Kettlebells are perhaps the most diverse piece of fitness equipment you can use. Most people probably still think of kettlebells mainly as equipment for high repetition and/or high intensity workouts. However, kettlebells can be used for high weight/low repetition movements for those of you who really want to build muscle and power. Part 2 in our series of heavy kettlebell lifts involves utilizing the kettlebell like a lot of strength competitors use an atlas stone in order to build power and strength.
We have a guest demonstrator and author working with us on this post, he is Oliver Quinn and he is very strong. You can find him on Instagram as @olliequinntraining, where he posts a lot of really informative and impressive posts for building strength and power. We highly recommend you follow him for more learning on similar subjects as this. In his demonstration he will be utilizing his Kettlebell Kings 92 Kg Powder Coat Kettlebell.
By Oliver Quinn:
Did you know you can use your larger kettlebells like an atlas stone ?
Atlas stone deadlifts or, the "pick", lapping, loading onto a platform and even shouldering can all be done with your big kettlebells. (see video below). Here is a demonstration of working with an actual atlas stone, which as you can see involves a deadlift life movement to initially get the weight in motion. You can do this with a kettlebell as well, additionally you can do a lot more with a kettlebell compared to an atlast stone which makes them a great workout tool.
This is a lot more difficult and challenging than a regular kettlebell deadlift due to the extra range of motion, and the lack of any handle to hold on to. It is actually even a little more difficult than a regular atlas stone "pick" or deadlift because your hands are gripping iron rather than stone, and stone grips skin much better than iron does. Be careful, it is almost impossible to complete this lift with a flat back. Of course , you could just stick your fingers under the bell and sort of goblet squat it, but that is not what we are after here.
How to do it:
- Feet either side of kettlebell, center of kettlebell at center of foot.
- Hinge over, hips high, load hamstrings.
- Arms straight down, don't try to bicep curl it. Squeeze the globe with your wrists and hands getting as much skin into contact with the bell ass possible. Fingernails of middle finger should be touching the floor.
- Take a deep breath, pressurize your abs and core and stand straight up.
- When the weight is past your knees bring your feet together so you can put the weight on your lap. Sit down and relax.
See video below:
Do these every week or so and expect extra strength and muscle in your back, shoulders arms, abs. Actually, just expect to get stronger and bigger all over! Oliver Quinn demonstrates with his 92Kg Kettlebell Kings Powder Coat Kettlebell.
Having something to drop the bell on when you are learning is a good idea. Tires, double rubber mats, kick shields will all work.
When you get this movement down you can start to work on other things like loading onto a platform, and shouldering.
How To Incorporate Into Your Training:
- Perform the deadlift portion of the movement with reps of three or eight, broken into three sets. This would be steps 1-4 mentioned above, setting the bell back down, then repeating. Use 75-80% of one rep max for your training weight.
- Try three timed sets. Perform as many reps as possible in one minute of the deadlift or shouldering portion of the entire movement. In the first example do steps 1-4 mentioned above, in the second, set up with 1-4 and then complete step 5 as many times as possible in one minute. Rest 2-3 minutes between sets.
- Do static holds for time. Complete steps 1-3 and practice holding that position to build grip and crushing strength.
For the purposes of this series, heavy is a relative term. The movements we will cover in this series can be done with any kettlebell that is heavy relative to your current strength. For example if you currently train with an 8 kilogram bell for high rep workouts you could do these same movements we show here with a 20 or 24 kilogram bell. We chose to showcase some of the super heavy bells we have designed for folks with a pretty high level of fitness, kettlebell or lifting experience but you can do the same movements with kettlebells which are heavy relative to your current training.
At Kettlebell Kings we recently launched even heavier kettlebells in 56, 68, 80 and 92 kilograms, designed for those who want to take their low repetition kettlebell movements to the next level, so we wanted to do a series on some of the best uses for them.
For a full post about the different weights you should be training with based on your goals, you can read HERE.
As with all lifts perform responsibly and do not try to lift to much weight without proper technique and instruction. We recommend considering heavier weights for those who are ready for them.
What Is Next?
If this is your first time reading one of our posts, we create kettlebell workouts in collaboration with kettlebell experts designed to give you maximal results and not take up much of your time. We send these to your in box automatically every week! We recommend you read more about receiving a quick, free, dynamic kettlebell workout every week you can click below.
Also, we recommend you subscribe to our posts so you can be notified when we publish more in this series. Additionally, you can be notified when we publish new articles about specific kettlebell movements or techniques as well as niche pieces like this designed for specific training.
About Oliver Quinn:
Ollie is a StrongFirst team leader as well as a kettlebell and strength coach at Big Tex Gym in Austin, Texas. Ollie is a competitive strongman who still practices old style lifts like bent press, and other strength training movements. You can find him on Instagram as @olliequinntraining, where he posts a lot of really informative and impressive posts for building strength and power. We highly recommend you follow him for more learning on similar subjects as this.