Need help — combining barbell with kettlebell training

Sunil Nair

Double-Digit Post Count
Hey, folks!

I've been struggling to combine barbell and kettlebell training primarily due to schedule and logistical issues. Let me talk about the latter first — my gym doesn't have a bell heavier than a 20 kg. And I usually swing with a 36kg (two-handed) and 28 kg (one-hand). I'm using two bells (for 28kgs) to do TGUs but I don't think I can upgrade anymore. The handles just get thicker!

I ideally would love to do barbell and kettlebell training in the mornings as splitting them out to different time slots hasn't worked out well for me in the past (I stopped like 4 weeks back). I also do BJJ on a couple of days (including Sunday mornings) so recovery's another thing I need to keep in mind.

Here's what you should know: I do have a kettlebell set that's just right for me! But I really don't want to drag it to the gym and keep it there for the public to use. Not because I don't want them to get stronger but the gym owner doesn't want to upgrade the bells despite numerous requests.

Finding another gym isn't an option as they all mostly suck and have pendants for kettlebells (I literally mean 2, 4 and 6 kilos... that's it)!

What do you think can work best for me? Do you think it's still wise to combine morning and evening training splits? Would that not impede recovery? Curious.

Thanks in advance for all your generous suggestions.

Sunil
 

Bro Mo

Quadruple-Digit Post Count
I have had the same issue throughout training and most often do everything on different days or in cycles.

Week 1
Mon: Barbell
Wed: Kettlebell
Fri: Barbell

Week 2
Mon: Kettlebell
Wed: Barbell
Fri: Kettlebell

Or

Month 1: Kettlebell
Month 2: Barbell

I've done two-week blocks instead of months also.
 

william bad butt

More than 300 posts
Just do barbells and kettlebells on different days. There are so many possibilities. For example, 2 days of weeks doing barbell grinds (front squat, press, deadlift, for example). And 2 days per week doing kettlebell ballistics (snatches and or double cleans, for example).
 

Sunil Nair

Double-Digit Post Count
I think I should've shared this before but nonetheless, here's what my current schedule looks like:

Note: I'm on a hypertrophy cycle right now and will start a powerlifting cycle in about a couple of months. My goals are strength and conditioning that is a step above GPP.

Monday: Barbells (BP, CGBP, Incline DBP) with TGUs, Swings (lightweight, since the gym, doesn't have options beyond 20kgs) and Prowler Pushes
Tuesday: SQ/FSQ/Leg Presses (some times) with TGUs and Swings
Wednesday: BJJ
Thursday: Barbells (MP, Incline BP) with TGUs, Swings and Prowler Pushes
Friday: Barbells (DL, Deficit DLs) with TGUs and Snatches
Saturdays: S&S (it's a hit or a miss for the most part as I'm exhausted from all that work done before)
Sundays: BJJ

The above program is unsustainable, I can tell. That's exactly what I'm worried about. The best solution is to haul my bells to the gym and get it done with. But I'm not sure if that's even a wise thing to do given the admin is so uncooperative. Finding another gym is out of the question at this point in time.

The second best option as @Antti suggested is to do BB in the mornings and KBs in the evening. I've tried that before but found myself out of energy in the evenings. Besides that, I think I've got the best setup for KB training right at home. Doing that would drastically change my training, giving me plenty of options:

Monday: Rest
Tuesday: Barbells & Prowler Pushes (mornings) and S&S evenings
Wednesday: SQ/FSQ/Leg Presses (mornings) and BJJ (evening)
Thursday: Rest (or just S&S evenings, if Friday evening's looking dicey)
Friday: Barbells (MP, Incline BP) and S&S (evenings)
Saturdays: Barbells (DL, Deficit DLs) with prowler pushes (mornings) and S&S (evenings)
Sundays: BJJ

Wow! I think I may have an answer to my challenge.

What do you guys think? Can I even improve on this now that you have much more context?
 

John Spezzano

Triple-Digit Post Count
Team Leader Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
There are only so many hours in the week and rest is essential to improvement so don't avoid it.

I would suggest you consider focusing on one method for 4-8 weeks, put the other in "maintenance mode" and then rotate your focus. If you decide to focus on the bar, it should be the majority of your volume with the bell being about 1/3 of your volume. (For example, M/W/F barbell, T/TH kettlebell)

Assuming your barbell training is powerlifting based, the kettlebell movements we do are very similar so the carryover will be there and vice versa when you switch modalities. Plus the ever-present WTH effect! If you're doing snatches or C&J with the bar that's a different story, IMO.

I love when a person's issue is how to fit in MORE training! Well done!
 

Sunil Nair

Double-Digit Post Count
There are only so many hours in the week and rest is essential to improvement so don't avoid it.

I would suggest you consider focusing on one method for 4-8 weeks, put the other in "maintenance mode" and then rotate your focus. If you decide to focus on the bar, it should be the majority of your volume with the bell being about 1/3 of your volume. (For example, M/W/F barbell, T/TH kettlebell)

Assuming your barbell training is powerlifting based, the kettlebell movements we do are very similar so the carryover will be there and vice versa when you switch modalities. Plus the ever-present WTH effect! If you're doing snatches or C&J with the bar that's a different story, IMO.

I love when a person's issue is how to fit in MORE training! Well done!
Thank you, @John Spezzano! :)

I quite like your idea of a barbell/kettlebell split — I'm still brainstorming different combinations primarily because I'm so much more comfortable with a 4-day BB split than a 3-day one. I guess it's all in my mind ;)

Thanks again!
 

Alaska80

Double-Digit Post Count
It definitely will @Bucko ... the challenge is that the barbell and kettlebells are at two different places. Hence, the focus on splitting things up. :(
Sunil,

There are no laws of lifting that state a given daily session has to be completed in the same contiguous block of time. In fact there is ample evidence that when pure strength is your goal that breaking up a given session into multiple micro sessions is very advantageous as you are rested for each lift.

For example:
I am currently running TB Operator with a Squat, Bench, Deadlift cluster M/W/F. I am to a point in my lifting where my 80% and 90% weights are pretty heavy for me and recovery can be an issue. So to combat cumulative fatigue I separate my lifts anywhere from 2-3 hours apart, i.e. I do 3x5 DL then 2-3 hours later perform 3-5 BP etc. Doing this has allowed me to slowly increase my total training volume over time and now I am at a fairly aggressive training volume, anywhere from 1.5-3 hours per day, mostly broken into "micro sessions' of 10-30 min multiple times a day. In all of this I include KB training. Currently I am running a 12 week cycle of the Q&D snatch protocol M/W/F after my BB work for the day in the evening. On Tues/Thurs I perform 1 hour of cardio with GTG KB movements sprinkled throughout the day and on Saturday I will perform anywhere from a 20 min to 5+ hour cardio sessions depending on my current cycle.

So it would absolutely be possible to split Reload, do your BB lifts in the AM and KB in the PM and I think you will be surprised by the results.
 

Sunil Nair

Double-Digit Post Count
Thanks for sharing your perspective, @Alaska80! :)
I think I'm convinced this (training split — morning and evening) is a better way to go about things.

Thanks, again!
 
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