Olympic & World Champ’s surprising “BEST” workout schedule?

Olympic & World Champ’s surprising “BEST” workout schedule? 

What is the “best” workout schedule to “Make Gainz?”

How much do you really need to workout?

Who should you listen to, and who’s really right?

You may have heard of the gentleman I’m about to describe.


Won 2x Olympic gold medals, 

1x Olympic silver medal, 

8x consecutive years World Championships, 

Set 26 world records spread over 4 bodyweight classes,

IronMan Mr. World Bodybuilding Champ 

Was not subsidized, did not have fancy training quarters, coaches, and drug (steroid) free 

His name?

Tommy Kono.

His recommendations on the “best” workout schedule?

Here are some of his statements from his book, Weightlifting, Olympic Style, which I think you’ll not only find valuable, but relieving.

Kono on training time commitment:

“You will be happy to learn that it is not necessary to spend 30 hours a week in the gym to become an outstanding Olympic weightlifter. Too many lifters and coaches have the impression that to become a top notch lifter you must spend hours on the weightlifting platform, or in the weight room, lifting tons of weights.” (p.62)

Now we both know that you probably don’t want to be a “top notch weightlifter” – we’re using kettlebells after all. 

But it still is interesting to know that “more” is the myth pretty much everyone fights against.

Kono on exercise selection and “variety:”

“You don’t have to perform a myriad of different exercises to improve on the Olympic lifts. In the past, some of the most outstanding lifters only practiced the competition lifts plus the Deep Knee Bend (Squats) and they improved and kept up with the best in the world. 

“Isaac Berger did just that and he won world and Olympic titles and broke world records. Pete George, during his college years, had hardly any time to train, so all he did was the Olympic lifts plus Squats (when he could squeeze in time to train) and he won Olympic and world titles.” (p.66-67)

Here Kono is advocating abbreviated workouts – “just” 3 lifts: Snatch, Clean + Jerk, Squats.

So, you don’t need “much” to see spectacular gains in strength (and everything else).

More from Coach Kono – this time on fatigue:

“Performing too many sets and repetitions of any single exercise is counterproductive because, as I have written before, once fatigue sets in, the lifting movement can change.” (p.63)

“A prolonged workout, when you are tired, will not help you progress but instead will prevent you from improving.” (p.82)

On duration:

“A half hour of performing one technical movement, such as the Snatch, is enough time to warm up, tax it, and get the maximum benefit for this lift.” (p.64)

So, one lift – no more than 30 minutes.

On going “heavy:”

“… when I was in my teens, I could push myself almost every other workout, but when I was in my early twenties, I was generally able to go really heavy once a week. By age 27-28, my heavy workouts were about nine days apart. In my early thirties they were about two weeks apart. Norbert Schemansky, who competed in his 40s would go heavy at contest time and certainly not in training.” (p.64-65)

[NOTE: Norbert Schemansky was a 4-time Olympian, Olympic Gold Medalist, and 3-time World Champ.)

Kono on frequency:

“You can train as the Europeans and put in twice a day, 5-6 days a week… but it doesn’t mean you will improve that much faster… you have a greater possibility of injuries…” (p.65)

“Training three times a week tends to create more enthusiasm, and because you put your heart and soul into it, you reap the benefit of improvement faster. You also have less chance of going stale, and certainly you have enough recovery time from training day to training day.” (p.65)

“Many times the trainee feels that ‘A little bit is good so more would be better.’ Let me state it is far better to do just enough to stimulate development and coax improvement rather than go overboard and “burn” yourself out. You must remember that weight training is a very concentrated form of exercise.” (p.73-74)

This should relieve any sort of guilt you have when an Olympic & World Champ is telling you not to kill yourself in your workouts. 


“By conscientiously training three times a week (about every other day) for 3 months, an exceptional improvement can be shown physically and basic strength can be doubled, if not tripled.” (p.74)

“Follow the course on Monday, Wednesday and Friday or Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday.” (p.74)

To summarize Tommy Kono’s coaching advice to us about workout schedules:

[1]  You don’t need tons of time to train / workout.

[2]  30 minutes is enough to train one lift fully – including warm up..

[3]  You can have world championship performances with minimal training time and minimum exercise selection.

[4]  Avoid fatigue. It alters your technique.

[5]  “Do just enough to stimulate development and coax improvement rather than go overboard and “burn” yourself out.” 

[6]  Train 3x a week, non-consecutive days.

Of course that’s great news, because most of us don’t have as much time to train / workout as we think we’re supposed to.

And that’s why ‘THE GIANT’ is one of my most popular training programs – ever.

It checks all of Tommy Kono’s “BEST” workout schedule boxes.

It’s one “simple” Olympic lift based exercise – the kettlebell Clean + Press…

Performed 3 days a week for 20 to 30 minutes.

And it’s also why I partnered with a company, expanded it, and put ‘THE GIANT’ on an App.

Now, not only are there 10 ‘GIANT’ programs (5 NEW ones) –

The 1 Series: 1.0, 1.1, 1.2

The 2 Series: 2.0, 2.1, 2.2

The 3 Series: 3.0, 3.1, 3.2

4.X – Experimental.

(5 NEW ones = 2.1, 2.2, 3.1, 3.2, 4.X)

All of which will make you significantly stronger, better conditioned, and pack muscle all over your upper body and just the right amount on your legs.

If you’d like to learn more about it and see a demo, I’ll leave a link in the description below.

Stay Strong,


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