I hope this post finds you well. Most of you in the U.S. are dealing with some level of reduced access to gyms or pull-up bars. Don’t let this hold you back from maintaining your practice of strength. As a matter of fact, you have the opportunity to dive deeper into strength training at home. If you have not considered the kettlebell, let me explain.
My current regimen is Simple & Sinister. It is a kettlebell training regimen consisting of swings and get-ups. Ten sets of ten swings, and ten get-ups divided into five left and five right. I have been using this training regimen for the past three and half years, starting in the summer of 2016 with a 16kg kettlebell. Today my training weight is 32kg or 2 pood, and it has been for over a year.
I recently progressed from two-handed to one-handed swings with this load, which took about two months of active effort. By active, I mean that it was not very easy, and I made very small progressions to lessen the load day-to-day. I had to eat more food than normal, and I had to sleep more on the weekends. I experienced significant hypertrophy at first, then gradually returned to a more normal size as the weeks went by. This advancement took place at the end of last year, and in the four months since then I have continued to develop strength in subtle ways with the same kettlebell.
Get-ups with the 32kg are becoming “easier” every week. I am progressing to one set for each side with the 40kg and learning an immeasurable number of lessons from this.
That is the beauty of daily kettlebell training. It never ends. Learning never stops, if you pay attention. Growth never ceases, if you are disciplined. You come to know more of the infinite irregularities of your single piece of training equipment, cast of iron and forged to last for generations of your family. And more than that, you come to know your strength and your weakness. You will find yourself facing obstacles in every nook and cranny of your physical existence, and even obstacles within your mind and heart.
The kettlebell is just a tool. Buy one if you want to explore the movements in the convenience of your home. But even if you do not have a kettlebell and do not buy one, you can still train your strength every day. Have no excuses for yourself. Set a time and a regimen to follow, one that is not too difficult but that tests your strength and ability. You can do pushups and burpees and pull-ups if you have a bar, squats, jump rope, hill sprints, and all manner of other movements. Again, find a regimen that you can do every day. Do not do something that is too difficult, or you will not do it the next day.
As you decide whether or not to train with kettlebells, consider that you should be training barefoot on solid ground. If you have a flat patch of grass nearby that is ideal. You will need to be able to grip the ground firmly during swings and will need to have a clear space in front of you, in case you lose grip of the kettlebell. For get-ups, you will start and end lying supine, and you will be bearing weight on your elbows and knees. Overly hard or bumpy surfaces will hurt, so find ground on which you can practice comfortably every day.
Read Simple & Sinister by Pavel Tsatsouline before you buy a kettlebell, and before you begin using a kettlebell. Kettlebell training is not for everyone. Understand the principles and assess your physical and mental capabilities for such training. If you do decide to train with a kettlebell, commit fully. You can find gear and FAQ’s on this blog to get started. If you decide not to train with a kettlebell, good for you as well. Find another method of training and commit to that fully.
If you are working from home, you now have all of your commuting time for training. If you lost your job and are searching for work, you have even more time to develop strength, practice movement, and maintain good health through your job search. Build a strong foundation that cannot be rocked.