Author Archive Voodoo

Schweddy Bells – One program ends and another begins

If you’re looking for a BOGO deal on a warm Sunday afternoon, you’ve come to the right place. This is a combo backblast/preblast for Saturday’s Olympus where we concluded Ickey Shuffle’s Fighting Shape plan and the next kettlebell program that will start tomorrow at Swole and continue for the next 6 weeks at Swole/Meathead/Olympus.

I pulled up to Calvary around 6:55 and found a few cars waiting for me. The Worm, Kryzezwski (I’m never going to spell that without some sort of autocorrect helping me), and Mighty Mite were there, but only BLC’s swagger wagon was in attendance. I began unloading the bells and Tupelo’s native son came jogging up. #strong

After a quick disclaimer (don’t hurt yourself), we started with the warm up:

  • SSH x 20 IC
  • Swings x 10
  • Imperial Walker x 10 IC
  • Swings x 10
  • LSS x 10 IC
  • Swings x 10
  • Sharon Towers x 10 IC
  • Swings x 10

Sufficiently warmed up, it was time for the main event:

  • Clean + press x 10 each side (performed as singles or doubles)
  • Merkins x 10
  • Reverse lunges x 5 each side
  • Halo x 10 each direction

Rest 2:00, then repeato for 5 total rounds.

  • 2H swings x 20
  • Lawnmower x 8 each side
  • Goblet squat x 10
  • Snatch x 5 each side

Rest 2:00, then repeato for 5 total rounds. Wild Turkey wrapped up his 8 mile ruck and jumped in for the last 2 rounds. #badtiming

A few minutes left, so we went right to the Mary portion of the morning’s activities:

  • Elbow plank x 1:00, :30 recovery
  • Hollow body hold x 1:00, :30 recovery
  • Glute bridge x ~1:30 (until time was up)

The End. Circle up with the Rock pax, led by Magoo. The Rock had an FNG (Percy, from Memphis) and BLC took us all out.


  • F3 Dad’s Camp will be August 19-21 at Camp Thunderbird on Lake Wylie. See the preblast for details and to sign up. Spots are going fast!
  • F3 Brolympics returns on September 24th. Details will be forthcoming, but Flipper, Horsehead, Hoover, and Joker are hard at work on events that will challenge all of the pax, regardless of their strength. The t-shirt has been professionally designed and looks great. Plenty of fellowship will be available as well as the usual mumblechatter (and trash talking).
  • Keep an eye on Slack as there will be pre-orders coming up soon for hats, the aforementioned Brolympics shirts, and Area 51 shirts. If you’re new to F3 or if you’ve been around for a while and have the smelly shirts to prove it, take this opportunity to freshen up your closet. We’ll need a minimum of 12 orders of each item to launch the order, so please support the effort! Contact High Tide with any questions.


  • I think I speak for all of the pax when I say that the Fighting Shape plan was sneaky tough. You’re reading through it and thinking “that’s a lot of presses, but I get 2:00 rest between sets.”  That’s not enough rest. There were a lot of sweat angels out there yesterday.
  • Thanks to Ickey Shuffle for putting these last 8 weeks together and building a solid program. PS – I’m also going to kick him in the nuts for said program.


As promised, we’ll be starting a new program tomorrow at Swole. I’ll be the Q and Mighty Mite will Q at Meathead on Wednesday (now that it’s written here, he has no choice). The next program is another one from Joe Daniels, who came up with the Kettlebell Only Muscle Gain (KBOMG) program we did a few months ago. You know what that means: a multi-colored spreadsheet with lots of video links and some weird exercises. This program will have a mix of singles and doubles, so either bring doubles to the workouts or check out the program the night before. The Q could also post on Slack the day before if he was really on the ball…

Here’s the link to the Swing this Kettlebell Complex ProgramSwing this Kettlebell Complex Program. It is structured as a warm up (Q’s discretion), a main complex, and a finisher. The Q can add carries, Mary, or additional KB work if there’s extra time.

Where is everyone?

