How to achieve the “STRONG ENOUGH” kettlebell strength standards

How to achieve the “STRONG ENOUGH” kettlebell strength standards

We’re starting to pick up quite the conversation over on my YouTube channel where I laid out the benchmarks for what I consider “STRONG ENOUGH” to pretty much do whatever you want.

Here’s the conversation:


Please add any of your comments.

In the meantime, in case you missed it, here’s the definition of what I consider “STRONG ENOUGH”:

I believe it’s simply “strong enough” to tackle anything life throws at you so you can throw it back.

It’s “strong enough” to chop a cord of wood without being overly sore the next day…

… To grapple without getting [too] gassed…

… To pack out your house at a moment’s notice…

And probably even run faster, further, than your friend when being chased by a p*ssed off Momma Grizzly Bear, who’s cubs you just scared while traipsing through the woods. ;-] 

So, after 20+ years of experience, here’s what “STRONG ENOUGH” looks like to me:

[1]  10 sets of 5 reps Double Clean + Press with 2x32kg in 20 minutes or less

[2]  10 sets of 5 reps Double Front Squat with 2x32kg in 20 minutes or less

[3]  10 sets of 10 reps of 32kg Snatches in 10 minutes (that’s 5 sets of 10 each side)

Now obviously, depending on your current strength & conditioning levels, from where you stand those standards might look kind of daunting – maybe downright impossible.

That’s why I recommend you “stair step” your goals using these interim benchmarks:

GOAL #1: Use 2x16kg for the C+P, DFSQ, and 16kg for the Snatch.

GOAL #2: Use 2x20kg for the C+P, DFSQ, and 20kg for the Snatch.

GOAL #3: Use 2x24kg for the C+P, DFSQ, and 24kg for the Snatch.

GOAL #4: Use 2x28kg for the C+P, DFSQ, and 28kg for the Snatch.

The important part is that you embrace the process and get started.


How do you get started?

Generally speaking…

I recommend starting with your #1 weakness. 

For many, if not most, that’s going to be the DFSQ.

That’s because it:

[+]  Teaches you how to stay tight in the rack

[+]  Teaches you to create Intra-Abdominal Pressure (IAP) which helps stabilize your lower back and pelvis, which protects your spine

[+]  Strengthens your abs from the inside out (both the Inner Unit, which creates IAP) and the outer unit 

[+]  Strengthens your legs (obviously)

[+]  Strengthens your shoulders (from holding the bells in the rack)

[+]  Improves your Press (indirectly – for some)

Next, I recommend the Double Clean + Press. 

Pushing your strength up in this lift will not only make your whole body stronger all over, you’ll also have more “strength reserve,” which will make your Snatches feel much lighter. 

Now obviously, you should be familiar and comfortable with the technique of both the Clean and the Press and should be competent in the single KB C+P and have no major asymmetries between your two sides before embarking on the doubles.

Then, focus on the Snatch.

And if you don’t know how to or aren’t comfortable with the Snatch yet?

Focus on the 1H Swing.

It’s a great “foundational” exercise for the Swing.

Why this order?


Power is “based” or “formed” on a foundation of maximum strength – or training to be stronger.

So the stronger you are, the more potential power you can produce or express. 

“Yeah, but Geoff – I want to focus on everything at one time!”

Look, I get it. 

Me too.

But I only recommend doing this if you have a base, or foundation in place.

What’s that look like?

Bare minimum, you’ve nailed down, checked off, and are fully confident in your abilities with the single KB lifts, are relatively healthy – no active injuries or lingering fallout from previous ones. 

Then, if you want “everything all at once?”

It can be tricky getting all the loading parameters correct. 

I recommend you use this program.

If you have problems squatting, a lot of guys – especially over 50’s – are swearing by this one.

Stay Strong,


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