all posts post new thread

Kettlebell A Tale of Two "What the Hell" Effects

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


Level 6 Valued Member
TLDR: Twice over this past year, I've had periods of barbell training (Wendler 5/3/1 Cycles) bookended by periods of Hardstyle Kettlebell Training. And in both I've had some 'WTHs' and overall learning come out of them.

The two periods varied by duration, and at the risk of comparing apples and oranges I'll detail them below:
  1. The first period was from 15 December 2019 to 04 January 2020 when I visited my family over the holidays and trained with three pairs of kettlebells (16KG, 24KG and 32KG bells) I keep at my parents' house. After this training period, I was expecting 5-10% strength losses (measured in the obligatory training max test mandated in the book 5/3/1 Forever) and was pleasantly surprised by only slight losses in the Bench Press (6.51% Reduction in Training Max) and no losses on the Bench, Squat, and Press. (Original Post Here)
  2. The second period was from 23 March 2020 to 11 May 2020, a longer duration brought about by COVID-19 and the closing of all the gyms here on Oahu. Our gyms base opened up earlier this month and I got back onto the 5/3/1 program from there. Doing my obligatory training max tests I expected 5-10% losses across all lifts, and again wound up pleasantly surprised.
    1. I had a strength loss of 3.68% in the Bench Press and a 12.17% strength loss in the Squat. Silver lining to this cloud, however, even with the loss of strength in the Bench Press my adjusted training max is still two pounds higher than when I started in January.
    2. I lost no strength in the military press or deadlift.
During both training periods, I used three pairs of kettlebells at 16KG, 24KG, and 32KG focusing predominantly on the basic moves per StrongFirst kettlebell training (swing, getup, press, squat, clean, and snatch) plus the single and double clean and jerk and long cycle clean and jerk. Either way, I'm happy to report some decent WTH effects following a return to the barbell.
Last edited:
Closed Thread. (Continue Discussion of This Topic by Starting a New Thread.)
Top Bottom