Flash back to early 2009 –
It’s early Monday morning … I’m on a return flight from Minnesota to California … I’ve survived the RKC weekend and am officially certified! I’m more excited about kettlebell training than I’ve ever been … my head is overflowing with kettlebell knowledge and I’m ready to conquer the world …
The RKC Grad Workout
Later that day I returned to my facility to work with a few private clients and lead a couple of boot camp classes. And I quickly realized that I still had a lot to learn about teaching kettlebells … particularly in a group setting.
Over the last 3.5 years, I’ve continued to learn more about kettlebells every day through written and video instructon … I completed my level 2 RKC certification last year … I’ve attended multiple other kettlebell workshops and events … and I’ve personally led about 15 kettlebell-based boot camps per week in that same time frame. Moral of the story is that through these experiences, I’ve learned a lot about what works and what doesn’t in a kettlebell boot camp setting … so whether you’re training with KB’s by yourself at home, or you’re a current/inspiring boot camp instructor, I’m confident that the kettlebell boot camp workout “best practices” in this article will help you get better results!
Kettlebell Boot Camp Workout Ideas
1. Choose your kettlebell exercises carefully
Especially if you’re dealing with folks at different ability levels, you must choose your kettlebell boot camp exercises carefully.
For example – the Turkish Get Up can be a tricky move to use with a large group, particularly if you have folks that are unfamiliar with it. There are a lot of steps and elements involved with getting the movement right.
As an alternative, I typically use the 1/2 Get Up in a boot camp setting. It’s much easier to teach and keeps the workout going much faster:
Here’s a video example of the 1/2 TGU:
2. Structure the order of the kettlebell workout carefully
This goes for any kettlebell training session really … but is particularly important in a boot camp setting.
For example – if you’re going to be using exercises that anyone in the group is unfamiliar with, consider building them into the warm up period so they’ll have a chance to practice good form at a less-than-100% speed.
Another example would be placing highly technical moves – like the long cycle clean and jerk or viking push press – towards the beginning of the workout when participants are freshest both mentally and physically.
3. Use a finisher!
I’m a big fan of kettlebell workout “finishers” (BTW, you’ll learn more about this concept very soon, I have a cool new program and more info on the topic that I’ll introduce to you next week) …
But as an example, maybe this is what your kettlebell boot camp workout has looked like so far:
- 8 KB halos (each way)
- 8 KB slingshots (each way)
- 8 KB figure eights (each way)
(kettlebell/body weight strength circuit)
- 15 two hand KB swings
- 7 burpees
(Get as many rounds of this circuit as you can in five minutes)
Now, as a ‘finisher”, you include the following sequence:
- 10 KB squat cleans
- 5 KB renegade rows
- 10 walking overhead KB lunge
(Get as many rounds as you can of this circuit in ten minutes)
Campers LOVE this and I almost ALWAYS include something like it at the end of a boot camp!
In summary, kettlebell boot camp workouts are a great way to lose fat, build total body conditioning and get into fantastic shape … but there are some specific considerations that can make all the difference when you’re putting one together. I hope the kettlebell boot camp exercise ideas in this article help you get better results and reach your ultimate fitness goals faster and more effectively!
Thanks for reading, and talk soon –
Forest Vance, RKC II