Wednesday, January 10, 2007

The Green Ghost's Guide To Kettlebells with The Westside Method

This is from an old post by Eddie Kowacz, a former Marine, and SWAT member. It is part of a much larger grouping of posts from the old Dragondoor forum. It is a specific, but open ended format to apply Westside principles to Kettlebell exercises. This is solid stuff. Thanks Eddie!

For Max Effort Snatches ( Swing / Dead ) I have found that you can throw Prilepins Intensity chart right out the window since you can go ( and should ) to the "well" more often in the 90+ range since the training is unilateral and of course, it's a compound movement. When I establised a 1 rep max of 120/120 I found that using a training weight of 100 lbs, which is just under 85% I could do 2 ME days a week for 6 months without comprimising my training cycle. Of course, I would rotate the volume every ME day but I always stayed with 3s or 5s for reps and never went over 10 sets. I remember doing 10 sets of 3/3 using 100 lbs. with a 60 second rest between sets and wondering whether the next day I would be sore and able to complete my L/C Dead C+P training. The soreness never came. Every 3-5 weeks or so I would throw in a singles session using 110 for about 5 singles per side. Feel free to do a 10x3/3 or 5x5/5 using similar percentages. Training in the 85% range should keep you in striking distance of 120+ provided that the rest of your program isn't overburdened with movements that are redundant. Rest time between sets is a very important training variable. No need to start off with a 60 second rest break between sets. Feel free to use 2-3 minutes and simply decrease the time as needed if ever.

For Dynamic Effort/General Physical Prepardness Day: I have found that using the 70 lber is more than adequate. I like to combine the 2, DE/GPP and it has worked out well for me. Reps were always either 3-5 and sets went to 10 and sometimes more. As with the ME day, time of rest between sets was a important factor. Depending how I felt it was either 60s,45s,or 30 seconds rest between sets. I have found 15 seconds rest to be too harsh and I felt a little sluggish after testing it out.
Start with 10 sets of 3/3 and a 60 second rest break between sets and adjust as nedded. The most imporatant rule with this training day is,all reps MUST be done in an explosive manner! Don't sacrifice Speed for GPP.
The GPP is a secondary effect with this training, not the primary. Don't be afraid to experiment with the rest times and if you find that you're starting to slow down when executing the snatches then terminate the training session and make the necessary adjustments.
Give Dead Snatches a try with this Dynamic day. I feel that they are a much underated movement.

When I did my 6 month training cycle which consisted of the following 3 movements: ME + DE Snatches, 2 KB Long Cycle Dead Clean + Presses and Deadlifts, I never had a backoff week due to the following reasons:
1. The Deadlift percentages rarely exceeded 85% and I paid close attention to Prilepins intensity chart as far as reps were concerned. Most of the time the DLs were in the 80% range and they were done strictly for maint. reasons.
2. The L/C Dead Clean + Presses were done using mostly the 70s and 53s, for example: ( 10 sets of 5 reps with 70s with a 60 sec. break ) and a similar
set/rep scheme with the 53s but with either a 45 or 30 second rest break.
Once every 3-5 weeks I used either 2 75s or 2 80s ( duct tape ) and did triples for 5-10 sets using a 2 minute rest break in the case of the 80s.
I rotated the set/rep scheme along with the time of rest between sets weekly.
This is the only place in my training that I backed off. They were backoff workouts not backoff weeks.
3. As stated in my other post,when doing ME snatches ( 1 arm ) I ignore Prilepins Chart because I have found that over the last few years that the 85+ percentage range can be more than doubled per side without any ill effects.
You asked: Have you ever done DLs and Snatches in the same workout, or would performing them on seperate days be better?
I've done it both ways. Sometimes I would do Speed DLs first as a warmup using between 50-65% of max and after a brief rest I would do either 100 lb Swing Snatches for 3 sets of 3/3, or 5 singles with 105 or 3 with 110, per arm. I used the same method but switched the order when I did 80-85% DLs.
First I would warmup using the 70 kb for Swing Snatches and then I would proceed with the DL pulls. Since I was doing the C+Ps in the same cycle I considered it the more efficent training approach. If you're not doing C+Ps feel free to use alternate days and by all means experiment.
BTW, when I do the L/C Dead Clean+Presses I always place the bells on the outside of my body/feet as in the trap bar DL. Totally different pulling action and a KEY factor in limiting redundancy in my training.
Don't forget to train the abs! 3-5 times a week.
A. S. Prilepin’s Research in 1974, his recommendations were as follow.

Percent # of Reps per Set Lifts Per Workout Optimal # per Workout
70% 3-6 12-24 18
80% 2-4 10-20 15
90% 1-2 4-10 7

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