For the last couple of months I have performed the rite of passage as per Anthony DiLuglio RKC of ArtofStrentgth.com
It was a great program and one that challenged me for sure. The basic idea of the program is to perform clean and press ladders, pull-ups (optional) and high rep ballistic swings or snatches three times a week. You work up to doing 5 ladders or 5 reps. i.e.…1 rep right,1 rep left, pull-up, then 2 rep right, 2 rep left, 2 pull-ups. Up until you hit 5 rungs. At the end of the sets you perform swings or snatches for a random period of time. The days are split between heavy, light and medium days. The heavy day is 5 ladders of 5 rungs, the light day is 3 ladders of 5 rungs and the medium day is 4 ladders or 5 rungs. You perform easy snatches on the light days and swings on the other days.
I started out with a 53lb (24kg) kettlebell for both the presses and the ballistic movements. I switched the swings/snatches to a 44lb (20kg) kettlebell on week 7 (4 weeks of program minimum then 3 weeks of the Rite of Passage) due to the beating my forearms were taking on the long swing sets. I did the program outlined above and also performed the pull-ups as well. Nearly every pull up I performed was the overhand style in order to work on the muscles of my back in particular. It quickly became apparent that 5 ladders of 5 rungs is a lot of work. This program had you perform this for a month or so. I think it is a great program but I think that if you reach this level you should get the next higher kettlebell and then work your way back up to this level. Once you comfortably achieve 5 ladders or 5 rungs you should move to the next higher kettlebell. With that being said in the last month or so I switched over to the 53lb kettle bell for my swings and snatches. Swings and snatches are brutal to your forearms. Especially at the amounts that are expected in this program. I am going to be focusing on shorter swing sets due to my idea of what swings should be. With the higher swing sets I found that my form would break down. I believe that swings are a power movement that happen to be great at conditioning. Therefore I am going to get a heavier kettlebell and continue this program. In the meantime I am going to do double kettlebell workouts.
I feel strong and fit. I weigh 165 pounds at 5’10, a few months ago I weighed 154. I am not worn down and I also have not had any injuries. I feel confidant that I can continue through this program. Like I said, I am going to get a 28kg (62 pound) kettlebell and continue on until I can press that one for 5 ladders with 5 rungs. I’m also going to do weighted pull-ups. I want to do this program up to the 32kg (72 lb) kettlebell and then move onto doing the double kettlebell program in the Return of the Kettlebell book by Pavel. I have however changed my ballistic portion of the workout. Instead of just doing swings/snatches which I believe is a fantastic program, I have decided to perform a short set (10 swings or 10 snatches (5/side) with a sprint afterwards. I am just starting this program and I am using the jog back from the sprints as my rest period. I think that this is going to work very well, and I intend to keep you informed of the progress as well.
I was really close to moving onto doing the Power to the People program, but doing some double kettlebell workouts and also running across this mans blog changed that vision. I love kettlebells. They are a fantastic workout, they are fun and they are very effective.
As I said, this is a motivating and inspiring blog post here. Feel free to check it out.