YHC pulled into the lot at Calvary this morning with about 5 minutes to spare and found Big League Chew and The Worm waiting for me. Considering my late arrival, I was perplexed by the paucity of the pax. Where are my regulars? Where is my co-site Q? Will SACS have more pax, leading to a text from Cheese Curd, taunting me? These questions would have to wait since I had a workout to lead. I was unloading my bells and chatting with BLC and Worm when an unfamiliar vehicle arrived and out climbed Grimes, son of Philmont.


  • SSH x 20 IC
  • 10 swings
  • Windmills x 10 IC
  • 10 swings
  • IW x 10 IC
  • 10 swings

Main Event:

  • Racked squats – 4 sets of 3 per side
  • Heavy swings – 5 sets of 15 reps
  • Lawnmower row ladder – 4 sets of 3 per side/2 per side/1 per side
  • Heavy deadlifts – 5 sets of 10 reps
  • Upright rows – 5 sets of 15 reps (YHC realized that 12 would probably have been better here, but once you start, you have to finish)
  • Reverse sit-ups with bell anchor – 4 sets of 10 reps
  • Static Holds – :20 with bell(s) overhead, :20 with bell(s) racked, :20 with bell(s) by your sides for 3 rounds (4 for Grimes)

The End. COT with the Meathead pax that joined us as we wrapped up.


  • Functional Strength Challenge this Saturday at Olde Providence Elementary at 7:00. Max snatches in 5:00, max pull-ups, max deadlifts. Join us and test yourself. We haven’t been training for this event, so it will be a good chance to establish a base line.


  • Thanks to the pax that posted this morning. The Worm is a regular and was attending his third kettlebell workout in a row after hitting Swole and Skunkworks. BLC was making his first post at Meathead in over 4 years based on my records. Grimes was making his second post of the week after joining us for Swole on Monday.
  • Since we’re between programs, I pulled the weinke together with a mix of exercises pulled from the KBOMG program we just finished. I tried to mix it up and give the pax a full-body workout without overdoing anything.
  •  The plan is to have a new program ready for Monday. I’ve outsourced spreadsheet creation, so you really can’t blame me for the next program! I hope you’ll join us in the gloom.

Welcome, Bulgarian Goat Bag!

15 burly men (including 1 FNG!) showed up at Covenant Day School this morning to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of Area 51’s inaugural gear workout. To celebrate the occasion, Stone Cold and Horsehead invited High Tide and YHC to lead a kettlebell clinic.  After a thorough disclaimer, here’s what went down in the gloom:


  • Obligatory SSH x 15 IC
  • Prying squat (coach through it and do ~3 reps)
  • Halo (3 each way)

Clinic Time:

  • The first exercise we tackled was the Big Daddy, the Swing. Almost every workout includes the swing and it’s the foundation of the other ballistic movements. YHC walked through the setup: grip the bell with the fingers, just above the meat at the top of your palm; bell should be in front of the pax, not beneath them; hike the bell back and use your hips to power it up to chest/chin level (we don’t do any American swings in F3). We then walked through a few exercises, including the hinge vs. squat movement – pretend there’s a wall behind you and touch it with your six, don’t squat in front of it. High Tide walked the pax through the long jump exercise (try it with a squat and a hinge – the distance is pretty much the same). We did a few reps and then High Tide brought out Dan John’s famous “Bulgarian Goat Bag Swing” exercise in which the bell is held by the horns against your abdomen and the hips are hinged. This was a crowd favorite and led to a lot of mumblechatter. This removes the arms from the equation so the pax can focus on the hinge movement. We also did some dead stop swings (parking the bell between reps), some 1-handed swings, and some 2-handed swings. We talked about the fact that the top of a swing is like a standing plank with your body rigid. Remember: “Hips drive, arms guide!”
  • Next up was the Clean. The Clean will get the bell from the ground to a racked position safely and efficiently. From there, you can press it, carry it, squat it, etc. Cues for the lean include keeping it close to the body, don’t overpower it so it slams on you, and think about rotating the bell around waist level. The bell should ultimately end up resting on the V formed by the elbow, arm, and chest, not on your shoulder. Your fist should be under your chin. This is the “rack” position.
  • Next was the Press. From the rack, with the bell below your chin, press the bell up. Keep the forearms vertical and don’t allow the elbows to flare out. Keep your lower body tight so you don’t leak energy (or noxious fumes). If you’ve got too much weight or you’re smoked, you can use the push press or the jerk to get a few more reps. These exercises allow you to use your legs to get the bell moving.
  • Everyone’s favorite squat was next – the Goblet. High Tide had the pax do 3 vertical jumps. Where your feet land naturally should be your approximate stance for a squat. He then had the pax squat down with their hands sliding down the insides of their legs. This was a tip he’d learned from StrongFirst instructor Dan John that may allow you to go lower into the squat than you originally thought possible. Some of the cues for the squat were: stay tall, sit between the legs, and to make sure the shoulders and hips move at the same time (don’t allow yourself to bend at the waist or lean forward and compress your shoulders toward your knees).
  • After walking through the goblet squat, the pax were encouraged to partner up with someone with a like-sized bell for some doubles work using the Armor Builder complex – 2 double cleans, 1 double press, 3 double front squats. The idea was to give the pax some experience with the heavier weights of doubles and to give them ideas of how they can use multiple bells.
  • The next exercise up was the High Pull. This is a good transition exercise between the swing and the snatch as it teaches you to pull the bell toward you, which is something you will do subtly while snatching. Some cues to remember: keep the forearm parallel to the ground when pulling, elbow the guy behind/next to you, and don’t hit yourself in the face with the handle.
  • The last exercise was the Snatch, which is a great cardiovascular and strength exercise. We started with the bell at the top and threw it at our zippers, playing chicken by hinging our hips at the last minute. Cues to remember: keep your grip loose – if you overgrip the bell, you’ll tear your hands up (true of the clean and high pull as well), give a slight pull around face level and then punch your hand through the bell so you meet it at the top – don’t let it swing over the top and slam on your forearm, and the bell should be locked out overhead at the end of the swing, not in front of you.
  • Next we did the Cook Drill to show the various carries that can be done with a kettlebell – waiter, racked, and suitcase. Add a second bell in the same or a different position to make it even more fun! Just because we don’t run doesn’t mean we can’t move!
  • We ended with a few rounds of the Voodoo complex: swing, high pull, snatch, clean, squat, and press. 1 time through with each side is 1 rep. We did a ladder up to 3 reps per side before running out of time. We’ll have to do the TGUs next time!


  • The 2022 Functional Strength Challenge will be held at Olde Providence Elementary on Saturday, May 21 at 0700. Max snatches in 5:00, max pull-ups, and max deadlifts. All are welcome! Come out and test your limits.


  • Thanks to Horsehead and Stone Cold for their leadership of Skunkworks. As I mentioned above, it’s Area 51’s original gear AO and where most of us were first introduced to kettlebells. The workouts typically consists of stationary kettlebell exercises mixed with sprints, so it’s a great combination of strength and cardio. If you enjoyed today, start posting and sign up to Q! That’s what keeps these workouts we all love alive!
  • Thanks to High Tide, who prepared the weinke and knows more about kettlebells than just about any other pax in all of F3.
  • Welcome to our FNG Kyle, a/k/a Bulgarian Goat Bag. Horsehead basically named him during the workout and there was no going back. He’ll probably be introducing himself as BGB at future workouts, so be sure to ask him what it stands for!
  • It was great to see so many pax at the clinic, including some faces I haven’t seen in a while (ahem, Header and Funky Cold). #kotters Don’t be strangers!
  • If you want more professional guidance, please check out the StrongFirst YouTube channel or Dan John’s YouTube channel.
  • Please feel free to sound off below with any additional comments.


