How to Build a Workout / HIKF Style

When it comes to getting big results with kettlebells it's all about technique, but what about how to create your daily workout, and workout progression?

At KBNY, the first order of business is to set up the kettlebell segment of the workout, whether we work with just bells, or integrate (Kettle-Sthenics) with other functional stuff.

When we approach the idea of a "new" set, the first thing you should ask yourself is, "What do I want to accomplish in this workout today?" and secondly, "How do I feel this particular, day, hour, moment?" These two answers ultimately shape the set, and the overall workout.

Goals are endless, from weight loss to extreme performance, everybody wants something, or why bother? For our example today, we'll stick with "weight loss" as the main goal, with a dash of "body sculpting" thrown in for good luck. Remember, there is tremendous overlap when it comes to cause and effect.

As vain Americans, losing weight and looking better are by far the most common initial goal people come up with, but that usually changes with time to a more health and performance oriented theme (appearance changes then becomes a delicious side effect).  When looking at weight loss realistically, volume is important, although we don't throw the intensity out the window, we need to move for a longer time, and that usually means lower intensity (weight or pace). As far as our kettlebell set is concerned, a realistic and sound goal would be to work to at least 16 minutes in a single set, while 20 minute sets would be ideal. That's not to say every workout has to be one single, 20 minute set, but we're talking about today's workout.

Next, let's decide if you're up to what would be ideal (question two). Do you feel up to a true (but healthy), ass kicking? If not, back off a bit, or injury and illness are right around the corner. Assuming you're feeling good and raring to go, let's get aggressive and pick 20 non-stop minutes as our set length.

We now need to look at what exercises, weight, and pace we'll move at, and in what sequence. You can see how all of these factors will dramatically impact one another. As today's set we will pick the 20 Minute Jerk and Half Snatch Mirror in a sequence that goes like this: Jerk / Half Snatch / Jerk / Half Snatch / Jerk.  Exercises are done at 4 minute each, and at 1 minute per hand. The frequent hand switching allows for the extended volume (our main goal satisfied). Switching the exercises up, allows the body to distribute the workload evenly from posterior to anterior chain, again, allowing more work to be done in less time, and without having to stop or set the kettlebell down.

We're going to move at a high end pace on each move (Jerk goal of 16 reps per minute, Half Snatch goal of 14 reps per minute), but not lightning (set is too long for lightening speed). We are choosing the Half Snatch over the Snatch for the extra rest it allows in an extended set such as this, but still provides a heavy duty pull (posterior chain challenge).

Now that we've established our kettlebell set, we'll incorporate Land Mine (great, simple machine, google it) Squats with Push Ups in a 5 minute countdown. During the five minutes you're either squatting or pushing. Adjust both exercises to your current level, and find a rep scheme that works for you (IE: 20 Squats and 10 Pushups).

As an added fat burning "chaser", we'll throw in ten more minutes of cardio, done at mid range intensity. A stationary bike, rowing machine, or treadmill (walking on an incline or slow jog) would work well here.

The end result is a very simple, effective, dependable workout, but it's imperative that all movements be done with a conscious effort toward achieving high end technique, so as to allow continued high end intensity - sans injury.

Not secrets, just common sense and hard work are what will GET, and KEEP results.  Check us out at for more information and training options.