Kettlebell 2H Swings Only A+A Long-term?

Status
Closed Thread. (Continue Discussion of This Topic by Starting a New Thread.)

Dayz

Level 6 Valued Member
Hey guys,

I respect everyone's opinions here, so I wanted to ask a question. But first, some info:
  • My main interest is running. I run in the AM 6 days per week, following a proper running plan with various types of running workouts. My 'race' distances are the 5 and 10k. But I also love trail running and hiking as hobbies.
  • SS + Chin-ups has been my strength work for a while. I can complete "Simple" any day of the week. I can also hit 18 bodyweight chin-ups. I also use original strength resets.
  • I want an even simpler training program than SS.

To satisfy the above, I am thinking of doing A+A with two-handed swings using the 32 and/or 40kg bell, 3-4 times per week. I would work on increasing my total number of sets and therefore my total number of swings over time.

What do you guys think about this idea as an ultra-simple method of training? Would two-handed swings provide enough upper body work? I don't know why, but I am just after the simplest training possible. I have a tendency to overthink things.

Your help would be appreciated, thanks!
 

offwidth

Level 9 Valued Member
@Dayz
To me Swings are more of a conditioning thing than an upper body strength thing. You are getting plenty of conditioning by race training 5k's & 10k's, and trail running.
If you want to go simple and have some upper body work then incorporate just the TGU and/or Pull-ups. If you want additional conditioning and upper body then do snatches. But again, you probably don't need more conditioning...
 

Frank_IT

Level 4 Valued Member
Hi, @Dayz!

You already do an awesome minimalistic program, props to you!

If you want the simplest, A+A, long term program ever, than the swing isn't your best choice (especially for upper body), the snatch is. I'll bring my experience to you: when I first started my A+A training, I wasn't able to snatch the 32 kg bell, so I did my first block with the 24 kg (I train at home and I have a limited choiche of bells: 16 kg, 24 kg, 32 kg and 40 kg). After completing it, I thought that 40 kg A+A swing would bring me a 32 kg snatch - that wasn't the case. In fact, 24 kg snatches did far better to my 40 kg swings than 40 kg swing did to my 32 kg snatches (I had one snatch on both arms and it came after no less than 2 swings).
Swings aren't bad, at all, but if you're after the simplest program ever, nothing comes much closer to A+A snatch protocols. If I had a 28 kg, I would have snatched it until I could do the same movement with the 32 kg and on. LCCJ works wonders too, but the kettlebell snatch (single arm) is the best bang for your bucks in A+A.
It also pairs with pull-ups / chin-ups nicely. I was following the fighter pull-up program while training A+A and it complemented nicely.
As for training sessions, 3-4 times a week seems about right, with no more than two consecutive days.
Hands care i paramount with snatches, those monsters tend to rip a hand open with high volumes.

This. If you where after strength, though, I've been beating a dead horse. Which is something I tend to do. :cool:

Also, hi @offwidth! :)
 

Anna C

Level 9 Valued Member
Elite Certified Instructor
+1 for the snatch!

I think if I were you, @Dayz , I would use both the 2H heavy swings and the snatch, especially if you are new to snatches. Heavy 2H swings for power development/maintenance. Snatches for that, and so much more... but it takes time to work up to heavy snatches. You could start with a light bell (16 kg maybe) and working up towards 24 or 32 kg.

So you could do 2 days per week of heavy 2H swings , and 2 days per week of snatches.

Or you could do both in each session -- about half your regular training volume with the swings, then add practice of the snatches with a light bell. As you work up to heavier with the snatches, let that take over more of the session, and eventually put that first.
 

ali

Level 6 Valued Member
Just to echo what others have said about snatches. I just finished my first run in with A&A snatches this week. After seeking some guidance from the forum about it all I selected this:
A Science-Based Plan to Prepare You for the SFG Level I and SFG Level II | StrongFirst

.....but used 5 snatches rather than swings. This has been good prep for going into some of @aciampa 's longer sessions which will be my next A&A at the appropriate time. I wanted a 3 day week too as a) I've never spent a long time with snatches b) I had intended to do some other strength work but c) knowing that my work/recovery/lifestyle was to be more erratic than usual that d) I allowed an element of flux on those days and trained some single leg/squats but light and e) that proved to be the case so f) it was perfect.....and g) for me, at least.
I did start to feel it in the latter weeks and my last session ripped a large chunk of skin off my hand so I missed the very last session of the block before testing.
My only previous snatch test was last year doing rop with a 20, my snatch bell and did it in 8.30 mins. I had previously tweaked a shoulder and my rop efforts went more towards the press.
So these 6 weeks I used a 24 for snatches and tested with the 20.....got 6.15 minutes with a rest midway. I didn't anticipate getting 5 minutes anyway so quite pleased with the end result. My shoulders feel solid and I've gained a lot of confidence in my snatch because of it. So well recommended.....my longest session was 24 repeats. Al's I think go to double that at times.....no way would I have done that right now but this has given me the platform to take on that kind of volume....and reckon then that would give me the potential for smashing the 5 minute thing. That's probably not your aim, I realise but just a thought that expresses the effectiveness of it that others have talked about.
 

Ian V

Level 5 Valued Member
So you could do 2 days per week of heavy 2H swings , and 2 days per week of snatches.

