I love kettlebells. I really do. The thing is, when I’m training, or training someone else, it’s more often than not lacking a significant time frame. It’s really not that uncommon to only get 30 minutes or less to get in a solid workout in.
Well, a kettlebell complex is pretty much top of my go-to list in that situation. Firstly, let’s face it, kettlebells are incredibly versatile. They are pretty easy to travel with and require very little space to get a solid training session in. With it, it’s so easy to bust out a kettlebell complex and be done in no time at all and finish feeling unstoppable.
For those who don’t know, a kettlebell complex is a sequence of exercises performed one after the other with no rest until all the prescribed exercises in the complex are done. While they can be used for strength, the primary reason to utilize complexes is as an incredible form of metabolic conditioning.
The exercises, when performed back-to-back, work multiple muscle groups and energy systems at the same time all whist your heart, lungs and breathing are all soaring.
Now, a kettlebell complex is pretty nasty. They look fun on paper. They look fun when you see someone else doing one, but when it’s time for you to pick up the bells for your first one, its hell. It’s a kick in the teeth, incredibly intense way of training. This kind of training, as I’m sure you know by now, is the kind I love.
It’s the kind of training that not only builds physical qualities, muscles and fat-loss, but mental qualities as well. Mental qualities like toughness, grit, determination and grind. Complexes truly are a remarkable way of training. Brutally efficient with huge amounts of prolonged calorie burning effects. As the title as this article states, Kettlebell Complexes are good for your soul!
Kettlebell Complex One
This first complex is admittedly not mine. But, all credit goes out to its creator Dan John. In his words:
“Armour Building, is not hypertrophy, per se, but rather, a hardening and toughening of the flesh with the expected accompaniment of strength”
The complex is pretty simple on paper and with the low reps, be sure to bust out the heavy kettlebells.
1a. Double kettlebell clean x 2
1b. Double Kettlebell Press x 1
1c. Double Kettlebell Squat x 3
Work through 10 quality rounds with a real focus on form.
Kettlebell Complex Two
The first complex required the use of two kettlebells. This second complex is using a single bell.
1a. Two-Hand Swing x 8
1b. Single-Arm Swing x 6
1c. Single-Arm Push-Press x 4
1d. Front Squat x 2
Run through the complex the first time using just your left hand on parts b, c and d. The next time you run through the complex use just your right hand on all the single-arm parts.
Work up to 10 total rounds, which is five complexes per side. If 10 rounds is too much of an undertaking, make sure you work both sides evenly, however many rounds you end up doing.
Kettlebell Complex Three
Soooo Much Tension
This complex requires a little walking space and a lot of heart.
1a. Double Kettlebell Front Squat x 5
1b. Double Kettlebell Walking Lunge x 5 steps each leg
1c. Farmers Walk back to starting position
If you are looking to get into fight shape, torch fat or just bust out a brutal, quick workout, look no further than kettlebell complexes.
As always, get stronger and get tougher!
Gene Kelly sang about singing in the rain. Me, I've been swinging in the rain, and what a glorious feeing it was! Training doesn't need complexity. It certainly doesn't need to be elaborate in order to be effective. Keep showing up. Keep pushing the pace. Keep putting in the work. The methods maybe simple, but simplicity, commitment and intensity trump the elusive search for the "perfect" plan each and every time.