McAfee Secure sites help keep you safe from identity theft, credit card fraud, spyware, spam, viruses and online scams
Share Print

You have not viewed any products recently.




Plugging Technology Into RKC

June 3, 2002 01:14 PM

I spent a lot of my teens studying the strength and martial arts training methods of the champions of the 1970?s. That technology stayed dormant in my brain for many years. The recent February 2002 RKC Instructor Certification Course stimulated my thinking process and bruised my ego. Pavel insisted that we had three days to complete homework and Email it to him. I decided to transmute some old memories with my new found knowledge and produce some more options for hard training comrades. Therefore my homework will be in the form of this article on applying old ideas to the Russian Kettlebell Challenge.

I obtained the first idea from Ken Patera, the 1972 USA Olympic Bronze Medalist. I read in the old Strength and Health Magazine and article by Patera on his training just before the games. He would take the Olympic bar off the high rack, step back, do a front squat with it, then either jerk, or push press it overhead. It was at this time that Ken let his weight drift up, and with the added weight, came pressing power. He managed to push press 550!

My suggestion to you is rack two kettlebells to your chest, pressurize, then do three front squats. Stabilize again, and do an overhead press. This would constitute one rep. The three to one ratio may change with individual structure, conditioning, and neurological efficiency. I would stick to low reps, 3 to 5, which would make 9 to 15 squats. This should make a grind into a real lung coughing challenge. I would do multiple low sets with adequate rest, but an attempt should be made to compress the sets to increase workout density before backing off with less total volume and more ballistic work.

I saw a video of Ken Patera after he started Professional Wrestling. He did a stunt with his back against the wall and his feet on the bumper of a car. The driver slowly accelerated until the tires spun. I don't suggest this method to test your leg strength, but the results of this type of training is rather compelling.

The second exercise comes from Big Jim Williams. Williams was the leading bench presser of the early ?70?s. He did 675 with no suit in competition, and 705 at the old York Barbell club. His training method was to bench five days a week. He was ahead of his time. He strongly stated that benchers did not need pump freak muscles that look good under the lights, but can't lift anything in the gym. He used a few select assistance exercises to develop his prime movers with low reps. One of these exercises came to be called the Williams Front Raise. This exercise proved successful for Powerlifting Champion Doug Young, his NFL brother Bob Young, and Professional Wrestler Ivan Putski. They simply grabbed a 45lb plate(with added plates for progression) and did slow front raises with palms facing, body braced, and ab's super tight. I think Williams moved up to a 100 pound plate for multiple sets. The same exercise can be done with a kettlebell. In fact the unique position of the handles puts the shoulders in a very safe, externally rotated position. Use a very slow tempo, and do not treat this as some pseudo bodybuilder isolation exercise, but as a total body, breath and irradiation tool. I'd also STRONGLY suggest, alternating this exercise with pullups. The pullups should be done with a light kettlebell hooked onto the feet for the first rep. This will fire up the nervous system before you jettison the ?bell and actively flex the all the muscles of the torso for both the negative and the positive. This is a grind, so low reps, hi sets, with plenty of rest to optimize that firepower. By the way, did I mention that Big Jim Williams was an Armwrestler too?

The last exercise is something used by both Caylor Adkins, and Tom Muzila, a pair of Shotokan Black Belts who used some ancient literature with an American Shot Put to develop their Reverse Punches. They simply held the shot,(in your case, the Kettlebell), in their palm. If you start with the right, keep that leg back, with your left leg forward and bent. The left arm should be protecting your spleen. Now, dip the right shoulder and throw slow uppercut, tightening your glutes and ab's, and extending your right arm forward and upward, causing you to twist at the waist. You need to use the Second Focus breath as your rear hips tries to track forward under the palm. This will cause a stretching in the right hip flexor, and a cramping in the right glute. Try to grip the ground with your left foot and transfer the weight to it as your rear heel comes off the ground. At the maximum extended point, and highest level of tension, roll the K-bell to the other hand, step forward and repeat. Plan to have adequate space ahead of you to continue this drill to reduced efficiency. This exercise stimulates the core muscles and forces you to use your hips as back up power to arm motions. The beauty of the kettlebells is the progessive weights. Be careful of any monster doing this exercise with 97 pound bulldog bells!

Plug these three drills into a two week cycle and see where they take you. In 14 days you will be swearing by them, or swearing at me