Bulgarian training with Kettebells

You may be familiar with the training programs from OTS Optimum Training Systems. These are based upon research into bulgarian & Russian weight training. There is a website where you can get the ebook Big Beyond Belief” Big Beyond Belief

I recommend this ebook and basically it will give you a framework around which to structure your training.

They have a couple of older programs floating around too, titan training & bulgarian power burst.

Basically compound exercises that require maximum neurological response are used – hence heavy kettlebells are ideal for many exercises. Training is more frequent than you may be used to – I have nearly completed the first week of preliminary training & feel quite fatigued.

But I can tell a good program after 28 years of lifting & this is good – I think I could quite easily get up to 250 lbs on this system.

CT Fletcher I Command you to Grow!

My bod at present 100 kg

physique

physique

I’m actually training more like a wrestler than a bodybuilder these days.

I need to get some shots done flexed – will ask a young lady to help out with that.

My first sandbag

I had never touched a sandbag until yesterday.

Had no idea how much the damn thing would weigh but I did know how to use it & make it thanks to the video from Ross Enamait & various places online.

So my plan was to go to the beach & load my first bag, haul it home & repeat with the other two. I visualized myself doing this before hand carrying the heavy bag home on my shoulder.

Well off I set on the bus to Okahu bay in Auckland to get my sand. Its winter here now but it was a fine enough day for there to be an inch of dry sand on the surface.

This was a pain as I couldn’t just scoop it up & it was full of shells which I needed to remove too. For these reasons I recommend just buying clean dry sand.

OK so then things got interesting. The sandbag was so damned heavy I could only carry it 100 yards at a time but I was 3.5 KM from home.

Obviously I would need a cab or bus to get it home. It took me half an hour to get it to the bus stop right next to the beach. I swear I nearly passed out.

I then hauled it on the bus into the city. Once there it was another 40 minutes to haul it to the next bus stop barely around the corner. By this stage my arms were beginning to die & I must have deadlifted the thing 40 times.

Finally the second bus took me to within 350m of my home. That took another 1-2 hours to carry it from there to my home.

It took all I had – it is a beast.

So I was guessing it had to be 150-180 lbs maybe even more.

Finally after a rest I got it on the scales – 120 lbs only. And I can bench 400 lbs on a machine for reps so that proves that sandbags are pure killer.

Today I am a bit sore & fatigued after yesterdays 4 hour sandbag ordeal.

I’m sure in six months I will be a damn sight stronger all over.

Here is my new sandbag & two soon to be military surplus bags…

120 lb sandbag

Bad news for manuka honey users

Well I have been an advocate of manuka honey in the past because of its natural antibiotic properties.

But those properties were linked to an unknown substance. It turns out the antimicrobial substance is methylglyoxal.

Methylglyoxal is unfortunately a genotoxin than causes irreversible damage to your genes & chromosomes.

So I can no longer encourage the use of this honey for its antibiotic properties.

Huge list of Body Weight Training books

This list is courtesy of http://bar-barians.forumotions.net/t4039-calisthetic-books

