Kettlebells for Amphibious Special Operations Fitness

May 31, 2005 08:38 AM

I have read a lot on kettlebell fitness for the infantryman, the SWAT officer, the Para Rescue operator, etc. I have been throwing around kettlebells for about a year and had the honor of going though the RKC course. In my scope of Kettlebell practice I found a lot of useful drills and ground combat fitness workouts like my favorite USDOE Man Maker.

Over the last year all I could think of was "Boy! I wish I knew about Kettlebells when got into this Recon nonsense!" So along the lines of the "DOE" drill I wondered what if you replaced the track with a pool. I see from the Marine and Navy side of the house. A mission, be it a hydrographic beach recon to a swim with full gear 1000m from a beach to start a patrol, just getting to the insert point is very physical indeed. It starts with packing 70lb. rucks, then building Zodiacs.......moving them up the vehicle ramp......and finally getting the 55hp engines to and on the boat. So I found a need to build a drill with good cross over training with the water at the center. Mission prep on a ship or dive sight is a workout in itself and mind you, this is just before the operation too. As you can see, amphibious work is special and demanding so I think you need a special and demanding drill! Granted the Drill is just a spin on other drills but the water separates the mice from the Shellbacks.....

Marine Combat Diver Kettlebell Water Aerobics
Do you know what water aerobics are? Basically, you swim the 25m width of a pool, you exit the pool on the edge perform an exercise. Then you jump back in and swim to the other side (vary the swim strokes) and perform another exercise. At the Marine Combat Dive and Basic Recon School we would use
cals and pullups. Now I use kettlebells. Let me tell you, I got some funny
looks and was yelled at by the lifeguard!

Gear needed:
1# 25 m Pool
1# set BDU's (optional)
1# or 2# kettlebells 36lbs-53lbs-70lbs staged on the right and left of pool. If you have 1 KB do cals on the other side.
1# set boogie board fins(optional)
1# Lifeguard or friend on duty: you could pass out!

The Drill:
Swings x 10 then jump in!
Crawl stroke 25 m and exit!
Snatches x 12 each arm then jump in!
Side stroke 25 m and exit!
Clean and Jerk 5-10 each arm, then jump in!
Breast Stroke 25 m and exit............

I think you get the point. Do the drill for 20-40min, vary the swim strokes and the KB Drills. Do this and you will grow gills!

Charles Grady, RKC is a former Navy Amphib Recon Corpsman (8427) with 11 years Recon and Combat Diver experience, now a reservist and firefighter.