Barb, Aaron, and I program our workouts together, and I would like to share what goes into our planning. This explanation should help you to understand how the weekly classes are structured so you can derive the most benefit from them.
Every kettlebell classes contains the basic movement patterns: push, pull, lunge, squat, and swing (hinge). This is to establish a broad base of movement skill, which is important for health and fitness.
Each month, a particular skill is highlighted for special attention. Depending on the month, we focus on the swing, snatch, squat/lunge, press, clean, or Turkish Get-up. We spend extra time performing drills to improve skill in the chosen exercise and, of course, include working sets of the exercise in class. The last week of each month, we provide an opportunity to test our skill and strength in that exercise. This is typically when people establish or attempt to exceed a personal record (PR).
Each week is divided into medium, heavy, and light days. Research shows that alternating intensity levels produces better results than exercising with the same intensity every session. It also supports the spectrum of fitness goals, from pure strength, to fat loss and muscle growth, to strength endurance. The standard program is to do one medium, one heavy, and one light session each week.
Mondays and Tuesdays are medium days. The focus is on a blend of strength and endurance, as well as building skill. Exercises are performed with moderately heavy weight for 8-10 total repetitions per set. Additionally, an 8-10 minute interval training bout is typically included for cardiovascular and metabolic conditioning.
Wednesdays and Thursdays are heavy days. The focus is purely on strength and, provided safe and efficient technique is being used, the intensity (amount of weight being used) is valued over the total amount of work being done. Exercises are performed with heavier weights for 5 or fewer repetitions per set. Rest periods between sets are a must, because the energy system that fuels this intensity needs time to be replenished.
Fridays and Saturdays are light (and fast) days. Typically, work and rest periods are timed, and repetitions are 10 or more per set. Focus is on achieving and maintaining perfect form, raising your heart rate, and increasing your stamina. It’s hard work even though the weight is light. This type of training also supports excellent blood circulation (for recovery) and joint health.
I hope this explanation helps everyone understand the overall plan a bit better.
We are going to use this blog to post kettlebell class workouts in advance. This way, you know what’s coming and can prepare for it!