New kettlebell program – March/April/May 2022

The program we’re going to do at Swole/Meathead/Olympus for the next 8 weeks is the single bell version of the Kettlebell Only Muscle Gain (or KB OMG) program from Joe Daniels of Swing this Kettlebell Club. I had spent my spare time over the last few days trying to take his somewhat colorful spreadsheet and convert it into our usual format. With time running out before Meathead tomorrow, I decided to throw in the towel and just go with his sheet. It’s a little all over the place, but hopefully you can get the hang of it. In addition, there are helpful links embedded in a couple of places to walk you through different exercises and mobility work. He’s got some original exercises, so it might be worth watching some of the videos if you are unfamiliar with them. If you’re Qing a workout, please make sure you know how to properly perform the exercises!

Here’s the program.

This is an 8-week program with 4 workouts per week. Since we have more time at Olympus on Saturdays, I would suggest performing the 3rd and 4th workouts combined or cherry picking from the two to come up with 60 minutes of exercises, but it’s up to the Q. If you have extra time, please feel free to use some of the complexes we’ve been doing. They can be found on the Complexes tab in this spreadsheet.

Sorry for the brief pre-blast, but I’ll be happy to answer any questions you have at a workout.

See you in the gloom,


Is this thing still on?

9 pax posted at Meathead this morning in the chilly gloom. Most knew the general plan (4 rounds of 8 reps of 3 supersets), but there’s always some extra time for some ad libbing by the Q.

As I got my bells out, I noticed a new face amongst the pax. I walked over to introduce myself to Countertop, a visitor head locked by Unplugged. Countertop has an injured back and didn’t want to run, so he was in the right place.

0530 rolled around, so we got started:


  • SSH x 20 IC
  • 2H swings x 25
  • IW x 15 IC
  • High pulls x 10 per side
  • Prying squat x 2
  • Snatch x 5 per side
  • Windmill x 10 IC

Hypertrophy plan:

Perform 4 rounds of 8 reps of each of the following 3 supersets with a 2:00 timer. Perform the reps, then wait for the 2:00 to run out, then go again.

  • Superset 1: 8 cleans + 8 presses – doubles or singles
  • Superset 2: 8 squats + 8 merkins
  • Superset 3: 8 heavy swings + 8 lawnmowers per side


4 deadlifts (doubles or singles), 3 snatches per side, 2 merkins, 1 push-press or jerk for 5 rounds on a 90 second timer


Static holds: overhead, rack, and farmer. Singles or doubles. :20 in each position with 1:00 recovery.

Mary1:30 or so of hollow body hold to run out the clock.


  • Blood drive – check Slack for details, but there are back-to-back blood drives. 3/11 at Westminster Presbyterian Church and 3/12 at Doerre Construction. There are lots of slots available, so please pick a time that works for you.
  • QSource – Thursdays at noon online and Sundays at 0800 at the Panera at the Arboretum. Join the channel on Slack for more details and to get caught up on the reading (you don’t have to buy the book – it’s all online).


  • I put together a new playlist last night instead of relying on one of Spotify’s canned ones. Of course, all the songs by particular artists were together, so I relied on Spotify’s shuffle feature. So far, so good until we got to our second Motley Crue song in the same workout. Hoover immediately called out the Q for a playlist fail. Back to the Spotify playlists…
  • Frehley’s was out of town, but he would have enjoyed the transition from Foo Fighters to Motley Crue. One of his least favorite bands followed by one of his favorites. Next time, I hope it’s Pearl Jam instead of Foo Fighters and I hope he’s there to complain.
  • Ickey has been quiet this week, possibly mourning the Bengals’ Super Bowl loss. I’m just glad he watched it since it’s so hard for a team to get there. I’m also happy he’s posted at Swole and Meathead this week. Soul Glo wasn’t there and must still be recovering from the game (and the officiating).
  • Site FNG Countertop did a great job today and said he’d be back for Swole on Monday. Apparently, he tried to post this Monday, but went to Cavalry instead of McAlpine Elementary. We got him straightened out and look forward to seeing him next week.
  • Time to watch some Olympics. Thanks for coming out and following my lead. See you on Saturday!

Swingin’ in the Rain

5 bros pulled up in the InVue parking lot (to get a little shelter from the rain) at about 0530, ready to kick off a new year of Swole with a hypertrophy program of High Tide’s design. For details of the program, see here.

