10 sets of 10 reps of long cycle clean and jerk - 2 x 24kg
Ab Roller - 3 sets of 10 with weighted vest
100 meter sprints - 6 rounds
10 sets of 10 reps of long cycle clean and jerk - 2 x 24kg
Ab Roller - 3 sets of 10 with weighted vest
Zercher Squat - 5 sets of 5
Double Clean and Press - 5 sets of 5
Pull Ups(weighted) - 5 sets of 5
50 snatches w/ 24kg - 2 rounds
Ab Roller - 3 sets of 10 reps
Introducing my hybrid style of kettlebell snatching. Is it hardstyle? Not really... Is it GS? Nope... its the best of both worlds. enjoy!
Swing, Squat, and Press Chain - line three bells up from lightest from heaviest. At each bell perform 5 one arm swings, 5 one arm racked front squats, and five presses, switch sides every bell. If you started on your right arm the first time through, start on your left the second time through, and keep alternating your starting arm everytime. Go through the chain 6 times.
V02 Max protocol
Ah, The return of RKC to Philly, I've waited almost a year for this. So what are my thoughts, and did it or did it not live up to my expectations? Continue reading and you will surely find out.
So, I'll start with the prep. Because I can say that a lot of people at RKC this year, were simply just not ready for it, and that's really a shame when you pay that much money for a certification, only to walk away with a "certificate of attendance". Don't let that happen to you if you are ever seriously considering attending an RKC certification. So what did I do in order to prepare myself? Well unlike most people, who spend most of their time worrying about the snatch test and focusing way to much time on that, I actually geared my entire year long training around the rigorous requirements of RKC. So what did I do? Well I did a lot of pressing, a lot of squatting, a lot of deadlifting, more swings than most people can fathom, tons of snatching, and even a lot of GS training as well. I focused on increasing my maximum strength, improving my conditioning, and staying healthy and injury free. All of which I accomplished. So I can say that going into RKC I was feeling pretty damn confident. And incase anybody is wondering on what to do for the snatch test, the V02 max protocol does work incredibly well. The week before RKC I crushed the 24kg, 100 rep snatch test in 3:50. At RKC, with all the adrenaline and sweat, I still managed to crush it in just a few seconds over the four minute mark. I only put the bell down once, only because I could, not because I had too.
So here's how day one went down. I arrived pretty early just to warm up and scope out the scene. Saw many familiar faces and mingled a bit. Tons of bells were lined up against the far wall, ranging from 10lbs to four beasts(106lbs). So eventually we organized into our team's, met our team leader and group mates( mine was Heinz, an absolutely great guy to work with), and did a bit of mobility to warm up before the snatch test.
Once the snatch test rules were explained we lined up, and got to it. Three people snatched at at time, each with an assistant RKC counting reps. I went first just because I wanted to get it out of the way. The snatch test is never easy, but I was well prepared and had no problems.
The first technique that was covered, which may surprise some of you, was actually not the swing, but instead the goblet squat. Brett Jones did a great job of covering all the corrective drills and all the nuances that go into the "perfect" squat. After squats we covered the turkish get up. Then finally, we went onto the swing, which was presented by the chief. Of course in between each session we did plenty of reps, and a series of short workouts. We were actually "punished" a couple of times with heavy farmers walks around the building for people not doing exactly what they were told when they were told to do it. I put "punished" in quotes because I think it was a planned punishment, but hey, who's complaining, I would have been disappointed if I went to RKC and didn't get my ass kicked! Pavel did an awesome job of presenting the swing and on how to break it down for clients, as well giving us a bunch of corrective drills to use, such as the face the wall squat(which most people should know from ETK), but also some other great and creative drills I've never seen before.
Day 1 was pretty exhausting, and honestly, it's hard for me to recall most of what went on, because you go there, and the first thing that happens is you get an ass kicking from the snatch test, then you just try and absorb as much information as you can, all of which is in between some more ass kickings. I slept pretty easy that night.
