Kettlebell Circuit Workout: Bells Deep!

Kettlebell Circuit Workout at Rich Man’s Gym

kettlebell circuit workout

Intro:  The following kettlebell circuit workout came around as a result of an article I read on T-Nation written by bodybuilder and coach Christian Thibaudeau called, “Built For Bad:  Strength Circuits.”   As you know, Rick Man’s Gym is about strength and conditioning outside the confines of a traditional gym setting.  Also, here at Rich Man’s Gym, the primary tool of strength is the Kettlebell.  Coach Thibaudeau’s article is based on barbell work and very intricate load adjustments.

My challenge; can I translate this into a Kettlebell circuit workout that will have a measurable impact on my strength and conditioning?

So, for those of you playing at home and with your own Rich Man’s Gym, here’s what I’ve come up with.  You may or may not need to adjust the size of the bells you use to your own strength levels.

Coach Thibaudeau suggest a six week, five day per week schedule.  If you have the training experience and muscle endurance for that, be my guest.  Also, your nutrition and recovery better be on point as well.  I have made solid gains by following this 5 days per week with off days on Thursdays and Sundays.  However your schedule, it should be based on your ability to recover and your proficiency with the movements.  Six to eight weeks on this should be good.

Your target will be to increase volume, since adding weight isn’t very practical with kettlebells.  Add rounds not reps.

Pre-workout nutrition – This is what I take before I train, what you do is up to you.

Kettlebell Circuit Workout at Rich Man’s Gym

Warm Up – 15-20 minutes:

  • Jumping Jacks 10 minutes – 40 seconds work / 20 seconds rest
  • Wall Squats 3 x 10 reps superset with Pump Stretch 3 x 10 reps

Day 1 – Medium:  Double 24 kg bells

  • Double Swings 5 reps
  • Double Cleans 4 reps
  • Double High Pulls 3 reps
  • Double Military Press 2 reps
  • Single Bell Weighted Pull Up 1 reps

Start with four rounds of this.  There is no rest between drills.  The rest will be 2-3 minutes between rounds.  Enough to catch your breath and feel the heart rate go down.  As soon as you got the juice, go to five rounds, then six.  If you can get to 9 rounds in 30 minutes, you may need a heavier pair of kettlebells.  8 rounds should leave you quite toasted.

Finisher:  A finisher is there to make sure you left it all in the ring.  4 rounds of a short yet intense sprint (25 yards) with a set of dips or push ups for ALMOST as many reps as possible

Day 2 – Light:  Double 20 kg bells

  • Double Swings 5 reps
  • Double Cleans 4 reps
  • Double High Pulls 3 reps
  • Double Military Press 2 reps
  • Single Bell Weighted Pull Up 1 reps

Finisher:  Dumbell Man-Maker 10/8/6/4/2 (thank you and FU Mark Twight*) I use 20lb DBs for this.

Day 3 – Heavy:  Single 32 kg bell (single arm work)

  • One Arm Swings 5 + 5 reps
  • One Arm Cleans 4 + 4 reps
  • One Arm High Pulls 3 + 3 reps
  • One Arm Military Press 2 + 2 reps

Finisher:  Alternating Box Jumps with standing Dumbbell Curls 8 rounds 25 seconds of work and 10 seconds of rest.  (This means 4 sets of each drill)

Post-workout nutrition:  You should be pretty smoked at this point, you’ll want to refuel well and quickly.  I take 4 scoops of Critical Aminos XT by BodyTech.  I’ll start this about halfway through the workout.  Within 30 minutes after training, I’ll take 2 scoops of Met-Rx Protein Plus.  And then have a solid meal within 2 hours that consists of quality protein, complex carbs.  An example would be a chicken breast with black beans and brown rice or quinoa.

Final Thoughts:  This protocol is a lot of fun and it delivers consistency and variety at the same time.  You will put on muscle and drop fat assuming your nutrition is correct.  If you need clarity on anything, leave a comment below, tweet to me @DavidRBradley or Snap Me DavidRBradley72.

*Dumbbell Manmaker:   https://youtu.be/1SJD5zkQ6M0?t=3m26s

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