Saturday, February 13, 2010

Saturday Kettlebell Workout

This was probably not one of my better ideas given that I haven't been happy lately with my technique on cleans and snatches. The smart thing to do would have been to practice my cleans and snatches but stick with get-ups and swings for my actual workout.

But I never claimed to be smart.

So here's what I did:

Deck squats x5, with 8 kg
Clean & press x5 per side, with 12 kg

As many rounds as possible in 10 minutes, which in my case turned out to be 5 1/2. The deck squats were a new exercise for me, and I kind of liked them. I did the version where you use momentum to get back onto your feet because that seemed to fit better with the metabolic effect I was going for. I could also see doing a higher-rep set, unweighted, with a jump at the end ... that could be a crazy-fun burpee alternative on bodyweight circuit days :)

Anyhoo, after that I rested 3 minutes, then did snatches, 5 R/L, as many sets as possible in 10 minutes. I used 12 kg and got either 17 or 18 sets--I sorta lost count :) I got either 10 or 11 sets by the five-minute mark but slowed down a little after that because I was worried about my hands. My hands and grip always seem to be the limiting factor for me.

Still, I'm happy I can still get 100 snatches in under 5 minutes using the kettlebell that's closest to 1/4 my bodyweight. That's what I'd have to do if I were to go to RKC. Well, that's the least of what I'd have to do, but still, it's something.

Not that I plan to go to an RKC weekend any time soon. It would be an amazing experience, but not terribly useful given the nature of my personal training business. Getting HKC certified was a no-brainer for me because I pretty much knew the first time I did swings, get-ups and goblet squats that these were movements I wanted to teach clients. Hip mobility, shoulder stability, posterior chain strength and power .... these are sorely lacking in so many of the people I train, and I have yet to find better exercises than the goblet squat, get-up and swing for addressing these problems. Even if a client never gets to the point where I'm comfortable putting a kettlebell in his hand, he'll benefit from the preparatory exercises such as face-the-wall squats, half get-ups with a shoe on the knuckles, and hip hinges. If there was an "HKC: Beyond the Basics" workshop focusing on more and better corrective drills and applications for the swing, goblet squat and get-up I would go in a heartbeat even if it meant getting on a plane, which is so not my favorite thing to do.

But honestly I can only think of a couple of times in the last year and a half since I discovered kettlebells that I really wished I were qualified to teach cleans, presses and snatches. My clients just don't seem to need those more advanced movements in the same way they need swings, goblet squats and get-ups. True, I've had some inquiries about kettlebell snatches from people who've read the infamous ACE article verifying their calorie-burning benefits. But invariably once I explain to those people just how much prep work they'd need to do to be able to do the workout outlined in the study, they lose interest. It's amazing the way people tend to confuse "time-efficient" (which kettlebells are) with "quick fix" (which kettlebells most assuredly are not).

If you'd asked me six months ago I would have said, oh, yes, I'm going to become an RKC then go for CK-FMS certification. I still think that's a great path to take, especially for anyone who's interested in performance enhancement for athletes. But that's not what most of the clients who come to me are looking for, and I can't justify the expense if I'm not going to be using what I learn in my personal training business.