Questions about cycling between BW and KB

Troglodyte

Double-Digit Post Count
Greetings everyone,

relevant demographics:
My name is Paul, I'm a 43 year old Federal Agent assigned to a US Embassy overseas. Height is 6'1", approximately 201, and I don't know my body comp. I first learned about kettlebells in 2006, and have been using them on and off since then, combined with on and off body weight movement

- injury history:
In 2012, I injured my right shoulder after a buddy tried introducing me to Krav Maga. I had orthoscopic surgery done in early 2013, and so far so good. Stayed away from Krav Maga...

- movement history:
I haven't had an FMS screening. I feel like my age is catching up to me in terms of creaking joints. My routines over the past 15 months have looked like this:

Simple and Sinister 8/31/14 to 1/13/15

Al Kavadlo 5x5 Body weight 2/2/15 to 5/4/15

Simple and Sinister: 5/11/15 to 10/12/2015.

Since October 14, I've been toying around with either a 5x5 program, or the following: 5 bw exercises I do for volume, then rest and repeat twice more.

I switched back to body weight from S&S because my knees were starting to hurt and it just feels better to do body weight movement at this point in my life. I haven't seen an SFG instructor to dial in my form yet. That'll be when I get back to the US for a little bit.

In all honesty, I'm not reaching my full potential in either. I just purchased a 32kg bell for future use.

- sports/competition history: Cross country runner in high school. Now, trying to keep up with my children on the soccer pitch! As stated above, I'm also a law enforcement officer, so I need to be able to go toe-to-toe with a subject if I need to.


Future goals:

1) lose 15 lbs.
2) start running again, not just to mindlessly jog 5 miles, but to eventually get somewhere quickly.
3) work up to 20 pull ups

Questions:

1) Al Kavadlo recommends doing bridge work. I'm still not sold on it, nor do I see bridge work mentioned in Strong First BW Standards. Can some one school me on this, please?

2) I don't want to simply do a boat load of body weight squats. I've started doing Bulgarians instead, working my way slowly (think continental drift) towards a pistol. Can I incorporate a few sets of sprints in every week as a finisher?

3) I've seen some progression standards that say do three sets of 40 of such-and-such an exercise, then move on to the next. Then there is the 5x5 scheme. Can someone recommend a better one, or confirm one of the two I'm using is good?

4) As of now, I cycle from kettlebells to body weight. Can someone give me some hints as to combining the two for a good all around program?

5) How important is stretching at the end of a work out?

It's a lot of questions, but hopefully someone has the time. I appreciate it.

Paul
 

william bad butt

More than 300 posts
I am not a certified instructor, but as I read your post it made me think of my training over the years. My favorite kettlebell program is one that doesn't get talked about very often, it is ETK+ (enter the kettlebell PLUS) that can be found in a 2009 Milo magazine (Pavel wrote the article). It can be purchased for about 20 bucks if I recall. Anyway, what I like about the program is you could plug in both bodyweight and kettlebell lifts and cover both strength and conditioning goals. This would definitely cover your first and third goal (I don't think it would help with running). This program has both GRIND (presses, squats, pulls) and BALLISTIC (swings, pushpress/jerks) days and you can program single kettlebell lifts, double kettlebell lifts, and bodyweight lifts. Check it out via search engine.
 

Troglodyte

Double-Digit Post Count
William,

Thank you. I tried looking it up on the Internet, but my Google fu is weak. I'll keep trying. Here's what I did today, three sets of the following, one after another:

TGU- 40lb x 2 (this with a 15lb and a 25lb in the same hand, as the gym has nothing heavier)
Inverse rows x 13 (intentionally regressing)
Elevated push-ups x 30(same regression)
HKR x 10

My plan is to finish with 10 minutes of swings, when I get to the gym with heavier bells. This'll be MWF, then T,Th,F, Ill run.

How do I tweak this?
 

Pavel Macek

More than 2500 posts
Master Certified Instructor
1) Al Kavadlo recommends doing bridge work. I'm still not sold on it, nor do I see bridge work mentioned in Strong First BW Standards. Can some one school me on this, please?

-
I asked Pavel the same thing at my SFB cert. Answer: Different animal, more of a stretch. Refer to Super-Joints for more about bridges.

2) I don't want to simply do a boat load of body weight squats. I've started doing Bulgarians instead, working my way slowly (think continental drift) towards a pistol. Can I incorporate a few sets of sprints in every week as a finisher?

- work on your pistol. Refer to The Naked Warrior (NW), take a 1-Day SFB Course.

3) I've seen some progression standards that say do three sets of 40 of such-and-such an exercise, then move on to the next. Then there is the 5x5 scheme. Can someone recommend a better one, or confirm one of the two I'm using is good?

- GTG from The Naked Warrior is ingenious.

4) As of now, I cycle from kettlebells to body weight. Can someone give me some hints as to combining the two for a good all around program?

Do one, or the other - finish the kettlebell cycle with owning at least the "Simple" standards from S&S, then switch to The Naked Warrior, and keep doing S&S twice a week. Work on owning the one-arm pushups/pistols, add pullups (not GTG, but 3 times a week, 3-5 sets, 3-5 reps, 3-5 minutes of rest between the sets, preferably weighted. Increase the eight slowly over time). Keep doing swings in your NW cycle - let's say 3 times a week, sets of 10, easy/medium/hard. Then switch back to S&S.

5) How important is stretching at the end of a work out?

Depends. Do the stretches form S&S both in your S&S cycle and NW cycle.

As for loosing weight: Get stronger in the gym, loose weight in the kitchen. Google Whole30.

As for running: Walk a lot. Do few easy jogs - barefoot shoes, breath only with your nose. Don't worry about the time or distance. Learn how to run from a pro - running is (like strength) skill.
 

william bad butt

More than 300 posts
Troglodyte, follow Pavel's advice. Invest in Naked Warrior if you don't own it. It is probably the best bodyweight book out there and will teach you how to use tension and the "grease the groove", GTG technique.

I personally favor low reps (you mentioned 40 reps). For example, if you are doing 40 reps of pushups, maybe switch to a harder style like diamond pushups, uneven pushups, or 1 arm pushups. GTG is great, ladders work well too (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 1, 2, 3, 4, 1, 2, 3... example), and 5 x 5 works too.

I haven't done bridges in a while. Being in law enforcement I imagine building up your gut, grip, and neck are important. Your gut is covered by pull ups and bracing on most exercises. Your grip is probably covered by working thick handled kettlebells. A wrestlers neck bridge (or some other neck expertise) may be useful in your line of work.

Also I understand your desire to run long distances. But if you had to chase someone wouldn't Sprint training (hill sprints) be more useful? Just a thought, I am not in law enforcement so take my advice with a grain of salt.

NW and SandS programs are about as effective as it gets. I like ETK+, like I mentioned above, but you will probably get more out the former programs. Like Pavel states, master SandS first.
 

Troglodyte

Double-Digit Post Count
Gentlemen,

Thank you for the information, and the time you took with me. I'll be tweaking my program a little and going back to basics using NW and S&S with pullups and some sprints. I started today with GTG wall one arm push ups, two each side, and bench pistols, two each side every two hours and I'll finish it up with pullups and S&S.

Paul
 
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