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The RKC Workout Book of Strength and Conditioning
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The RKC Workout Book of Strength and Conditioning
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The RKC Book of Strength and Conditioning

45 Powerful Kettlebell Workouts and Training Programs—to Inspire You in Your Quest for Athletic Excellence

Brought to you by leaders of the RKC community
Collated, edited and with an introduction by Master RKC, Geoff Neupert

PDF eBook
230 pages.

Since 2001 and the world’s first Russian Kettlebell Challenge (RKC) Instructor Certification workshop, thousands of individuals—martial artists, first responders, military, and fitness and strength professionals, have learned how to use kettlebells quickly and safely. And then introduce the remarkable benefits of the kettelbell to a global community of kettlebell enthusiasts.

Many of these RKCs have created a wide variety of effective workout programs for their clients, customers, teams, and units. So, who better to answer the question “How do I use kettlebells to get the best possible results for ME and MY goals?” than these same RKCs?

We asked the RKC Instructors to submit their most prized workouts, so you can not only see, but also use proven programs that have been successfully used by these qualified experts. The result became The RKC Book of Strength and Conditioning, replete with time-tested, results-producing kettlebell workouts that can satisfy the needs of newbie and pro alike, for years to come.

Some workouts are used to develop strength. Some are used for conditioning. All have produced results either for the instructors themselves, their clients, or both. Enjoy the pain!

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Access the Hidden Gold
Embedded Within the RKC…

Since 2001 and the first Russian Kettlebell Challenge (RKC) Instructor Certification, thousands of individuals—martial artists, first responders, military, and fitness and strength professionals, have learned how to use kettlebells quickly and safely and in turn train others with them. No longer relegated to the basements of strongmen and the "Courage Corners" of the Russian Military, kettlebells, thanks to Pavel and the RKC have transformed the way the Western world views and obtains strength and fitness. Now everyone from elite athletes to grandmothers has access to the easy strength and conditioning gains of the kettlebell.
And those individuals have gone on to create very effective workout programs for their clients, customers, teams, and units.
Which brings us to the meat of this book and a very, very important question…
"How Do I Use Kettlebells to Get
The BEST Results Possible?"
That’s a common question these days. It seems everyone has an opinion, from how "not" to use them, to what they are good for (strength-endurance tool only), to who shouldn’t use them and what to do with them, when.
Apparently everybody has an opinion—and especially it seems those who are least qualified.
So, we decided to ask those who are qualified, qualified by the RKC, those who use kettlebells every day with their private clients, their classes, their units, their teams, and their patients.
We decided to ask RKC Instructors to submit their workouts so you can not only see, but also use programs that have been successfully used by experts.
The result became The RKC Book of Strength and Conditioning, replete with time-tested, results-producing kettlebell workouts from some of the RKC’s best instructors.
Some workouts are used to develop strength. Some are used for conditioning. All have produced results either for the instructors themselves, their clients, or both.
What You’ll Get When You Invest in
The RKC Book of Strength and Conditioning
The Programs

1. "The Percentage Approach to Swing Training"

By Mark Reifkind, Master RKC

"As all of you must know by now, I think the Swing is The Thing. THE Best exercise for almost everyone—beginners to Elite athletes, youngsters to the Elders. I just can’t find another exercise that is so easy on the body and makes one work so hard than the RKC Kettlebell Swing. One that strengthens the body at the same time it heals it.
‘The Swing is the Center of the Kettlebell Universe’ is the phrase I used to describe my respect for this amazing exercise that will burn the most calories, work the most muscles and be the easiest on ALL the joints of your body. Nothing else allows such an intense metabolic workout along with such serious muscle building and toning as the kettlebell Swing and all its variations.
Nothing else builds work capacity like this most basic approach to opposing gravity and producing force. Nothing else creates so much resistance in the extension position. But there are many roads to Rome.
The type of workout given here is for everyone: The out of shape person who wants to build strength, increase tone and burn serious calories at the same time. The athlete who needs to increase his or her overall work capacity and not beat up his or her body any more than the chosen sport is already doing; The powerlifter that needs to drop some bodyfat but not lose any strength by doing ‘cardio;’ The Girevik that wants to work up to being able to handle the next size up bell but doesn’t know how to approach it.
This approach to increasing workloads and intensity is classic and has stood the test of time in both powerlifting and Olympic lifting. Is it the ‘best’ way to build a solid strength and conditioning foundation? Who knows? How old are you? What are your short-term and long-term goals? Are you a competitive athlete or a desk jockey trying to live as long as possible as strong as possible?
Regardless of the answer this workout should be a stable in your training toolbox, in my opinion—nothing more basic and less invasive on your structure.
What I do know is that this allows the average person to do superhuman workloads and progressively increase their work capacity systematically and with just one workout per week. Hard to beat."—M. R.

