Recently I ran across a double KB complex devised by strength guru Dan John. He is a strong advocate of what he calls “Armor Building,” and it makes a lot of sense. He says, “In a sense, armor building is a kind of bodybuilding for sport.”
Anyway, this complex is great for building strength and even building some muscle to help pad those vulnerable joints, so susceptible in sports or even combat (or bringing in the groceries, I’ve found).
It’s really simple (not easy!), and the Armor Building Complex involves the following, with double kettlebells:
3 Front Squats
Here’s what it looks like (using a pair of 53’s for the demo):
So I started doing them about four weeks ago, here and there with a pair of 53# kettlebells. I thought it was great, but in order to get a great workout, I’d have to do a lot of them, or rest very little between complexes, which is fine. But I knew I could get a great workout in less time by using more weight, so that’s what I did. Here’s what it looked like:
Day 1: 5 Armor Building Complexes, every two minutes (10 minutes total)
Day 2: 3 Armor Building Complexes, every two minutes (6 minutes total)
Day 3: 4 Armor Building Complexes, every two minutes (8 minutes total)
This allowed me to wave the load; my days were Heavy/Light/Medium. By sticking with these three weights, sets and reps for three weeks, I was also waving the load, since the workouts became progressively easier over the three weeks.
I integrated some bodyweight work and some swings to get my heart rate up, along with some active recovery (yoga and walking) on off days.
For what it’s worth, at the end of the three weeks, I did a workout with some Armor Building complexes using 53# bells, and they felt light as a feather. The strength gained by using the 70# was evident in my increased work capacity with the 53#’s (I did 20 rounds in 20 minutes and still had plenty in the tank). That is to say, because using the 70’s made me stronger, I was able to do a lot more work with the 53’s. Pretty cool.
So I share this as a resource for you. Try the complex out, and tell me what you think.
(*You could also do the complex with dumbbells, but the cleans start at the hips rather than between the legs. The rest is pretty self explanatory.)
Looking for more workouts or exercise ideas? Go HERE for more info.