Sunday, November 1, 2009

Viking Warrior Conditioning

If you're a kettlebell person you already know all about Viking Warrior Conditioning. It's a conditioning regimen created by Master RKC Kenneth Jay (aka "the Dane of Pain").

This is not Kenneth Jay. This is my husband Paul. He's not into kettlebells at all, but he totally rocks the Viking look, don't you think?

Anyhoo, Viking Warrior Conditioning calls for alternating 15 seconds of explosive work with 15 seconds of rest. Usually the explosive work consists of snatches. Actual Vikings probably swing maces or something, but since Dragon Door doesn't sell those (although I suspect it's only a matter of time) most people just use kettlebells (12 kg for ladies and 16 kg for gentlemen I believe).
Before you start you test yourself to figure out what your cadence is (usually 6-8 reps per work set for snatches) and you stick with that cadence for the duration of the workout, which can be anywhere from 25 to 40 minutes. Once you've worked your way up to 40 minutes you switch to a 36:36 protocol I believe, but since I haven't actually read the book don't take my word for it.

Anyway, I gave it a shot this morning, and it was interesting. Since I haven't been doing a lot of snatches lately I switched to 1-arm swings after nine minutes in the interest of not ripping up my hands. I probably should have switched to swings sooner, but the snatches felt really good and I didn't want to stop! Doing swings instead of snatches definitely lowers the intensity a notch since the kettlebell never comes overhead, but that's okay. The workout still felt plenty intense and challenging but never so much so that I felt I was losing control or using poor form. I went for 25 minutes, probably could have gone a little longer but I thought it would be better to stop before I reached a state of complete smokedness.
So, the grand total of reps for the workout was 108 snatches and 288 1-arm swings, all performed with 12 kg, or slightly over 10,000 pounds moved in 25 minutes if you like to think of it that way.