I’ve taken a quick break from kettlebell training this summer, and instead focused on another highly efficient training tool, the sandbag. Pulling, pushing, hoisting and moving a heavy sandbag around has been challenging and fun. And I feel stronger, in different ways. You’ve got to love that!
I began the summer recovering from a knee injury (patellar tendonosis) that I received from a fall. I’d been through about 6 weeks of physical therapy and had been cleared to go back to my normal exercise routine. Knee flexion was pretty tough at first, but I was surprised how quickly I forgot about the injury. After a few weeks of moving the sandbag I was pretty much back to my pre-injury strength level.
I’ve been using Josh Henkin’s DVRT Ultimate Sandbags (affiliate link*) and his programs to help me learn more about sandbag training. The DVD that comes along with his sandbags is great, with tons of ideas and several great workouts included. Josh also has many excellent videos on youtube with workout ideas. He also frequently updates the DVRT Sandbag facebook page with workout videos. This makes it very easy to stay motivated and challenged.
I am looking forward to swinging a kettlebell again soon. But a little break has been great. I don’t plan to give up my sandbag training, either. From now on, I see a fusion of kettlebell training, sandbag training, and bodyweight training in my future.
*If you buy a sandbag through this link I will earn a little commission. Thank you!
It has been a wonderful week getting back to my routine of training hard. Not only did I finally have the opportunity to move some metal in the form of a kettlebell, I also ordered and received a TRX suspension training system. Wow. So many ways to work out, so little time. Below are two workouts I did this week plus the one I’m doing tomorrow. NOTE: Read the Disclaimer! Please work with a certified kettlebell trainer when starting kettlebell training.
Turkish Get Ups and Swings
A very simple protocol. Set your timer for whatever time you have: 15-20 minutes. Perform 15 swings, one or two-handed. You know what you need to work on. Then perform one Turkish get up. Just one, not one per side. Repeat the sequence alternating sides for the Turkish get ups, until time is up. This is my go-to workout. It is so simple, but it is a complete strength and conditioning workout.
Mixed TRX exercises and Swings
Set your timer for :30 work/:30 rest for 24:00. Complete the following exercises:
- TRX rows, Swings. Repeat twice.
- Goblet Squats, Swings. Repeat twice.
- TRX Chest Presses, Swings. Repeat twice.
- TRX Ab Rollouts, Swings. Repeat twice.
I needed a rest day after that one. When I did the workout, I actually substituted some kettlebell snatches for swings. I ended up with a pretty good case of DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness).
For tomorrow’s workout I’m focused on lots of swings. They are starting to get easier and I can tell my conditioning is improving. I want that trend to continue. I am also still a little stiff and don’t feel ready for any more TRX work yet. Here is what I will do:
On the Minute Swings
Set your timer for 1:00 intervals for 10-20 minutes. When the timer goes off, perform 15-20 swings. Put the bell down and rest for the remainder of the minute until the timer goes off again. You decide how many swings to do each minute. Only do as many as you can do with excellent form and listen to your body. I like to record how many I do each minute in a log book and tally them up at the end.
These workouts were probably stolen from someone else at some point. I would give credit if I could say for sure where they came from. I think Sandy Sommer, RKC first gave me the idea for the On the Minute protocol. Feel free to adapt these workouts to suit your fitness level and ability.
If you try them, please leave a comment below. I’d love the feedback.