Archive for March, 2013

Kettlebell/Body Weight Boot Camp Buddy Workout

I posted this workout up on my training site – a few days ago, and have gotten some great feedback from it.  So, if you missed it – check it out.  It makes for a great weekend workout!


I just finished up day one of assisting at the San Jose RKC. So awesome to be part of an event like this …. I am learning a ton from everyone involved, from our head instructor, to my team leader, to my fellow assistants, and even the participants … plus, just because I love KB’s and everything about them, I am having a lot of fun!

One thing that is heavily utilized in the RKC cert work format is the buddy system. The typical flow during the day alternates between instruction and drill work/KB practice/short workout. And almost every drill/exercise/workout/etc. is done with a partner.

This is a GREAT way to structure a group workout. We use this format daily at my downtown Sacramento training studio and it works great. Folks typically push harder than they would on their own, they can see what the other person is doing and provide feedback, they get to know other folks in the group, etc.

So, to better illustrate how you could set up a session like this, and to give you a sample workout to try on your own, I pulled one of my favorite kettlebell and body weight – based boot camp buddy workouts out of the vault for you today. Check it out:

FVT Kettlebell/Body Weight Boot Camp Buddy Workout

1 – Start with your SMR/mobility/dynamic stretching work for 5-10 mins before the workout

(Check out this article for a simple progression:

2 – Buddy set #1 – ketttlebell squat and press + body row

*Person one does five KB squat and presses (with a – relatively for you – heavy weight!) on one side, a hand-to-hand swing switch, and five KB squat to presses on the other side.

HOWEVER LONG IT TAKES person one to do this, person two is performing body rows.

Rest briefly (10-15 secs), switch exercises and repeat.

Do this three to four times total.

3 – Buddy set #2 – burpee + kettlebell swing

*Person one does seven burpees.

HOWEVER LONG IT TAKES person one to do this, person two is performing kettlebell swings.

Rest briefly (10-15 secs), switch exercises and repeat.

Do this three to four times total.

4 – Buddy set #3 – kettlebell figure eight to hold + plank-to-push up

*Person one does ten kettlebell figure eight to holds.

HOWEVER LONG IT TAKES person one to do this, person two is performing the plank-to-push exercise (with a push up).

Rest briefly (10-15 secs), switch exercises and repeat.

Do this three to four times total.

5 – “Cool down” with SMR again, static stretching for your tight muscle groups only, etc.

Whew! Nice. Enjoy that one That’s all I got for ‘ya for now. If you are not incorporating buddy training into your workouts, hopefully this article and sample workout has changed your mind … it’s a great way to structure your sessions, and will help you take your training to the next level.

Keep training hard, and talk soon –

Forest Vance, MS, RKC II

PS – Located in the Sacramento area and looking for ongoing training? Check out the website for my Sacramento studio at

3 Minute Kettlebell Workout

Sometimes, you have the best of intentions to get your workout in …

But you oversleep, or something else comes up during your designated workout time, and your normal 30 or 45 minutes to work out is cut down to 15 or 20.

At this point, some folks will just give up. Do nothing. The workout does not happen, at all.

This, in my opinion, is a BIG mistake.

I think that it is very important to keep in mind, that SOMETHING is ALWAYS better than nothing, when it comes to your fitness program.

Even if you can only work out for a few minutes, if you have a short, intense workout on hand, you will still burn a few kcals, rev up your metabolism, and make some progress towards your ultimate fitness goals.

And that’s what the workout I have for you today is all about. It is perfect for these types of situations. It is SUPER short – but quite intense.

Without further ado – the 3 minute kettlebell workout:

1 – Do a quick warm up. Something like two rounds of the following exercise circuit, each move done for 20 seconds each:

body weight squat
plank hold
wall slide

2 – Do a few low-intensity sets of kettlebell swings, to get yourself in the “grove”.

3 – Set a timer for three minutes. Do as many kettlebell snatches as you can. You can switch arms as often as you like – and put the kettlebell down as often as you like – but the goal is to get as many as possible in three minutes. Use whatever strategy is best for you.

4 – Take about three minutes to stretch tight muscle groups to finish off.

Take this workout seriously, pick a proper weight, honestly go for max snatch reps in three minutes – and you WILL be smoked. Enjoy! ;)

That’s it for today! Have a great one –

Forest Vance, MS, CPT, RKC II

PS – Kettlebell training bringing on a little unintended back pain? While you work on your form, check out these great back exercises without weight You’ll thank me later!

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