kettlebell towel

*This is a guest post by Travis Stoetzel from www.travisstoetzel.com and www.theforgedathlete.com. Travis uses hardcore aggressive methods to build lean muscular physiques in his Omaha, NE gym called The Forged Athlete Gym. His training principles are in line with mine so I thought it would be cool to get this beast of a man to write a guest post for JKC. Thanks for taking the time to write this wicked post Trav – I’m sure my readers will enjoy it.*

I often get asked how to design and program workouts that blend together the uses of sandbags, kettlebells, and bodyweight in with one another.

What often times happens with people when they try to blend these three methods of training together themselves is that they usually end up with some sort of random mixed up circuit that’s simply been thrown together without any rhyme or reason.

That’s totally OK if you’re someone that just wants to train for fun and hobby, but if you’re someone who is after some serious and consistent results, like getting some major increases in strength, power, and conditioning, then I’m about to give you one of my methods I created that has effectively been used to do just that!

I like to call the set up I’m about to go over with you, Triple Threat Tri-sets and I use this set up often, especially when I’m training with kettlebells, sandbags, and bodyweight.

The way I design these workouts is by first, selecting a movement for strength, then power, then another movement for conditioning / volume. It’s critical you do this first in order to have some sort of design because if you don’t have a strategic plan, you’re just winging it and that will not help get you consistent gains over time.

So, here’s how we design a Triple Threat Tri-set…

First, I’ll select which implement of training I’m going to use, which will either be a sandbag, kettlebell, or bodyweight movement. It doesn’t matter which one I choose, but whichever one I do happen to choose, it will then be unavailable for use with the other two movements.

For example, if I choose a heavy sandbag zercher squat for my first strength movement, my next two movements within the tri-set must be a bodyweight and kettlebell movement. You must use all three of the implements in these tri-sets. This is exactly what makes the tri-set so powerful and unique as each movement will come from a different form of training via bodyweight, kettlebell, or sandbag.

Now, for the strength movement, I’ll want to make sure and keep the reps relatively low, like around 2-6, and also make sure to either A) have this movement be fairly heavy or B) very challenging in that it will help target strength more then anything else.

The second movement will focus on POWER. The reps for this movement will stay between 4-10 and remember, the goal for this movement is to target SPEED and EXPLOSIVENESS.

The third and final movement will focus on conditioning – make sure to get in a higher amount of reps and volume. For this movement, you can count reps (15 or more), or choose to do it for a set amount of time like 30-60 secs.

So, now that we know the layout of what our Triple Threat Tri-sets will look like, below I have laid out 3 different sample tri-sets using a different implement in each slot.
 

Tri-set 1

 
A1) HEAVY Sandbag Zercher Squat x 5 (strength focus)
A2) Double Kettlebell Push Press x 5 (explosive focus)
A3) Recline Row on Jungle Gym XT x 45 secs (conditioning focus)
***rest 2 mins and repeat x 5 rounds
 

Tri-set 2

 
A1) Double KB Pistol Squat x 3-5 / leg (strength focus)
A2) Plyo Push Ups x 4-10 (explosive focus)
A3) Sandbag Power Clean x 15 touch and go reps (conditioning focus)
***rest 2 mins and repeat x 5 rounds
 

Tri-set 3

 
A1) Ring Handstand Push Ups x 6 (strength focus)
A2) Sandbag Shouldering x 3-5/ shoulder (explosive focus)
A3) Kettlebell Swing x 20 (conditioning focus)
***rest x 2 mins and repeat x 5 rounds

You could use the layout I have above for a 3-week cycle – I guarantee you’ll see some killer results!

You could easily use the layout above for a Monday, Wednesday and Friday setup. For example, perform tri-set 1 on Monday, tri-set 2 on Wednesday and try-set 3 on Friday. Or, you can take a tri-set to the end of your regular workout to ramp up your calorie burn during and after your workout, thanks to the EPOC (excess post-exercise oxygen consumption) phenomenon.

Bottom Line – If you want to blend these 3 different types of powerful strength training methods in together with one another, using Triple Threat Tri-sets is one of the best ways to go!

Hopefully now you have some direction and some fresh ideas on how to take your training to the next level!

-Travis

If you’re interested in this form of training, Travis has a great workout ebook called Bags, Bells and Bodyweight.

bags, bells, bodyweight cover

You can check out more of the ebook HERE.

