This morning I met with Jeff Friday of ProShape Sports Training to put him through a kettlebell workout. Jeff is the former head strength & conditioning coach of the Baltimore Raven's who I worked under during the teams 2007 preseason training camp. Coach Friday has been in the business of making people stronger far longer than I so I was honored when he contacted me for kettlebell training. It was nice to be on the other side of the clipboard putting him through a workout as he and his staff had done so many times with me at the Raven's training facility in Owings Mills.
Part of my "job" when I worked under Coach Friday was to go through the same workouts as the rest of the team. I needed to be familiar with the routines so that I could lead players through them. Of course, the head and assistant coach(es) did most of the training, I only filled in as needed but I did take a few guys through workouts. Most of my responsibilities included set up and break down... somebody had to load 100lb plates on leg day!!!
Regardless, everyday that I came in I had somebody put me through a workout. And then I was usually sent off to the breakfast buffet before the players arrived. Training was GOOD during this time!
Anyway, back to todays workout...
This was only the second time Jeff had used a kettlebell before and I put him through the same workout I put any newbie kettlebeller through. That workout is:
5 min joint mobility warm up
1 hand deadlifts
long cycle c&j
In my opinion, the swing, clean, jerk & snatch are the "meat and potatoes" of kettlebell training, and with the exception of the swing, these are also the most difficult exercises for the majority of people to learn. So I like to get people working on those lifts ASAP. Sets and reps are highly dependent on the individual and there are a few other drills mixed in to assist in the learning process but for the most part, this is what my introductory kettlebell routine looks like.
I typically like to include some sort of "finisher" as well. For a first time kettlebeller this is a must because the intro workout is not very demanding (simply because the trainee is still learning and I purposely hold them back to help with skill development). And the swing is a low skill movement that most people pick up within a couple sets. So that makes the swing a perfect finisher exercise even for the rank newbie.
Coach Friday rocked through a 100 rep swing test with a 24kg and showed me that even though he is new to the kettlebell, he is no stranger to hard work and is obviously in good condition. 100 reps in 2:24 with no put downs the first time out - not bad at all!
Hey Coach if you're reading this, the next step is doing those swings 1-handed, and eventually with a single hand switch... and once you got 24kg x 50/50, see what you can do in 5 or 10 minutes. Keep me posted!