Day 2 covered the press, front squat, clean, and snatch. Geoff Neuport(excuse me of I spelt that wrong) covered the snatch and did an excellent job doing so, by really making it as simplistic as possible. Again, just like day 1, we went through a ton of corrective drills and ass kickings, and finished the day off with the v02 max protocol. The best part about day 2 was the RKC dinner afterwards. The food was great, but even more importantly it was a great chance to meet and mingle with many of the senior and assistant RKC's as well. Everyone in the RKC community is incredibly knowledgeable and generous, and I was very fortunate to have the opportunity to pick many of their brains.
Day 3 had everyone sweating bullets. It's the day that everyone is tested and is either given a pass or fail. However, the day actually started out with a marketing lecture by John DuCane, which was a great experience as well. Being a business major, I consider myself pretty well educated when it comes to marketing, but I honestly feel that I walked away from that lecture with a lot more knowledge than I had when I walked in.
After the lecture it was back to the facility for a short warm up led by DuCane, and then we had some time to practice before technique testing. I had no problems with technique testing. As a matter of fact, I was one of the only males in my group that actually tested with 2x 24kg kettlebells, and I was also the lightest male in the group as well. So please, if you go to RKC, be prepared to test with your snatching weight, otherwise, it just looks bad. We were tested on double kettlebell techniques. So we had to do double swings, double clean and press, and double front squat. Snatch and Turkish get up were tested with one bell obviously. Everything went as smooth as can be.
So then we ate lunch, and were assigned our "victims". This is where people get really nervous and start to get sloppy. Brett Jones stated that teaching the victims accounts for most of your RKC grade. I love teaching, and have a lot experience training others and teaching bells so this was no problem for me, even though one of my victims was seeming to have a very hard time picking up the swing and turkish get up. I soon later found out that he was actually an undercover RKC, and just really wanted to give me a run for my money. But I ran him through all of the corrective exercises and did everything I was supposed to do and received an awesome grade on the victims portion. The key is just to be yourself, stay calm, and don't rush it. If you get too nervous, chances are you will slip up make a safety violation over something really stupid, like tripping over a kettlebell, and then you will be failed.
So then after that was finished, we all just waited for the grad workout to commence. Our final challenge was pretty grueling. We had forty five seconds to perform and one hand swing, clean, press, squat, and five snatches with a step in between. We then had fifteen seconds to rest, and then repeat on the opposite hand. We did this for probably about a good 20-30 minutes, but it was an awesome final challenge and really tested just how bad you wanted to become an RKC.
Once that was done, we waited for our fates to be decided. I was confident I was going to pass, because I came into RKC prepared and experienced. But many of my team members were not so fortunate. Upon receiving my certification, I said my goodbyes and bolted home for a feast of the most epic proportions imaginable. As I type this, I am still trying to make up for the huge calorie deficit I have incurred over the weekend! Again, I slept very well that night.
This year's RKC experience was just awesome all across the board. The atmosphere was unlike anything else, and it is truly something that needs to be experienced by anybody that is even moderately interested in ever becoming a kettlebell instructor. You will be pushed, and you will be tested. But in the end, its worth it, because there are not many people in this world who can say that they are RKC certified. It is much more than just a fitness certification, it is a badge of honor
Sorry again for the lack of an update, but I had the pleasure of being at RKC philly all weekend(which I will be sure to write a full post/review of my experience asap). So anyways until then, here's the WOD
Double Clean and Press - 5 sets of 5 reps
Front Squats - 5 sets of 5 reps
Swings superset with Hindu Push Ups - 10 sets of 10 reps each
Darcy Swing superset with Pull Ups - 10 sets of 10 reps each
The double kettlebell clean and press is one of my all time favorite exercises. It is a phenomenal strength building and includes both an explosive component(clean) and a grinding component(press). If you reviewed my workout program from my previous post, it gives you a good insight as to just how much I like this exercise, since I may do it up to three times per week.
And as promised, I am going to try keep up with posting what I eat on here more regularly, but remember, just like my personal routine, this is my personal nutrition plan that works for me, and there is no guarantee that what works for me will work for you.