Travis S 1About Travis:

Travis is a highly unconventional strength and conditioning specialist that focuses in on serious athletes and trainees to help them improve their overall performance and physique.

He specializes in training athletes specifically in aggressive sports such as wrestling, MMA, football as well military personnel. Travis uses rugged and unconventional types of training methods that include strongman, kettlebell, ropes, chains, bodyweight, Crossfit, Olympic lifting, sandbags, sleds, and tires to achieve effective results.

He owns a small hardcore gym in Omaha NE, called The Forged Athlete where he helps athletes and serious trainees alike accomplish their performance and physique enhancement goals.

For more information on Travis, go to his personal blog www.travisstoetzel.com and look into all of the other articles, posts, and videos available.

I started strength training at JKC in the Spring of 2021. I am in my 60’s but happy to say I feel much younger since joining this gym. I joined JKC upon the advice of a doctor. I went through some difficult medical issues last year, that’s when one of my doctors recommended strength training at JKC. I have been physically active most of my adult life but mainly running and completed many road races as I am a distance runner. Strength training has definitely benefited me by increasing my stamina and energy. It sure has enhanced my recovery over the past year. I have the added benefit of becoming a stronger runner as well.

I started at JKC in January of 2014 and I’m 67 years old. When I had my Initial Assessment, I knew – almost immediately – that Jon knew what he was doing and what he was talking about. I was overweight, out of shape, and in serious need of someone, like Jon, who could get me back on a fitness/conditioning routine that suited me, my age, my less than acceptable physical condition, my sometimes intermittent RA, and my need for a structured, consistent and yet flexible training and conditioning program that would work for me.

Fundamentally, if I made a choice at all with respect to JKC – it was to continue to come back each week. I have not been in a lot of gyms. To be honest, they used to intimidate me. What makes JKC different is their approach to each and every one of their clients. Jon and Thomas – and now Craig – tailor each training regime to the particular needs of each client. That ensures that the training regime will suit each client upon the start of training and changes as the client improves. It adjusts for any physical setbacks such as injuries and it adjusts for success. It is just that simple.

It is also the consistent encouragement that comes from Jon, Thomas and Craig. That voice that comes to you while you are in the middle of a particularly difficult set – rear-foot elevated split squats comes to mind immediately – that says “good job” or “keep it up” or “just a couple more reps.” To know, in that moment, that you are not alone and the trainer is paying attention to what you are doing. That is priceless for me.

I originally joined JKC because I was anxious about passing out and embarrassing myself since I hadn’t weight trained in a while and I’d hoped to find somewhere sympathetic. My husband @terry_hussey had been training at JKC and his success there made me miss the achievement you feel from a good workout. I went to meet Jon and immediately knew it was going to be a safe space for me. I was never judged for the fears I had and where I was starting from. Jon and Thomas made sure to check on me often, and found a way to challenge me but make me feel secure at the same time, and Terry and I were able to book sessions together, so working out became a shared win for us!

JKC is different from other gyms because of the personal growth you have outside JKC (the sessions inside JKC creates a great positive feedback loop!). You gain self confidence, learn how to show up for yourself, meet a community of newfound friends, and get the support of your trainers who are behind you 100%. I’ve left a scattered workout so proud of myself I’ve honestly shed a tear in the car on the drive home. JKC is the mental health relief valve I need to stay positive, and keep my anxiety and health related fears at bay.

After my children were born, I was completely out of shape. I had been active before my first pregnancy in 2008. I saw a post on social media about a charity event that was hosted at the gym. It prompted me to check out the JKC website. I was immediately impressed by the professional content and decided to give it a try. The professionally crafted and uniquely tailored work outs, as well as the sense of accountability and commitment that they foster. I have not missed a workout since joining – contrary to other experiences I have had when purchasing gym memberships. The flexibility of booking and rescheduling workouts, made easy by an online app, also contributed to my success in meeting my fitness goals.

I enjoy every session, working out with Jon, Thomas and Craig, as well as the “JKC Community”. Anytime someone achieves a personal best, I enjoy the celebration and support everyone gives each other. For me, I fondly remember achieving personal bests on bench press, chin ups and the sled push, in particular.

I recently turned 40, and I have been training at JKC since the summer of 2020. My partner Michael had already been training at JKC, so it came highly recommended. We had set up a home gym at the start of the pandemic, but needed to mix it up after the first lockdown. JKC differs from other gyms because of the personalized workouts. Jon, Thomas and Craig are great at challenging me to do more than I would on my own.

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