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Tonight a new lockdown was announced for The Netherlands, which means the gyms close, unfortunately. So instead of 2-3 barbell-centered workouts a week I will have to make-do with what I have at home: a single 24kg kettlebell. The bell is a bit heavy for me at the moment, I hope that after five weeks that would be no longer the case.

I have been thinking about how I would build a workout around this implement and how I would program it.

This is what I came up with:

Workout A Workout B
Swings x100 Goblet squats x100
Goblet squats x100 Swings x100
Clean and jerk One or two arm Floor presses
Push-up and KB crossover One arm KB rows
Suitcase carries Double hand overhead press
Sprints Overhead carries

I would do workouts A and B back to back and then take a rest day. So there are two workouts every three days.

I hope to progress in volume, explosiveness and density.

I am sure this is not an optimal routine. What would you guys recommend?

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    Why not look at a pre-constructed program, like Simple and Sinister?
    – Dark Hippo
    Dec 15 '20 at 8:54
  • "The bell is a bit heavy for me at the moment" – could you be more specific? Dec 15 '20 at 11:21
  • @DarkHippo I have looked for it, but couldn't find a program that suited me. Dec 15 '20 at 14:58
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    @DaveLiepmann I did my first workout today. I couldn't do more than 25 swings in a set or my grip gave out. I also couldn't do more than 15 goblet squats in a set or my back and legs gave out. Dec 15 '20 at 15:00
  • That's helpful information – and pretty normal for starting out with prior training. Dec 15 '20 at 15:19
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A kettlebell program that doesn't include Turkish get-ups is a criminal offense. Similarly, exercises like windmills are well-suited for the kettlebell, and can develop attributes that are tough to mimic with a barbell program. It's a good idea to get out of the sagittal plane.

For swings, it can be helpful to use different rep schemes: sets of X reps for a certain volume, then increase total volume, then shoot for the same total volume with shorter rest periods, then sets of X+Y to get to the new, higher volume, and repeat the process. Another approach is to set a total number of reps within a given time, like 100 swings in 5 minutes. Yet another is to accumulate volume with sub-maximal sets (e.g. only 10 reps) using an on-the-minute style.

Complexes and flows, such as "swing/clean/squat/press/push-press/jerk/repeat on the other side" are a fun way to use a 'bell. While they aren't the best at developing any one physical attribute, they do okay at developing several simultaneously.

Don't look past non-kettlebell calisthenics (e.g. pull-ups, push-ups) just because you have the tool.

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    To be honest, I have never really understood the TGU. But I guess now would be a good time to step out of my comfort zone. Hell, kettlebell training already is. I'll replace pushups and floor presses with TGU's, so I do them both workouts. I also wanted to include pull-ups, but I just really don't have the means at home. I do have a calisthenics park close by, so I add a calisthenics workout every other day where I do a circuit of push-ups, pull-ups, inverted rows and dips. Dec 18 '20 at 7:13

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