Or you could do both in each session -- about half your regular training volume with the swings, then add practice of the snatches with a light bell. As you work up to heavier with the snatches, let that take over more of the session, and eventually put that first.
Totally agree with Anna - I use swings / snatches paired with push ups. One of my favourite sessions recently is -
7 two handed swings / 7 press ups / 4 snatches R&L / 7 press ups - and repeat.

Good luck

Ian
 

wsh777

Level 4 Valued Member
Hi @Dayz,

I agree with many others that the snatch gives you great bang for your buck for A+A, and I have done a 6 week cycle with the 28kg. As a runner, however, you might find the heavy snatches a strain on your lower back over time. I found as I went above 20 repeats I would often wake up tight the next day and would take a long time to loosen up during a run. That being said, that’s my mileage and yours may vary. For me, the single arm clean and jerk has been a go to as a conditioner and now for A+A repeats. I just feel truly energized after 25+ repeats without any ripped callouses or irritated old injuries. I think for me it works better because I’m not dropping the bell from the overhead position straight into the swing. So many great options for a runner though with a kettlebell
 

Kozushi

Level 7 Valued Member
1h swings work different muscles from the 2h ones. They are two different exercises. 1h swings deal with resisting rotation more than anything. 2h swings deal with powerful pulls. TGUs give you strong isometric resistance in all directions.

I don't understand why you are looking for something "simpler". If anything, cut out the chinups if you are looking to cut. Work a little on moving up in weight in S&S, maybe to an intermediate "pood" weight between the 32 and the 40, such as a 36kg bell.

If you want to just ensure that you have some upper body strength to balance out your running, some decent callisthenics like your chinups and some kind of pushups, dips or presses should be a nice complement to it. Have you tried doing levers on the chinup bar? These are great full-body moves on the bar!

Falling back on a mere bunch of 2h swings is just simply losing out on the benefits of S&S. I don't really see the point.

If S&S is taking too long, go down to 24kg for most days, or do it only 3 times a week.

I don't have much experience with snatches, but they are known to be a stand-alone exercise that works very well, as they include full body pushing and pulling, so everything.
 
  • Like
Reactions: ali

Dayz

Level 6 Valued Member
Hey everyone, thank you for the feedback. I am thinking I may use the C&J for A+A instead of swings (or the snatch) given the responses here. The think the LCCJ gives the kind of lower+upper body plus conditioning benefits I am after in one simple move. I'll use TGUs as my warm-up to maintain the movements pattern.

Thoughts on this new plan? :D
 

Kozushi

Level 7 Valued Member
Can you explain this, please? I mean, snatches and the pushing movement.
You pull up with your whole body to get the bell into the air, then you have to push rigidly to hold it up there above your head for an instant. Pavel wrote that if you just had about 10 minutes to workout and one bell, the snatch would be the best bang for your buck.
 
Last edited:

Frank_IT

Level 4 Valued Member
Hey everyone, thank you for the feedback. I am thinking I may use the C&J for A+A instead of swings (or the snatch) given the responses here. The think the LCCJ gives the kind of lower+upper body plus conditioning benefits I am after in one simple move. I'll use TGUs as my warm-up to maintain the movements pattern.

Thoughts on this new plan? :D

Good call!

Just a couple of reminders, if I may:
1. One of the wisest man I ever read of or spoken to in fitness, recommends to alternate single and double bells, in long cycle clean and jerk. Generally, LCCJ tends to be intended with two bells, but practice one bell too and mix them. Unilateral load and bilateral load have different meanings and benefits.
2. You're a runner, so you're probably already knowing, but what A+A is really unbeatable at is building work capacity, not conditioning. There is no way that kettlebell lifting, in any form, not even A+A, can reproduce steady state aerobic work at low intensity, which builds "true" conditioning.
3. Keep the TGU numbers low, both in volume and load, definitely not five per side as per S&S and one full bell size down from your current working weight: you'll have plenty of lifting to do, if you embark on long A+A sessions.

I'm always asking @Anna C to step in and correct me, when talking about A+A, this time is no different! :D
 

Anna C

Level 9 Valued Member
Elite Certified Instructor
Sounds good to me, @Frank_IT

Good point on the get-ups -- when I was doing A+A swings, snatches, and mixed (C&J ext.), I dropped the get-ups almost completely, pretty much just doing them for warm-up as @Dayz said, ("I'll use TGUs as my warm-up to maintain the movements pattern."), and I hardly lost any of the ability to do them, either quantity or weight.
 

Dayz

Level 6 Valued Member
Thank you @Frank_IT and @Anna C ! Great advice.

Regarding bilateral LCCL - I only have one of each sized bell. So is it okay to to A+A with unilateral C&J? I think I read somewhere that that is what is suggested for A+A, so the other hand can rest. But maybe I'm wrong!

Re TGUs: I imagine doing so many overhead reps is only going to maintain my TGU at the very least. After 6 weeks of A+A I'll run a few weeks of S&S to be sure. If I haven't lost much/any strength I'll return to A+A :)
 

Frank_IT

Level 4 Valued Member
@Dayz no problems with one arm, not at all!

The progression sounds right. I also believe you'll find great, hidden perks of A+A!

Lift on!
 
Status
Closed Thread. (Continue Discussion of This Topic by Starting a New Thread.)
Top Bottom