2. "The Strong And Fast Running Program"

By Keith Weber, PT, BSc, RKC, CK-FMS

"To preface this training plan, I do have to admit that I love running. It is difficult to describe in words the feeling of freedom, mental clarity, endorphin-infused overwhelming joy, and ultimately peace one can derive from running. Our ability to shed heat quickly via millions of sweat glands and lack of fur, big spring-like Achilles tendons which we share with other running animals, and our uniquely large gluteus muscles compared to other primates are only a few of the anatomical features which imply that we are born to run. 
I realize that in the weight-training community, the term running and/or particularly jogging inevitably conjures up some strong, unsavory images. I myself have many times witnessed the gangs of bagel-munching, spandex-wearing skinny-fat people plodding along the roadside at breakneck speeds of 2.3 mph loaded down with waist-straps containing various sport gels, electrolyte replacements and enough energy bars to live on for a week, endlessly fiddling with the oversized GPS on their wrists, the heart rate monitor around their torsos, and the i-Pod in their sleeves. 
Similarly, at the mention of weight-training many runners envision a large fluorescent-lit room filled with complicated machines, recycled air, and angry, disproportioned men who can barely climb a flight of stairs without supplemental oxygen. This is a shame because these misconceptions act to prevent each group from becoming not only better at their respective pursuits but also ultimately healthier by crossing over and dabbling in each other’s interests a bit.
The bridge across troubled waters exists in the form of Russian Kettlebell training. Bodybuilders can do cardio without the dreaded fear of losing hard-earned muscle while runners can actually gain strength, improve their VO2 maxes, regain flexibility, and develop speed. In my clinical experience as a orthopedic physical therapist who has had the good fortune of treating hundreds of runners, I firmly believe that you can not run to get in shape, you must get in shape to run. To run well you need to be strong or you will doom yourself to perpetual mediocrity and a less than maximal enjoyment of the whole experience.
The following program has been through many stages of evolution over the past several years. My training as an RKC, my clinical observations as a physical therapist, and my own ambitions as a runner have all contributed to the various elements of the plan. Also my dissatisfaction with the similarity and mind-numbing repetitiveness of the various training programs available to runners through conventional publications and various other forums also provided the impetus I needed to formulate this into a user-friendly plan. Most importantly I have tried to make this program extremely challenging yet fun to do because of the infinite variety afforded by training with kettlebells.  
The best part about this program is that I am no longer burdened by the nagging overuse injuries commonly seen in runners, I am continuing to improve my running speed, and the training sessions are short enough that I am able to fit them in before the kids are even out of bed in the morning. The best part is that the training sessions are so varied and fun that I never feel burned out and I look forward to each workout. Another bonus is this type of training will improve your muscularity without adding size—so you not only feel better but look better as well."—K.W.

3. "Getting ‘Back’ Into The Press"

By Karen Smith, Senior RKC

I was in a car accident Dec 26th, 2009, which injured my back. And I had a nagging shoulder injury that has been an issue since the autumn of 2009. I went through physical therapy for shoulder and chiropractic for my shoulder and back, from January until March. I had to pretty much stop most of my training for the 3 months. So in order to get my strength back I started this workout."—K. S.
Note: With the program Karen designed for herself here, she not only reached her recovery goals, but went on to achieve the Iron Maiden Challenge.

4. "Kettlebell Recomposition"

By Delaine Ross, RKC Team Leader

Aimed at:   Fitness Competitors
Goals:   fat loss, defined abs, and cardio stamina
"This workout proves that by using the PTTP protocol of 3-5 reps for 3-5 sets, ladies can lift very heavy and not get bulky."—D. R.

5. "Fighter Workouts for Fat Loss"

By Josh Hillis, RKC II

Audience:   Intermediate and Advanced Fat Loss Clients

6. "Blurring the Line"

By David Whitley, Master RKC

"’What muscle does that work?’
‘What do you do for cardio?’
I frequently tell people who ask these sorts of questions that I do my best to blur the line between the commonly understood ‘modes’ of exercise. The strength training is cardio and the cardio is strength training.
If you don’t understand, just follow the directions below and you will. Over the course of 4 weeks we’ll ramp up and back off. We’ll hit every movement angle possible, work your strength, mobility, your heart and lungs. You’ll be better for it."—D. W.

