Armor Building

Gnocchi

First Post
Hey all! Was hoping for some feedback. I plan on trying the Armor Building program, EMOM, with a moderate to heavy bell. What should my total goal time be? Meaning, how many minutes should I workout for, when using a heavier bell?

thanks!!
 

Stefan Olsson

Level 6 Valued Member
I asked Dan few years back and he replied the following:

That's a great answer.

I wish the interwebz people would ask ME about programming my workouts. They, of course, would be bothered by my response:

Do it. Then ask.

Use it first (the 2-1-3) as part of a workout...a few rounds. Then, try tossing it twice a week for a bit. When you get past the early issues with technical stuff...foot position seems to be a common questions (move them!)...you can easily add them:

I would suggest three times a week one week, then twice the next. Rotate that a few times, then move along. Occasionally, make this the whole training session: go for a while. I can't imagine more than 15-20 minutes, but online I have seen people do it longer.

I originally combined this with tumbling work, so people were gassed after training. I never did 2-1-3 WITH tumbling back to back, but I can only imagine it being exhausting and the quality would drop.

The key, I have always thought, is driving that press up. So, using double 36s and making the ONE press and THEN having those damn FSs seems to be more like what I was thinking originally.

Of course, same person, the next workout you use 16s and go for a long time...there is a logic (to me) there, too.

Don't make it crazy: stick with 2-1-3 (Proven to Work!)

Have some long, light sessions. Have some I go/you go sessions. Do some sessions "On the Minute," my all-time large group training method, maybe even slide the weeks into the fractal:

Week One: Two sessions
Week Two: One session
Week Three: Three sessions

It is a "one stop shop" for KB work, not unlike the O lifts, but oddly harder for some (the damn bells are harder to control).

Eric, that 2-1-3 with swings was not an original for them either, btw. My knock on that, as always, is the issue of "more."

"More" is the enemy of "enough."
 

ShawnyUT

Level 6 Valued Member
Hi Gnocchi,

Curious as to your goals, training background, and what KBs you will be using. Dan just posted a video on his youtube about the Armour Building Complex. I highly recommend you check it out.

I know Dan says "More" is the enemy of "enough." Dan also says that minimalist training produces minimalist results.

If it were me, I think I would try to get 10 sets with 2x24kg and then evaluate. That is going to give you 30 front squats in a training session. I am not an expert and really not suited to give you advice.

If you have never done double kettlebell front squats, you may find that they are more challenging than the amount of weight would lead you to believe. As Dan says, double KBs in the rack always "want to slide down" and maintaining them in the rack during the front squat movement requires "anaconda strength."

Me being a novice, I like programs with more structure. I don't like wasting my brain power on choices. The dilemma of figuring out volume and density causes me unnecessary stress (sounds silly to say, but it is true).

That is why double KB programs like Dry Fighting Weight: “Dry Fighting Weight”: Fat Loss Through Strength | StrongFirst and
Total Tension Kettlebell Complex: Total Tension Kettlebell Complex | StrongFirst appeal to me much more than the Armor Building Complex.
 
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ShawnyUT

Level 6 Valued Member
@Gnocchi

One more bit of information from Dan on the ABC: "It is more of just a single workout or piece of one rather than a complete program. You can certainly do it a few times per week, but I would cover the other movements as well." -Comment in on his youtube video.

I just started Dry Fighting Weight. I do DFW for 30 minutes, and then spend 15-20 minutes on Pull Ups, Swings and Loaded Carries. Nothing crazy, 3-5 sets, just some basic work almost as a cool down to round things out.
 

Trever

Level 4 Valued Member
The dilemma of figuring out volume and density causes me unnecessary stress (sounds silly to say, but it is true).
This does not sound silly to me at all. I have the same problem. If left up to me I just wind up thinking I have to do a little of everything and wind up spinning my wheels. I just want someone to tell me what to do, how much of it, and how often 😆
 

BrianCF

Level 6 Valued Member
In my opinion, and I'm a fan of density. Volume takes.precedence. Quality reps > Sloppy reps in less time.

For example, you could. do the Rite of Passage over a day if you want. Grease the Groove style.

I love Escalated Density Training, but it doesn't love me back anymore. Trying to rush reps you're too fatigued to do is not good.
 

Steve W.

Level 6 Valued Member
Me being a novice, I like programs with more structure. I don't like wasting my brain power on choices. The dilemma of figuring out volume and density causes me unnecessary stress (sounds silly to say, but it is true).
Trying to rush reps you're too fatigued to do is not good.
These are two reasons I love Kettelbell Muscle.

Besides deciding what size bells to use for the next 12 weeks, there is not a single decision to be made. Every set, rep, and rest period is already programmed. It's very mentally liberating to just focus on showing up and doing the work.

Although Kettlebell Muscle is a high density program, the work sets are untimed, so you can really focus on executing each rep without feeling rushed or eating into your recovery interval. Slowing down often becomes a survival strategy -- it prolongs the suck, but enables you to fight through it without gassing out (although you might have doubts in the midst of it).

