Stronger Grip = Better Kettlebell Workouts. Period. Part 3.

Ever have your forearms swell up like sausages and have to pry your hands open after Swings or Snatches or Clean and Jerks?

Well my friend, you could probably (definitely) use a little extra grip-training.

Fortunately for us, Jedd Johnson, RKC, and World Grip Champ is finishing up this portion of his guest blog on training your grip to improve your kettlebell training. It’s all about the numbers and here’s how to improve yours…

Top 5 Ways to Improve Hand Strength for Faster Kettlebell Results – Part 3

5.  Kettlebell Exchange

How many times can you snatch your Snatch Test Bell?

Cut this number in half and the next time you practice a Snatch Test or other endurance-oriented Kettlebell workout, I want you to do 50% of that number with your regular bell, but when you get half way through, switch to a +/- 4-kg heavier bell and perform reps equal to 20% of that number, then switch back.  Try to equal your PR.  You will drop a rep or two just because you are switching bells, but try to come as close as possible to your normal total.  In reality, when you switch back to your normal bell at the second switch, it should feel easier.

In other words, if you can currently get 80 snatches in the RKC Snatch Test, cut that in half => 40 reps.  Do the first 40 reps with your normal bell, then move over to the next higher kettlebell.  Do another 20% of your current PR (16 reps) with the heavier bell, then immediately switch back to the lighter bell.

What you will notice is upon going from the lighter bell to the heavier bell, your hands will tire, but once you go back to the lighter one, it will start to feel lighter in your hand because you are used to the heavier bell.

The Kettlebell Exchange can be incorporated several ways.

  • You can also start with the heavier bell and then finish out with your normal one.
  • You can start with your normal bell and then end on the heavier one.
  • You can also start with the heavier one until you fatigue or lose your mechanics and then finish the rest of the set with your normal bell.   Placement of the switch is up to you.

See which one works best for you.

These are just 5 Tactics you can employ to increase your Grip Strength and in turn increase your kettlebell performance.  If you incorporate one or two of these techniques per week, you will start to see a noticeable difference in your hand endurance.

If you would like to see other examples of how to increase your Grip Strength, you should check out the Members-Only area of my website,  In fact, in July, I covered several other ways you can train your Grip to improve your performance with kettlebells.

Until then, all the best with your training.

Jedd Johnson

Jedd Johnson is a CSCS, RKC, Captain of Crush #3, Red Nail Bender, and owns the World Record in the Two Hands Pinch.  Jedd loves all forms of strength training and readily competes in Grip strength competitions.  For more information check out Jedd’s strength training website,

Thanks, Jedd – that was an OUTSTANDING series.

If you liked all that great grip information, you honestly haven’t seen anything yet. Jedd is truly an Expert in Grip Training. Speaking of seeing things, I highly recommend you spend at least one block a year in your kettlebell training working on your grip and the best way to start now is to grab Jedd’s latest DVD – Nail Bending – How To Melt Steel With Your Bare Hands.

It’s on sale now and I’m not sure how long Jedd is going to keep it on sale. It’s easily worth 5 times what you’ll pay for it just to learn Nail Bending correctly from the start. Plus, you can get a head start on Tricks To Amaze Your Friends At Holiday Parties. Remember, anyone can bend a fork, Jedd will show you how to show off. 🙂

1 comment… add one
  • Brian Wolfe Dec 1, 2010 @ 17:48

    Hi Jeff, just got through your blog on increasing snatch numbers great idea. I got another trick to increasing the number of bw push ups one can do at one time. What I have discovered after doing high rep interval training doing kb swings ( I use a 20kg bell) I can do 35 push ups, but if I just do push ups (no swings) I can only do 25.

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