Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Program Design for General Physical Preparedness

We often get asked, “How do I put together a program at home?” or “How do you put your classes together?”  The simple answer is we make sure to include both grinds and ballistics within the 7 basic human movement patterns.

Grinds in kettlebells are the slow exercises – the ones you want to perform for 3-5 sets of 3-5 reps, such as presses and deadlifts.  Ballistics are the quick lifts, such as swings and snatches, that are to be performed for as many reps until just before form starts to be compromised.

When I think of the 7 basic human movements, I combined lessons from MRKC’s Dan John and David Whitley.  Dan’s 5 movements are:
1.     Push
2.     Pull
3.     Hinge
4.     Squat
5.     Loaded Carry

After assisting an HKC with MRKC David Whitley, I added
1.     Rotation
2.     Counter-rotation (fighting against rotation.)

When training for general physical preparedness (without a certain goal in mind,) you start with some get-ups (which fall into many categories) and fill in the blanks.  Plenty of exercises fall into two categories. And you can use one bell or two.

By no means is this a comprehensive list, but here are some examples of each movement.

Push – you can do any of the numerous press variations (military press, floor press, etc… )You can even combine push and counter-rotation by doing a one-sided floor press. If you don’t want to use a bell, you can do pushups.

Pull – Any of the row variations (rows, renegade rows, single-leg rows, etc..) or pull-ups fall into the pull category. 

Hinge – Any sort of deadlift, swings, cleans, and snatches all are hinges.

Squat – Goblet or front squats are the most common.  If you feel advanced you can do pistols weighted or unweighted.

Loaded Carry – According to Dan John, this one’s a game changer.  Farmers carries, racked carries, waiter’s walk (overhead carries.)

Rotation – Russian twist, ribbons, overhead rotation (bell locked out overhead and rotate from your spine, not hips)

Counter-rotation – One sided suitcase deadlifts, one sided floor presses, renegade rows, alternating swings)

So here might be a simple class or an at-home total body training:

Joint Mobility
4 TGU’s each side
2 laps farmers carries, 2 laps racked carries

30 seconds work with 30 seconds rest for 3 rounds:

Alternating Swings (ballistic, hinge, counter-rotation)
Military Press Left (grind, push)
Military Press Right
Row Left (grind, pull)
Row Right
Snatch Left (ballistic, hinge, counter-rotation)
Snatch Right
Russian Twist (rotation)
Goblet Squat (squat)

That is the secret.  Every class is pretty much the same but different.  The trainings change day to day without “random acts of variety.”  There is a template that we follow that gets maximal strength, mobility, stability, and fat loss results!


  1. thanks for breakn it down Delaine!!

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