7. "Sports-Specific Sprint Training"

Thomas Phillips, Senior RKC

"Tyrone Ross came to me as a 29-year old, highly accomplished 400-meter sprinter with aspirations of making it into the Olympics.  I put together this exercise program based mostly on his Functional Movement Screen results. 
If you would like to see how Tyrone is doing now, you can check out the results from the Tactical Strength Challenge where he nailed an EASY 540 lb. deadlift, 22 tactical pull-ups and 133 KB Snatches at a bodyweight of over 200 pounds.  Out of season he is running the 200-meter in under 22 seconds.  We look forward to seeing more great things from Tyrone as he continues to evolve as an athlete."—T. P

8. "Powerful Pistols"

By Brian Copeland, RKC

• Anyone wanting to take their pistols to the next level, The Beast Challenge or even jumping pistols
• Must be able to perform rock bottom pistols
• Increase Pistol strength and control
• Reduce sticking points and perfect your groove
• Turn your legs into a force to be reckoned with
• By focusing on technical proficiency at different heights of the pistol, you will help to eliminate sticking points.
• Using this program, I improved my pistol groove and evened out the strength and technique on both legs
• Took my pistols from a challenging rep with the 53 to a rep each leg with the 88 in a matter of months.
• Took several of my male clients from bodyweight pistols to 62 lbs and females from zero to 44 lbs in a matter of months.
• With my new found control I developed the ability to do jumping pistols, even with weight
Enjoy your newfound Pistol Power!"—B. C.

9. "Fitter, Faster: A 4-Week Program for Motivated Beginners"

Andrea U-Shi Chang, RKC Team Leader

"This workout is geared to the motivated but de-conditioned beginner kettlebeller.  In 4 short weeks, if you follow the steps outlined in the workout, you will see a marked difference in your stamina, endurance and strength.  Coupled with simple dietary adjustments, this workout is guaranteed to get you the results you desire—a fitter and more resilient body, and fast.
With each week, you will find that the progressions gradually add volume so that by the end of the 4th week, the lifter is capable of doing much more that when they started!"—A. C.
The Workouts

10. "Viking Salute Workouts"

By Gus Petersen, RKC

"This is an intense, highly effective full-body workout that burns calories, increases muscular endurance, and translates to meeting real-life physical demands.
The workout is appropriate for intermediate to advanced kettlebell practitioners. It is designed as a blueprint, so you can add or take away elements, personalizing the workout to suit your fitness level and goals."—G. P.
Most of my clients hate Viking Salutes because they are grueling and require the full attention of your mind and body. But if you’re looking for a full-body workout that delivers results and translates to real-world challenges and adventures, look no further. Viking Salutes pay big dividends.

11. "The Skill-Practice Workout"

By Jeff O’Connor, Master RKC

"As a fellow that trains mostly athletes, I tend to avoid ‘workouts’ and ‘programs’ and focus more on skill practice and work capacity. With that in mind, I prefer total body chains that minimize local fatigue and maximize coordination and real life conditioning rather than sets, reps, and weight.
A workout that is based around pushing and pulling is nothing new. I prefer to base them around kettlebell ballistics, Push Presses, and Chin Ups.
Because there are many things that can affect an athlete’s workout that are beyond my control, I prefer the program design that is provided by Pavel’s "ladder to strength". The body naturally tends to work in its own, ever changing intervals and the amount of effort that can be put in a set of five varies so widely that optimal recovery time for an individual is difficult to determine. When factored in with multiple individuals it’s even tougher. In circumstances like mine, where there might be 4 athletes from 3 different schools or sports in the same group, it is nearly impossible. With ladders for a specific time it allows the trainee to self regulate.
With that in mind, one of my favorite strength and conditioning ‘workouts’ is presented here."—J. O’C.

12. "Four Minutes To Fit"

"Modified Tabata Ladders (8 total rounds)"

By Frank Holas, RKC

"This program is an intense cardiovascular interval-training program, based on the work of Japanese sports-scientist, Izumi Tabata, PhD, with Japanese Olympic gold medal speed-skaters. Unlike many high-intensity interval training programs that use rest periods that are longer than their work periods, the "Tabata Protocol" as it has become known, found that superior levels of both aerobic and anaerobic fitness could be achieved when flipping that ratio, specifically, when a protocol of 20 seconds work and 10 seconds of work at 170% of VO2max was used. This was done for eight rounds, totaling four minutes. In that spirit, many programs have sought to use Dr. Tabata’s work-rest protocols and apply that to traditional High Intensity Interval Training. Many have failed. Here’s one that works."—F. H.

