I think there is a belief that many “experts” hold in the strength and conditioning world, that is incorrect.
The belief is that without barbell training, you can’t get strong.
Now don’t get me wrong – if you want to get as strong as humanly possible, you probably do need to include some barbell work at some point along the way.
BUT … if you want to be strong, but ALSO be able to move well, take a short run or play a game of pick up basketball without feeling like you’re going to keel over, get out of bed in the morning without feeling like you got hit by a truck … then I think that your BETTER choice would be the Kettlebell Challenge Workout approach.
This is where you DO lift “heavy” … using body weight and kettlebell exercises … but you also take a more balanced approach, where not only strength but endurance, stamina, flexibility, power, speed, etc are all addressed and developed at the same time.
One thing I use quite frequently in this approach is the KB Complex …. so I thought I’d provide you with a quick example of one. This complex can serve as an entire workout by itself – here’s what it looks like:
Clean-Squat-Press-Snatch KB Complex
Be sure to do your tissue quality / mobility + flexibility warm – up … and maybe practice your KB form before you go into the workout full blast … then simply do:
– 1 clean
– 2 squat to overhead presses
– 3 snatches
5-10 times on each arm (depending on your goals and current fitness level)
Take as much rest as needed to use good form.
See the video on how to do this KB complex here:
As another “real-life” example … we have an advanced kettlebell lifting / strength group that I work with personally at my gym three times per week.
Over the last 18 mos, folks in this group have gotten very strong by most standards … using almost exclusively kettlebells and body weight.
We focus on getting great at the basics – pull ups, push ups and advanced variations, double and single leg squats a variations, handstand progressions, jumping, sprinting, KB swings and snatches, presses, TGUs, complexes of different varieties ….
Here is “S” – one of our long-time FVT Strength Group members – pressing two 20k/45# KBs overhead
Bottom line is, folks in the group have consistently made progress and gotten stronger … and best of all, have stayed healthy, feeling good, and injury – free.
In conclusion, you do NOT have to use barbells to get strong. Most of us want to be strong, but also be able to run without feeling like we’re going to keel over, also not feel like we’ve got hit by a truck when we get out of bed in the morning. And that’s the other big benefit of training with body weight and KB’s – you can do ALL of this and more.
If you’d like to learn more about my full kettlebell training program based around these concepts, check out Ultimate Kettlebell Challenge Workouts HERE – it’s on sale through tomorrow night.
Keep training hard, and talk soon –
– Forest Vance, MS, RKC II
Author, Ultimate Kettlebell Challenge Workouts