S&S bodyweight alternatives for travelling

Discussion in 'Kettlebell' started by Oscar, Jan 11, 2017.

  1. Oscar

    Oscar Strong Member of the Forum

    Hi everybody, I have recently started S&S and I'm doing great, really happy with the routine. Working with 16 kg bell at the moment. The thing is that I travel a lot and work as a ship surveyor, so sometimes I end up in a remote location for a week without access to kettlebells. I don't think it is a good idea not to train for several days in a row, so I'm looking for some alternatives to stick as close to the S&S program with no access to KB. Below a few ideas:

    If I have access to barbells or dumbbells:
    - Warm up with a dumbbell.
    - Swing replacement: deadlifts, 10x5.
    - TGU replacement: TGU with dumbbell.

    If I don't have access to weights:
    - normal warm up but with no weights.
    - Swing replacement: maybe 1 leg hip bridges or 1 leg hip thrusts? Or single leg deadlifts BW? At least to give stimulus to the hip hinge.
    - TGU: maybe BW TGU and focus on technique? Not many ideas on this one.

    I also thought about pistols and pushups as the naked warrior. I'm able to do pistols with a light weight as counterweight, but since I've had patellar tendinosis in the past I'd rather avoid it, at least until a reach a reasonable level of strength such as the simple standard. Below some background:

    - relevant demographics: 33, male, 5'8" (174 cm), 176 lbs (80 kg). Body fat could be about 23%, havent checked lately.

    - injury history: at the moment I'm fine, but I've hade patellar tendinosis on both knees. I don't have any pain doing S&S nor squatting. Anyway, I don't think pistols are a good idea at my current level of fitness. I would do ok with lounges or high step ups or similar though.

    - movement history: I haven't had a Functional Movement Screen. I feel like I move ok in general, I can do a wall squat barefoot and can sit down to the deep squat position and hold there confortable for instance.

    - sports/competition history: I play amateur soccer once or twice a week and kiteboard once a week average. Used to play rugby until 22 yo. Have done some weight lifting during my rugby period and after (DL, squats, press), but not very consistently to be honest.
    Goals: my goal is to be consistent for once. Stick to S&S until the simple goal and then reassess.

    Await for your feedback!
  2. pet'

    pet' Strong, Powerful, Explosively Athletic Member of the Forum


    We talked about this topic here: Happy New Year ! and here Calisthenics in S&S format?

    To sum up a little, we still do not know if there is a proven S&S for bdw. It seems some options can be worth considering and could do it tough.

    Kind regards,

  3. Sauli

    Sauli Strong, Powerful Member of the Forum

    Vertical jump and somekinda pushup-plank or naked getups. Just my two cents. :)
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  4. Snowman

    Snowman Strong Member of the Forum

    +1 to jumping.

    I think the best bodyweight replacements for swings are jumps (long jump or vertical) and sprinting. Unweighted single leg deadlifts would be my next choice, since pistols are out of the running.

    Shoe getups will help, but if you're gone for more than a couple days it might be good to add a little push up work (either GTG or just a few sets of 1-5 between the shoe getups). I would just do whatever progression of pushups/one arm pushup you can easily do about 3 reps of.
  5. JRA

    JRA First Timer

    Take a KB with you. I have destroyed suitcases all over the world.
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  6. Oscar

    Oscar Strong Member of the Forum

    The long and vertical jumps sound like a good replacement for the swings, that's great advice. I think I'll do something like 10 x 10 emom or similar which is more or less the time it takes me for the swings.
    Shoe TGU + a few push ups sounds like a good combo as well, at least for a few days until I go back to my bells.
    Thank you all!
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  7. El Cid

    El Cid Triple-Digit Post Count

    If you're looking to replicate your S&S practice as closely as possible and you said you have access to dumbbells I would recommend:

    Dumbbell swings (either 1H Swing holding the handle of the DB or 2H Swing holding one end of the DB with both hands)

    DB TGU (as you've already mentioned you plan to do)

    What weight of KB is your S&S practice currently at?

    I ask because the weight of the DB can become awkward for swinging at a certain point. If this is the case for you then I would suggest you increase the reps of your Swings and do some Deadlifts before swinging to help approximate the loading of the posterior chain.
  8. Shahaf Levin

    Shahaf Levin Strong Member of the Forum

    Jumping is TAXING, and since one don't have a weight to push against it hard to gauge were you on the CNS fatigue scale.

    If you haven't done serious jump training I would advice that the reps per set will be until jump stop increase in height/distance. Definitely stop if height/distance decrease - finish the set with your best jump. Same goes for sets, stop the session with your best sets. Vertical jumps will require a watcher, long jump just some marker. Pavel has an article on the blog which advise GTG jump.

    Any way 10x10 emom sounds exaggerated to me...
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  9. pet'

    pet' Strong, Powerful, Explosively Athletic Member of the Forum


    +1 for the distance jump ;)

    Otherwise, related to the CNS, I recenlty read that article about a Dan John's "CNS test" :
    Tip: Take the Tapping Test for CNS Health | T Nation

    Kind regards,

  10. somanaut

    somanaut Triple-Digit Post Count

    As has been pointed out, there is no proven equivalent for S&S with bodyweight. But ladders of pistols OAOLPU and pull/chin-ups has worked for me, so that I don't loose any strength if away for a few days (and at times I have even seen improvement in my S&S).

