Monday, January 30, 2023

Developing Power with Kettlebells - Dave Bellomo (2003)


As a drug-free powerlifter of fifteen years, I have developed a good foundation with the basic lifts: squat, bench and deadlift. Around that core, I'd do a lot of rows, overhead presses, and various other assistance work in my program. 

Over the last few years, however, life happened. 

I now own a small gym and have three beautiful daughters. I no longer have the time or the ability to recover from super-heavy squats or deadlifts. Still wanting to compete in something with some guts, I started practicing judo. Though my powerlifting foundation gave me a strength advantage a strength advantage over my opponents, I lacked speed and stamina. That's when my coach turned me on to kettlebells. 

After he gave me a quick lesson on kettlebell cleans and snatches, I was HOOKED! My grip strength increased dramatically, as did my hand speed and overall body power. I was able to execute throws and pickups with much more explosiveness than ever before. 

A few of us at the Judo club started experimenting with different workouts. I reasoned that since a tournament would consist of three to five matches each lasting three to five minutes, our kettlebell training should be comparable to that over time. 

I started out working with a 48-pound kettlebell throughout the day and tried to accumulate around 200 cleans and snatches total. This helped, but I later moved to what I'm currently doing, and the results are unbelievable. 

Without dieting, the fat started dropping off me. My stamina is better than ever, and I've got speed and athleticism that I haven't had in 10 years.

My current program is as follows. 

Three Days Per Week, with 66-pound kettlebells: 

15 cleans each hand
20 sumo deadlifts into a row to chin
15 one-hand presses overhead with each hand
20 sumo deadlifts into a row to chin

Repeat 5 times with a 5 minute break in between each set. 

Two Days Per Week: 

Dumbbell bent row
Standard military prress
Ab workout

Work up to a heavy set of 5 on everything except abs. 

If you are a grappler or if your body is in need of a drop kick, kettlebells may be the answer. Many a strong man build his physique with kettlebell training. Give it a try and who know, you might just reawaken a lost art and renew your zeal for training. 

Enjoy Your Lifting!  

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