To address a point in the OP, EMOM is way more rushed than I personally would ever do the Armor Building Complex, although I have seen reports of people who do it that way successfully.
 

BrianCF

Level 6 Valued Member
Another option of Armor Building you could try is do it ladder style.

Do Sets of 1 clean, 1 press, 1 squat, then 2 cleans, 2 presses, 2 squats, then 3 of each. Repeat. back to 1 rep
Set the clock for 25 minutes and go to work.
If you're going at a moderate pace, you should get 6 ladders in which would equal 36 reps of each.
Throw in 100 double swings 10 x 10 and you have a great program. 3 x a week that wouldn't take you more than 35 minutes
 
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John Grahill

Level 6 Valued Member
@Steve W. and @BrianCF raise excellent points. The original KBM is my favorite complex program because if the simplicity. The volume per day and rest periods are done. Density is an awesome protocol especially with a fixed weight such as a KB and I have used this protocol often. The "new" me doing density style work takes more rest and much fewer "junk" reps for the sake of getting them in. The idea is doing the reps well.

The ABC is awesome but even its author/creator, Dan John has indicated it's not a " program" but "something " done like once a week or so. I've seen where Pat Flynn has advocated doing it using heavy weight and I suppose you could do a light, medium and heavy day for like 20 minutes each in an AMRAP fashion but that would necessitate needing three pairs of kettlebells. If you have them, give it a try.
 

HUNTER1313

Level 6 Valued Member
What I like about ABC is that there really is no thinking. All the reps are predetermined. All you really have to do is pick the duration and set your timer. Want a heavy day? Set the timer for twenty minutes or grab a heavy set of bells. A medium day? Set the timer for maybe ten minutes or grab a medium set of bells. You get the idea. Many programs require keeping track of numbers or keeping track of what day it is because you have to do this on this day. ABC is do this. Lift eat grow and be awesome. Also the beauty of ABC is like Dan says, it's not a program per say. Bored and need a variety day? Do ABC. Want a change? Do ABC. There's really no commitment unless you want and make one.
 

HUNTER1313

Level 6 Valued Member
Would ABC be a good muscle building protocol for working guys? It's pretty self regulating and doesn't appear to beat you down as much as some other muscle programs. I'm sure the gains might not be as great or fast as others, but many of us have to work for a living and suffering for days after a workout just isn't feasible.
 

Eric Wilson

Level 5 Valued Member
What I like about ABC is that there really is no thinking. All the reps are predetermined. All you really have to do is pick the duration and set your timer. Want a heavy day? Set the timer for twenty minutes or grab a heavy set of bells. A medium day? Set the timer for maybe ten minutes or grab a medium set of bells. You get the idea. Many programs require keeping track of numbers or keeping track of what day it is because you have to do this on this day. ABC is do this. Lift eat grow and be awesome. Also the beauty of ABC is like Dan says, it's not a program per say. Bored and need a variety day? Do ABC. Want a change? Do ABC. There's really no commitment unless you want and make one.
I like to test myself on 10 minutes of ABC with light bells once every month or two -- a measuring point for general conditioning.

Like a snatch test, but much easier on the hands, and less technically demanding.
 
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Rick213

Level 6 Valued Member
Would ABC be a good muscle building protocol for working guys? It's pretty self regulating and doesn't appear to beat you down as much as some other muscle programs. I'm sure the gains might not be as great or fast as others, but many of us have to work for a living and suffering for days after a workout just isn't feasible.
I absolutely think ABC is good for those who work. I have run it for many weeks along with running and felt fine. After about 4 weeks I needed a deload of sorts, really just switching my movement patterns as my hip was sore. I moved to ROP ladders after and really enjoyed it.

Also! I use offset bells typically for ABC, a 32/24 combo. I also like to do DB clean/press/squat with a pair of #70.
 
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johanness

Level 1 Valued Member
Hi everyone,

today I did 10 minutes emom of ABC and before it had taken 11 1/2 for "The Moving Target".

The Moving Target Kettlebell Complex | StrongFirst

TMT I did with a 16kg, Changing left to right after each ladder (first the presses left 2-3-5, then right 2-3-5)
The squats and cleans were ridiculouse. I know my pressing is impropostional to pulling and legs from other programms.

ABC I did with 24 and 16, changing side after each complex. Pressing was hard, cleans and squats were challenging but not as hard.

The weights:

- TMT says clearly: "a bell you press 6-8 times" -> 16kg for me
- ABC, how about the weight? since the press ist just 1 rep, no ladder up to 5 the 24 works at least for the few reps i got in 10 minutes

Question:

If I want to adjust a complex to my bodys balance of push-pull-legs, should I either
- up the reps of the easy movements of the complex
- lower the reps of the heavy part (pressing)
?


The goal is a "no brainer" I can do 4 times or just once a week, for maintenance and fun of course. A real program is not possible for the rest of the year, because of schedule.
 

BrianCF

Level 6 Valued Member
I would do use the 24 with good form. The more you use the 24, the better results you will have.
 
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