    Strength Aerobics: A Powerful Alternative to HIIT
  11. pet'

    pet' Strong, Powerful, Explosively Athletic Member of the Forum


    When away for a few days, without too much space and without pull up bar, I go for ladders of OAOL PU and pistol, superseted. Then, I add a HIIT with burpees.

    I finish with basic stretching.

    When I am not away for long, it works very well. On the long term, I admit I do not know if it would work so well.

    Just my two burpees,

    Kind regards,

  12. somanaut

    somanaut Triple-Digit Post Count

    Are you wondering if it will cause burn out in the long run or that ones strength will decline?
    Edit: In one of his books Pavel T. wrote something along the lines of: "the athlete can enjoy the luxury of a pampered lifestyle, the warrior cannot". If you are deployed, working on the road or otherwise travelling without access to iron, well you have no choice but to adopt the naked warrior practise regiment. Be that GTG or ladders. Wether they would produce the same results as S&S I don't know. The result would probably be different, but perhaps good in it's own right, i.e. keep you strong enough to do your job. You do what you can with what you have.
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2017
  13. Oscar

    Oscar Strong Member of the Forum

    @El Cid , I'm swinging the 16 now and I can accomplish the 5 min cap so I think I'll stick with the 16 for 1 more month and start using the 24 as well. I have never tried the swing with a dumbbell, I'll try next time to see how it feels. With these light weights I think it should be ok.

    @Shahaf Levin @pet' , I haven't consistently trained jumping, but now that I think about it 10x10 is way too much. I'll take the advice on measuring the jumps, and I guess maybe 5/6 sets of 4 or 5 jumps is more reasonable.

    The pistols and OAPU are probably great options, but my level is not quite there yet. Want to wait until I hit the simple goal to attempt pistols again. Last year I tried the naked warrior approach, as it sounded great for my travelling, but after a few months my tendinosis pain reappeared. I guess my technique wasn't perfect and my strength improved faster than my tendons could adapt.
  14. Shahaf Levin

    Shahaf Levin Strong Member of the Forum

    Tap test is great, I learned it from Easy Strength (actually I've been slacking with that lately... :( ). I meant the in-session assessment, but actually tapping can be a good idea as well. I did it for a while to gauge my movement prep.
  15. pet'

    pet' Strong, Powerful, Explosively Athletic Member of the Forum


    In the past, I did a lot of HIIT. On an everyday basis, sure it will burn you out.

    Maybe height jumps or something, with an elastic band fixed to a door or something.

    Otherwise, related to the strength in itself, I do not know. Karen Smith has terrific deadlift by doing only pistols / oa pu and HLR...then I guess it can maintain it. However, I never tested myself.

    Kind regards,

    Last edited: Jan 12, 2017
  16. offwidth

    offwidth Strong, Powerful, Explosively Athletic Member of the Forum

  17. Shahaf Levin

    Shahaf Levin Strong Member of the Forum

    I would aim for 2-3 sets of 5-8 jumps for the first session. Take @pet' advice and establish a tapping base line before you start jumping, than you can test your CNS the day after and make a more knowledgeable decision (there is an app called CNS Tap Test that time and counts for you).

    Alternatively you can measure your max long jump and than mark % of that distance and jump it them in Easy Strength manner. The Westside-barbell jump training is percentage based, and these dudes jumps HIGH.

    I'll give a test drive for that ESish long jump myself next month!
  18. somanaut

    somanaut Triple-Digit Post Count

    Isn't the Strength Conditioning program something in between GTG and HIIT? I don't have a training partner, so I use a timer, the number of seconds I use on a rung/ladder is the number of seconds I get to rest before the next rung/ladder.
    If I feel tired from the day before, I GTG easy style the next day.
  19. pet'

    pet' Strong, Powerful, Explosively Athletic Member of the Forum


    I discovered this article after travelling. I was pleased to see that I was using an article without knowing it !

    But you are right, there is a program on the blog, with pistols and OAOL PU ladder for conditioning.

    I add sometimes a HIIT to make it more challenging.

    However, I listen a lot my body. If I feel tired, I cut off HIIT. Frankly, for a while, I did HIIT 3 or 4 times a week because I had a very "cardio" routine. It is exhausting on a relatively short run (3 or 4 months). It is good if you plan a meet, no more. IMO, HIIT is a 2 times a week max protocol.

    Kind regards,

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  20. El Cid

    El Cid Triple-Digit Post Count

    Agreed. At that weight swings should work with a dumbbell once you adjust to the implement. If you go after the 2H Swing with the DB ~24kgs is probably a good starting point.

    Personally I don't care for the feel of DB Swings much, but it works just fine to keep the rust off and the progress going with S&S once you get used to it :)

    Oh, and DB Snatches are a fine exercise in their own right as well. It's a more vertical pull than with a KB but I've plugged those in as a Swing replacement while on the road and they work nicely once you learn them. I usually do them from the "hang snatch" position without touching the bell to the floor.
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