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Kettlebell Iron Cardio

mightstone2k

Level 6 Valued Member
Question(s): I’m running the Novocaine template, combining S&S, Q&D, and A+A. Perhaps I’m reading too much into the title Iron Cardio, but would this be a good fit into the aerobic days as a LISS replacement? If not, which kettlebell day would it slot into: strength, anaerobic, or aerobic?

I ask because I don’t expect to be rucking much outdoors this winter and want to find an indoor replacement for my LISS days. If Iron Cardio fits the bill, I’d love to slot that in.
 

paules

Level 5 Valued Member
Question(s): I’m running the Novocaine template, combining S&S, Q&D, and A+A. Perhaps I’m reading too much into the title Iron Cardio, but would this be a good fit into the aerobic days as a LISS replacement? If not, which kettlebell day would it slot into: strength, anaerobic, or aerobic?

I ask because I don’t expect to be rucking much outdoors this winter and want to find an indoor replacement for my LISS days. If Iron Cardio fits the bill, I’d love to slot that in.
Love the Novocaine template. In my view, Iron Cardio fits perfectly in the two strength sessions. You can use single or double KBs for the standard IC session of Clean, Press and FSQ. Throw in some pull ups and a lot of bases covered.
 

Bauer

Level 7 Valued Member
"Doing the Math"

I just finished reading the Iron Cardio book. Amazing book. I might be making this too difficult, but I'm having trouble getting my head around how to calculate "doing the math" for light/medium/heavy days.

How are people "doing the math" with the number of variations and combinations offered in the book?

Brett states in the book to count the number of reps. I understand that.

But how do you account for days where the weight and total reps change?
I know some calculate "total weight moved" in a session i.e. total number of reps X pounds = total weight moved. I see a case where that can be calculated and waved +/- 20% over a week to give a light, medium and heavy session. Does this work?

And the days where weight, reps and time change?
160 reps of single 20 kg C+P + S in 20 minutes is a different workout than 120 reps of single 24 kg C+P + S in 30 minutes.
For most of my plans I have spreadsheets.

I would include columns for
[Input]
  • variation (standard / weight ladder / rep ladder etc.) [text]
  • session format [text]

  • average weight
  • number of total sets
  • minutes
  • columns for average reps per set of clean / press / squat / snatch / pullup ... (push press or other variation if you want to)
And calculate
[Output]
  • total reps per clean / press / squat / snatch
  • total reps overall
  • tonnage
  • maybe tonnage per minute

The tonnage aspect is very rough, because a clean would weigh in as much as a snatch, but at least you could compare similar sessions.

The most difficult aspects would be travelling two's and sequences with pullups. You could insert 1,33 as "reps per set" for travelling two's with 3 exercises and 1,25 for sessions with 4 exercises. For the calculations to be correct you would need to finish your weight ladders, rep ladders, or travelling two's sequences.
 

BillSteamshovel

Level 5 Valued Member
And the days where weight, reps and time change?
160 reps of single 20 kg C+P + S in 20 minutes is a different workout than 120 reps of single 24 kg C+P + S in 30 minutes.
You could create a "power" equation or a power index in a spreadsheet using the idea that Power = Work /Time

For an Index, essentially a dimensionless number to compare the two different exercises above, Work could be simplified to 160 x 20 = 3200 and 120 x 24 = 2880 respectively ie more work was done in the 20 minute session than in the 30 minute session

Then you divide by Time so the comparison becomes 160 x 20/20 = 160 and 120 x 24/30 = 96 so you did 20 minutes at a work rate of 160units per minute and 30 minutes at a work rate of 96units per minute

You could only compare these numbers with your own previous training sessions - you couldn't compare them between 2 different people unless you measured the height of Clean + Press + Snatch for each person and incorporated those numbers into the calculations.

Would be a nice little project for a student studying physics in high school to formally measure and calculate how much Work you are doing.

EDIT - did some googling, this video worth a look if anyone wants to develop their own more accurate equations and estimates.
 
Last edited:

Brett Jones

StrongFirst Director of Education
Master Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
Beast Tamer
"Doing the Math"

I just finished reading the Iron Cardio book. Amazing book. I might be making this too difficult, but I'm having trouble getting my head around how to calculate "doing the math" for light/medium/heavy days.

How are people "doing the math" with the number of variations and combinations offered in the book?

Brett states in the book to count the number of reps. I understand that.

But how do you account for days where the weight and total reps change?
I know some calculate "total weight moved" in a session i.e. total number of reps X pounds = total weight moved. I see a case where that can be calculated and waved +/- 20% over a week to give a light, medium and heavy session. Does this work?

And the days where weight, reps and time change?
160 reps of single 20 kg C+P + S in 20 minutes is a different workout than 120 reps of single 24 kg C+P + S in 30 minutes.

Greg,

That is the "layering" of the variables. I do mention in the book (page 17) that changes in load (using a 32 or 36), adding an exercise (+snatch) can cancel out the effort to be "wavy."

Over time you build your reference points and the variations specific to you "reveal" themselves.

Tracking total weight moved is something I will have to look at.
 

