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.

Not having much if any experience with professional gyms I though it would be along the lines of going to a facility and doing your own thing, getting some instructions from time to time, if you asked for it, and for most part working out on your own, in a large impersonalized setting. I was a bit apprehensive as I figured I’d be standing around a lot looking at all this equipment wondering what to do with it, or worst doing something to hurt myself. Well I couldn’t have been more wrong. Both Jon and Thomas are very attentive, professional trainers, who lay-out an exercise program, from start to finish, for you. They demonstrate the exercise they want you to do and then watch you do it to make sure you got it right. Jon and Thomas are very thorough, patience and non-assuming.

I saw an article in Men’s Journal that quoted Jon in about 2018 while traveling and was impressed that someone in St. John’s made that international magazine.  Jon spoke about an exercise called the Farmer’s Walk and I started working that into my routine at the YMCA. I tore that article out of the magazine and kept it, meaning to make contact, but got busy. Then I had lunch with an old friend Bruce Dyke. I hadn’t seen Bruce for a while and I remarked that he looked super healthy and fit. He told me about his, and his son Cas’, experience at JKC and then I remembered the Men’s Journal article! No coincidences!

The experience is unique on many levels – great people, camaraderie, passion, purpose, and dedication. Jon and Thomas are attentive, precise and understanding.  Their teaching has unlocked a new perspective for me with what our bodies are capable of. I still appreciate the YMCA, wonderful place, but I can’t imagine working out without Jon and Thomas now.

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.

My initial goal was to find qualified personal training services in a personalized small gym setting. I have never been a fan of large gyms. JKC offers a friendly, happy gym experience that motivates me to strive for bigger and better results every week. Jon, Thomas and Craig are genuinely talented and always excited to celebrate everyone’s success.

I have a passion for challenging myself to achieve or beat goals. My favourite memories take me back to greater wins than I ever imagined with deadlifts and after a lot of determination and hard work, being able to do multiple chin-ups. Training at JKC has been one of the best experiences of my life – thank you for your commitment to helping me stay fit!!💪🏼😅

I’ve been weight training on and off for years but never really had a specific goal or target in mind so routinely stalled out, plateaued or stopped training all together. Before I joined JKC I was definitely in a fitness slump and needed something to motivate me and get me back on track. I did a bit of digging online, looking at various personal training options and gyms around town but JKC seemed like the best option by far. I’ve tried big box gyms and other personal trainers in the past but none of them have had the perfect combination of goal specific fitness programming, welcoming and supportive environment, and the knowledge and passion to back it all up that you’ll find at JKC. Jon and Thomas are great to work with, they know how to motivate you if you’re having an off day and are well versed in all the different ways to make your muscles burn! I also have noticed some major improvements in my deadlifts since I started with JKC and was really happy with the result.

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