“I’m Finished!”

At least that’s how you may feel after these types of training sessions.

5 Ways To Successfully Mix Kettlebells And Barbells – Part 3.

3. Finishers

What is a “finisher?”

It’s something you do at the end of your workout/training for a variety of reasons, such as metabolic conditioning, mental toughness, fat loss, general conditioning, or some combination of any of the aforementioned reasons.

My favorite finisher of all time, ever, involved a heavyweight wrestler, a hill, and two 100 pound plates at Rutgers during the summer of ’98.

But some of my other ones involve using kettlebells.

There are many things you can do with kettlebells at the end of your training session. Here are some ideas:

  • Swings for time or sets or reps
  • Snatches for time or sets or reps
  • Get Ups (just as brutal as Swings at the end)
  • High rep Clean and Jerks
  • Complexes or Chains
  • Carries – Farmer’s, rack or overhead

Let’s take a closer look.

  1. Swings for time or sets or reps. Grab a medium kettlebell and decide if you’re going to swing for a certain time period with or without rest – say 10 minutes, swinging every 30 seconds and resting for 30 seconds. Or maybe you’re going to hit 20 reps and then rest for a certain period of time. Or maybe you’re going to hit 20 sets of 10 reps. You get the idea.
  2. Snatches for time or sets for reps. Same thing as the Swings – only easier. Why? Because you get to rest at the top in the lockout position!
  3. Get Ups. Again, any combination of time, reps, sets… These are tough to do, especially for sets of 3 to 5 at the end of a session. They force you to use precise movement with fatigue already in the system. Also a good “systems check” to ensure you didn’t go so hard during your training to throw something out of whack. The good news is, if you did, the GU will usually help fix it.
  4. High Rep Clean and Jerks. One hand or two hand, but not for the “feint of heart.” Best used after a lower body day, as I like pairing finishers opposing the main focus of the training session. These are just brutal on the heart and lungs and the upper body musculature.
  5. Complexes or Chains. Easy enough. String a sequence of exercises together and repeat til done.
  6. Carries. The most under-rated and overlooked finishers ever, in my book. Take a kettlebell or a pair of kettlebells and carry them for distance or time or both. Hold them in your hands by your sides – Farmer’s carry. Hold them on your chest – Rack carries. Hold them locked out at arm’s length overhead – Overhead carries. These are phenomenal for improving conditioning, especially of the “core” musculature and the shoulder stabilizers in the lockout position.

How do you pick which one is right for you?

Don’t worry about it so much. Mix and match and see which one requires the most from your body. That’s probably the one you need more than the others. When that becomes relatively easy, try them all again and once again find the most challenging of them. Again, spend the time there. Repeat the process until you get to where you want to go or no longer have any weak links – or both.


Part 1 – https://chasingstrength.com/5-ways-to-successfully-mix-kettlebells-with-barbells/

Part 2 – https://chasingstrength.com/5-ways-to-successfully-mix-kettlebells-and-barbells-part-2/

2 comments… add one
  • Russ Moon Sep 3, 2010 @ 14:06

    Swings – I like the GTG set at the end with higher reps, nothing says I can’t get “swole up” after the practice…not that I know of.

    Chains/Complexes – You will be finished, if you weren’t before.
    I haven’t let go of the coaches tendency to use these prior to the practice or workout, just need to build up to that….after my pull-ups.
    Bright Shiney thing…go away….they do work though no doubt results still riding in…incredible.

    Carries – most interested, reminds me of carrying water from the well to water our kennel of dogs, any initial guidelines on how long or how far ? I’m in a good neighborhood for this as I can use them to defend myself if needed.

  • Anthony Sep 7, 2010 @ 18:24

    I like carries as well but I use a sandbag. With sandbags you have an additional option of carrying it on one shoulder. Love dragging a tyre. I have a large tractor tyre I pull for distance and a smaller one for interval sprints of 15:15. Actually I like intervals for most things; as it is convenient to add total intervals, add to the work time, reduce the rest time; easy to count your reps within the work time and aim for increasing them; and of course you can also add weight.

    One of my favourites is heavy sledgehammer work of longer intervals.

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