Kettlebell Kings is teaming with thirty year martial arts veteran, Joey Alvarado, to provide you with some great kettlebell movements and workouts which are designed to build muscles and endurance for jiu jitsu and mixed martial arts. Though Joey's experience lends itself toward building workouts which will improve aspects of BJJ/MMA, they are also great workouts and flows of movement to burn calories and build muscle for anyone. One of the keys to working our consistently is breaking up the monotony of doing the same things over and over. Joey's kettlebell movements definitely give you something new to master and challenge you with each workout. If this is your first time reading a post by Joey, we recommend you start with Part 1, which covers his most basic movement.
In collaboration with Joey Alvarado:
Joey has been working with kettlebell for over 10 years. Like a lot of kettlebell fanatics he decided he wanted more from his workouts. Based on his experience,, he decided to incorporate his Brazilian Jiu Jitsu training background with his kettlebell workouts. Joey decided to plan and design kettlebell workouts and movements which focused on some of the breathing aspects and muscle movements involved in his fight training. Joey said "So, I jumped on the mat, grabbed a kettlebell and the first move I worked on is the rocking chair! That was the beginnings of Kettlejitsu. Since then, I have continuously developed a lot of other nontraditional exercises and workouts using Kettlebell."
In his previous two posts which Joey has done for our blog (link to part 1 is in intro) he focused his workouts around traditional kettlebell exercises and brought them together in what he has called 'kettlebell flows'. For this latest post, we will be using mostly sport specific MMA/BJJ inspired exercises. Though these are based in combat sports, the benefits of the workout are for anyone.
In this workout, we will be using Anaerobic Pyramid Conditioning (APC). This is a series of movements combined to create an anaerobic breathing effect which is what you would experiece if you were competing in MMA or BJJ. Your muscles use anaerobic respiration when they need energy quickly like bursts of energy in combat sports. The pyramid is 5 reps of each exercise, up to 10 reps of each exercise, then back down to 5 reps of each exercise. The pyramid protocol is the same one that Joey focuses on in his Kettlebell Strength & Conditioning download.
These exercises are combined in a pyramid. So we will perform 5 reps of each exercise, 10 reps and then back down to 5 to complete the pyramid. This is the protocol that is focused on in the new KB Strength and Conditioning program.
Kettlebell Kings creates weekly workouts you can sign up for, learn more:
In the previous article Joey talked about the many attributes needed in combat sports and how kettlebell flows help. One thing not touched on in Part 1 is focus. Your mind has to be razor sharp in the ring or cage and it is one of the hardest parts about staying in the moment during a workout. Even when you are in the later rounds and you are exhausted you have to have the ability to keep your composure and focus. One mental lapse and it can cost you the fight. Doing kettlebell flows address this issue because this will tire you out and it will increasingly get difficult to keep the flow consistent. It forces you to focus in order to perform it correctly.
1. The Kettlebell Rocking Chair To Press. The first movement Joey developed, taught by BJJ Master Roger Machado. It is a movement found in a lot of different BJJ techniques and transitions. It can be performed using body weight only or with a kettlebell.. Excellent movement for hip/ knee mobility and core strength. By adding a kettlebell and a press, you are incorporating multiple muscles at once. You will be working your upper chest, biceps, triceps, shoulders and your core simultaneously. Plus, you will feel like a ninja afterwards! (shown in video clip)
2. Deck Squats. These are like squats on steroids. By rolling from your back all the way to your feet, you incorporate a lot of different muscles. Particularly, your core. There is a lot of getting up off your back to your feet in MMA and BJJ so this one helps tremendously.
3. Corner to Corner Rows. In BJJ we do a lot of pulling from this position. So, it is important to incorporate a lot of different row variations in my workouts.
4. The Fighters Figure 8. This was also one of the first exercises developed when embarking on the Kettlejitsu journey. The idea is to incorporate punching to the best one's ability. This one mimics the punching movement of a hooking type punch. It also addresses pivoting and torque. You will feel this exercise in your upper body and your core simultaneously.
So please keep in mind. Before getting to the main workout, you must warm up first! The way Joey teaches, that means plenty of body weight first. Then, we practice each individual kettlebell exercise for 30 second intervals with a 10 second rest. Once you drill each exercise for several rounds, then you can wrap it up with the final kettlebell pyramid.
Putting It All Together
- Rocking Chair, 5 reps
- Deck Squats, 5 reps
- Corner to Corner Rows, 5 reps
- Fighters Figure 8, 5 reps
- Burpees, 5 reps
Then, repeat each exercise for 10 repetitions then back down to 5 to complete the pyramid.