13. "Basic Conditioning"

By Court Wing, RKC

"When choosing elements for a workout, picking the main stressor is key and there is no other one that I like as much as the kettlebell Swing and all its variations and progressions.  As background systemic fatigue increases with the duration of the workout, proper Swing form is a good indicator of your athlete's conditioning and current state.  Swing form degradation is a very useful assessment tool and gives you a strong sense of what is reasonable when pursuing intensity.
This is a workout I enjoy running my clients through, new and seasoned, due to the large amount of scalability and variation."—C. W.

14. "Bull Simple Kettlebell Program for Beefy Muscularity,"

By Joe Pavel, RKC II

"’Bull simple.’ Interesting, but what does it mean? Its means: act simple and think simple. It’s a program that doesn’t require a lot of thinking, just a lot of HARD WORK and WILL POWER. I’m talking about the simplest, most effective kettlebell program I’ve ever used. Popeye-like forearms, braided-steel core strength, along with a ripped physique will be yours, if you can take the heat! I personally gained 9 pounds of muscle and lost the same amount of stubborn body fat in 3 weeks! This is after training with kettlebells for 8 months prior to the Russian Kettlebell Challenge Certification at the end of June 2004. I’d trained hard prior to the RKC to pass the Snatch test and to be ready for the grueling weekend to come, but nothing has worked as fast or has been as brutal as the following program. You will need to get your mind focused and ‘be the bell’."—J. C.

15. "When You ‘Only’ Have 20 Minutes!"

By Lauren Brooks, RKC Team Leader

"How many of you have jam-packed days and just can’t seem to find the time to workout?  Especially fitness coaches who spend their days training people.  I’ve seen so many throughout my career that put themselves last.  I have had the privilege of working with many parents, especially new moms! They are generally the most sleep deprived and have the most lack of personal time for themselves.
When you are constantly taking care of babies or small children, it’s really hard to schedule in a workout session.  That is exactly why it’s important to have some solid 15-20 minute, smart and efficient programs to turn to.  In fact, I have personally achieved an incredible amount of success with strength and fat loss by using short, intense workouts.  That’s why I’m not drained for the rest of the day even though I live a very demanding life."—L. B.

16. "Double Whammy"

By Elise Matthews, MS, CSCS, RKC II

Perpetual Motion / Ladder up! – Whole Body

17. "The RKC Deep 6"

By Jon Engum, Master RKC

"The RKC Deep 6 Workout allows the trainee to practice and develop deep skill in all of the basic six RKC lifts, hence the name Deep 6. It consists of three different levels and is appropriate for Kettlebell practitioners of varying levels of conditioning. The RKC Deep 6 will be great practice for people looking to gain muscular endurance such as fighters or for people who would just like to up their conditioning level to have an easier time at the RKC. It can also stressproof the ‘getup’ by practicing it in a pre-fatigued state."—J. E.

18. "The Sissy Test"

By Brad Nelson, Senior RKC

"Audience:   Intermediate/Advanced
Goal:   Fat Loss / Mental Toughness
Weight Selection Women:   12kg intermediate / 16kg advanced
Weight Selection Men:   24kg intermediate / 32kg advanced
Client Results:   Multiple 40,50,60, and 1-70 pound weight loss stories"—B. N.

19. "Kettlebell - Bodyweight Basics"

By Steve Gould, MS, CSCS, RKC

This is a workout designed for all-around fitness using basic single kettlebell drills paired with body weight exercises. Done in its entirety, it is very challenging.  The workout may also been done in sections. That is, Sequence 1 could be done for several cycles for one workout and 2 & 3 on other workout days. The workout, therefore, can be used for anyone, from beginner to the experienced hard-core trainer."—S. G.

20. "The Speed Triple: A Strength Building and Fatigue Management Workout"

By Mark Toomey, Senior RKC

"Like a ride on a stripped down street bike, a workout that provides strength-building mechanics with a cardio rush is sometimes just the ticket to start an early Saturday morning. Imagine the experience of a triple espresso—it starts off warm and soothing, and before you know it, your heart is pounding. The Speed Triple can give you the same rush, without the paper cup or barista."—M. T. 

21. "Multi-User Meltdown"

By Robert Budd, RKC Team Leader, ISSA-CPT

"This is a workout I use with all my clients, whether they are fighters or desk jockeys. Ballistics, grinds, strength and conditioning. Fun times."—R. B.

22. "Simple Strength – An Advanced Routine"

By Oliver Contla, RKC

"These are great exercises that I have used for many years to develop various challenging routines to help those that wanted to take their athletic performance to the next level by getting stronger, faster, increasing their endurance, melting fat and improving their overall fitness levels."—O. C.