After a thorough disclaimer for the pax, we got started with a little warm-up:

  • SSH x 20 IC
  • IW x 10 IC
  • Windmill x 10 IC
  • Low Slow Squat x 15 IC – this is when Hoover and Lex pulled in after going to McAlpine at first
  • Arm circles forward x 10 IC
  • Arm circles backward x 10 IC

With the pax sufficiently warmed up, we moved on to the main event, which consisted of 5 sets of 3 supersets of exercises performed every 2:00. Pax with smaller bells, work for 1:30 and rest for :30, pax with medium sized bells, work for 1:00 and rest for 1:00, pax with large bells or doubles, work for :30 and rest for 1:30. It worked out that most pax did 1 or 2 sets every 2:00, depending on bell size.

  • Superset 1: 8 cleans and 8 presses for 2:00 x 3
  • Superset 2: 8 squats and 8 merkins for 2:00 x 3
  • Superset 3: 8 heavy swings and 8 lawnmowers per side for 2:00 x 3

Carries – either farmer (if you have doubles) or waiter (alternating halfway for singles) – 90 seconds x 2 with 90 seconds rest between

Mary – 1:20 elbow plank until out of time


  • The 2022 Passport Challenge kicked off on Saturday. Visit as many F3 AOs in any region as possible in January and February to win a sweet pair of dog tags (and regional bragging rights). A more fulsome pre-blast can be found here and you can sign up here.
  • Q Source will kick off this Sunday at the Panera at the Arboretum from 0800 to 0830 (after Rum Runner/Rucker – see Slack for starting times for each). For those who are unfamiliar, Q Source is an F3 leadership development program with weekly discussion topics. If interested, join the discussion on the #qsource channel on Slack and/or come join us on Sundays. Please see Geraldo’s pre-blast here.


  • T-claps to High Tide for taking the lead in designing the new program for the M-W-Sa kettlebell workouts. Please take a look at the spreadsheet he put together (see link above) as he’s done a great job of laying out what we’ll be doing and how to perform the supersets. The only (slight) modification we made today is to allow for pax with lighter bells to do 2 sets every 2:00 instead of the prescribed 1. The program is designed to wave intensity throughout the week by adjusting the number of sets. For those days with fewer sets, the Q will have some time to fill with other exercises, complexes, etc.
  • Thanks to the pax for coming out this morning and following my lead. It was a wet (though not cold) morning, which makes it tough to get out and swing the bells (cough, Frehley’s, cough). It’s not often that I thank a member of the pax for cruising an elementary school parking lot picking up guys, but thanks Hoover for patrolling the McAlpine parking lot and bringing Lex over.
  • The playlist was Spotify’s “Rock School,” which looked good at first glance, but did include a few songs that were #verboten for various reasons (i.e., too slow, female lead singer that wasn’t Evanescence or Garbage, etc.). Thankfully, Frehley’s wasn’t there to complain and Hoover didn’t throw a bell at me because he only brought one. #nospares
  • I know Wild Turkey was getting after it this morning. He did at least 2 sets every 2:00 and he wasn’t using a small bell. I also saw Lex getting after it with multiple sets on at least the clean and press. Strong work for both of you. I’m sure others were working hard too, but it was tough to see with the way we were set up in a line instead of a circle/oval.
  • Someone had too much chili last night or something because they were smoking us out under the cover a couple of times this morning. Normally, I would blame Frehley’s or The Worm, but neither was in attendance.
  • With a new year comes all kinds of resolutions. While resolutions can be helpful for some people, most of us have experience with setting high goals in January only to have them fade by February (or maybe January 15th). Instead, set achievable/measurable goals and share them with your friends (or your Shieldlock in F3 jargon). Have them hold you accountable for achieving them. F3 is a great way of making progress because it’s designed to instill accountability. Regardless of your goal, there are pax training for the same thing or something very similar. Want to ruck a bajillion miles in 2022? Reach out to Wild Turkey, Geraldo, Cheese Curd, or some of the other SACS-heads. Want to run a marathon? Talk to Bunker, Frasier, Hairball, Garcia, Flipper, Grasshopper, or any number of the amazing runners we have in our midst. Want to dial in your snatch, learn to bent press, or just get better with kettlebells without hurting yourself or embarrassing yourself at the gym? Come on out to Swole, Meathead, or Olympus and stand next to me, Mighty Mite, High Tide, Unplugged, Wild Turkey (again), or any of the other regulars. Want to get in great all-around shape so you can chase your kids around the yard? Try keeping up with Alf, Orange Whip, Mic Check, or any of the other boot camp all-stars at any of the numerous boot camps in South Charlotte. If you have a different goal, talk it up and you’re likely to find someone crazy enough to do it with you. Alright, that’s enough talking – get out there and do something.

