Your Questions Answered…

Ok, I’ve been meaning to do this forever, but I wanted to give you a chance to ask me any training questions you have. I’ll do it every Friday, unless I’m on vacation or working. (I give you that caveat up front because I’ve got some RKCs and seminars coming up… The best place to get ahold of me is to just leave a comment on the “contact” page —->

your questions answered…

So, let’s get started with John (if that’s your real name… 🙂 ) because I think it’s a good one and a common one.

I have a question regarding complexes.  I own your book “Kettlebell Muscle” and will be starting the program soon (currently doing the ETK Rite of Passage).   I tried on a variety day to practice a complex and they are super but I have to ask, with one kettlebell should the exercises be completed all in order onn your weak side first followed by the strong side i.e. go from swing to snatch to clean, etc down the left side then do the same on the right or do one exercise on the left switch to the right and go back and forth until done?

First, thanks for grabbing “KM” – I know your going to love the results.

Second, remember that in a complex, you perform all the exercises in a row without putting the implement down. Critical component there – in a row. So, no you’re not going to switch back and forth between hands – that becomes a form of circuit training.

Although the heart rate will remain high, the lactic acid production will actually decrease, because you’re resting one limb in favor of working another. Remember, growth hormone is released in the presence of lactic acid. And GH is a very powerful stimulant for fat loss and muscle growth (Notice how hGH is being discussed more and more in the media now?)

So, unless your form breaks down, keep on going without switching hands. If it does break down, use a lighter kettlebell.

Here’s a single kettlebell complex (with chain included) that I’ve used with my clients with great success in the past

Swing x5

Snatch x5

Clean + Press x5+5, then remain in rack,

Reverse Lunge x5

Row x5, then switch hands.

Make sure you time it. Record the work time and then start your rest periods at twice your work time. Get 7 sets and then start chopping your rest periods down by 15 seconds.

For example, a complex takes 90s to complete, rest 3 minutes (180s). Yes, I can hear someone now, “that’s too long.”

No, it’s not.

Trust me.

If you want to get high quality work done, than you have to rest. Remember, there’s an inverse relationship between force production and fatigue. If fatigue is too high, then you can’t produce enough force (i.e. lift the weight) and then you’ll fail to complete the task.

So, John, I hope that answers your question and helps you out and for everyone else reading.

4 comments… add one
  • Russ Moon Jun 25, 2010 @ 16:59

    Wk Medium Complete….no 3 minutes is absolutely not too long if there is enough lactic acid being released…I just proved that. Alot of GH released. Humility is only one set away, but liking it.

    I am learning to better understand what you mean when you say “it’s downright nasty”.

  • Chris Jun 25, 2010 @ 18:39

    I also have the KM Book and have recently purchased Kettlebell Burn.
    Awesome reading….Looking forward to cycling the two programs throughout the year.
    In the above example what does Clean + Press x5+5, then remain in rack,
    what does the +5 mean?


    • GEOFFN Jul 1, 2010 @ 17:04

      Chris – It just means do 5 C+Ps, that’s all.

  • John Jun 25, 2010 @ 23:42

    Geoff, many thanks. (Yeah boring though it may be, John is my name).

    I will do one side at a time from now on. What I noticed is that the weight is truly a factor. I can do C&P ladders with a 36K by themselves but noticed that with these complexes a 24K is a killer! Prudently used I can see how these complexes can develop a strength and conditioning combo…one stop shopping so to speak.

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