Kettlebell timed sets

I started my pursuit of 200 snatches in 10mins tonight. As well as practicing snatching at a 20RPM pace I plan to simply get a kettlebell overhead a lot using the timed set approach currently advocated by Britt Buckingham (

The main difference between this and girevoy sport style timed sets is the number of hand switches. The grip is usually the weak link in these sets so by increasing the number of hand switches you can continue lifting for longer.

This style of lifting will hopefully help give my the strength and work capacity needed to snatch quickly for 10mins straight.

Warm up:
Joint mobility
16kg H2H swing – 20

The timed set:
16kg snatch – 4mins, 30sR/30sL, 15RPM = 30R/30L (960kg)
2mins rest
16kg snatch – 4mins, 30sR/30sL, 15RPM = 30R/30L (960kg)
2mins rest
20kg swing/jerk* – 2mins, 30sR/30sL, 32RPM/14RPM = 16R/16L/7R/7L (920kg)
1min rest
20kg swing/jerk – 2mins, 30sR/30sL, 32RPM/14RPM = 16R/16L/7R/7L (920kg)

Time = 17mins (3,760kg)

Warm down:
Prasara yoga – wind x 2 each way, ocean x 1 each way

The timed sets also allow a lot of weight to be lifted in relatively little time, even with quite a bit of rest like tonight.

To translate the workout log:

16kg snatch – 4mins, 30sR/30sL, 15RPM = 30R/30L (960kg)

This means I snatched a 16kg kettlebell for four minutes, switching hands every 30 seconds and at a 15RPM pace. Total reps were 30R/30L and 960kg lifted.

*swing jerk combo: swing R/L then jerk R/L


What is bouldering?

For the last month I have been going bouldering on a Monday night. I wanted to learn a new skill and am very glad I chose this one, it's been great so far. I am no where near experienced enough to give any technique tips but wanted to write something giving a very basic??overview of the sport and my top three reasons why you should give it a go.
Bouldering is a style of climbing, done to relatively low heights. The different climbs available are called problems and are graded from V0 (easy) to V15 (heroes only).
When bouldering indoors the problems are colour coded. The wall will be covered in various coloured holds and??for each colour the hold nearest the floor will have a tag telling you the grade of that particular problem. You then climb up only using the holds of that colour until you reach the top.
So, what's so good about it?
1. It's accessible
Ok, you need a bouldering wall but apart from that it's near instantly accessible. I had one induction class to learn how it all works and a few basic techniques. That was all I needed to be able to use the facility independently. As you are only climbing to a low height no ropes, harnesses or additional safety equipment??are required. The problems are no more than 10 feet high so even when your hands reach the top, your feet are no more than 4 feet from the floor which isn't too far.??There are also massive crash mats if you fall.
2. It's exercise for your brain too
Bouldering requires you to be strong, explosive and flexible all at once -??it is great all round exercise for your body but you also have to think. The climbs are called 'problems' for a reason and as you progress through the grades (I still get stuck on V2s) it becomes less obvious how to get up a climb.??Sometimes I can't complete a problem because I'm physically unable but often it's because I can't work it out. You really have to think them through which adds a mental challenge to the physical one. It also adds to the satisfaction of completing a problem that's been bugging you for a while.
3. It's fun
There is something child-like and playful about climbing up things. It's just fun, and that is something that doesn't feature enough in a lot of fitness activities. Trips to the gym, running, cycling etc can easily feel like work and drudgery.
The importance of play shouldn't be underestimated. The main thing is to move more, if you can find a way that you enjoy you are far more likely to keep it up.

Kettlebells and grip

I’ve had a bit of a rest this week, I still went bouldering on Monday but stayed away from lifting stuff. I went to a bikram yoga class wife my wife on Thursday but that has been it. It was good to do something different, and a great choice for a rest(ish) week.

I was back at it today though with some kettlebell and grip work. I plan to do more of this style kettlebell work (high volume, little/no rest) as I work towards higher snatch numbers. I’m also going to start recording the amount of weight I shift in these lifts, it’s another good measure of progress and demonstrates the large amount of work you can get done when lifting moderate weights for high volume.

Joint mobility

16kg KB OA swing/OAJ – 15R/15L/8R/8L x 5 no rest (3,680kg)

Pony clamp pinch – 3 x 5R/5L
Powergrip 150, crush holds – 4 x 30secR/30secL
DB front lever, 6.5kg – 2 x 8R/8L
DB back lever, 4kg – 8R/8L, 8R/6L
Lifts with softball tool*, 8.5kg – 10secR/L, 10.5kg – 10secR/L

6kg powerclub – 20R/20L x 5 no rest (1,200kg)


Lifting for time – volume

I had a hellish day at work today. High rep snatches were not going to cut the mustard – I needed a different type of stimulation so gave myself this beasting.

The numbers aren’t that great (especially deadlift weight and reps). It was just what I needed though – volume. I’ll focus on snatching in earnest after next week’s rest. Joint mobility
16kg KB TGU/windmill combo – 3R/3L (alt sides)

L-sit/tuck planche/press to shoulder stand – 2,2,2

24kg KB OA jerk – as many in 5mins = 25R/25L
Rest 2 1/2 minutes
64kg deadlift – as many in 5mins = 31

Gymnastics, squatting & grip

The handstand is very close. I’m getting holds of a couple seconds close to the wall but not touching it at any point.

Joint mobility 16kg KB snatch – 10R/10L

HS practice – 5mins Tuck planche – 5 x 5sec Adv tuck back lever – 5 x 12sec Adv tuck front lever – 5 x 12sec

Bulgarian split squat, 16kg – 8R/8L, 20kg – 8R/8L, 8R/8L
In breaks, card tearing – 14 1/4, 18 1/4

Plate curl, 8kg – 6R/6L,6R/6L Two hand pinch, 41.5kg – 4 x 10sec
Fat towel bar chin ups – 4,4*
Towel pull ups – 5,5

*I wrapped a towel round the bar and did chin ups. It makes the bar very thick and also rotates and slips, very tough on the grip.

I’ve got a few things on next week which will keep me from lifting stuff. I’ll keep the volume high for the rest of the week as I have additional rest time to recuperate.

Snatch and grip

Back at the snatches tonight. They felt good, it’s a fun lift.

Joint mobility
L-sit/tuck planche/press to shoulder stand – 1,1,1,1,1

16kg KB snatch – 5mins, 15RPM, switch every 10 reps, 2 rounds, 2min rest – 35L/35R, 35R/30L
20kg KB OA swing – 20R/20L,15R/15L,10R/10L

DB front lever, 6kg – 8R/8L,8R/6L
DB back lever, 3.5kg – 6R/6L,6R/6L
DB side lever, 3kg – 6R/6L,6R/6L