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Suicide Frogs: Another Extreme Kettlebell Conditioning Workout

June 10, 2004 08:10 AM

Remember Suicide drills? We used to do them in high school football practice. Start at the goal line, sprint 10 yards, then sprint back to the goal line, sprint 20 yards, then back to the goal line, then 30 yards and back, and then a final sprint of 40 yards. We did them for conditioning. We did them as competition. We did them as punishment for goofing up. The good old days. Thanks, Coach!

Here is a sadistic twist on the old standby. You will need the following:

  1. Kettlebells, at least two, but the more you have the more you can do. You can use just about any kind of weight, dumbbells, plates, sandbags, whatever, but for our purposes here, we'll stick to kettlebells.

  2. A piece of level ground with enough space to run sprints. A football field is ideal, but parks, fields, beaches & parking lots will all work too.
Measure off 10-yard intervals up to a distance of 40 yards. In a football field it's done already. In a parking lot, use the space markers. It doesn't have to be exact, but try to be consistent. Line up your kettlebells on the goal line. Now you are ready to begin.

For this example we will use 2 kettlebells:
  1. Clean a kettlebell to your shoulder and quickly walk to the 10-yard line. Put the bell down, sprint back to the goal line.
  2. Clean the 2nd bell and quickly walk to the 20-yard line ("leapfrogging" the 1st bell). Put the bell down, sprint back to the goal line.
  3. Sprint to the 10-yard line and clean the 1st bell. Quickly carry it to the 30-yard line ("leapfrogging" the 2nd bell). Put the bell down, sprint back to the goal line.
  4. Sprint to the 20-yard line, clean the bell, and quickly walk to the 40-yard line. Put the bell down, sprint back to the goal line.
  5. Sprint to the 30-yard line, clean the bell and quickly carry it the final 10 yards.
Do all this with you right arm. Repeat the sequence with your left arm. That's one set.

If you have 3 kettlebells you can do this:

  1. Clean a kettlebell to you shoulder and quickly walk to the 10-yard line. Put the bell down, sprint back to the goal line.
  2. Clean the 2nd bell and quickly walk to the 20-yard line ("leapfrogging" the 1st bell). Put the bell down, sprint back to the goal line.
  3. Clean the 3rd bell and quickly carry it to the 30-yard line ("leapfrogging" the 1st & 2nd bells). Put the bell down, sprint back to the goal line.
  4. Sprint to the 10-yard line, clean the 1st bell, and quickly walk to the 40-yard line ("leapfrogging" the other bells). Put the bell down, sprint back to the goal line.
  5. Sprint to the 20-yard line, clean the bell and quickly carry it to the 40-yard line. Put the bell down, sprint back to the goal line.
  6. Sprint to the 30-yard line, clean the bell and quickly carry it the final 10 yards.
  7. Repeat with the other arm. That's one set
As you can see, the concept is to sprint like the old suicide drill while "leapfrogging" the kettlebells with staggered distances. Hence the name, "the Suicide Frog".

If the drills above aren't tough enough, try it with pairs of Kbs in the rack position or carry one in each hand like a farmer's walk. Or if you really want to amp it up, knock off a few reps in the swing, snatch or C&J at the goal line and before setting the bell down at each yard marker. There are lots of possibilities. Add you own unique cruelty to the drill.

A few more things:

  1. You may want to jog (or walk) a lap around the track between sets, as in the DOE Man Maker. This will help level out your heart rate and breathing more than standing still.
  2. Keep your form strict when carrying the kettlebells in the racked position. The abs MUST be tight, the elbow close to the body and the weight of the bell resting on the shelf created by the bent arm. Breathe.
  3. Exercise common sense and basic kettlebell safety at all times.
  4. Don't do this more than 3 times a week. It is very demanding, and can quickly lead to over-training and injury.
  5. In most places it is considered rude to vomit on a track without cleaning it up.
Enjoy the pain.


David Whitley, RKC, LMT is located in Nashville,Tennessee. He is currently available for workshops, private and small group lessons in kettlebell work and Close Quarter Combatives, as well as therapeutic massage & Thai bodywork. His e-mail is whitleyd@hotmail.com.
 

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