“Can You Build Muscle With Kettlebell Swings?” (Part 2)

“Can You Build Muscle With Kettlebell Swings?” (Part 2)

In our last video, we discussed a message I got from Mike who wanted to know the answer to the question:

“Can you build muscle with swings?”

I gave a “qualified” answer. Make sure you go back and watch that video to learn the answer, if you haven’t already.

Today, I want to show you a simple, yet challenging way to actually use Swings to build some muscle.

It’s called a Complex.

You may or may not have heard of a complex before. 

Complex: A series of compound exercises performed sequentially with the same weight (kettlebell) and without rest. All the reps for one exercise are completed before moving on to the next exercise in the sequence.

Here’s an example

Swing x 5

Clean x 5

Press x 5

A kettlebell complex then is a complex performed using a kettlebell. Or two kettlebells.

My preference for muscle building? 

Two kettlebells.

A properly constructed kettlebell complex using Swings falls under the “Metabolic Stress” method/mechanism we discussed yesterday.

Here’s how Dr. Schoenfeld describes it:

Metabolic stress manifests as a result of exercise that relies on anaerobic glycolysis for ATP production, which results in the subsequent buildup of metabolites such as lactate, hydrogen ion, inorganic phosphate, creatine, and others (169,178). Muscle ischemia also has been shown to produce substantial metabolic stress, and potentially produces an additive hypertrophic effect when combined with glycolytic training (136,182). The stress-induced mechanisms theorized to mediate the hypertophic response include alterations in hormonal milieu, cell swelling, free-radical production, and increased activity of growth-oriented transcription factors (50,51,171). It also has been hypothesized that a greater acidic environment promoted by glycolytic training may lead to increased fiber degradation and greater stimulation of sympathetic nerve activity, thereby mediating an increased adaptive hypertrophic response (22). 

At the end of the day, we think it works like this:

The increased metabolic stress triggers the release of testosterone and growth hormone, your body’s main muscle-building hormones.

You can place your Swings anywhere in your complex – beginning, middle, or end.

Where you do affects your outcome. 

You can place them at the beginning as a “primer” for other more challenging lifts, in the middle for more work, or at the end almost as a “finisher.”

Examples:

Beginning:

Swing x 5

Clean x 5

Press x 5

Snatch x 5

Middle:

Front Squat x 5

Swing x 5

Snatch x 5

End:

Snatch x 5

Press x 5

Clean x 5

Front Squat x 5

Swing x 5 

The best part about complexes in my book is that they are an incredibly time efficient method for training to build muscle, strip off body fat, and boost your conditioning levels.

Just a caveat here:

You should make sure you know how to perform these exercises with doubles and are comfortable doing so before engaging in complexes. 

They’re not a “learn as you go” type of programming format.

If you need to learn or fine tune your double kettlebell skills, use this.

And if you want to build muscle with complexes, but don’t want to figure out how to set them up on your own, I’ll leave a link for some hard core programs in the description below.

👉 Kettlebell STRONG! – https://cart.chasingstrength.com/strong3

👉 Kettlebell HARD! – https://cart.chasingstrength.com/hard3b 

Stay Strong,

Geoff

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