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The Single Kettlebell Program

Intro / Are you sure?:

OK! I did it! You’ve finally forced me to program for your limited equipment situation. So why did I decide to break down and write out an “At-Home” workout? Well, it’s coming with some contingencies.

Firstly; why did I not want to write an at-home workout program in the first place? Simply put; I believe in strength. Strength is the foundation of all athletic attributes and strength training is tricky (though possible) to accomplish using no equipment and nothing but bodyweight training. I would have felt dishonest and scammy taking money to only have you do burpees, planks, push-ups, side shuffles, or whatever nonsense you can probably find on youtube for free. So I wanted to make sure when I released something, it would actually be worthwhile.

Secondly; as such, this is not an exclusively bodyweight program. As far as equipment goes, you will need two things: 1) A single kettlebell (recommended from Rogue Fitness or Kettlebell Kings) weighing what you can press for 5 repetitions with great form. 2) A pull-up bar. If you do not have those things you must make it happen. Or you can make excuses and find a different program. Modifications to accommodate your lack of equipment will not be made. See reason #1 above.

Thirdly; you must have already mastered The Single-Arm Swing, The Clean, The Press, The Squat, and The Turkish Get-Up. If you are not confident in your ability to perform these exercises with excellent form, seek out individual coaching or attend a class where we cover these movements in person.

About the program:

This is a minimalist strength program, through and through. You need a single kettlebell. You need a pull-up bar. You need your bodyweight. You need about 45 minutes. The intended outcome of this program is increased athleticism through strength. Other side effects may include; increased mobility, decreased body fat, better body-awareness, increased muscle density, increased cardiovascular capacity, and improved posture.


You will be training 4 days a week. 2 days on, 1 day off, 2 days on, 2 days off. Example:


Every session should begin with a warm-up sufficient enough to prep your body for movement. Assess yourself to understand where you may need to add additional attention. Here is a general routine you can use or modify as need-be:

  • Foam Roll (if needed)

  • Specific mobility drills for problem areas

  • 8 BW Squats

  • 8 Reverse Lunge w/ rotation toward front leg (alternate legs every repetition)

  • 3 Half-kneeling Halos in each direction, switch legs and repeat

  • 2 thirty-second squat pry (stand up and shake out between reps)

  • 6 crab reach (alternate arms every repetition)

  • 16 Frankenstein walks (alternated sides every repetition)

Though the warm-up can be greatly modified depending on your individual needs, a thorough routine of some sort is absolutely non-negotiable. Do not skip your warm-up, thinking you will save time. You would be better off completing a well-structured warm-up and skipping the remainder of your training session.

Strength Practice:

You will notice that there are 5 different levels of this program. Find a level you can complete without reaching failure. You should always feel like you could have done 2 more repetitions if you absolutely had to. This may mean you will have to be on different levels for different days. For example, I may be on level 2 for my Press Day (Day 1) but level 4 for my Squat Day (Day 2) while also on level 1 for my Pull Day (Day 3). Progress levels on each separate day as appropriate. In order to earn progressing to the next level, you must be able to complete your current day’s practice without much struggle. If you progress to the next level and then fail on any repetition or if you feel like you could not accomplish an additional rep, you progressed too early and must regress back to an appropriate level.

All strength practice is meant to be done in an EMOM fashion. That is, you should be beginning your repetitions at the top of every minute. If it takes you 14 seconds to complete your 5 repetitions, you get 46 seconds to rest until your next set. Though there is some flexibility to this. A way you could choose to increase or decrease the difficulty of a certain level would be to increase or decrease the work intervals. Maybe a level is too easy but you’re not ready for the next level, decrease the 1-minute interval to 45 or 30 seconds. A particular level could be made easier or by increasing the interval to 1.5 or 2 minutes. Just choose what is appropriate and commit to it.

These are fast intervals and therefore, not much time for recovery. You must make the most of it by actively focusing on the rapid recovery of your body. During rest periods you are highly encouraged to shake the tension off your limbs, walk around, focus on your breathing, hop in place, ect. Sitting, kneeling, laying down, standing around and checking your phone is absolutely not allowed. You already did the work, now get the most out of it by staying focused on your recovery before the next interval.


A sign of a great athlete is their ability to quickly relax and recover after a strenuous effort. Recovery and relaxation training is as critical a part of the program as the warm-up. It is also as malleable as the warm-up and should suit your individual needs. Here is a general routine you can use or modify as need-be:

  • Walk for 1-2 minutes

  • Crocodile Breathing: 12 breaths or 2 minutes

  • Cobra: 2 30-second holds

  • Bretzel: 2 30-second holds on each side

  • Hamstring stretch

  • Specific stretches for problem areas

Terminology and Abbreviations / Final Notes:

Some terminology you will find in the programming:

  • Cheat-Press: cheat the press by helping a small amount with your free hand

  • EMOM: Every Minute On the Minute

  • TGU: Turkish Get-Up

  • Negative: the portion of the exercise when the weight is moving WITH gravity

  • SA: Single Arm

  • Clean & Press: Perform a clean before each press

  • Bottoms-Up: hold the bell upside-down with the bell above the handle

  • OH: Overhead

  • Engaged Hang: hang from a bar and engage your lats by pulling your shoulders down

Keep in mind that your rest days are just that; rest. Anything strenuous performed on these days could result in a lack of progress with your programmed training. Light exercises like hiking or easy swimming are fine and even encouraged, but stay in tune with your energy levels and take note of how your training is going. If things are feeling more difficult than they should, then you may need to increase your recovery through better sleep, better food, or less stress.

Stay focused and consistent!

To purchase the full Single Kettlebell Program, CLICK HERE.

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