Brett Jones

StrongFirst Director of Education
Master Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
Beast Tamer
Question(s): I’m running the Novocaine template, combining S&S, Q&D, and A+A. Perhaps I’m reading too much into the title Iron Cardio, but would this be a good fit into the aerobic days as a LISS replacement? If not, which kettlebell day would it slot into: strength, anaerobic, or aerobic?

I ask because I don’t expect to be rucking much outdoors this winter and want to find an indoor replacement for my LISS days. If Iron Cardio fits the bill, I’d love to slot that in.
With Q&D and A+A work I would slot the IC work into a strength day.
 

Brett Jones

StrongFirst Director of Education
Master Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
Beast Tamer
So in addition to not being able to follow a program I am also poor at tracking anything more than the basics.

I was a year+ into using and building out the IC protocol before a friend "did the math" for me and I realized I was accumulating some serious volume.

Don't lose the "joy" of the work in tracking the variables.
 

Greg H

Level 4 Valued Member
You could create a "power" equation or a power index in a spreadsheet using the idea that Power = Work /Time

For an Index, essentially a dimensionless number to compare the two different exercises above, Work could be simplified to 160 x 20 = 3200 and 120 x 24 = 2880 respectively ie more work was done in the 20 minute session than in the 30 minute session

Then you divide by Time so the comparison becomes 160 x 20/20 = 160 and 120 x 24/30 = 96 so you did 20 minutes at a work rate of 160units per minute and 30 minutes at a work rate of 96units per minute

You could only compare these numbers with your own previous training sessions - you couldn't compare them between 2 different people unless you measured the height of Clean + Press + Snatch for each person and incorporated those numbers into the calculations.

Would be a nice little project for a student studying physics in high school to formally measure and calculate how much Work you are doing.

EDIT - did some googling, this video worth a look if anyone wants to develop their own more accurate equations and estimates.
Thanks Bill! Brilliant. I will try this for a while. It will be interesting to see if a 20% increase or decrease (Strongfirst Delta 20 principle) in the "work rate units per minute" number feels like a hard or easy day.
 

Erik W

Level 5 Valued Member
So in addition to not being able to follow a program I am also poor at tracking anything more than the basics.

I was a year+ into using and building out the IC protocol before a friend "did the math" for me and I realized I was accumulating some serious volume.

Don't lose the "joy" of the work in tracking the variables.
Thanks for pointing this out. I really enjoyed my first session. Then, I added about ten thousand notes and columns to my spreadsheet before starting my second session. Once I actually started lifting, I had a good time.

For me, the 24kg is about right; maybe it's even a tad on the heavy side. I got 6 reps on each side, but the sixth rep was starting to get ugly on the left. I could barely eke out a single with the 28kg on the left; it was a tough double on the right. So, I don't really plan to mix in heavier weights, for now. Maybe after the 28kg is easier for me, I'll mix that in.

I want to maximize my flexibility with this programming, but I'll strive to wave from session to session. For starters, I tried to make sure that each session follows Delta 20 from the prior session's volume. Though, I'm not quite sure how this will play with density, once I start experimenting with added lifts. I'll try not to sweat it too much.

Heck, I suspect that a session that I might have planned as "easy" or "medium" might turn out to be one or two notches harder than expected. Then, I'll know to take an extra-easy session next time. In any case, I'm looking forward to just enjoying the process and exploring how it feels to adjust the different controlled variables.

I'm also thinking that I want to average out to two or three sessions a week, as I also practice martial arts and bike for transport. (I also dabble in deadlifting, but I don't train it very seriously, at the moment.) That seems reasonable, right?
 

Brett Jones

StrongFirst Director of Education
Master Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
Beast Tamer
@Brett Jones Would using a heavier bell once a week or so and doing jerks or push presses in place of presses be advisable?
I think weight ladders or alternating weights are very effective in the Iron Cardio protocol.

Jerks and push-presses can also be used in the sets/sequences.
 

JR47

Level 5 Valued Member
Apologies if this has been answered already - but how (if at all) do the book and video course differ?

I.e if I was going to buy just one, which would be best?
 

Brett Jones

StrongFirst Director of Education
Master Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
Beast Tamer
JR47—it depends on what you are looking for.

The video has more instruction on the skills (clean, press, squat, snatch) with simple programming (classic, double bell classic, classic + snatch, traveling 2s) and demonstrations of what those sessions look like.

The book has more details on the concepts and details of the protocol with greatly expanded programming information, a year of my training using the protocol, some tips on execution of the skills.
 

JR47

Level 5 Valued Member
JR47—it depends on what you are looking for.

The video has more instruction on the skills (clean, press, squat, snatch) with simple programming (classic, double bell classic, classic + snatch, traveling 2s) and demonstrations of what those sessions look like.

The book has more details on the concepts and details of the protocol with greatly expanded programming information, a year of my training using the protocol, some tips on execution of the skills.
Thankyou very much for this very timely reply.
 

Brett Jones

StrongFirst Director of Education
Master Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
Beast Tamer
Xene

It should not be included—this was a mistake by StrongandFit and should no longer be the case.
 
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