles the fun and heads to the beach and answers the question how to workout with two Kettlebells.
This latter half of the morning consisted of an enjoyable drive out of the San Fernando Valley, through Topanga Canyon and onto PCH at the Malibu/Santa Monica boarder. The weather was mild. Not too hot, not too cold, patchy clouds and a lite breeze. In other words, perfect.
I pulled over at my favorite little spot of beach front and settled into my warm up. Today I did some light stretching, a little joint mobility and finished off with a very easy practice of some Indian Clubbell drills. The Clubbell is a great tool for warming up and even as a stand alone workout. For me, I'm still new at it and am enjoying them as a warm up tool. I do enjoy the old school tools. I don't have the handlebar mustache and probably never will, but it's there in spirit.
Anywhoot, after my warm up, I get settled into today's workout. Number 2 from The Iron Tamer, David Whitley's "101 Kettlebell Workouts." Today was like double the pleasure of yesterday. It is also a prime example of what Pavel calls "variety for minimalists." Today, I did exactly what I did yesterday, except with 2 Kettlebells. So that's Double Kettlebell Military Press, Double Kettlebell Rows, Double Kettlebell Front Squat, Windmills and Double Swings. I got to it with Boris and Natasha. That's what I call my two 24kg Kettlebells. Silly, huh?
Today was cool because even though it was basically the same thing from yesterday, it was double the weight and double the effort. A lot more tension was generated and I gave myself all the time I needed between sets. Everything went smoothly and as I approached the end, I was a little nervous about the double swings but they came off quite well. I gripped the ground with my toes and squeezed my glutes real hard. I kept my dear abbies tight and I breathed behind the shield. Actually, come to think of it, this is pretty much what I did on all the drills I did today.
Let's take a look at each drill real quick starting with the Double Military Press. One clean to get the bells in the rack with a brief pause to tighten up. Tighten up means from the ground up, gripping with the toes, glutes squeezing like trying to crack walnuts, abs braced for a punch. Press from deep with in the shoulder girdle and press as if you're pushing yourself away from the bells. Lock out at the top while staying tight. Lower it back to the rack under control. Maintain tension throughout the movement.
On to the Double Rows. Very similar to the traditional barbell row only with out the bar. Very important to keep that core tension to protect the back. Another key point here is to shake off the tension between sets. Yesterday I warmed up with jumping jacks, today in between sets I'd jump around in a shadow boxing sort of Bruce Lee style dance off. Did I look a little stupid? Probably, but I'm beyond caring and it's a great way to release that tension and reset.
On the matter of Double Front Squats, this is a smoker. Once you clean the bells into the rack and lace your fingers together, your locked in. There is for me a constant battle to keep my T-Spine tight and not let my shoulders roll forward. I try to keep my lats tight throughout the movement. Lowering myself into the hole by sitting back and prying my hips out. You must squat as if in cement up to your shins. Once in the hole, I drive my heals into the ground and imagine being pulled up by my hips. I try to stay focused on not lifting with my neck. A challenge for me, but today I did well. I know this because there's not pain in my traps.
Following the Squats, it was Windmill Time. Since I had two 24kg Kettlebells, I wasn't 100% confident in doing double Windmills, nor did the workout call for Double Windmills. My ego said to do double windmills, but common since won out. So I did single Windmills and still enjoyed the pain as I continued to focus on the "Lat Shelf"
Double Swings! Ah... a thing of beauty. Definitely requires a wider stance than a traditional swing simply to make room for the other bell. This does not, however, excuse me from executing as much perfect form as I can muster at this point. The workout calls for higher reps as the Swing is what's know as a "ballistic" move compared to the "grind" moves I was doing before. Needless to say, Swinging 106 pounds at the end of your workout can be a smoker all on it's own and my heart rate thanked me for it.
I wrapped it up with some Hanging Leg Raises, Downward Dogs, and more light stretching followed up by a trip to the local gym to swim a few easy laps. I find swimming after a heavy kettlebell session to be great for moving out lactic acid and releasing residual tension.
Overall this workout and today was great. I love training outside by the ocean. Clean air and bright sun. Can't go wrong there! Looking forward to the next workout.
Thanks for your attention. As always, I hope you gained something. Leave your comments below!
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