23. "Kettlebell Training for Amateur Soccer Players"

By Eric Kenyon RKC

"One of my favorite students is my friend Jen from San Francisco. She is on a
women's Soccer team and one day we decided that I would train her to become a more outstanding player. Jen is already an excellent athlete and has been so all her life. She has been a personal trainer for thirteen years and a serious Jazz, modern, and Tap dancer for about twenty-eight years.
Early in my career as a trainer I knew a guy who grew up in a Soccer family in
Germany and competed in some leagues in the Bay Area. One of his brothers was a professional player on one of the European teams. This lucky man was actually one of my first Kettlebell students and one of the first students I trained using the evil Tabata interval. (He no longer returns my calls.) I learned an awful lot from training this guy and from just picking his brain over a period of years. I also played youth Soccer many years ago, dabbled in high school Soccer and actually played while in the Army a somewhat modified version called ‘Combat Soccer’.
My experience and my researches showed me that Soccer is essentially about very short sprints and rapid changes of direction. Foot speed is everything. I remember reading somewhere that top one-hundred meter sprinters are too slow to play Soccer. They just don’t get up to speed fast enough. Also Soccer players and dancers tend to have proportional weakness in the posterior chain, which leads to injuries of the hamstring and gluteus and other problems.
As I considered these things I kept foremost in my mind that I am not a top Soccer coach and I would best serve my student by keeping things simple and concentrating on excellent general conditioning rather than trying to develop sports specific training. This seemed like good Kettlebell territory to me so this is what I gave Jen.
The results of this training were quick and dramatic. Jen immediately got faster on the field and stronger in every way.
Although Jen is a superb athlete in every way, fast, strong, agile and unstoppable, in the many years I have known her she always had a little softness around her belly. It was kind of cute really and I called it ‘The Cookie Pouch’. Well, when I saw her again after only six weeks of Kettlebell training, the Cookie Pouch had totally disappeared. It was replaced by a very flat and firm waist, which of course was not one of our goals at all. It was a side effect of Kettlebell use, the Swings in particular I believe. In fact as Jen's waist was shrinking she gained a few pounds on the scale. This was all muscle of course, not really visible in one place or the other, she just had a generally firmer look.
"In all, I am very impressed with Jen and the results of her training. I was shown once again that Kettlebells can have a very dramatic and immediate effect, even on someone who is a fitness professional and a very advanced athlete. The simple five drillI Kettlebell session I put together for Jen will serve any Soccer player or similar athlete quite well."—E. K.

24. "The 500 / Naked Warrior Combo"

By Angelo Gala, CSCS, RKC II

This workout is intended for the intermediate- to advanced-trained girevik. This workout focuses on cardiovascular conditioning and strength endurance and can be modified to simulate a competitive fight.
I use this workout as my Saturday morning wakeup at home. I perform the pull-ups by gripping the bathroom door casing with my fingertips. Executed with a 24kg kettlebell, this workout assisted in dropping my body composition 1.5% from 6 - 4.5% with zero diet modifications in just four weeks.
Anything that comes easy is not worth having!"—A. G.

25. "The Walk Series"

By Jeff Larson, RKC

I developed this workout when I realized the need for my students to work on two important positions: The rack and the overhead finish position in the Press and Snatch. We do Get Ups almost every training day. This was for a little change of pace. I call this the WALK SERIES. The circuit takes about 15 minutes. You can do it 1 to 3 times with rest between each series."—J. L. 
26. "Advanced General Conditioning"
By John Heinz, RKC Team Leader
"This is a general conditioning workout focusing on strength endurance, explosiveness, and mobility.  One does not need to have more than a few kettlebells."—J. H.

27. "Flexible Strength: Creating Shoulder Stabilizer Endurance"

By Andrea DuCane, Master RKC

"I designed this workout to increase strength within flexibility. Most people tend to focus on one or the other.
Strength alone is many people’s goal. Some value flexibility above all else. We in the Kettlebell world know the importance of having great strength while maintaining mobility and flexibility. That is the key to great athleticism and long-term health and wellness."—A. D.

28. "The House Of Pain's ‘Advanced Pilates And Yoga With Weights’ Workout"

By Michael House, MS, RKC

"I work in a country club and when promoting my kettlebell business grew tired of hearing members excuses for why they couldn’t attend kettlebell sessions. One of the most common ones was ‘… but I have Yoga/Pilates…’ So, the marketing genius that I am—I stole Andrea DuCane’s ‘Pilates With Weights’ idea and this workout was born.
I find that this is a great workout for myself or anyone else because you are hitting the body and muscles as a complete unit from so many different angles and ranges of motion."—M. H.

