Feedback on my own KB program

Nandor M

My Third Post
Hello,

I would like to hear some feedback on my own kettlebell routine. Also, do tell if you recognize other similar principles or programs in it. I'd really appreciate it.

The goal of the routine is to be something that is independent of the equipment (though of course, I prefer the KBs), independent of the days of week (busy, unpredictable lifestyle on the move), and can be sustained indefinitely. It is also independent of the specific exercises, since it is based on the muscle group movements. It's for people who are into minimalist training.

The program is divided into 3 movement groups (there is also a only one movement version). These are:

1. Hip Hinge (swings, snatches, jumping squats, deadlifts, cleans, etc)
2. Pull (rows, pullups, etc)
3. Press (overhead press, floor press, dips etc)

The program is calculated based on the VOLUME of the lifts, that is structured on principle of periodization. So, for example under calculate the volume of the movement (eg. hip hinge) using kb swing. 50 reps of 28kg = 1400. Then divide into LIGHT (65%), MEDIUM (75%) and HEAVY (90%) of that VOLUME into week for each. (And you don't have to do them in that order). DELOAD comes after 3 weeks. Again, deload of the VOLUME that is. So then you just:
-look at the precalculated volume for that week (lots of apps can do it automatically based on your max volume input),
-choose the exercise available that falls under the movement's volume
-choose the weight (i.e. intensity) that you feel like or is available
-meet the required volume in as few sets as possible.

E.g. 1 Hip hinge volume is 1400. 65% of that volume is 910. I wish to do 2x20 kb snatches in the LIGHT VOLUME week. that's 910/40 = 22.75 reps. Do 23 reps in as few sets as possible.

E.g 2. 75% is 1050. I don't have access to equipment so I will do jumping bodyweight squats. I weigh 80kg, so half of that gets moves up, so 40kg is my working weight. 1050/40=26.25. Means 27 reps in as few sets as possible.

Eg. 3 90% is 1260. I got only a 16kg kb. I want to do swings. 1260/16=78.75. I'll do 79 reps in as few sets as possible.

As you can see it is volume that undergoes periodization, while intensity is decided by you (based on how tired, busy, or available you are). This allows for both volume and intensity to undergo constant variations (without excessive planning needed). The volume is your BASELINE PROGRESSION that gets logged, so no matter how diverse your workouts are, there is still a common thread of volume binding them all into one TRACKABLE progress (which I found to be the crucial element for training sustainability over a long period of time.) Given that both volume and intensity are waving up and down, the program can be performed for a very long time without stalling (which can be measure when your workout time becomes significantly longer). In that case it will be time to restart the volume and a lower value.

I've been using a simple 531 app, that allows change of lifts' names and calculates all these percentages automatically, so all I need to do is look at the movement exercise for that day. Divide the number by the weight I want/have access to lift, and then tick the box once I meet the reps.

I would love to hear what people think or have any questions above it. I've been doing it for almost a year now (before that it was Wendler's 531, but I always wanted to transition to solely KBs and body-weight, but at the same time have a sense of 2 steps forward 1 step back progress. (the app also does a nice graph of my periodized volume values).

Of course the program is not for a specific sport or competition, but is for someone with a busy lifestyle that still wants to maintain a long term strength and strength endurance upward progression.

Look forward to your thoughts.

(As I mentioned, I have a variation that I'm currently doing which is a single, full body, exercise that involves all muscle groups: Double kb clean-front squat-overhead press. Volume is under periodization as above, and intensity is decided by using one of the three KB pairs I got. Light, medium, and heavy. As minimalist as it gets :))
 

Anna C

More than 5000 posts
Elite Certified Instructor
I would love to hear what people think or have any questions above it. I've been doing it for almost a year now (before that it was Wendler's 531, but I always wanted to transition to solely KBs and body-weight, but at the same time have a sense of 2 steps forward 1 step back progress. (the app also does a nice graph of my periodized volume values).
Has your progress with this program been in strength, volume (work capacity, endurance, etc.), recovery ability (during and after sessions), or some/all of these?

Thanks for sharing...
 

