The 2-1-3 workout is a complex made up of 2 cleans, 1 press, and 3 squats—with double kettlebells. It’s another beautifully simple creation of Dan John and it’s used as a SFG grad workout. When performed at the correct pace and with the appropriate sized kettlebells, it’s one of the best workouts I’ve ever done. The ratio of pull/push/squat and the order of the exercises is perfect. The workout can be done with or without a partner and there are multiple paths you can take for progression.
I will detail my progressions with the 2-1-3 at another time, but first I want to reiterate that this is done at SFG Certifications. It’s not for everybody.
Kettlebell newcomers should not be using double kettlebells until they’ve mastered the one-arm versions of each exercise. So, for newcomers, as well as others looking to build strength, the CPSq is a great workout.
The CPSq Kettlebell Workout
The CPSq is the one-arm equivalent to the 2-1-3 and it’s performed 1 clean, 1 press, 1 squat, switch hands. The CPSq is good:
- For technique work.
- If you don’t have pairs of kettlebells.
- If you want to get as strong as possible.
- As a warm up for the 2-1-3.
All you need is three progressively heavier bells in 4kg or 8kg increments with the heaviest bell being something you can press for 5-8 reps. Here is six-plus months of training you can do with them:
- Take 6 weeks to work up to 5 rounds with heaviest weight
- Take 6 weeks to work up to 5 rounds with heaviest weight, decreasing rest to 1:1
- Take 6 weeks to work up to 5 rounds with heaviest weight, no put-downs, performed as CPSq, CPSq, etc.
- Take 6 weeks to work up to 5 rounds with heaviest weight, no put-downs, performed as CCPPSqSq, etc. as shown in the video below.
Endless Ideas for Progressions
Simple workouts like the 2-1-3 and CPSq are great starting points. There are so many ways to build on them by manipulating sets, reps, resistance, and the work-to-rest ratio.
If you are familiar with programming, you could look at the six-week workouts above and see multiple ways to work through those weeks using ladders, straight sets, 5x5x5, 5-3-1, moving targets, and other approaches. There is no right or wrong way if you experience progression toward your training goals.
Likewise, if you are experienced with double kettlebells, you could progress from the 2-1-3, using the same progressions in the six-week cycles as above—cycling heavier weights, decreasing rest, no put downs, etc.
Here’s an example:
Here’s a couple possible targets to reach for after an SFG Cert. Some of these I have achieved and some I am still working on. Adjust your weights accordingly—and enjoy!
- CPSq x 48kg
- CPSq x 20rds 1:1 work:rest 2-1-3 x 48kgs
- 2-1-3 x 20rds 1:1 work rest