29. "Combat Applied Power"

By Taikei Matsushita, RKC II

"I was teaching a Krav Maga class once a week for two months. My twelve students had no access to kettlebells at any other time. Making them work intensely once a week was the only option I had. Four weeks later my students’ punching and kicking power improved and a lady who had been working with 6kg and 8kg kettlebells pressed 12kg.
This is the training program we used."—T. M.

30. "The Trifecta: Short & Sweet"

Dr. Mark Cheng, L.Ac., PhD, Senior RKC

"The ‘Trifecta’ came about as a means of finding a way of practicing the three basic RKC ballistics—Snatch, Clean, and Swing – in a timed fashion. This came after one particular training session in which Pavel had me doing Swings with a 16kg kettlebell for three straight minutes. What seemed like a relatively easy task turned very ugly, very quickly the first time I did it. That training session drove home the importance of being able to explosively move a load with varying intensity over time, much as a fighter has to do in the ring.
This short and sweet regimen has become a favorite of fighters and gyms everywhere and for good reason. The Snatch mimics the full-body explosiveness of an assault, especially that of striking. The Clean develops the body’s ability to maneuver in tight spaces and quickly achieve a defensive or clinch position. The Swing taxes the cardiovascular endurance without relying on a high-technique lift and develops the powerful hip snap needed for both striking and grappling arts.
The combination of these three lifts, done over three minutes, gives the girevik the perfect minimalist workout. Thus, I named it the Trifecta."—M. C.

31. "Trial By 5’s: Full Body Ladder"

By Dr. Kristann Heinz, MD, RKC

"Goal:  This is a full body, cardio-conditioning workout performed at 80% total work capacity. It hits all the main muscle groups and works the posterior and anterior muscle chains, strengthens the core and is a great cardio workout. This works well in a group setting to provide excellent GPP."—K. H.

32. "The Revolution Fat Blast Workout"

By Franz Snideman, Senior RKC and Yoana Teran, RKC Team Leader

This workout is designed to give the victim a full body training session, which thoroughly taxes all systems of the body. For the person who is pressed for time and only has 30 minutes or less to train, this is the perfect training method."—F. S. and Y. T.

33. "Noble Iron Burpees"

By Patrick Jernigan, RKC II

"This workout is a very simple conditioning drill I use with my fighters. It builds great strength endurance and can be scaled to pretty much any fitness level—from intermediate to advanced."—P. J.

34. "The Mini-TSC"

By Steve Freides, RKC Team Leader

"My favorite workout can be used for active recovery days in the midst of a tough program like the ‘Rite of Passage’ from Enter The Kettlebell or it can serve as the focus of its own training cycle.  It's based on the Tactical Strength Challenge, a three-event competition designed to test all-around strength and conditioning, so it's well suited for anyone who wants to "have it all" in their training."—S. F.

35. "Simple Strength"

Tim Anderson, RKC II

"This simple progression plan is designed to deliver steady gains in strength and conditioning for a well-built body."—T. A.

36. "100 Turkish Get Ups"

By Jordan Vezina, RKC

"A while back I was on the instructor forum when I saw a post regarding Senior RKC Doug Nepodal doing 45 minutes of Get Ups with the 24 kg, switching hands each repetition. I thought on this for a while, and then did it myself. I went for 59:48 and completed 100 Get Ups mostly on the 24 kg. I briefly switched over to the 32 kg, then thought better of it. The goal is to finish the workout, not get another hole punched on my emergency room frequent visitor card to get that free knife set.
Upon finishing I came to the realization that this was not a ‘stunt’ it was ‘training’. From that point on I began doing this workout once a week to varying degrees.
My use of high volume Get Ups has been met with criticism by some who don’t understand why I would ‘want’ to do that many Get Ups. I really don’t ‘want’ to do anything but sit on the couch watching re-runs of 24 and drinking Red Bull cola, but this is training. I do what I know will have an effect on moving me closer to my goals. One’s desire to be entertained and the need for training are two vastly different things.
I have also found this method to be effective for those trying to get their RKC Snatch test as it teaches you to be patient under the bell, and accept the time and workload. In doing the Turkish Get Up for higher repetitions I am performing a whole body lift that as time goes on crosses the border into conditioning as well, and I assure you that my strength is none the worse for it"—J. V.

