Question about Total Tension Kettlebell Complex

Jake Butcher

First Post
I have a question in regards to the Total Tension Kettlebell Complex (Total Tension Kettlebell Complex | StrongFirst).

1. I started this program using kettlebells I can press more then the recommended 6-8 times (I underestimated when I ordered them and dont have access to any other ones). The first Press pyramid workout I worked up to 8 reps, so they're a bit light. Do you think this will present a problem to the effectiveness of the program?

2. After the Squat workout, Pavel recommends a snatch test. The bells I have are a littke to heavy for snatches. Do you think it would be ok to replace the snatch test with a clean test? Again, these are the only set I have to work with.

Thank you if anybody is able to respond.
 

Tjerr

Level 5 Valued Member
Certified Instructor
1. Yes, so I´ll suggest to do S&S instead of TT. Pavel himself said the Renegade Row should be at least 32. So IMHO S&S will the better program for you.
2. I'll recommend a swing test, maybe two handed in the beginning, or single hands, still 100 reps.
 

BrianCF

Level 6 Valued Member
I've run TTC I don't agree with this at all.

What does S+S have to do with renegade rows? Seriously.

OP, instead of running that program, if you feel it's too light. you can still get good volume in with the bells you have.

Try this as a complex

Press
Squat
Double Row
Do ladders of 2,3,5,10 . 3 rungs will do the trick.

Finish with 10 x 10 double swings. For building up your snatch, do one handed swings and high pulls and practice the snatch. If you can do a few at a time, do that.
 

Tjerr

Level 5 Valued Member
Certified Instructor
I've run TTC I don't agree with this at all.
What does S+S have to do with renegade rows? Seriously.
The Renegade Row has nothing to do with Simple & Sinister. It only states that it needs to be heavy. But this article highlights the best way to work with the StrongFirst methodology.

Things Are Going So Well, Help Me Screw It Up, Part 2 | StrongFirst
All too often we see well meaning instructors fresh out of a certification and excited to teach progress way too quickly to snatches and cleans before a true foundation has been put in place. What you see is double cleans being performed with weights that are way too light, sometimes I think you may as well just do “heavy hands.

TTC is a highly technical workout, preferebly done after Sinister goal. @Jake Butcher already can press for 8 times, general recommendation are sets of 5 the increase strength (around 70-85% of your one rep). Presses are, for most people, the hardest part of the workout relative to Squats, Cleans and Rows. So I pressume that the squats and cleans are easy as well. Since the bells are to heavy to work with Snatches, Swings are better. I don't recommend High Pulls because it's easy to pull the bell with your elbows and not initiated by the shoulder blades, which antagonizes the elbows.

I recommend that first the Simple goal is achieved before going to TTC. You can learn so much from daily doses of Swings and Get-up's.

Hypertrophy, conditioning
This wasn't clear when I posted the former message. For Hyperthrophy sets should be somewhere between 8 and 12. But the problem with easier bells is, that you can press from 'only' the arm, and not to create full body tension as with heavier bells.

Why not just a Hyperthrophy program like:
  • 5 x 1 + 1 Get Up

3 Rounds of the following Complex
  • 8 reps Double Press
  • 8 reps Double Clean
  • 8 reps Front Squat
  • 8 reps Staggered Row (or try to work on snatches)
  • 10 x 10 Swings. Maybe build up to 12 reps. Al the exercises from the StrongFirst SFG 1 curriculum.
Or a Geoff Neupert Style Workout:
  • 30 seconds of max (quality) reps Double Press
  • 30 seconds Double Cleans
  • 30 seconds Front Squats
  • 30 seconds Bent Over Rows (or again, practice snatches)

Week 1: 3 sets, Rest 1:2
Week 2: 4 sets, Rest 1:2
Week 3: 5 sets, Rest 1:2
Week 4: 3 sets, Rest 1:1
Week 5: 4 sets, Rest 1:1
Week 6: 5 sets, Rest 1:1

To quote @Pavel Macek, You can cut a steak with a spoon, but it not the best tool for the job.

