The 5 Week, Whole Body Single Kettlebell Program

John Grahill

Level 6 Valued Member
I saw this program by Pavel in "Muscle and Fitness" online and it caught my interest. Wondered if anyone else has seen or tried it. Looks simple enough but as has been said, simple doesn't mean easy (believe that's a Rif quote).
 

Jeffro

Level 3 Valued Member
Yeah, OK, I actually wanted to see the programming so I copied it into a spreadsheet. Basically it's 6 days a week, alternating between swing days and press/pullup superset days, with a wavy load. Swings start at 10x7, add 3 sets every other day, and restart the next week at the 2nd day of the week before. Press/Pull supersets are 8 minutes long and I don't know how to summarize their progression.

DIRECTIONS
A - Kettlebell Swings
Each Swing workout starts with 3x5 Goblet Squats, 60s rest.
Swings are seven reps per minute for the prescribed number of sets. Seven swings will take about 10 seconds; rest for the remainder of the time.

B - Kettlebell Presses and Pullups
Set a timer to beep every 8min. When it beeps, start your press set. Clean a 6-8RM kettlebell once and press it 5 times with your left. Drop, switch hands, clean with your right, and do your 5 presses. Without setting the kettlebell down, keep switching hands and counting down the reps: 5-4-3-2-1. This was one set.

Walk around for a couple of minutes, and do the pullups in the same descending rep ladder of 5-4-3-2-1. When the timer beeps, hit your presses again.

Formatting will get screwy when I copy/paste, so I won't label exercises, but should be obvious by A/B as well as format of either ?x7 EMOM for swings or say 3x(5,4,3,2,1) for 3 ladders of 5 rungs. I'm leaving out the Goblet Squats because they are always 3x5

Day 1 A 10x7 EMOM
Day 2 B 3x(5,4,3,2,1)
Day 3 A 13x7 EMOM
Day 4 B 2x(5,4,3,2,1)
Day 5 A 16x7 EMOM
Day 6 B 3x(5,3,2)
Day 7 rest

Day 8 A 13x7 EMOM
Day 9 B 4x(5,4,3,2,1)
Day 10 A 16x7 EMOM
Day 11 B 2x(5,4,3,2,1)
Day 12 A 19x7 EMOM
Day 13 B 4x(5,3,2)
Day 14 rest

Day 15 A 16x7 EMOM
Day 16 B 2x(6,5,4,3,2,1)
Day 17 A 19x7 EMOM
Day 18 B 1x(6,5,4,3,2,1)
Day 19 A 22x7 EMOM
Day 20 B 2x(6,4,2)
Day 21 rest

Day 22 A 19x7 EMOM
Day 23 B 3x(6,5,4,3,2)
Day 24 A 22x7 EMOM
Day 25 B 1x(6,5,4,3,2,1)
Day 26 A 25x7 EMOM
Day 27 B 3x(6,4,2)
Day 28 rest

Day 29 A 20x7 EMOM
Day 30 B 2x(6,4,2)
Day 31 A 10x7 EMOM
Day 32 B 1x(6,4,2)
Day 33 is test day
3 sets of swings to failure, rest as needed
another set of swings to failure, rest as needed
a set of presses to failure rest as needed
a set of pullups to failure rest as needed
Day 34 is to test some other event you've already done to see improvement.
 

Marc

Level 6 Valued Member
Looks solid! Give it a try, if you are interested in it! You cannot go wrong with it!
 

Jeffro

Level 3 Valued Member
Yeah, it looks pretty good to me. I love supersetting pullups and presses, it's fun and feels great. Overall the program looks similar to a short term, wavy ROP, with slightly reduced press volume and no snatches. It also looks a good bit quicker than ROP, with the longest press days being 32 minutes instead of the hour plus for heavy ROP days.

I think I'd skip the test day myself, that just doesn't look fun to me, too much failure!
 

DavThew

Level 4 Valued Member
I can imagine with the lack of rest on the press ladders a lot of pump going on in the upper body on the press and pull days.

Ain't no bad thing!
 
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MikeMoran

Level 5 Valued Member
Ahhh interesting. This looks like a mix of the new Endurance protocol, the ladders from ROP and, EDT type training. Very cool.
 

Steve Freides

Staff
Senior Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
@Jeffro, we support table formatting here on the StrongFirst forum. It's a bit tedious to do, but it can be done. If you look in the Welcome section at the message with the Abbreviations, you'll see how it's done. I've give a sample below, both how it looks and then in a "code" section, what you do to make it happen. You might wish to use the BB Code editor, which you get when you click at the top right of the editing/composing window.

AbbreviationMeaning
1RM1 Rep Max
A+AAlactic + Aerobic

Code:
[TABLE]
[TR][TH]Abbreviation[/TH][TH]Meaning[/TH][/TR]
[TR][TD]1RM[/TD][TD]1 Rep Max[/TD][/TR]
[TR][TD]A+A[/TD][TD]Alactic + Aerobic[/TD][/TR]
[/TABLE]
TR is Table Row
TH is Table Header
TD is Table Data
 

Jeffro

Level 3 Valued Member
Alright Steve, this shall be my formatting magnum opus!