Nickel 3 Doors Back Down at Meathead

Not sure about that title, but we’re going to go with it. 6 pax posted at Meathead yesterday for another humid October morning. Urlacher was going to Q, but then he went out of town on some quail hunting boondoggle, so I picked it up. Trying to mix up my usual auto-generated Spotify playlist, I went for the 00s Rock Anthems. The last two songs were Nickelback and 3 Doors Down, hence the backblast name.

Warm up:

  • SSH x 20 IC
  • 2H swings x 10
  • Windmills x 10 IC
  • 2H swings x 10
  • Prying squat x 2 IC
  • 2H swings x 10

Main Event:

First up is day 2 of the Wolf for 5 sets (1:2 work:rest ratio, which worked out to ~1:00 on/2:00 off):

  • DFS x 5
  • DMP x 5
  • DCL x 5
  • DFS x 5

That was fun!

Easy strength to bring the HR back down:

4 sets of each of the following (perform all sets of each exercise before moving on to the next):

  1. 5 single-leg deadlifts per leg
  2. 5 seated presses
  3. 10 lawnmowers per side
  4. 5 double swings

Static holds – :20 double overhead, :20 double rack, :20 double farmer, 1:00 rest x 4

COT: Thanks to Orange Whip for taking us out.


  • Blood drive – October 29th at Matthews Town Hall. Get signed up!
  • Beer Mile – October 15th at SCMS. Talk to Hoover and get on the #beermile Slack channel to get in the loop.


  • Thanks to the pax for joining me and following my lead. It’s always good to have company for grueling workouts like this one and the mumblechatter keeps things moving. I don’t think Orange Whip had joined us for bells since crushing it at the Functional Strength Challenge several months ago. It was also good to have Hoover back now that the IPC, BRR, Ville 2 Ville, and the Charlotte Beer Half Marathon are done. #mrCSAUP
  • 5 is the maximum number of sets we’ll do of the Wolf. Next week, we go back to 3 sets, but cut the work:rest ratio to 1:1.5. Then we add a set each week to get back to 5. Should be fun.
  • The playlist had some hits and misses. At one point, an AC/DC song came up and Hoover commented on the fact that it was a late 70s band. However, the song was from the 00s (I prefer their older stuff). Ending with Nickelback and 3 Doors Down was rough.
  • The Anvil pax were kind enough to monkey hump us toward the end of our workout. Good to see Udder. Bad to see Udder’s 6 bobbing in front of us while holding 100+ lbs. of bells overhead.
  • The Worm is scheduled to Q on Monday, but has been under the weather. Get better soon! If he can’t make it, Mighty Mite will call someone up from the bullpen.
  • I’m pretty sure Hoover agreed to Q next Wednesday. I was nice enough to ask him during the workout rather than when we were both half into our cars.



Record numbers at Olympus

This past Saturday, we had 6 pax at Olympus, including 3 site FNGs. #cobains to all of them for the late backblast. Due to the tardiness of the backblast, the following is an approximation of what took place.

After a disclaimer, we got to work.

Warm-up: SSH, swings, prying squats, windmills

Main Event:

The Wolf:

  • Double snatch x 5
  • Double front squat x 5
  • Double military press x 5
  • Double front squat x 5
  • Double cleans x 5
  • Double front squat x 5

Rest 2x as long as the work set takes, then repeat for 3 total sets.

