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.

lisa jumping onto a box

JKC was recommended to me by a fellow runner. I was experiencing injuries, and feeling weak and fragile. When I started with JKC, Jon asked me about my goals and my focus. I wanted to concentrate specifically on running, and preventing injury. Jon developed a program for me that has enabled me to focus on my form and strength and has been flexible enough to enable me to train for many different races. I have been training with JKC for six years, and during that time I have enjoyed Jon and Thomas’s expertise in a very warm and supportive atmosphere.

I was referred to JKC by my sister-in-law and had heard good things about it from many people in the running community. I also saw Jon’s picture on the wall at lululemon years ago! I really like the personalized training and the variety the guys provide. I started for strength training for running. I love cardio and do tons of it but wasn’t motivated to do much strength work on my own. Jon mixes up my strength work week to week so I don’t get bored but also lets me work in a hard circuit for the last 20 minutes of most sessions to get my cardio fix 

I’ve always struggled with both my weight and anxiety throughout my life. As a writer you live a pretty sedentary lifestyle filled with both realistic and unrealistic deadlines, so I needed something to get me off my butt and to get me moving. JK has been a godsend during this past year and a half in particular. The pandemic has been tough, but workouts with both Thomas and Jon have really helped reduce the stress and strain of a global pandemic, and added an anchor of normalcy back into my life — which has been worth its weight in gold.

JKC has created an incredibly inclusive environment that’s filled with all kinds of supportive folks from all kinds of different backgrounds. For folks like myself, being surrounded by people with such athletic ability can be intimidating in most gyms. It can actually be a deterrent, and it sometimes has been for me. But, at JKC it’s far from that — it’s inspirational. Everyone supports one another. Which is something that’s not easily found in this day and age, inside of a gym or out. Not to sound like a total cheeseball here, but it really feels like a family.

trap bar deadlift

A few of my wonderful friends and colleagues recommended JKC. I was told by one colleague that “It’ll be the best thing you ever do for yourself” and she was right! To be honest, I didn’t have much experience in any gym setting. And NO prior weight training experience. It was always so overwhelming! But from the first day, nothing was intimidating about JKC. Each workout is set up just for me, and with my specific skills and goals in mind. There are no stupid questions, you learn as you go, and what I really love, I always feel included and important, regardless of my skills/experience.

I heard really good things about it from my sister, and I could see the positive results she was getting.  I needed to do something.  I was overweight, depressed, and recovering from a back injury.  I had reached a point where simply getting up out of a chair was becoming difficult.  I knew that if I didn’t do something about it my senior years would be very burdensome to the people close to me.  I’m so glad I did!  After just a few weeks my day-to-day pain was drastically reduced, and my mobility increased. I had the confidence to try sea kayaking, and I now play ice hockey twice a week!

The key difference is the expertise.  The trainers know the gym equipment and the exercises, but they also have degrees in kinesiology, and can apply what they know to your workout.  As someone who was in poor physical condition starting out, I was worried about hurting myself.  Previously I tried an outdoor weekly bootcamp and injured my knee by pushing too hard.  The trainers at JKC constructed a program that started at the right level for me, evolving it as I grew stronger and more fit.  I feel well looked after.

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