by Eric Moss
You know it is no secret to anybody that has followed me for more then a day that I am a big fan of kettlebell training. It’s simplicity and it’s convenience just rings well with me on so many levels. What I don’t talk about as much and I really should is bodyweight training. It works very nicely when integrated in with kettlebells and it works very nicely by itself. Lets get one thing straight.
You don’t need weights to get very strong. Your body IS a weight. It is a weight that you have wherever you go, whenever you go there 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year. If you doubt that bodyweight training can make you strong I dare you to go head to head with Russian Olympic Gymnast Alexei Nemov.Your body recognizes resistance and tension. Do you think it cares or knows where that resistance comes from? No.
The same principles that you use with your kettlebells or your barbells also apply to bodyweight. Do you think you are going to do a one arm pushup if your core isn’t tight? Are you going to mindlessly go through pistol squats like you were doing curls with a pink Barbie dumbbell? I hope not. Remember with our RKC system its not about the kettlebell. It’s about the principles of the system and they apply to all forms of resistance training.
So what are the best bodyweight exercises for you to use? Well to be honest I don’t know because that largely depends on your goal. For me in my current program I use pistol squats and pullups regularly. Dragonflags are semi regular. For the pistol squats and the pullups I use ladders to get the volume up while staying fresh. For me the high volume is in the realm of 100 reps. Do you think you are going to get good at pistol squats if you do 100 of them in a session? How about pullups?
Isn’t it amazing how universal these principal things are? Are the exercises getting to easy? Add more reps and/or sets, change the leverage and if that is still not enough then you may add an external load (weight in addition to your bodyweight) and when that happens….well my hat is off to ya.So here let me write a simple program that you can follow. I am going to write it for following the pistol and the pullup but if you understand what I mean when I talk about principles then you know you can do it with just about any exercise. I am going to add burpees in there for an element of conditioning since with this you won’t have your trusty kettlebell.
To figure out your burpee reps take a single dice, roll it and whatever number you have you multiply it by 10. Put that on your low volume days. Feel free to put that on your variety day as well.
You don’t need to thank me.
Monday (pistol day) 5 ladders of 3 rungs per side (2 + 4 + 6) each ladder is 12 reps
Tuesday (pullup day) 5 ladders of 4 rungs per side (2 + 4 + 6 + 8) each ladder is 20 reps
Wednesday (rest or variety day)
Thursday (pistol day) 5 ladders of 4 rungs per side (2 + 4 + 6 + 8) each ladder is 20 reps
Friday (pullup day) 5 ladders of 3 rungs per side (2 + 4 + 6) each ladder is 12 reps
Saturday and Sunday (rest)
Now of course nothing about that program is set in stone. Remember it is the principles that apply. Same but different, Change up the intensity and volume. Feel free to change the leverage and don’t go to failure. As a matter of fact if you have the original RKC book look up the training guidelines and just apply that to your bodyweight drills. Remember no equipment, no excuses.