- Thanks, Joey Alvarado
In the posts, Joey trains with our Kettlebell Kings Powder Coat Kettlebell Series.
Even if you are not training for combat sports, the above circuit is a GREAT workout. If you follow our kettlebell workouts this is something you should definitely try. For example, you could perform the two minutes of work mentioned above followed by a period of three minutes of rest, then another two minutes of work, try four rounds total. Make sure to give maximal effort during the time you are using the bells.
What Is Next?
If this is your first time reading one of our posts, we create kettlebell workouts in collaboration with people like Joey which are 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 Part 3 with Joey in which we cover another set of movements. 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.
Let us know how we can help you!
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About Joey Alvarado:
We are going to be doing series around kettlebell movements and workouts designed for combat sports. Though these movements are designed to incorporate elements of combat sport training, we love the concepts the workouts involve and think they make a great workout for anyone! So make sure to read on no matter who you are. For this series we are partnering with Joey Alvarado, from Kettle Jitsu Revolution. Joey has been featured on a number of podcasts, DVD's and articles about the way he trains his students with kettlebells. Joey is a world renowned fitness/mixed martial arts (mma) and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (bjj) coach. Joey is a 30 year veteran of martial arts training. He spent 7 years as a professional mma fighter and holds a Black belt in BJJ under Roger Machado as well as black belts in Hapkido and Tae Kwon Do under Grand Master S.R. Moreland. Joey also has a brown/black belt in Kuk Sool won under In Hyuk Suh. Joey is the father of hybrid kettlebell training. He fused traditional kettlebell exercises with movements from mma and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and came out with the ground breaking DVD, Combat Kettlebell Systems. Joe has a really unique style of kettlebell training that people on our social media accounts were really interested to learn more about after our initial post so we asked him to write a piece for us and you can see his video below.
Close to 10 years ago, I went to purchase some kettlebells from an old company called My Mad Methods (MMM). MMM was located inside of a gym called MBody Strength owned by Marcus Martinez and Mark de Grasse. I met Mark while I was there and asked him if he would take a look at a specific kettlebell program that I had been developing with my students at my former gym SoCal MMA and he agreed, so I proceeded to show some of the kettlebell movements and flows I had developed and his eyes lit up! Mark asked if he could film some of the movements, I agreed and within a few minutes Mark looked at me and said, “We need to do a dvd.”
I was blown away! I just wanted to see what he thought of the exercises I had developed, I certainly was not expecting to land a DVD deal! This led to his company My Mad Methods producing my first 2 DVD's. The Comba Kettlebell Systems DVD we created was the first of its kind to showcase newly developed kettlebell movements and principles taken directly from MMA and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and was sold all over the world, I released another DVD dedicated to body weight training called Shadow Jitsu. My Mad Methods created such a buzz that it gained the attention of a little nutritional supplement company called Onnit. They purchased MMM (along with my DVDs and articles) and brought in Mark de Grasse to create the Onnit Academy where some of my articles are still posted today.
Sensei Alvarado also owned and operated the premier mma gym in Northeast los Angeles, SoCal mma and fitness for ten years. Master Joey is now teaches BJJ/Kettlejitsu at BJJ/MMA legend Alberto Cranes gym, Legacy. BJJ Burbank. You can find more by Joey at https://kjrevolution.com/ and his YouTube Channel
Here is a list of Joey's accomplishments:
- Master Kettlebell Bootcamp and BJJ Instructor at Legacy Burbank
- Owner/Master trainer of SoCal mma and fitness
- Bjj black belt under Roger Machado
- Black belt Hapkido and Tae Kwon Do
- Brown/black belt Kuk Sool Won
- Former Cage of Fire lightweight pro mma champion
- 2016 IBJJF No Gi Champion
- Black Belt no gi world bronze medalist
- Black belt SJJF world Bronze medalist
- Black belt National silver medalist
- Ibjjf no gi Brown Belt world champion Senior 2, American national Gi champion, American national no gi champion
- California Open Champion
- Las vegas open champion
- Nevada State open Champion
- Long Beach Fall open Heavyweight Gold Medalist
- Houston Open middleweight Gold Medalist
- European open Silver Medalist
- Las Vegas open silver medalist
- Grapplers Quest Best Of the West Gold medalist
- U.S. National Silver medalist
- Son of Former #6th ranked Pro Boxer Joe Medrano
- Creator of the Combat Kettle-Jitsu and Shadow-Jistu dvds