Some workout programs are designed for one purpose: building muscle. There’s plenty to love in those heavyweight splits, but unless you’re planning to commit to a long-haul bodybuilding plan, your day-to-day training might be a bit less active than you’d like. You can introduce some more variation to your workouts by focusing on other training goals.
Look and feel great (and move like an athlete) by building explosive strength and speed instead. This program from kettlebell expert Marcus Martinez, C.S.C.S., which you can swap into your training plan for a whole 31-day period, is all about challenging to you perform your best.
Best of all, you only need one kettlebell for the whole month of training.
Directions: Do this workout 4 days a week. Rest 1 day between sessions. On rest days, take a 20-minute walk, run, or bike ride. Use a medium-weight kettlebell.
Do these 2 movements as a circuit, with no rest between sets. Do 3 sets.
Chest-Supported Good Morning
Why: Warms up your hamstrings, arms, shoulders, and lower back.
Stand with a kettlebell held at your chest, feet shoulder width apart. Bend your knees slightly, then push your butt back and hinge at your hips, lowering your torso toward the floor. Stop when you feel your hamstrings tighten (making sure your shoulders stay above your hips). Pause. Stand up, squeezing your glutes. That’s 1 rep; do reps for 20 seconds
Why: Builds forearm and shoulder strength.
Hold the kettlebell at your left shoulder, with the bell facing the ceiling and your forearm perpendicular to the floor. Without letting the bell tip, march, driving your left knee high first, then your right knee. Alternate march steps for 20 seconds. Switch hands and repeat.
Strength Circuit 1
Do 3 sets of this circuit. Rest 45 seconds between moves, 90 seconds after each set.
1. Dead-Stop Swing
Why: Builds the leg power to run and jump.
Stand behind a kettlebell. Hinge forward and grasp the bell with both hands, tilting it toward you. Pull the bell back between your legs. Explosively stand and squeeze your glutes, driving the bell in front of you. Let its momentum take it back between your legs, then control it back to the floor. That’s 1 rep; do 8 to 10.
2. Split Jerk
Why: Trains total-body balance, explosive power, and shoulder strength.
Start standing, core and glutes tight, a kettlebell held at your right shoulder in the rack position. Bend at the knees and hips slightly, then explode upward, jumping and driving the bell overhead as you do. Land with your left foot in front of you and your right foot behind you. Return to the start. That’s 1 rep; do 8 to 10 per side.
Strength Circuit 2
Do 3 sets of this circuit. Rest 45 seconds between exercises, 90 seconds after each set.
3. Racked Reverse Lunge
Why: Builds the quad and hamstring power to stand, climb steps, and jump.
Stand holding a kettlebell at your right shoulder. Step back with your right leg, then bend at the knees, lowering into a lunge. When your left thigh is parallel to the floor, pause. Stand explosively. That’s 1 rep; do 8 to 10 per side.
4. Staggered-Stance Deadlift
Why: Builds glute and hamstring strength and bulletproofs your back.
Stand holding a kettlebell in your right hand, core tight. Step back slightly with your right foot, elevating your right heel and shifting your weight to your left foot. Push your butt back and hinge forward, lowering your torso. Stop before your back rounds, keeping your shoulders parallel to the floor. Stand, squeezing your glutes. That’s 1 rep; do 8 to 10 per side.
Do these 2 movements back-to-back with no rest between sets. Do as many sets as you can in 5 minutes
5. Figure 8 to Hold
Why: Builds rotational power.
Hold a kettlebell in your left hand. Keeping your back straight, push your butt back slightly and pass the bell through your legs to your right hand. As it travels through, stand tall and pull the bell to your left hand at your chest. Repeat on the other side. That’s 1 rep; do 3 sets of 10.
6. Kettlebell Clean
Why: Trains your body to pick things up from the floor.
Stand over a kettlebell, feet shoulder width apart. Bend your knees, push your butt back, and grasp the bell with both hands. Explosively stand (you may drive onto your toes as you do so), pulling the bell upward and keeping it close to your body. “Catch” it at your shoulders. Lower it to your hips, then to the floor. That’s 1 rep; do 3 sets of 8.
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