37. "Time-Efficient Kettlebell Training"

By Geoff Neupert, Master RKC

"Sometimes, life gets in the way of training.
Maybe you’re a new parent. Maybe you have a new job (or an old one that makes you wish you had a new one). Maybe you have an illness in the family that requires much of your spare time.
Regardless, your training takes a back seat to your life.
If you’re not careful, you’ll quickly be 20 pounds lighter (or heavier) with a nasty case of ‘man-boobs’ or ‘thunder-thighs’.
But you need to blow off some steam and still get the energy you so desperately need from working out.
What can you do in such a limited time?"—G. N.
Note: discover the answer to Geoff’s question on page 167…

38. "The Nietzsche Combo"

By Dustin Rippetoe, RKC Team Leader

The name of this workout comes from a famous paraphrased quote of Friedrich Nietzsche: ‘What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.'  I can’t take credit for the name. That honor goes to one of my experienced clients who gave it this epitaph. She thought I was taking it easy on her upon first description…her impression changed about minute three. While you will be not be panting at the end of a Nietzsche Session it will give you ample opportunity to "stare into the Abyss…" and hone your essential Kettlebell skills.
"—D. R.

39. "Fighter’s Burn"

By Paul Daniels, RKC Team Leader

"This workout is designed to push both transitional endurance strength conditioning as well as explosive strength conditioning."—P. D.

40. "Fast and Furious"

By Keira Newton, Senior RKC

"This particular workout is designed for athletes who need to work (produce force) under conditions with very high heart rates. This program will help train their bodies to adapt to that situation."—K. N.

41. "In, Out, Done."

By Shaun Cairns, Senior RKC

"This workout is simple yet brutal.  It can be done in a very short period of time and provides maximal levels of fitness for the user."—S. C.

42. "The Furnace"

By Iron Tamer Dave Whitley, Master RKC

"This one got its name from my class because of its ability to raise the temperature of a chilly room during a group workout."—D. W.

43. "Sunday Swings"

By Chris Holder, RKC Team Leader

The name of this workout is not the most original or creative venture I have been a part of, but the routine itself has produced a very significant effect. In 2006 I was named Strength and Conditioning Coach for the San Jose State Spartan football team. As for any strength coach, my responsibilities include the conditioning of our football team. The problem that I encountered was that we are a program that believes in ‘saving their legs for Saturdays’ and we did little to no formal running once our season began. My guys spent an entire summer killing themselves for me and now we our primary fitness came in the form of random periods during practice where we would amp up the intensity and force the kids to ‘go at game speed’ for various drills. Anyone who has been around structured athletics programs knows that three or four minute spurts, six or seven times a day does not equal the type of pace or intensity that a Division I football player will encounter over a 60 minute game.
My dilemma was to maintain, or improve, the conditioning of my team, throughout an entire football season, without running them. The natural answer was to create an intense, short, kettlebell routine that would spike their heart rates and push them, physically, so that we could keep the intensity through the roof in an economical amount of time. We practice Tuesdays-Fridays in preparation for our games. Mondays are the mandatory off day for the kids, Saturdays are game day, and Sundays are for film watching. I am given about 30 minutes to get the cobwebs off from Saturday and to work on fitness. The intention of our ‘lift’ is to get them in, get them moving, and get the garbage that has built up from Saturday’s contest out of their bodies. Sunday Swings was born.
We have used this routine now for three years with massive success. It’s not easy keeping these guys in top shape but with this routine, we can stay ahead of the curve."—C. H.
How Prepare For and Pass The RKC

By Brett Jones Master RKC, CSCS
"Over the past 9+ years I have been involved in the RKC program and have seen many certification attendees come through the three days that make up the RKC experience. My goal in this article is to provide you—the RKC hopeful—with a template that will have you prepared for the RKC. This is important because it is a physically demanding weekend where you must still learn large amounts of technique, corrections and principles. If your body is not up to the challenge then you will not learn effectively. And that just will not do!"—B. J.  
Read Reviews For: The RKC Book of Strength and Conditioning (eBook)
8.38 out of 10 (26 reviews)
Rated 10/10 An Incredible Reference!
By Adrienne Harvey / Winter Park, FL, USA

Sometimes in the RKC you will hear people talk about "standing on the shoulders of giants." This book could be described as a handy one-stop collection of "giants' shoulders." I found that nearly every fitness goal or challenge my clients or myself may encounter is represented here, with a workout or a full-fledged program from people I trust, respect and honestly - really like! I will be using the RKC Book of Strength and Conditioning as a reference for a VERY long time, if not technically forever.

A few of the workouts may be familiar, including David Whitley's Furnace which has been a favorite of mine and a real game changer for clients who have been struggling to learn the intricacies of the get up. But there are others which I have never seen before, and plenty that have really sparked my imagination. At the very least, for those days when you just don't know what to do, or have just completed another program, then this book is there, handy with so much to choose from, and it's all great stuff. This collection is also an ideal way to learn program design by example - the why, when, and how of each section is explained. Again, a great resource, I can only hope for a sequel down the road!