But I still recommend Simple Goal first :)
 
Last edited:

BrianCF

Level 6 Valued Member
Marc,
You could set up the pressing days waving the ladder.. 2,3,5 easy day, 2,3,5,6 medium, 2,3,5,10 heavy. He said he could handle the weights more than 8 times and is looking for hypertrophy.

German Volume training which is a hypertrophy program is 10 x 10. I wouldn't recommend that though.

Tierr, I do like your complexes at the end. I'm personally not a fan of renegade rows. I see their benefit have done them, I just worry about the bell coming out from underneath me. Unless you have bells with flat wide bottoms, it can be a little bit dangerous. I'd rather take an 88 and just do rows with that. I did do the program as described.

In regard to building a foundation, I started on kettlebells 10 years ago doing doubles with 25 lb. Yes, my cleans were a mess and I taught myself the getup. It was an article out of the Art of Manliness. Then I did a 12 week program from Marcus Martinez and then I got Dave Whitley's 101 kettlebell workouts. Do I think S + S builds a foundation, yes, but it's not the only way.
 

Bogdan

First Post
Hi, I'm new here. Great comunity, realy like ideas and concepts about workouts here. Already bought new kettlebell, 24 kg and this is only kb I have with me in next month. Wanted to ask if anyone have modified TTC with single kb, if did, how? Also, if there is any better program for overall strenght and hypertrofy with single kb, recomend me. S&S is great, but I' can not perform GU with 24kg.
 

IMayAgainKnowChris

Level 5 Valued Member
Hi, I'm new here. Great comunity, realy like ideas and concepts about workouts here. Already bought new kettlebell, 24 kg and this is only kb I have with me in next month. Wanted to ask if anyone have modified TTC with single kb, if did, how? Also, if there is any better program for overall strenght and hypertrofy with single kb, recomend me. S&S is great, but I' can not perform GU with 24kg.
Welcome to the forum.
I ended up deciding to run ROP instead of TTC. TTC ended up being too easy with the set that I had (16’s) and Rite of Passage. Not suggesting ROP just mentioning that’s what I ended up doing.

So you can press the 24 like 6-8 times or whatever the recommendation is? It’s definitely do-able to switch it up a little bit to make it work for single KB, it would just be a different program I guess.

Can you do partial get ups with the 24? How far can you get? It might be a technique issue.
 

Mark Limbaga

Level 6 Valued Member
Elite Certified Instructor
Hi, I'm new here. Great comunity, realy like ideas and concepts about workouts here. Already bought new kettlebell, 24 kg and this is only kb I have with me in next month. Wanted to ask if anyone have modified TTC with single kb, if did, how? Also, if there is any better program for overall strenght and hypertrofy with single kb, recomend me. S&S is great, but I' can not perform GU with 24kg.
Welcome to the forum..

1. In kettlebell express by @Geoff Neupert total body blast is a good choice

2. Perhaps upload a getup vid so we can give you feedback?

I'm guessing English is not your native language.. Where are you from?
 

Tjerr

Level 5 Valued Member
Certified Instructor
No, i did not ;)

Have you read the 'Things are going so well help me screw it up again?' ?

Double bells preferably after sinister, but always after simple
 

Tirofijo

Level 5 Valued Member
Things Are Going So Well, Help Me Screw It Up, Part 2 | StrongFirst
TTC is a highly technical workout, preferebly done after Sinister goal.
1) If everyone had to reach Sinister before moving to double bell complexes, only a handful of people would be allowed to do complexes.

2) TTC isn’t that technical. Let’s don’t make it more than it is.

3) Pavel didn’t say you have to reach Sinister (or Simple) before doing TTC.

4) Ironically, person who wrote the article you linked is now very vocal about his disdain for S&S. When you know that, it makes the argument for “S&S before all else” less compelling.
 

ShawnyUT

Level 6 Valued Member
4) Ironically, person who wrote the article you linked is now very vocal about his disdain for S&S. When you know that, it makes the argument for “S&S before all else” less compelling.
I frequently wonder what led to the Dan John - StrongFirst schism.

I really enjoy Dan's work. He seems like a real stand up guy. His free podcast on youtube is very entertaining.
 
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