Easy Strength:

  • 4 sets of 5 deadlifts
  • 4 sets of 10 merkins
  • 4 sets of 10 upright rows
  • 4 sets of 5 double cleans

Carries: waiter, racked, suitcase

EMOM Swings:

  • 10 swings every minute on the minute (EMOM), adding 1 rep per round for 10 rounds (that’s up to 19 swings the last minute).

Mary: I can’t remember exactly what we did, but it probably included planks, hollow body hold, and glute bridges.


  • F3 South Charlotte blood drive on 10/29 at the Matthews Town Hall. If you’re not signed up, get signed up. All are welcome, including friends and family. Sign ups available at


  • Thanks to the pax for coming out and following my lead this past Saturday. It was great to have  3 new faces: Dr. Belding, Lurch, and Abacus (at least the third Abacus in south Charlotte). All of them go to church with Urlacher and were looking for a non-running option for Saturday morning. We hope you come back!
  • This was the final workout of the first week of The Wolf program from More Kettlebell Muscle. Double snatches were an aggressive start and 3 sets of squats per round made it very challenging. I look forward to seeing the gains develop as we ramp up the intensity.
  • The EMOM at the end was sneaky hard. Ramping up the reps as the fatigue increases makes it very tough on the grip and heart rate. Mighty Mite was disappointed we didn’t go to 20 reps, but then we’d do 11 sets and who goes to 11? #spinaltapdoes
  • We’ve got a solid slate of Qs lined up at Swole and Meathead, so come join us on Mondays (at McAlpine Elementary) and Wednesday (Calvary) for your weekday bells!

The Wolf will get you Swole

Today was the first day of the new kettlebell program and it brought 8 pax out to McAlpine Elementary on a cool, but still humid Monday morning. Since it was a new program and I had plagiarized it, Mighty Mite asked me to Q today. I had every intention of getting to the workout about 15 minutes early, but that didn’t work out and I rolled in at about 5:28. At least I wasn’t late.


  • Swings x 10 IC
  • Windmills x 10 IC
  • Swings x 10
  • Prying squat x 2
  • Swings x 10

In an effort to keep Mighty Mite from bringing up yesterday’s Saints/Panthers game, I decided we were warm and should move on to the Main Event:

The Wolf – Week 1/Day 1

Double cleans x 5
Double front squats x 5
Double military press x 5
Double cleans x 5
Double front squats x 5

Do 3 sets with a work to rest ratio of 1 to 2. The exercises took ~1:00, so we rested 2:00. No resting during the complex, only at the end. Single bells can also be used, just work through the complex on one side, then the other.

Next, we did some Easy Strength to lower the heart rate:

4 sets of 5 double deadlifts
4 sets of 10 merkins on the bells
4 sets of 8 lawnmower rows per side
5 sets of 5 double swings


Waiter carry (single bell overhead with locked elbow) for ~20 yards
Suitcase carry (single bell by your side) for ~20 yards
Switch sides and repeato.

Voodoo complex (single bell):
Swing, high pull, snatch, clean, squat, press. Complete on weak side, then on strong side. Don’t rest until you’re done with both sides. First time through, do 3 reps of each exercise before moving on to the next. Second time through, do 2 reps of each exercise. Third time through, do 1 rep of each exercise.

Mary: elbow plank for 1:15, hollow body hold for 1:00.


  • HDHH at 5:30 on Wednesday evening at The Lodge at Colony Place. Join your fellow pax for some libations and 2nd F.
  • October 29th is our next blood drive at Matthews Town Hall. Get signed up as slots are filling up fast!


