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Core Fitness Training

Designing Barbell Workouts

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Read Gregg's general guidelines for Strength Training and Kettlebell Workouts by clicking these links.

For individual help in designing workouts or learning kettlebell exercises, contact Gregg at
corefitnesstrainer@yahoo.com

SAFETY

See the safety information on the Kettlebell Workout Page

Program Minimum

No two people are alike in their strengths, weaknesses, goals, or body types. The most basic program that would be effective would consist of some joint and muscular mobility exercises combined with one pull (such as a deadlift or squat) and one push (such as a bench press, side press, or military press).

Workouts can be designed to fit into 15 minute intervals 4-5 days per week, 40 minute intervals 2-4 times per week, or anything in between. Your own primary goals, whether they be to improve strength, lose weight, develop endurance, etc., determine how your program should be designed.

Develop Good Technique

At the beginning, your main objective is to develop good technique so that you then increase your workload without fear of injuring yourself.

I suggest that at the beginning, you work out 3-4 days per week for 40 minutes. It's important that you give your body time to rest and adjust to the exercises and workload. After a few weeks, you can exeriment and work out more often for less time, or whatever suits your lifestyle best. Choose either the deadlift or squat in combination with the bench, side, or military press, and stick with the combination you choose for at least 4 weeks.

  1. Joint Mobilization Exercises - no warm-up is necessary because the human body possess a number of mechanisms that immediately prepare it at even the mere suggestion of exercise. Your body is programmed to raise its core temperature, shunt more blood to the arms and legs, and cease or diminish digestive and other processes at the first sign of exercise. If you are accustomed to using a warm-up, gradually wean yourself of your need for it. Begin with 20 minutes, then 15, then 10, 5, down to zero.
  2. Deadlifts or Squats- perform 15 repetitions broken into 3-4 sets. Keep the weight light and manageable until you have mastered your alignment, breathing technique, and internal strength reflexes. Rest as much between sets as necessary to stay fresh. If you cannot maintain good form while reaching for a barbell on the floor, try elevating the bell across two weight benches until your mobility improves. All exercises are performed slowly and with maximum tension.
  3. Bench Press, Side Press, or Military Press- perform 12 repetitions broken into 2-3 sets. I recommend that you use dumbells for all of these presses at the beginning. Keep the weight light. Integrate your entire body into each repetition -- begin by creating a solid, immovable base with your feet and legs. Before lifting the bell, inhale fully, crush the handle of the bell(s), and either hold your breath or use power breathing as you press.
  4. Cardiovascular training or supplemental exercises such as pull-ups.
  5. Conclude with any abdominal and flexibility training you want to do. TOTAL WORKOUT TIME: 40 minutes or less.
To Become Smaller and Stronger...

Perform the following workout 3-5 days per week to increase your metabolism, lose weight, and grow stronger and more resistant to injury. Stick with the exercises you choose for at least 4 weeks, and then you can feel free to change things up. Build the weight up gradually.

  1. Joint Mobility Drills
  2. Circuit of Pulling (deadlift or squat) and Pressing (bench press, side press, or military press)
    1. 1st pulling set at 80-90% of maximum, active rest 2minutes
    2. 1st pressing set at 80-90% of maximum, active rest 2 minutes
    3. 2nd pulling set set at 80-90 % of maximum if you can maintain it, or drop to 70-80%, active rest 2 minutes
    4. 2nd pressing set set at 80-90 % of maximum if you can maintain it, or drop to 70-80%, active rest 2 minutes
  3. Cardio and/or Abdominal Training- Total workout time: 30 minutes
To Become Bigger and Stronger...

Perform the following workout 3 times per week to build lean muscle mass. You'll need to rest at least one day in between each workout. You must stick with your choice of exercises for at least 4 weeks, then you can test your progress with a "maximal lift day," then take a couple of days off and either increase the amount of weight you're lifting or change exercises.

  1. Joint Mobility Drills
  2. Pull (deadlift or squat) 4 Sets of 5 or fewer repetitions.
    1. 1st set at 80% of maximum, active rest 1 minute
    2. 2nd set at 70 % of maximum if you can maintain it active rest 1 minute
    3. 3rd set at 60% of maximum, active rest 1 minute
    4. 4th set maintain 60% of maximum, practice zero tenstion techniques for 5 minutes before pressing
  3. Press 4 sets of 5 or fewer repetitions.
    1. 1st set at 80% of maximum, active rest 1 minute
    2. 2nd set at 70 % of maximum if you can maintain it active rest 1 minute
    3. 3rd set at 60% of maximum, active rest 1 minute
    4. 4th set maintain 60% of maximum
  4. Supplementary exercises: Pull-ups or abdominal work
  5. Cool Down: Total workout time: 40 minutes



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