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Kettlebell Training – The 5 Pillars

Mike Prevost

so we did ascending sets to failure. Speeding up or slowing down lifts is a great way to make them harder. Nothing beats a fully equipped gym. 8 reps. If you can do 12-20 reps with your kettlebell for an exercise: Consider trying to make the exercise harder by slowing down or speeding up the movement (i. consistently. jumping kettlebell goblet squats. you may not have access to a gym.If you are looking to get in shape. This is not . if all I have is a 24KG bell I might construct a workout like: 1 arm overhead press: 5 X 6 reps 1 arm bent over row: 5 reps. on Monday you might focus on pressing in the 2-3 rep range. If all you have is one kettlebell..e. we added a hand switch and went with higher reps. bodyweight exercises). 8 reps. week in and week out. with access to a large variety of tools. even pausing at typical weaker points of the movement. 5 reps.. we finish up with some windmills but only a few reps due to their difficulty and because they are done at the end. Pavel refers to this as making the loading “wavy. If you can do 5-8 reps with your kettlebell for an exercise: Consider something like 5 X 5. 10 reps. on Tuesday you might do 3 X 15 reps and Friday 4 X 5 reps. If you want OPTIMAL training. 5 reps 1 arm kettlebell swing with a hand switch mid air (for added difficulty): 4 X 20 Kettlebell split squats: Ladders to 15 Kettlebell windmill: 4 X 4 reps In this case the weight was fine for overhead press but a bit light for rows. 4 reps. 3 reps. you are going to have to get creative. there are many tools available. There are lots of ways to organize the sets and reps depending on what you have available. 2 reps. including the option of using no tools at all (i. try to vary the loading. 5 reps. or ascending sets (i. For example.. reps to failure). If you have multiple kettlebells. If you can do 8-12 reps with your kettlebell for an exercise: Consider something like 4 X 8. Finally. you can get an effective whole body workout if you train the 5 pillars. However. or super slow presses) Obviously some exercises are going to be easier than others. The best program is the one you will actually do. Because this is light for swings. you will have to choose a loading scheme based on your ability and the weight of your bell. Do 3-4 sets of the Dan John rep scheme. 2-3 days per week work through the 5 pillars. Again. 3 reps.” For example. or a Dan John rep scheme – 5 reps. so one loading scheme may be applied to one exercise and a different scheme to another. you have to be creative to squeeze all of the benefit out of them. This is a very high volume split squat workout and would be the major effort for this session. There are other possible adjustments to add difficulty if we only have one kettlebell.     If you can only do 1-3 reps with your kettlebell for an exercise: Perform several sets of 1-2 reps or ladders. Split squats would also be a bit light so we went with ladders to fairly high reps. if all you have is one kettlebell. rest a couple of seconds. you should choose the best tool for the job. If you have limited tools. or you can slow down any movement to make it much harder.e. rest a couple of seconds. For example. This will result in different loading schemes for each exercise. we could have done goblet squats with a jump.e. then descending sets afterwards since fatigue would make these sets harder. reps to failure. 10 reps. or you may choose to do something less optimal (but still effective) because it is more fun or convenient. If you like training with kettlebells.

man makers . 5. 4. Upper body push Upper body pull Hip hinge Squat Core 1. 2. weighted dips (with kettlebell).necessarily a bad thing as you really get proficient at the movements and can train until you really “own” that weight before buying another kettlebell. Upper body push . weighted pull ups (with kettlebell). 2. overhead press.Floor press. 3. The 5 pillars are: 1. batwings. Upper body pull – Rows.

one legged deadlifts. singe leg squat. Turkish getups Note: Google Dan John.3. Hip hinge – Swings. lunges. Bulgarian goat bag swings 4. Squat – Goblet squat. Core – Loaded carries (carry while walking). Mike Mahler or Pavel Tsatsouline for some great kettlebell training ideas. . rear foot elevated split squat. double kettlebell front squat. box squats 5. windmills.