Pavel's 5-Week Whole Body Single Kettlebell Workout
The 5-Week, Whole Body Single Kettlebell Workout
DIRECTIONS
A - Kettlebell Swings
Each Swing workout starts with 3x5 Goblet Squats, 60s rest.
Swings are seven reps per minute for the prescribed number of sets. Seven swings will take about 10 seconds; rest for the remainder of the time.

B - Kettlebell Presses and Pullups
Set a timer to beep every 8min. When it beeps, start your press set. Clean a 6-8RM kettlebell once and press it 5 times with your left. Drop, switch hands, clean with your right, and do your 5 presses. Without setting the kettlebell down, keep switching hands and counting down the reps: 5-4-3-2-1. This was one set.

Walk around for a couple of minutes, and do the pullups in the same descending rep ladder of 5-4-3-2-1. When the timer beeps, hit your presses again.
Week 1
Day
Goblet Squats
60s rest
Swings
EMOM
Press/Pullup Ladders
8min/ladder
1 3x5 10x7 -
2 - - 3x(5,4,3,2,1)
3 3x5 13x7 -
4 - - 2x(5,4,3,2,1)
5 3x5 16x7 -
6 - - 3x(5,3,2)
7 rest rest rest
Week 2 Day
Goblet Squats
60s rest
Swings
EMOM
Press/Pullup Ladders
8min/ladder
8 3x5 13x7 -
9 - - 4x(5,4,3,2,1)
10 3x5 16x7 -
11 - - 2x(5,4,3,2,1)
12 3x5 19x7 -
13 - - 4x(5,3,2)
14 rest rest rest
Week 3 Day
Goblet Squats
60s rest
Swings
EMOM
Press/Pullup Ladders
8min/ladder
15 3x5 16x7 -
16 - - 2x(6,5,4,3,2,1)
17 3x5 19x7 -
18 - - 1x(6,5,4,3,2,1)
19 3x5 22x7 -
20 - - 2x(6,4,2)
21 rest rest rest
Week 4 Day
Goblet Squats
60s rest
Swings
EMOM
Press/Pullup Ladders
8min/ladder
22 3x5 19x7 -
23 - - 3x(6,5,4,3,2)
24 3x5 22x7 -
25 - - 1x(6,5,4,3,2,1)
26 3x5 25x7 -
27 - - 3x(6,4,2)
28 rest rest rest
Week 5 Day
Goblet Squats
60s rest
Swings
EMOM
Press/Pullup Ladders
8min/ladder
29 3x5 20x7 -
30 - - 2x(6,4,2)
31 3x5 10x7 -
32 - - 1x(6,4,2)
Testing Day Swings Press Pullup
33 3xRM,+ 1xRM Test RM Test RM
34 Test a WOD OR something else
[TR] [TR] [TR] [TR] [TR]
[/TR][/TR][/TR][/TR][/TR]
 

John Grahill

Level 6 Valued Member
This looks like a good program to try for sure. Jeffro, many thanks for plotting it out, makes it easier to see how the progression is supposed to go! The Muscle and Fiction article on my tablet is hard to open without pop ups and redirects.
 

DavThew

Level 4 Valued Member
Gave the press/pull day today, seems pretty tough to get all those presses one after the other. Guess I'll need to build some volume up elsewhere before I give this a proper try.
 

Paul S

First Post
Day 33, curious as to why they note the swing test as 3xRM, 1XRM...to me that's just 4xRM unless I'm missing something....
 

Jeffro

Level 3 Valued Member
@Paul S Well, I phrased it that way. I think the article said to do 3 sets to failure, rest a bit, then do another set to failure. Maybe some specific amount of rest was listed, I don't remember, you can check the link. TBH, I have no idea why the test was done that way, and without a good explanation I'm a million percent sure I'd skip it. It just doesn't relate to anything else I know in the KB universe, has anybody seen a test like that anywhere else? Maybe replace it with a nonstop swing test ala S&S? But to do that 3x back to back, only to rest a bit and do it again? Yeah, Pavel himself might have to convince me it was good for me!
edit, actually, here's a screenshot, I have no clue...
kb test.png

@DavThew did you start with that first day, 3x(5,4,3,2,1)? Because I thought the same, especially as listed for a 6-8RM bell. What's your RM with the bell you used? I will offer an opinion based from ROP where I believe Pavel talks about varying rest periods for goals, rest more and you will still get stronger just by a different mechanism. I have no doubt this program would still be effective if you
A) took longer than the allotted 8 minutes
B) Super set each rung of the ladder eg; 5 press R, 5 press L, 5 pullup, 4 press L, 4 press R, 4 pullup. This lets you rest your press while you pull and vice versa, but all the stabilizers and everything else is still going pretty steadily.
C) Use a bell with a little more than 6-8 reps. Comparing this to ROP, ROP starts with a 6-8 rep bell with a much lower volume and more rest.
 
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DavThew

Level 4 Valued Member
@Jeffro I agree with you on the density involved and I've gone for your option C. I was using a 28kg which I can get 7 good reps on each side out of, I've shifted down to the 24kg now, and might take a second run at the program after completing it with a bigger weight.
 

obreaslainp

Level 6 Valued Member
I've written it up and saved it as a PDF to make it easier to follow. The website is really frustrating. My take on test day is slightly different. I don't see why you would perform 3 sets of swings to failure and then another set of swings to failure. It doesn't make any sense to me. I've written that up as 1 set of swings to failure, 1 set of presses to failure and 1 set of weighted pull-ups to failure.
 

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