Bodyweight Exercise Revolution by Adam Steer (digitial product)
Tacfit Commando by Scott Sonnon (digital product)
Tacfit Warrior by Scott Sonnon (digital product)
Tactical Gymnastics by Scott Sonnon (digital product)
No Gym Necessary by Virgil Aponte (digital product)
The Muscle Experiment by Mike Thiga (digital product)
Solitary Fitness by Charles Bronson
Convict Conditioning by Paul Wade
The Weightless Workout by Health for Life
Hardcore Fitness by Steve Hansen
Never Gymless by Ross Enamait
Gymless by Alistair Ramsay (digital product)
Dinosaur Bodyweight Training by Brooks Kubik
Building The Gymnastic Body by Christopher Sommer
7 Weeks to 100 Push-Ups by Steve Speirs
7 Weeks To 50 Pull-Ups by Brett Stewart
You Are Your Own Gym By Mark Lauren
Bodyweight Exercises For Extraordinary Strength by Brad Johnson
The Power of Push-Ups by Rodney C. Womack III
Animal Workouts by David Nordmark
Natural Fitness by David Nordmark
The Ultimate Guide To Push-Ups by David Nordmark
The Naked Warrior by Pavel Tsatsouline
Weight-Free Workout by Men’s Health Magazine
The Essence of Bodyweight Training by Juan Carlos Santana
Max Capacity Training by Samy Peyret
Body Sculpting Bodyweight Exercises for Women by Eddie Baran
Turbulence Training by Craig Ballantyne (multiple digital products)
Monkey Fit: 21 Functional Bodyweight Drills & Exercises by Tim Jones
Grinder Strength Pull-Ups by Brad McLeod (digital product)
Fitness On A Swing Set by Karen M. Goeller
Hand-Balancing for Muscular Development by Bill Hinbern
The Ultimate Guide To Handstand Push-Ups by Christopher Logan
Maximum Muscular Fitness by Dan Riley
The Gravity Advantage by Paul Zaichik
The Gravity Advantage Max by Paul Zaichik
The Power of One by Paul Zaichik
Ultimate Wrestling Power by Steve Preston (digital product)
Workout Without Weights by Eddie Lomax (digital product)
Parallettes One (P1) by Ryan Hurst & Gold Medal Bodies (digital product)
Rings One (R1) by Ryan Hurst & Gold Medal Bodies (digital product)
Lean Hybrid Muscle- Bodyweight Edition by Elliot Hulse (digital product)
Final Phase Fat Loss- Bodyweight Edition by Adam Steer (digital product)
Primal Blueprint Fitness by Mark Sisson (digital product)
Combat Conditioning by Matt Furey
Working Out Without Weights by Chuck Gaylord
NHB Strength Training by Lloyd Irving
Wildman Training Manual & Course by John Grube
The Body Weight Solution by Tim Bell (digital product)
The Silverback Program by Tim Bell (digital product)
The Bodyweight Blueprint for Fat Loss by Adam Steer (digital product)
Ultimate Gymless Workout by Eddie Lomax (digital product)
Lightning Speed Fitness by Roger Haeske (digital product)
Death, Taxes, & Push-Ups by Ted Skup
Fit by Nature by John Colver
The Navy Seal Workout by Mark De Lisle
The Backyard Workout by Rhadi Ferguson (digital product)
The Bodyweight Blitz by Brian & Shawn Fitzmaurice (digital product)
TBK Fitness Program Tamir Katz
Lose The Weights! by Erik Boudreau
Gym-Free and Ripped by Nathan Kendrick
Bodyweight Power by Bryce Lane
Fitness Secrets of the Road Ninja by Bryce Lane
Bodyweight Bodybuilding Secrets by Zach Even-Esh (digital product)
Zen Martinoli’s 5 Minute Fitness by Zen Martinoli
Convict Conditioning 2 by Paul Wade
A Mighty River of Steel by Bryce Lane
Bodyweight Blast X by Ryan Cooper (digital product)
Overcoming Gravity by Steven Low
Felon Fitness by William Kroger & Trey Teufel
Free Machine Workout Push-Up Report by Stan Hersk (digital product)
7 Weeks To getting Ripped by Brett Stewart
The Complete Guide to Navy SEAL Fitness by Stew Smith
The Special Ops Workout by Stew Smith & Mike Mejia
Hillfit by Chris Highcock
The Official Guide To Mastering Handstand & Handstand Push-Ups by HIT Richards

A Home made functional gym

I have trained with conventional weights – barbells, dumbbells & machines at a gym for over 27 years. A year or so back I got into kettlebells & have trained mostly with those in the past 12 months. I have also done extensive weighted vest training in the past couple of years.

Recently I have been looking at diversifying my functional strength training. What I deeply miss from the conventional weights are the 3 basic lifts, squat, deadlift & bench having gotten my bench up to 400 lbs without a gym with barbells or a press machine how can you duplicate this?

Well this has led me to a few ideas for gear I will be setting up here at home with minimal costs.

First up is Sandbags…

Lets look at the “bulgarian bag” first. To buy a quality leather bag from suples will set you back a few hundred. If you are overseas like me it could cost you up to $1000 – clearly out of the question.

here is the site http://www.suples.com/

bulgarian bag

bulgarian bag

As you can see these are very well crafted and attractive but also extremely expensive.

Well the very simple solution is to make one from a car inner tube.

bulgarian bag

Now I wont go into the details here on how to make one – its all over the net already. There are knock off brands that are much cheaper than suples & chinese brands are available in real leather too.

