Combining Kettlebells with Burpees.

Articles have been written elsewhere on this site regarding the burpee and its brutal conditioning effects on the body. Suffice to say, that with no equipment a person can maintain an extremely high level of fitness and strength by using this exercise. This is the reason it is regularly seen in the American prison system. This article is going to elaborate on the drill and show how to incorporate the use of our beloved kettlebells into a programme with burpees.
By using ladders in our training it is possible to greatly increase the number of reps we perform in a workout and it doesn’t take too much time (so you can’t use that excuse!!). If you wish you can start at 1 rep, then do 2, 3,4 etc. Or, providing that you warm up adequately you can start at 10 and come down, 9,8,7 etc. Try both and see what “floats your boat”.
The Routine:
Pick a kettlebell and perform 10 snatches left and right, immediately perform 10 explosive burpees (as described in the “Squat thrust” article on this site). Then rest for no more than 30 secs – 1 min. Drop down to 9 snatches left and right followed by 9 burpees. Carry on in this manner until you reach one rep or vomit city, whichever comes first!!
If you like you can start at 1 rep and work up to 10. This acts as a warm up of sorts but should still be preceded by a thorough pulse raiser and stretching routine. It is a good idea to start at 1 rep and work up until you become accustomed to the volume of burpees and snatches.
Remember that this is a ladder and not a pyramid routine! Go up or down, not both! Let’s say for argument’s sake, you start at 1 rep and you fail at 6 reps, start back at 1 rep and use this as a recovery. Try to go further next time. If you try to come back down from 6 reps as in a pyramid you may find it too much. Use pyramids later as your endurance and strength grow.
The snatch is my favourite exercise because of its close link to judo fitness (although other drills fry me as well)!! It is very demanding on the whole body like my sport. Therefore, combining it with the burpee makes it an excellent drill to prepare any combat athlete (not just judo players) for their chosen sport.
Be warned, this routine is very anaerobic in nature and in lay terms a real “puker” so take care. Feel free to substitute the snatches for swings if you need to but try and keep the burpees explosive i.e. a jump at the top and a push-up at the bottom.

Barry Gibson.



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