The most “TRANSFORMATIVE” LEVEL 4 kettlebell exercise(s)? (10 REASONS)

The most “TRANSFORMATIVE” LEVEL 4 kettlebell exercise(s)? (10 REASONS)

People often ask me what I think are the *BEST* kettlebell exercises to do.

In my last email I said the Top 3 LEVEL 4 exercises were the Double Front Squat (DFSQ), the Double Clean (DCL), and the Double Military Press (DMP).

And that’s because they form the “Foundation” of the LEVEL 4 exercises. And from there, you’ll have a “base” from which to build and launch the other, more advanced double KB exercises like the Push Press, Snatch, and Jerk.

But if you asked me, what are the most “accessible” and therefore the most “Transformative,” LEVEL 4 exercises, ones that pretty much anyone with single KB proficiency can do, especially if they have ankle or knee or even some hip issues from a rough and tumble lifestyle in their younger days…

I’d go with the Double Clean + Press (DC+P).

While it’s true that the original Soviet/Russian research was done on the Double Clean + Jerk, I’ve found that most Westerners, especially Americans, don’t have the thoracic spine mobility and shoulder stability for the Jerk.

Nor do they have the patience to get them in order to reap the benefits of the Jerk.

But most guys (and ladies) can get enough to press a pair of KBs overhead.

So, that’s why the DC+P instead of the DC+J.

Here’s 10 reasons I believe the DC+P is the most “Transformative” LEVEL 4 exercises you can do (if you’re not going to or can’t perform the DFSQ):

[1]  The Clean teaches you how to absorb shock, which recruits more muscle fibers (via isometric contractions – resisting movement), so it builds more muscle when compared to a LEVEL 1 exercise, like the Swing. It also works the elbow joint through its full range of motion, working the biceps harder. For many, this equals bigger “Guns.”

This means you perform more work, especially if you can use a pair of kettlebells…

[2]  And therefore, you’ll burn more calories, which makes it great for stimulating fat loss.

[3]  The DC+P requires more power than most Swings because it travels further – the kettlebell must end in the rack (held on the front of the shoulders) – again, working more muscles, and burning more calories.

[4]  Cleaning the kettlebell into the rack makes the muscles of your upper back work harder than just swinging a kettlebell. Therefore, they get stronger and bigger. 

[5]  The rack makes your abs/core musculature work harder. So those muscles get stronger and more defined from the extra work. 

[6]  Pressing overhead works your abs more than just supporting a weight overhead, because your body constantly has to adjust to an increasing and decreasing center of mass. 

[7]  Pressing overhead also works your shoulders, arms (triceps), upper back, and your lats (the muscles that make your back look wide, like a “V”) – through a full or close-to-full range of motion. Especially when compared to the Turkish Get Up, which does not.

[8]  Your heart gets more work because you’re moving the kettlebell from under your body – using your legs – to over your head – using your arms… 

… So this makes your heart have to pump more blood, improving cardiovascular fitness and health, and keeping heart disease at bay. 

This translates to having more stamina and energy throughout your day.

[9]  Research has shown that explosive muscular contractions make your body more “insulin sensitive.” This means you can use more sugar as fuel, which means you can eat more carbs and not store them as fat – especially around the middle.

The Clean is an explosive muscular contraction of the hips and legs – the largest, most energy-hungry muscles in your body. More Cleans = More Carbs.

[10]  Research has also confirmed that large compound movements like the Clean, produce a large post-exercise spike in your anabolic hormones Testosterone and Growth Hormone – both of which burn fat and build muscle.

In fact, 20th Century Strongman, Sig Klein, believed that the Double Clean + Press* was the secret behind the success of the early European Weightlifting Champs.

Sig even issued his famous challenge: 

Clean and Press a pair of 75lb-ers for 12 reps, non-stop.

Very few men can do this today, regardless of weight, yet Sig weighed 155lbs!

(*NOTE: Sig was talking about a pair of dumbbells. I believe the effect is even greater with a pair of kettlebells due to the increased stretch on the hips and hamstrings, and the increased activation of the shoulder and arm muscles from the offset load of the kettlebells.)

And I think this is a great long-term goal to shoot for.

Just working your way to that path will build stronger arms, a more muscular upper body, and drastically improve your energy levels and cardiovascular health.

And the best part is, the DC+P is so powerful, it won’t take a lot of time out of your day to do it.

Stay Strong,



P.S.  Arguably the most “infamous” Double Clean + Press Program of all time is ‘THE GIANT.’

There’s a 2.5 year and 137-page long thread on the StrongFirst forum about it:

You can see how it works differently from other programs here.

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