08 Jul A Super Simple, But Insanely Effective Kettlebell Workout

kettlebell exericsesHere’s a workout program that’s one of my favorites.

It’s also a workout I have a love/hate relationship with.

I love it because it’s incredibly simple, but at the same time, it’s very brutal.

Kinda sick, right?

This is great for hypertrophy, power, cardiovascular conditioning, and improving total body strength and performance.

There are some pre-requites to the program though, so let me cover them now.

This is NOT a beginner program, it’s an advanced program and it’s not for everyone.

If you are a beginner, this will something to shoot for and work up to, depending on your training goals.

Alright, assuming you’ve got your fundamental kettlebell skills and you need to be able to perform a solid kettlebell cleans and jerks with strong, safe technique.

This should go without saying, but you need to be pain-free and injury-free and have excellent shoulder health.

Remember, you’ve got to have the fundamentals (fundamentals are the swing, squat, and get up) down before exercise progressions like this.

Assuming you have the fundamentals down and this exercise “fits” your goals, the training session consists of the double kettlebell long cycle clean and jerk.

That is really the complete program, but see below for the details.

I will sometimes add another exercise or two, but usually it’s not necessary because after this workout, my body is totally exhausted and my energy is depleted.

You’ll see why in a minute.

You may be thinking, what’s so special about the long cycle clean and jerk?

You may even be thinking, what is the long cycle clean and jerk?

The kettlebell long cycle clean and jerk is a wonderful and brutal exercise.

Basically, you are doing 2 exercises in 1, you’re cleaning the bells, then jerking them up overhead in a full lockout position.

It’s spares no major muscle group in your body and it’s great for superior shoulder and upper body strength.

By performing this exercise effectively, your legs will also develop enhanced muscular power, especially for sport or competition.

I’ve also found that this exercise works well for packing on muscle in the arms, back, and legs with the total body explosiveness and it’s different from other kettlebell exercises.

It’s said that some of the kettlebell exercises produce an effect called the “what the hell effect.”

This basically is saying that certain exercises have an effect that is not clearly understood, but for whatever reason, it produces significant strength improvements in other lifts.

This is the case with the double kettlebell clean and jerk.

It’s not surprising that this would translate into improved strength and performance with other lifts.

Now you know the benefits and the power of this exercise, here’s some of the key points on how to do it, but know that it is a technical exercise and these are only general guidelines.

To learn how to do this properly, please find a local qualified instructor to teach this lift:

  • Clean the kettlebells up to the “rack” position.
  • Initiate the move with a ‘dip’ in the knees (the first dip)
  • Then quickly thrust the kettlebells up with second dip that elevates the arm as you are pushing yourself away from the kettlebells overhead (the second dip)
  • Finish the move with a complete lockout of your elbow with the kettebells overhead.
  • Then lower down into the rack, lower down to re-clean (the entire cycle is one rep).
  • This is the “long cycle” kettlebell clean and jerk.

If you are visual like I am, then you probably need to see this move.

I’ll have a video posted soon on how I do this technique.

Again, please remember, these are general guidelines.

The simple, brutal training session is this:

  • 10 sets of 5 reps with double kettlebells (24 kg for strong males), rest as needed between sets, keeping rest time at approximately 60-90 seconds. 

I may finish with an exercise like pull-ups, 3 or 4 sets of 10 reps.

That’s it.

Finish with a body weight exercise or something a little less taxing, because you won’t have much after completing 10 sets of this exercise.

Challenging, very effective, time efficient, and a total body program.

What more could you want?

I may do this program twice per month, depending on what I am currently training for.

Do NOT underestimate how effective this workout is.

Choose a weight that you can “comfortably” clean and jerk 5 reps with.

This is the ultimate, super simple, but insanely effective workout program for muscular growth, improving strength, and athleticism.

As always, the most important thing with your training is train smart and train safe.

Give this a go…

Please share this on Facebook, Twitter, or anywhere you’d like.

Scott Iardella, MPT, CSCS writes about training methods to optimize health and performance. If you enjoyed this article, join a strong and growing community of passionate fitness enthusiasts and subscribe below to get a ton of cool, free stuff! Subscribe below or go to RdellaTraining.com/join to get your FREE Report, Kettlebell Impact with 12 of my best Kettlebell Workouts.
  • Dave
    Posted at 03:13h, 09 July Reply

    I am looking forward to the video post of this work out, as well as trying the work out itself, thanks!

    • Scott
      Posted at 14:44h, 09 July Reply

      You got it Dave! Will do sooner, rather than later.

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