So here is what I ate yesterday
Upon waking before 5: 30 am bootcamp - Branched Chain Amino Acids, Black Coffee
Post Workout Drink - 20 grams whey protein, 20 grams casein protein in whole, raw milk. 5 grams glutamine, 3 grams creatine
Breakfast -probably around 9am- 5 cage free egg omelette with mushrooms, tomatoes, spinach, broccoli, and ham
Snack - probably 10 or 10 30 ish - couple handfuls of almonds
Lunch - Tuna with extra virgin olive oil and 3 hard boiled eggs
Pre workout - 5 grams glutamine, 3 grams arginine, BCAA, 1000mg beta alanine, 200mg caffeine
Workout and Kettlebell Class
Post Workout - 5 grams glutamine, 2000mg vitamin c , whey and casein shake in whole raw milk, 3 grams creatine
Snack before dinner -couple handfuls of almonds, lean body shake
Dinner - Stir fry with brown rice, 3 cage free eggs, one large chicken breast, and hot sauce. Cooked in extra virgin olive oil
Before Bed - Casein and Raw Milk Protein Shake
So as you can see, my diet is still relatively low carb, aside from the brown rice and lactose in the raw milk, I mostly consume a ton of good fats and a good amount of protein. I try to target my carbs around my workouts. My caloric intake is usually higher than this, im guessing around 3000-5000 a day, but i never count calories.
Always remember what Garfield the Cat Said:
"Calories are meant to be CONSUMED, NOT COUNTED"
I typically avoid revealing my person routine when people ask me what I do. Why? Because it is mine. It works for me, and there is no guarantee that what works for me will work for you. Actually, in most cases, I can almost guarantee that my personal routine would do much more damage to people than it would benefit them. But alas, I am going to reveal my full, training regimen.
My program, appropriately named the Spartan Program, is what has been created out of over a years work of experimentation, sweat, blood, and tears. I wanted to create the ultimate, yet perfectly balanced and periodized routine for maximizing my potential. Now for the disclaimer...This is an incredibly ADVANCED routine. In more cases than not, this would easily put most people into a sever state of overtraining. The amount of stress and the demands of this program must be worked up to. Do not jump into this routine unless you are already superbly conditioned, have an incredibly strict and appropriate nutrition plan, and get at least 8 hours of sleep every night. If you do not meet those requirements, then you will surely never make it through even the first week of this program.
Now, what does the spartan program entail? Well, a lot more than I feel like covering in a single blog post, but if you understand the basic underlying concepts of this program, then you will be able to take the sample workout routine I will provide below and figure the rest of it out for yourself. What I mean by this, is that you have to understand the concept of periodization. The Spartan Routine calls for six days of training a week, and more often than not, you will have two workouts in one day. Now how is this not overtraining? Well, like I said, for most people, it will be. But for those who are able to meet the demands, it is the periodized nature of the program that will help avoid overtraining. Now that's not to say there won't be any overreaching, actually the spartan program is all about overreaching, and if you do not know the difference between overreaching and overtraining, then please do not even bother with this program until you familiarize yourself with those two terms.
