It's been a blog-free July, not that I didn't have anything exciting to write about, it was just a busy month for me. It's also the month my wife and I take a couple of weeks off and take a road trip through State College and Pittsburgh, PA for the PSU Arts Festival and to visit family.

In addition I've had a couple of business ventures pop up and have been busy working on those.

Since we have the 2012 GA State Kettlebell Championship (click here for info on the meet) coming up in a couple of weeks I figured I would write a blog on one of the biggest questions I get - how do you combine barbells and kettlebells in an effective training plan?



It's really not that difficult and was the major topic of my book, "Kettlebells for Sport, Strength and Fitness" (despite the fact that many who've never read my book claiming it is strictly a GS - or kettlebell sport - book). Click here for this and all of my other books and e-books.

I prefer to split up my barbell workouts by the main lifts over either a 3 or 4 day training plan. The lifts I focus on are the squat, bench press, deadlift and standing press and for the past 7 1/2 months I've been following Jim Wendler's 5/3/1 protocol exclusively for the barbell lifts. On the 4 day plan I have two upper and two lower days, one for each of the above lifts. Currently I'm experimenting with a 3-day plan in which I've put the press and squat together on day 1, bench on day 2 and deadlift on day 3. It's been working great so far and most of my supplementary work has been more of a higher volume bodybuilding approach, as I am trying to regain some of the size I lost during my near 50 lb weight loss adventure that began in the fall of last year.

Adding the kettlebells into the mix.

I know there are about a billion and three kettlebell exercises, but honestly only a handful have made it into my gym - I prefer swings, cleans, press/push press/jerk (as well as the long cycle variations of these) and snatches. Anything else to me is pointless and can usually be better performed with barbells and dumbbells. However, the traditional kettlebell lifts done for higher reps offer many benefits to the seeker of strength including GPP and strengthening weak points (shoulders, grip and lower back in particular).

I have found the best way to work the kettlebell lifts into the program is to pic 1 or 2 lifts and perform them after the primary strength work. I like to plug jerks, clean & jerks and swings in on squat and deadlift days and snatches, cleans and press exercises in on upper body days personally - although I suggest you experiment and see what works best for you.

Here is a plan I've had much success with in the past and continue to use it regularly in my programming:

Day 1 - squat, squat accessory work, kettlebell jerks, kettlebell swings

Day 2 - bench, bench accessory work, kettlebell snatches or cleans

Day 3 - deadlift, deadlift accessory work, kettlebell clean and jerks (long cycle)

Day 4 - standing press, press accessory work, kettlebell snatches or cleans

As far as programming, experiment and find what works for you. For general conditioning I favor 5:00 + sets of the kettlebell exercises performed after strength work. I have also used more of a kettlebell sport training plan as well as the WKC Elite Fitness protocol with traditional strength training plans for myself and many of my clients and athletes.

Regardless of your goals combining kettlebells and barbells is a GREAT idea!

Stay Strong AND Healthy!

-Scott 
 


Comments

06/09/2015 00:35

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