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Complexes With Kettlebells

By John Davies, Founder Renegade Training

Efficient use of time is a perilous problem in today's society. Whether due to intense work schedules or dealing with many of life's demands, time is a rare commodity. However there is a simple solution to this problem, a particular style of training that not only provides a "harder-than-hardcore" training session, but can be completed in a fast and efficient manner. The key is contained in a regimen centered around "complexes." Training complexes, when designed properly, can enhance power and force production, whilst teaching the body to work in a single harmonious fashion, with enormous impact upon leg and hip drive. However, complexes are not simply for the competitive athlete, as the benefits to the total physiological system are always pronounced and directed toward creating a greater foundation for other work to build on. One of the most popular training complexes within Renegade Training is found in the very large "Mad Science" series which encompasses a full year of training with eight training programs and has spawned four extraordinary DVD's (available at ProSource). The basics of the first-part of the series begins with three basic lifts:
  • i. Power Clean - hang (PC) to Front Squat (FS)
  • ii. Front Squat (FS) to Push Press (PP)
  • iii. Back Squat (S) to Split Jerk (SJ)
    (please note that naturally with kb's there is no true difference between a Front and Back Squat and both can fit perfectly in this regime)
Unfortunately this is where it gets a bit complicated so please pay particular attention. The set and rep scheme are performed in what I have loosely termed "ascending" and "descending" order, whereby the "focus" lift of each complex (the first lift in the sequence) is performed 6 total reps broken in a unique fashion. Additionally "ascending" and "descending" sets alternate back and forth through this training program. As an example in a "PC to FS" "2:1 ascending" set, the Power Clean would be performed twice, then one Front Squat to complex 1 "rep" of a 3 repetition set. In the corresponding "descending" set the same PC is performed for one rep, followed by 2 reps of the FS and then further repeat the entire set 3 total times. In this manner, the focus of the complex, now the FS is performed 6 times. Practically speaking, let's go through the training session and, to give it an even more unique feel and transportability with your training, include two incredible training tools, the Kettlebells and the wearing of a fully loaded 40lb Xvest (a part of our upcoming athletic complex training DVD series ). Wearing the Xvest has an enormous carry-over to total development with the loading tight to the core, thus imparting greater stimuli to total leg development. Both the Kettlebell and the Xvest are extremely valuable training implements and are a tremendous value to the at-home trainee / trainer who is looking to maximize training with minimal equipment. In the first level of our eight level Complex training workout, the focus lift session would read as follows with additional supplemental pre-hab work and postural holds found in the extensive "Squat Power" series. I would suggest using a load of approximately 50% of maximum efforts and be forewarned that this workout will tire you quickly. Rest intervals should be 45 seconds between sets.
i. Power Clean / Front Squat: Ascending 2:1, repeat x 3
ii. Front Squat / Power Clean: Descending 2:1, repeat x 3
iii. Front Squat / Push Press: Ascending 2:1, repeat x 3
iv. Push Press / Front Squat: Descending 2:1, repeat x 3
v. Back Squat / Split Jerk: Ascending 2:1, repeat x 3
vi. Split Jerk / Back Squat: Descending 2:1, repeat x 3
vii. Power Clean / Front Squat: Ascending 3:1, repeat x 2
viii. Front Squat / Power Clean: Descending 3:1, repeat x 2
ix. Front Squat / Push Press: Ascending 3:1, repeat x 2
x. Push Press / Front Squat: Descending 3:1, repeat x 2
xi. Back Squat / Split Jerk: Ascending 3:1, repeat x 2
xii. Split Jerk / Back Squat: Descending 3:1, repeat x 2
Get started on this unbelievably effective and time efficient workout. Editors note -- stay tuned for more details on this incredible fat-shredding workout with the soon to be released DVD, "Complex Training with Kettlebells" by Renegade Training.
John Davies, Founder Renegade Training Chat Live with Coach Davies in the Renegade Training forums and learn more on the upcoming series of Renegade Training Camps where you can learn how to master everything from kettlebell and Olympic lifts to highly advanced Med ball training.