Now, what is periodization? Periodization, to put it simply, means that you are constantly varying some aspect of your workout. There are a couple different forms of periodization, such as step-wise periodization, waving periodzation, etc. We will be using the waving method of periodization. So what this means, is that you will literally be "waving" some aspect of your workouts from week to week. Waving simply means altering. Now what can be altered? Pretty much any aspect of your workout can be altered, but we want to focus mostly on waving intensity, density, volume, and duration. A quick definition of each of those terms. Intensity can be summed up as how hard you are working. When you apply intensity to weight training, you think of it as how much weight you are lifting. The higher the intensity, the more weight you are moving. If you are applying intensity to cardiovascular training, then intensity could be applied to how high your heart rate is. Obviously sprinting is of a higher intensity than walking. Volume is simply total work done. This could be total sets done, total reps done, total weight lifted, etc. Next is density, density is how much work you do in a certain amount of time. For example, 10 reps done is 30 seconds is more dense than 5 reps done in 30 seconds. 100 Jerks done in 5 minutes is more dense than 50 jerks done in 5 minutes. Get it? The last aspect we want to consider is duration. This one is pretty self explanatory, how long are you working out for? Now between intensity, density, volume, and duration, you can choose to alter one, more than one, or all of those aspects from week to week. Since each workout routine is different from day to day, there is already some "built in" periodization into your routine. But what you want to do is to alter one, or more than one of the aspects of your workout routine every week. So for example. Say monday calls for double clean and press, and you are to perform 12 sets of 5 reps. The first monday you may use 2 x 24kg bells. The next monday you can either choose to wave the intensity up by using 28 or 32kg bells, or wave it down by using 16 or 20kg bells. Alternatively you, could could instead choose to keep the intensity the same, sticking with the 24kg bells, and instead wave the volume and just do 5 sets instead of 12. Another option would be to wave the density and keep the weight and total sets the same, but wave the density down and do 3 reps per set, or wave it upwards and do 10 reps per set. Now remember that you never want to always wave up, this is just asking for overtraining. It is the cyclical nature of "waving" the loads that will help you recover, and speficially it is the downward cycle, or the de-loading phase that will allow you to actively recover. This means that if you feel like you are reaching a point of overtraining, you either took to long to wave some or all of your workout aspects down, or you need to do so immediately. That is why this is known as a wave cycle. What goes up must come down. There are peaks, and there are low points. But in the long run, the trend of your periodized routine is always increasing. For all of you mathematicians out there, if you were to run a regression and put a best fit line to your routine, you would notice that over time (in the long run) all aspects of your workout are gradually increasing, and the best fit line would be rising! I realize that all of this must sound incredibly confusing, I mean, i'm pretty much giving myself a headache trying to explain all of this, but let me put it in context once again.
So say you want to measure the progress of your intensity over the long run. Again, we will use double clean and press as our example, and we want to see how much stronger we have gotten over the past year. So say at the start of the year you began the routine using 16kg bells. Over the first couple of weeks you cycled between the 16kg bells, 12kg bells, and 20kg bells. This would be known as a meso(or intermediate cycle). Eventually as you notice yourself getting stronger, then begin your next meso-cycle(a meso-cycle simply means an intermediate cycle, typically a couple of weeks long, but varies depending on the routine) with 20kg bells, cycling down to 16kg, and up to 24kg. The next meso-cycle you start with the 24kg bells, cycling down to 20kg, and up to 28kg. So as you see, in the long run, you are getting much stronger, and that is the beauty of periodization, it always you to work more, but not necessarily always at your max, but almost ensures that you will continue to get better and better over the long term.
Sorry again for that mess, but I am hoping that most of you that are reading this already have a basic understanding of what I'm talking about, because if not, then you will have a very, very difficult time following this program.
Now for the good stuff, what is the Spartan Program, and what can you expect to get out of it. Well, here's what I have gotten out of it:
Now for the moment you have all been waiting for, I present to you, the Spartan Program:
Monday - This is mostly a moderate weight pushing day(mostly vertical pushing, some horizontal)
Double Clean and Press - 16 sets of 5 reps with 2 x 24kg kettlebells - try to get one set per minute
Barbell or Kettlebell Front Squats - 5 sets of 5 reps with 2 x 28kg kettlebells
Kettlebell Swings Superset with Push Ups - 20 swings followed immediately by 10 push ups - perform 10 rounds of this
5 minutes of Turkish Get Ups - 24kg bell
Hanging Leg Raises - 5 x 10
Weighted Vest Ab Roller - 5 x 5
Weighted Vest Plank - 3 x 45 seconds
Tuesday - This is more of a pulling day(both vertical and horizontal), with more conditioning and explosive work
Snatch Test - If you can not do the 5 minute, 100 rep snatch test with a 24kg kettlebell, that is a good indicator that this routine is too advanced for you, because the snatch test is your warm up on tuesdays. Get 100 reps in, under 5 minutes
Double Swing - 5 sets of 10 reps with 2 x 24kg superset this with -
Weighted Pull Ups - 5 sets of 5 with 16kg kettlebell
Double Snatch - 10 sets of 10 with 2 x 20 kg bells, and superset this with
ABC Chin Ups - 10 sets (refer to my video if you do not know how to perform this)
Omelette Circuit - Perform Six Times and superset this with
Weighted Vest Rows - 5 sets of 10
Russian Twist - 3 x 30 seconds with 16kg kettlebell
Barbell/Landmine Twist - 3 x 20 reps with 35 - 45lb plate on barbell
Side Plank - 3 x 30 seconds each side
Wednesday - This day is based around explosive, and grinding pushes and Pulls, both vertical and horizontal
Long Cycle Clean and Jerk - 10 sets of 10 with 2 x 24kg kettlebells
Bench Press - 5 sets of 5 superset with
Plyo Push Ups - 5 sets of 10 reps
Heavy Single Arm Strict Military Press - 1 rep, Superset with Heavy Weighted Pistol Squat - 1 rep - Do this 5 times with both arms and both legs
Barbell Bent Over Rows -5 sets of 5 superset with
Plyo Pull Ups - clap hands between reps - 5 sets of 5
Ring Push Ups superset with
Ring Flys - 5 sets of 10 reps each
Weighted Vest Superman - 3 x 30 seconds
Weighted Vest Ab Rollouts - 3 x 30 seconds
Atomic Push Ups on Rings - 3 x 10 reps
Corkscrew Leg Raises - 3 x 20 reps
Thursday - Another fantastic conditioning, explosiveness, and agility day
100 meter springs - perform 8 rounds with no more than 30 seconds rest between rounds
Kettlebell Snatch - 5 sets of 10 reps each arm superset with
Box Jumps - 5 sets of 10
Barbell Snatch - 5 sets of 3-5 reps
Kettlebell Swing Chain - line up 4 kettlebells, making them progressively heavier - perform five swings at each bell - and do 200 total swings without rest. My chain this week was 20kg,24kg,28kg,32kg
Dynamic Plank - 3 x 30 seconds
Hanging knee raises - 3 x 30 seconds
Weighted Sit Up - 3 x 12 reps
Friday - Friday is the most demanding and heaviest day of the week.
Double Clean and Press Chain - line up 3 sets of bells, making them progressively heavier. You will do 5 sets of 5 reps at each set of bells. So for example do 5 sets of 5 reps with 20kg bells, rest a short bit, then 5 sets of 5 reps at 24 kg bells, rest a short bit, then 5 sets of 5 reps at 28 or 32kg bells. Now, what you can also do is switch the weight everyset. So do a set light, then a set medium, then a set heavier, and repeat until you get five sets at each set of bells.
Deadlifts - 10 sets 0f 5 reps - every two weeks or so, work up to your 1 rep max
Incline Dumbbell Bench Press - 5 sets of 5, superset with
Weighted Pull ups - 5 sets of 5
Weighted Vest Dips - 5 sets of 5, superset with
Weighted Vest Rows - 5 sets of 5
5 minutes of turkish get ups - 24kg
Kettlebell Hot Potato - 3 x 30 seconds
Landmine Twist - 3 x 20 reps
Saturday - I have two kettlebell classes this day, and will usually workout in one of them. Lots of swings and calesthenics, nothing to heavy.
Sunday - off, enjoy this day of rest.
Now earlier I said that somedays you will be doing two a day workouts. I did not post them because of a couple of reasons. For me, my two a day workout is typically one of my kettlebell classes, so just like saturday, its usually a lot more conditioning based. If you try this routine and truly feel up to adding a couple of two a day workouts, just comment or message me and I will be happy to give you a couple supplementary routines, but what I have provided is more than enough for just about anyone!
So there you have it, this has pretty much been my routine for the past year, and I couldn't be happier with the results. I am stronger, leaner, and more resilient than I ever have been before. I feel great, and am sure to taper off whenever I start to feel overtraining set in. Speaking of, do not ignore the signs of overtraining which may include but are not limited to: elevated resting heart rate, mood swings, changes in appetite, anxiety, sleeplessness, depression, weight gain(fat), low libido, etc. Overtraining is a serious and very real condition, and should be avoided at all costs. It is the main reason I have been so hesitant to provide people with my routine, because it will surely make most that try it overtrain. Always train smart and listen to your body!