Next up are actual sandbags. The beauty of sandbags is that you can use them for most exercises you can use a barbell for, including squats, deadlifts & benches. Plus a whole lot more of course.

The best thing to do is to go down to army surplus & pick up some heavy canvas bags. Fill these with a liner plastic garbage bag then fill multiple smaller freezer bags with the actual sand. Only fill them to 75% so the sand can still squish & move around. Seal it all up with duct tape. You can also use steel shot if you want an extra heavy sandbag.

Rosstraining.com has a great & cheap course on sandbag training.

sandbag

sandbag

sandbag

With sandbags you can have a tonne of weight to train with for $100 worth of army surplus gear.

Next I’ll talk about weight vests briefly. I do not recommend training with a pack or making your own vest. The whole point of weight vest training is that it is ergonomic.

The problem for those of us outside the US is the cost of shipping a super heavy vest. For my MIR 140 lb vest it would have cost nearly $1000 to ship the thing here. I bought it without weight for $89.

I am buying $280 worth of steel bar which when cut down will fit perfectly into the vest to the full 140 lb weight. So a major saving.

next KEGS. Yep beer kegs filled with water, gravel or sand. Buy them of an auction site or from a local supplier.

beer keg

You also want to google for home made suspension trainer. There are multiple sites & videos showing how to make these.

home made suspension trainer

Finally the dragging sled.

Basically a heavy tire will do but the important thing is the harness. There are several configurations for harnessing. There are different options for the actual sled too.

Just have a good google & you will find a variation to suit you.

sled

sled

tire sled

I personally will just use a tire but may have several configurations for the harness to maximize functionality.

So there we have it – a total functional gym for next to nothing. Hundreds of pounds of weight.

200 lb kettlebells

Wow man I want to get myself a 200 pounder. Problem for me is living in New Zealand the shipping is diabolical.

It will easily cost more than the kettlebell. Options are to import one and pay many hundreds if not a grand, make one from steel rebar & gypsum alpha plaster, make one from cast lead & a hollow kettlebell.

Here are a couple of suppliers in the USA:

http://www.jackeeboyz.com/products/IN-STORE-PICKUP/MONSTER-KETTLE-BELL-200LB-MKB200.html

200 lb kettlebell

200 lb kettlebell

… and Ader kettlebells

http://store.kettlebellinc.com/SearchResults.asp?searching=Y&sort=1&cat=20&show=30&page=3

200 lb kettlebell

and here are a few of the things you can do with a 200 lb Kettlebell…

OK here’s an UPDATE:

These Ader 203 lb KB’s are $490 online

http://www.topipad.asia/B0011EMVOC/reviews.html

http://www.amazon.com/Ader-Premier-Monster-Kettlebell-92kg/dp/B0011EMVOC

God only knows about the shipping cost.

But I am in luck – an Australian outfit sells an 80 KG kettlebell for AU $290.00 I will need to organize shipping myself

I’m gunna do it.

There is an article on T-Nation discussing the heavy swing VS the deadlift

Heavy KB Training

I strongly urge you to read the T-Nation article as it give actual torque / Force values – heaps of info on the heavy swing

… from that article – turn a dumbell into a KB swing device

This takes the cake …

A primo Kettlebell super set routine

Here is what I am doing today:

Super Set

10 one arm snatches – single KB
20 two arm cleans – double KB
70 one arm swings – single KB

Use as heavier weight as you can and still complete it. These three are done one after the other, no or little rest.

I am using 26 KG kettlebells. Do the whole super set “FIVE TIMES”.

Dont do it one after the other – take a break in between super sets – as long as you want. This will minimize fatigue & hand damage and keep your metabolism up all day.

Use heavy weights.

To minimize hand damage, trim callus the day before, use powder, use gloves, duct tape, or boxers wraps after cycle two.

Rather than increasing reps or cycles, or doing the whole five cycles in one go – increase the weight as your priority.

Bodyweight training videos

These Barstarzz guys have some good vids up on youtube, check out the DVD http://www.barstarzz.com/portfolio/barstarzz-instructional/

You can also check out dragondoor who have a few body weight books out now & steve cotter also has some videos at shihan.com

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