Jalvarado

Double-Digit Post Count
I have a similar idea I’ve used with my circuit training for over a year. I included a similar methodology that covers most of all the muscle groups so that I remain fit and strong but also get a lot of work done in 25-30 mins and still have burned off 300-400 calories in that time. We also need to understand this wouldn’t be maximal for strength or power but all around fitness. If that’s what you’re looking for then it’s the best. On off days I do cardio like treadmill intervals hitting the 3 zones and also 30 mins of jump rope on the other day.

when does minimalism actually serve the greater purpose? I took note from QD. I don’t add the pull up in my circuit anymore because when I swing a heavy KB most of all the same muscles are being used. Do I need to work the Lats and back again? I already hit them well enough with the swings. I can cut another 5 mins off the routine and also add the power aspect. QD states (others as well) that pull ups have not suffered and swings-snatches will maintain or improve pull-ups. More movements aren’t always better so that’s something I’m trying to change in my routine. That’s just my 2 cents.

I add a pull up and push up test at the end of every month to see what remains or improves.
 

Nandor M

My Third Post
Has your progress with this program been in strength, volume (work capacity, endurance, etc.), recovery ability (during and after sessions), or some/all of these?

Thanks for sharing...
For me the most obvious increase was in strength endurance. For example I am able to go 20-25 strict pull ups right off the bat on a random day without any warm up. And that's without constant pull up training (sometimes all I do is heavy cleans on "Pull" days).

Recovery is significantly improved too. I only foam roll once a week or less. It's because lowering the intensity of compound movements, but still reaching the prescribed volume, ends up pumping me up so to speak and flushing the trigger points (used to get them in my neck, back and hips.) Probably something like "active recovery".

Strength max must have gone up too, though I haven't specifically tested it. It's just that whenever the more work/volume has been put it, overall strength must be increasing however incrementally. I did notice that 2x28kg KBs I use for overhead presses are becoming lighter. (I could only press them for singles in the beginning).

Last but not least, is the psychological sense of constant progress, even on the days you do a bare minimum. The periodization of the volume is increasing overall regardless of the workout, exercise, intensity, failure, busy days, etc. Also I can incorporate new exercises and practice getting better at them without a sense of losing the program progression or having to start a new one.
 

Nandor M

My Third Post
when does minimalism actually serve the greater purpose? I took note from QD. I don’t add the pull up in my circuit anymore because when I swing a heavy KB most of all the same muscles are being used. Do I need to work the Lats and back again? I already hit them well enough with the swings. I can cut another 5 mins off the routine and also add the power aspect. QD states (others as well) that pull ups have not suffered and swings-snatches will maintain or improve pull-ups. More movements aren’t always better so that’s something I’m trying to change in my routine. That’s just my 2 cents.

I add a pull up and push up test at the end of every month to see what remains or improves.
Well said. I don't even think in terms of the individual muscles any more. Just pulls, pushes and legs (in varying intensities and all sorts of angles).
 

Anna C

More than 5000 posts
Elite Certified Instructor
For me the most obvious increase was in strength endurance. For example I am able to go 20-25 strict pull ups right off the bat on a random day without any warm up. And that's without constant pull up training (sometimes all I do is heavy cleans on "Pull" days).

Recovery is significantly improved too. I only foam roll once a week or less. It's because lowering the intensity of compound movements, but still reaching the prescribed volume, ends up pumping me up so to speak and flushing the trigger points (used to get them in my neck, back and hips.) Probably something like "active recovery".

Strength max must have gone up too, though I haven't specifically tested it. It's just that whenever the more work/volume has been put it, overall strength must be increasing however incrementally. I did notice that 2x28kg KBs I use for overhead presses are becoming lighter. (I could only press them for singles in the beginning).

Last but not least, is the psychological sense of constant progress, even on the days you do a bare minimum. The periodization of the volume is increasing overall regardless of the workout, exercise, intensity, failure, busy days, etc. Also I can incorporate new exercises and practice getting better at them without a sense of losing the program progression or having to start a new one.
Sounds great. You're enjoying your training, seeing objective and subjective improvements, and learning things. Lots of wins all around.

Interesting how some people do well on a self-designed program and some do not (making no progress on one end, or overtraining on the other). I think it comes down to two factors -- how well you know yourself and your response to training, and how well you understand principles of programming like stress and adaptation. Sounds like you score high on both of these.
 
Top Bottom