I wanted to thank everyone for their feedback on this post. I am starting week 5 and I am glad I listened to all of you. Had I not checked my ego at the door, I would have started with a far too heavy weight and not gotten to this point. I went with 16kg bells (got the Chimps through Onnit) and I feel the burn each and every workout. The hardest part has been eating enough to keep up with the workout. I am looking forward to the next 7 weeks, especially in regards to strength and size. Hope everyone has a happy new year!
Wim, sorry I never got back to you about the rest days! I have found, as I am almost at the end of week 6, that the rest days are immensly important. I would VERY lightly train on the rest days, most of the time doing walk throughs or 50% effort. One day a week I would go hard at class, but I would feel the fatigue in my legs and shoulders pretty quickly. It has gotten a little more manageable as the program has gone on, but you will be tired.
John, you couldn't be more on point with that statement. Each week I wonder how I will do the additional round at the lower rest period. Somehow that last round sucks just as much as the week before, when it was one round less--good sign of progress in strength and conditioning!
Yes, Wim, I am still talking about KB Muscle. I am in the midst of week six, which is the toughest of the first six weeks (IMHO), and it has left me quite taxed. The rest is imperitive. I understand the need to do the martial arts workouts for the safety of yourself and those around you, believe me, which is why I put mine during the two days of rest I get. There was very little effect on my martial arts workouts when I was doing S&S--the only time I felt anything is when I increased a bell size or put more emphasis on the one hand swings too soon or for the first few times with a new weight.
Kevin, I am chuckling to myself remembering my first time through it. The first week seems like nothing, then it adds up. If you don't take it easy on the off days you'll just collapse trying to get through the week.
The results will be there though as it doesn't just build muscle, it gives good GPP conditioning too.
John, Week One was most certainly trickery in its finest. I have, which is hard for me, actually allowed myself the rest days. Normally I feel guilty about not doing get-ups, swings, pull-ups, and such but I just don’t have it in me to do the program and then anything else.
I do have to say I am excited at the strength and conditioning gains, as they are quite noticeable, but I am still waiting for the muscle gain. Increased my eating, hydrating well, taking the rest, but nothing yet (or at least what I have been able to see). Hoping something happens in the next 6 weeks!
Awesome program and appreciate that at some point I will be able to chuckle again!
Nice work, Mike. I just finished Week 6 KBM Heavy Day this evening and couldn't have been happier that it was finished. Felt a ton of muscle fatigue towards the last set and had some muscle failure at the beginning of the final push presses. Loved it and hated it at the same time. Looking forward to the next 6 weeks!!! Got to love kettle bells . Very happy I did this with 16kg bells--would never have made it with 24's at this point in time.
You guys aren't exaggerating about the 16kgs being intense. I've been using the Strength and Hypertrophy portions of KB Strong from 16kg to 20kg to 24kg for the past several months. I'm at the point after 3x10 24kg presses with lots of rest in between. I've also been doing various swings and front squat practice along the way.
I thought it might be good to take a break from all the military presses and try something new for a bit. I tried the first workout from KB Muscle with two 16kg and it was the other kind of WTH effect. Not used to being under load that long or combining movements into a larger set. What should have been easy snatches were iffy due to misremembering technique, and I've never felt that feeling in my shoulders before when started the MP phase. Ugh. I had to forgo the prescribed rest periods completely and wait until I recovered. I'll try again day after tomorrow and see how it goes.
I do have a silly question though. Will I gain the same amount of muscle gradually working up with an increasing bell size, or is the 16kg laying the groundwork for the heavier bells that will provide the the substantial increase in muscle? Or is it a combination of the two? I come from a background of inactivity, so I've never been clear on if I'm rehabilitating myself to the point where I hit an exponential curve, or if it's just a long positive slope.
I am on week 9 and its getting easier and harder at the same time. I have noticed my power output has increased a lot! Went to the store the other day and picked up a 40kg KB to start doing Get UPs with it when KBM is done.
I am starting week 10 today and have been experiencing the same results as Mike--it is easier and harder at the same time. The heavy days have been really pushing me almost past failure, especially over the last two weeks. My power output and endurance have never been better. I am excited to see where I am with heavy clean and presses as well as get ups when this is all over. There is no way you can get to this point in the program and not be stronger.
IMHO, Thomas, it would be best to follow this program exactly and use the 16kg bells. I had to buy all new shirts the other week, which is something I truly was not expecting or have ever done in the past due to lifting. My shoulders and upper back have noticeably increased in size.