WELCOME TO WORKOUT WEDNESDAY! This month on our VIP elite forum, we have been working on a ton of swings to get back to basics. Today, we are going to use our beloved swing to double up our strength and conditioning. Grab two kettlebells of equal weight and get ready for some double kettlebell swings.
First up, a short training review.
The Double Kettlebell Swing- A Review
Years ago when Strongfirst FIRST started their kettlebell certifications, we were taught and told to train double kettlebell everything. Testing standards originally included double presses, double swings, double snatches, and like I said, double everything. Testing standards have since changed to reflect single AND double kettlebell drills (you can read more about those testing standards here), but much of the reasoning behind the double kettlebell swing tests were based on a number of awesome things about this lift (and truthfully I miss the double kettlebell testing standard, but I’ll leave that to the Master SFG’s to program moving forward ). Here’s a list of things I LOVE about this particular lift.
- It challenges your grip in a unique way. One of the major complaints (if not THE number one complaint) I hear from the OCR community is stagnant or completely lacking grip strength. You can get a lot of grip training done with complicated climbing routines or you could grab two kettlbells and get to swinging for 15 minutes. You’ll have to hold your weights fairly tightly get through each set, and this will also feed into a more power in your lats too (details in the video below).
- Strength and Power like WHOA! Not to knock our friend the single kettlebell swing, but you can get a HELL of a lot more work done in the SAME amount of time using two kettlebells instead of one.
Example: Let’s say you swing a 20kg kettlebell for 30 seconds at a time and then take 30 seconds of rest and cycle this interval for 10 minutes. If you hit 15 reps ever minute for those 10 minutes, you’ll get 150 reps completed. 20kg equates to 44 pounds, and if you do the math and multiply that by 150 reps, you just did 6,600 pounds worth of work in that 10 minutes. Now, let’s say you grab a pair of kettlebells at 12kgs a piece and complete the exact same interval of 30/30 for that same 10 minutes. At 12kg weighs about 26 pounds, so that means you are swinging a total of 52 pounds. If you hit the same 150 reps in 10 minutes, you just did 7,800 pounds worth of work in the same 10 minutes. More work done means a stronger powerful you!
Instructor Note: A common objection I get to this remark is “why not just use a heavier, single kettlebell. For the reasons above, the double swing poses a slightly more significant challenge to your grip, and I have found that there is a higher amount of exertion specific to the double swing than just your usual heavy kettlebell swing. This brings me to point number 3.
3. HELLO HEART RATE! – Unique Challenges to the Cardiovascular System. The first time I ever dabbled into kettlebell complexes was back in 2015, when I studied Geoff Neupert everything. The first complex I ever tried from his kettlebell muscle program contained 5 swings, 5 cleans and presses, 5 snatches, 5 front squats. I got through my first set and felt my heart rate skyrocket. Double kettlebell training (especially when you get into complexes) will require you to breathe deeply to keep up with the demands of your lifts. This is an AWESOME way to increase your cardiovascular conditioning IN MINUTES without having to beat your body up on a treadmill for a number of hours.
Here’s a short video on the set up and execution of the double kettlebell swing.
Ready for more? Grab two kettlebells and perform the following ladder using the double swing and double press for all your strength and conditioning needs. Your ladder will be as follows
1 Clean, 1 Press, 1 Swing
1 Clean, 2 Presses, 2 Swings
1 Clean, 3 Presses, 3 Swings.
Go for as many rounds as you can in 15 minutes. See if you can do one ladder every minute on the minute to challenging your conditioning too.
Let me know how you do on this particular workout too! Post your comments below and do be sure to sign up for our free online coaching forum for more technique and training tips from yours truly and everyone on the forum. Click this link to get more kettlebell training today!
That’s it for the blog today folks! See yinz this Friday for a unique body weight and kettlebell challenge that will have you leveling up even more strength, conditioning, and power.
Let nothing stand in your way!
(and do your swings 😉 )