Rated 10/10 Fantastic!
By Scott Iardella, MPT, CSCS, CISSN, RKCII, CK-FMS / Parkland, FL, USA

This may be the definitive book on kettlebell programming. Provides an outstanding collection of different programs for all levels by some of the top trainers in the RKC community. What more could you ask for?

This is a great resource for beginners or advanced, as there's something in there for everyone. Really awesome programs from smart, passionate people who know what effective programming is all about. You'll get lots of training insight and a wealth of programming knowledge for yourself and for your clients.

A really fantastic resource to refer to again and again. And, a "must have" for your programming archives.
Getting this one is really a no-brainer. Cheers!

Rated 10/10 Extremely useful knowledge, packed in a book
By Norbert Matausch / Landshut, Germany

I ordered "The RKC Book of Strength and Conditioning" ebook three weeks ago. Since them, I've been incorporating the "Bull simple kettlebell program", and it works like crazy! I'll stay on it for seven more weeks, then I'm going to switch to another program.

As instructor for a reality-based self-defense system (Rich Dimitri's Senshido), I can say that the workouts described in the book are absolutely useful for real-life strength. Yesterday, I went through the "bull simple program" with my students. One of them is a free-runner with lots of strength. He couldn't believe it that 30 minutes of intense kettlebell training wiped him out.

Bottom line: Buy this book.
And buy the Convict Conditioning books.
Both books combined are the way to extraordinary strength and endurance.

Great stuff!

Rated 8/10 Great advanced and specialized routines
By Charles Brown / Topsfield, MA, USA

The RKC book of strength has a plethora of not only specific routines, but great templates and ideas to serve a variety of needs. There are a great span of work out plans that fit a wide range of exercise goals. Also, it is a great book to see other peoples take on routine building.

Rated 10/10 Good examples of ketlebell routines!
By Dave H. / Branson Mo, USA

Lots of choices in this book. With all the online examples of how to do the exercise no challenge is going to excape one who is interested in trying any of the routines. A good source of variety that one can try. I have started with Reikind"s swing agenda. I know that the swing is the king and am enjoying the program. Worth the price.

Rated 10/10 The Best!
By Scott Lyons / Edmonton, Canada

This book is a must have for anybody interested in taking their kettlebell training to the next level!

Rated 7/10 Good Book
By Luke Eklund / Melbourne, Australia

The book is a good read and the programs state which fitness level they should be applied to so that gives a good guide. What I did not particularly like was the layout and I found some of them difficult to see the actual program in the writing that some of them had done.

Only beef with the book would be the layout could have been better. The information is very good.

Rated 10/10 Love the variety
By LB Sorensen / Clovis, NM, United States

Loads of experts giving their best in programs. Great reference.

Rated 5/10 Some quality, mostly filler
By Pól Ó Breasláin / Sydney, Australia

Some real quality information in here but a lot if it seemed like filler to me. I've read all of Pavel's work, Dan John, Geoff Neupert's too and this really doesn't come close to any of their products. The article from Brett Jones about preparing for the RKC is outdated now that it uses single bells and I honestly thought that they'd have updated it from the version that is freely available on the web. Disappointing to say the least. I was expecting so much more from this.

Rated 8/10 overall, very good
By Richard Weaver / Marlow, UK

This book achieves what it sets out to. It presents an interesting variety of programmes which are all highly usable. It is motivating and inspiring to read ideas from the RKC experts, particularly sports-specific case examples. The programmes presented are great to use either completely as they are, or to pick-and-mix, or just for great concepts to incorporate in general. For example, the specific weight suggestions and rep numbers were a real help and an eye-opener. You can test out each programme and the sessions come alive. The volume of this material is huge.

It is written very well with expert technical detail but always with the 'voice' of the trainer loud and clear - in all chapters distinctive, entertaining, inspiring. Even/especially in the minimalist chapters - the session says it all: 25 swings...1 burpee... 24 swings... 2 burpees... I enjoyed that one. Ouch! Nice to hear from very mad people like this. Of the sessions I have tried so far all have been seriously hardcore. A GOOD thing.

The layout and format of the book works well - especially for an ebook. However, hopefully the publishers can look at the following constructive points below:

Some of the programme descriptions could have been broken down or edited a little more carefully. Although also, some were excellent in this regard. Where exercises photos were included, i thought a lot more sequential photos would help. In some cases the captions to the photos were confusing or even looked wrong.

These minor negatives were outweighed by the positives of having so many concrete ideas of proven workouts, and so much personality coming through the writing style of the different trainer authors. Well done on a great product. Any future versions would be great if it had even more sports-specific ideas: golf, tennis, more sprinting ones.

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8.29 out of 10 (26 reviews)