5 Kettlebell Challenges by Rock Cox

Five Kettlebell Challenges

The kettlebell is more than just a training tool, it can be a measuring scale of your strength, conditioning, and more. Use these five kettlebell challenges to find out just how tough you really are.

The kettlebell is one of the most versatile tools there is and can be used to push people past their limits. With the kettlebell, you can create some grueling challenges that will test your strength, endurance, and mental capacities.  Get ready, because it’s challenge time!  Here are five kettlebell challenges for you to try and test your overall physical and mental aptitude!

Disclaimer:  When performing any challenge, make sure you practice the movement on a regular basis before performing any repetition of that movement during the challenge time frame.  Always use proper form when performing any movement to avoid injury.  Seek out a highly qualified coach so that you learn how to perform the movement correctly.


Kettlebell Lungs of Fire Challenge

There is nothing quite like combining exercises with running.  It is probably the best method of conditioning for athletes.  As in most sports, athletes have to make various feats of strength coupled with acceleration and sprinting.  In this challenge you will be combining the snatch with sprinting.  Basically, you are doing two heart-rate accelerating forms of conditioning at the same time.

The Challenge Set Up

Go outside and find an area with about 50 meters of space to run.  Start off by doing 10 snatches each side and then sprint 50 meters down and back.  Do that for 10 sets with as little rest as possible.  Try to see how fast you can complete the 10 sets.  If you are able to get it completed in under 30 minutes, you are doing pretty good.  Continue to work on your timing as you repeat this challenge.  Once you have completed this challenge in less than 20 minutes, increase your kettlebell weight to the next size up.

The Challenge Demonstration

Kettlebell Challenge Summary

  • 10 sets
  • 10 snatches each arm
  • Sprint 50 meters down and back

The Kettlebell Bull Carry Challenge

Two of the best lifts that can produce the most strength throughout the entire body are squats and loaded carries.  In this challenge you will be combining squats and loaded carries together to recreate a similar experience to that of Milo carrying the bull.  This is a grueling mental and physical challenge as you will feel every muscle in your body straining and aching.

The Challenge Set Up

You need a distance of about 20 meters, it should take you around 30 seconds to perform the carry portion of the challenge.  What you will do is perform 10 double back squats with the kettlebells and then do a double rack carry for 20 meters.  Once you carried the bells for 20 meters go right back into another 10 reps of double back squats and then repeat the process.  Your goal is to complete 10 sets without putting the kettlebells on the ground.  Get all 10 sets in without putting the weights down bravo!

Now go grab a heap of your favorite protein and beverage as you will need it to recover.  After you recover try increasing the weight next time.

The Challenge Demonstration

Kettlebell Challenge Summary

  • 10 sets
  • 10 double back squats
  • Double rack carry 20 meters

The Kettlebell 50 Challenge

Performing one movement for 50 reps in a row is an extreme physical exertion that is a testament to one’s physical and mental fortitude.  Performing high rep challenges will teach the body how to stay relaxed under pressure.  Many of us challenge the physicality of our bodies but we never really challenge the mind.  To give you an example of why it’s important to train the mind I will use a quarterback scenario.

If a quarterback is rushed and panics under pressure he will more than likely throw an interception or scramble for a loss of yards.  Now on the other hand take Joe Montana his team was down in the final minutes of the Super Bowl.  He stayed calm and relaxed and was able to pull off a winning drive to help his team win the game.  Being able to focus and stay calm under pressure is a skill to be learned.  That is why this will be quite a challenge for most as it will take a lot of effort on your behalf to focus and take it just one rep at a time until you get to those 50 reps.

The Challenge Set Up

In order to complete the 50, the plan is simple.  You will perform 50 reps of double long cycle without putting the kettlebells down.  Once you can achieve this feat congratulate yourself because you were able to do what most cannot do.  Next time try for a faster time or increase the weight.

The Challenge Demonstration

Kettlebell Challenge Summary

  • 50 reps of double long cycle

Kettlebell Up Down Challenge

It would not be a kettlebell challenge without having one of the best functional movements, the swing.  In this challenge you will be performing the mighty swing along with push ups.  Once again, you will utilize two powerhouse movements together in one challenge.

The Challenge Set Up

The setup for this challenge is using the 15 sec on 15 sec off format.  Continue this format for 10 minutes.  Depending on your fitness level, begin with double-swings or a single.  Next, do push ups for 15 sec and then rest for 15 sec.  Keep continuing this format for 10 minutes.  Your goal should be to hit the same number of reps for each rotation.   A good goal for each rotation would be around 10 reps for swings and 8 reps for push ups.  To make this more challenging just increase the time to 15, 20, or even 30 minutes.  Anything over 30 minutes is redundant.

The Challenge Demonstration

Kettlebell Challenge Summary

  • 10 minutes
  • Double swings 15 sec
  • Rest 15 sec
  • Push ups 15 sec
  • Rest 15 sec

The Organa Kettlebell Challenge

This is an advanced kettlebell complex named after one of the greatest princesses in the galaxy.  What I love about kettlebells is all different ranges of motions you can achieve while constantly moving.  Rotation is a movement often left untrained.  There are a wide range of movements you can do with the kettlebell that will include rotational power.

In this complex, one of the movements you will be doing is the rotational press.  This is a great movement that incorporates your rotational power in the movement.  Along with rotation this complex also has one of favorite movements to train combat athletes with and is the machine gun cleans.  Machine gun cleans is a movement where the arms have to be constantly moving at a fast pace very similar to conditions a wrestler, boxer, or martial arts athlete would experience.

The Challenge Set Up

So without further ado I give you Organa.  To start off you will perform 10 rotational presses, then do 10 double half snatches, next 10 double front squats, and finish off with 20 reps of machine gun cleans.  These are all done back to back without putting the kettlebells down.  Try to see how many rounds you can get in 10 min.  Get four rounds in and you are looking pretty solid.  Ways to keep testing yourself is by increasing the number of rounds you can do in 10 minutes or go up in weight.

The Challenge Demonstration

Kettlebell Challenge Summary

  • 10 minutes
  • 10 rotational presses each side
  • 10 double half snatches
  • 10 double front squats
  • 20 machine gun cleans

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Rock Cox

Rock Cox is the owner and coach at Rockfit located in the South Suburbs of Chicago. He has certifications with NASM, IKFF, KETACADEMY, USAW, and FMS. Sports and fitness have always been a passion of his since he was young. He was a 3 sport athlete in high school (football, wrestling, and track) and a 2 sport athlete in college (football and wrestling). During his college years he spent a lot of time training with power lifting legend Ernie Frantz – a memorable and valuable experience. At the end of his college career he started playing rugby and still does play a game here and there. He also coaches youth rugby. He regularly competes in Kettlebell Sport competitions and once lifted kettlebells for 12 hours straight setting a record for lifting a total of 110,720kg over his head. WEBSITE: www.RockFit.co

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