noun “a fundamental, primary, or general law or truth from which others are derived”
noun “a procedure, technique, or way of doing something, especially in accordance with a definite plan
When we want to use the kettlebell to build strength and fitness, adhering to principles is super important.
Here are 6 that we teach and coach.
1. Strength is a skill
Muscles generate force by tensing. The tenser your muscles are, the more strength you display and build.
We approach our training as a “practice” not a “workout”, and emphasise the technical performance of each exercise.
If you make the effort to turn up, why not perform the exercise to your highest capability and get maximum benefit and results?
2. Avoid muscular failure
When you take your muscles to failure, the quality of your work drops. Muscle co-ordination is lost, sets have to end earlier, weights have to be reduced.
For optimal strength gain, stop when you have done around 70-80% of what you could have done.
For many this one seems counter intuitive and is extremely difficult for exercise junkies who chase fatigue and soreness!
But the results don’t lie. If you want to get stronger, stop your sets earlier, keep a few reps in the tank and move more total tonnage each session!
3. Cycle intensity
Intensity is generally referred to as the weight you are using, but it can also mean the over all intensity of the session. (Think tons of snatches burpees) It’s not a good idea to train at high intensities every workout, this can lead to burn out or injury.
So we cycle the intensity through the heavy – light – medium approach.
Heavy is an all out effort. Light is a 50-60% of what you could have done, medium is a 75% effort.
If you are wondering why you can’t seem to get any stronger or fitter, this is probably the reason.
Cycling the intensity like this allows the body to adapt and recover.
4. Quality over quantity
This one leads on and ties in with the two previous principles. When fatigue kicks in, you are better off setting the weight down or stopping and resting.
Getting loose with your form, often means you are now using the wrong muscles to perform the work, you’ve lost the pattern and are using momentum and body english. Range of motion and alignment is lost and the potential for injury is raised.
Its better to bank 5 good reps, than 10 shit ones!
5. Train patterns not individual muscles
Kettlebell exercises like clean and press, Turkish get up and snatches train 70% or more of the muscular system.
When we abide by the above principles, we can perform these exercises more frequently, and that leads to better over all strength and conditioning development.
Rather than train individual muscles once per week like a body builder would do.
6. SAID principle
SAID stands for Specific Adaption to Imposed Demands.
This means that exercising should be progressive.
Over time in order to develop strength, fitness, muscle, endurance etc, you must progressively lift heavier, do more total work or the same amount of work in less time.
If you lift the same weight, or run the same distance each time you train, your results will be poor and that will lead to demotivation.
Apply these principles into your training and you’ll make much faster progress in your health and fitness development.