  • Thanks to the pax for coming out to follow my lead and try out the new complex. If you’d like to read more about it, please check out the pre-blast here. The spreadsheet with the workouts for the next 12 weeks can be found here. Recommended bell sizes are 16 to 24 kilos (35 to 53 lbs.).
  • After the first workout, I can tell that the next 17 workouts are going to be tough. Through the 6-week period that we’re following this specific workout, we will incrementally add sets, then reduce rest. If we gut it out, we will come out stronger on the other side. For the following 6 weeks, we’ll focus on a different workout program to get a little variety.
  • If you’re interested in trying some kettlebell work, please join us. We had pax doing singles, pax doing doubles, and a variety of weights. All are welcome!
  • Mighty Mite was kind enough not to talk too much about this past weekend’s football as both of my teams failed to show up and got crushed. Thankfully, as a fan of UVA and the Saints, I’ve learned not to get too excited or disappointed about 1 game because the reality is probably somewhere in the middle.
  • Frehley’s and The Worm took turns fumigating each other and making every one else’s eyes water. At one point, Frehley’s even claimed that his gas had interfered with the Bluetooth connection between my phone and the speaker. #science
  • Hoover was using the double 24s today and I’m pretty sure he’s got a dilemma for Wednesday since he has to choose from day 2 of this workout at Meathead or the Week 3 IPC workout at SACS.
  • Uncle Leo was looking strong with his doubles. He’s made a ton of progress over the last 18+ months. He’s bought bigger bells and seems to have no issues with the doubles.
  • Wild Turkey was getting after it with his big blue bell this morning. Next week, I’m going to bring my competition 24 so he can have a matching pair.
  • Despite a jacked-up back, Ickey came out and did the workout with a single bell. I think he also managed to finally get his Yeti back from our BRR team captain. All in all, a good start to the week for him.

Kettlebell Pre-blast – Fall 2021

The next 12 weeks of Swole, Meathead, and Olympus will focus on workouts from the book More Kettlebell Muscle by Geoff Neupert. This book is based on complexes (a series of compound exercises performed sequentially with the same weight and without rest. All the reps of one exercise are completed before moving on to the next exercise in the sequence) and chains (a series of compound exercises performed sequentially in which each exercise is performed once before the sequence is started again. Each time the sequence is performed is considered one repetition.)

This is a complex:

  • Double swing (DSW) x 5
  • Double high pull (DHP) x 5
  • Double snatch (DSN) x 5
  • Double front squat (DFS) x 5

This is a chain:

  • (DSW + DHP + DSN + DFS) x 5

Complexes build up local muscular fatigue quickly, so the work you can perform is limited by the weakest exercise in the complex. Chains spread the fatigue over more muscle groups, allowing you to do more work overall.

All of the workouts in this program can be performed as complexes or chains, giving the Q the opportunity to inject a little variety into them. While all of these workouts are written for double bells, pax can modify to single bells if they are less experienced, working through injury, or need to deload a bit. #youvsyou

The workout should be structured as follows: warm-up, MKM program, and finisher (easy strength, another complex/chain, carries, Mary). The only part of the workout that is programmed is the MKM portion, the rest is up to the Q.

We will work through two 6-week programs from the book. The workouts will be the same each day of the week, but the # of sets and work:rest ratio will vary over time.

The first workout is called The Wolf and it’s based on the squat because “the legs feed the wolf.” The second workout is called Clean ‘Em Up 2.0. As you can imagine, it’s based on the double clean.

The schedule can be found here.

Exercise reference:

  • DCL = Double clean
  • DFS = Double front squat
  • DMP = Double military press
  • DSW = Double swing
  • DSN = Double snatch
  • DHP = Double high pull
  • DJK = Double jerk
  • DRW = Double row

We don’t do a lot of jerks, so feel free to substitute push presses. If you plan to do the jerk, keep in mind these cues:

The Jerk is a “3-D” exercise:

  1. Dip – Keeping your torso vetical, dip down with a quick, shallow, quarter squat.
  2. Drive – At the bottom of the quarter squat, reverse the squat and quickly stand up, driving the bells off your chest, guiding with the arms, to at least the top of your head.
  3. Drop – When the bells have passed over the top of your head, quickly drop back into a squat while fixing the kettlebells overhead by locking out your arms. You will “wedge” yourself between the ground and the kettlebells.