Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Quote of the Day: The Quick and The Dead

 

“Power undiluted by fatigue is not heroic; it is professional.” — Pavel, The Quick And The Dead

Pavel, a former Spetsnaz master of fitness, has been an exercise guru in this country for years. He’s been, at least for the past decade, my go-to guy for all things Kettlebell.

The newest offering from Pavel, The Quick And The Dead, is for experienced minimalist exercisers; it is, he says, a great workout for “older model Terminators.” I’m in. One of my goals for this enforced isolation is to find workout techniques that let me circumvent or mitigate my injuries, debilitations, and impingements. This book looks like it is well worth investigating.

I’m not really into the bio-science of a lot of Pavel’s writing, to include this one. Power is blah blah blah Myosin blah blah blah maximal tissue respiration rate blah blah reactive oxygen species blah. But his workouts and technique instruction are all always top-shelf. I’m still in the reading/assessment/testing phase of the workout, but I’m optimistic.

This workout is not for beginners, as stated in the book. You need some time to build the infrastructure and the knowledge base to truly exploit the workout and avoid injury. If you’re looking for a great start point, I recommend Enter The Kettlebell, the workout that started me on my journey, lo those many years ago. Sadly, I can no longer execute a heavy load KB Clean & Press, a cornerstone of Enter. All the medical chicks in my life, super nurse Mrs. Mongo, new nurse Rain, nursing student Prom Queen, and even our own beloved and sage NP @vicrylcontessa, have told me to get over myself and move on. Sigh. Okay. Movin’ on.

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  1. Joe Boyle Member

    I thought my drill sergeant made up that.

    • #1
    • March 27, 2020, at 2:33 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  2. Aaron Miller Member
    Aaron Miller Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Can you do most of the same exercises with a plain ole dumbbell?

    I’ve got one I have used for various kinesthetics. But it’s not worth much without a routine. 

    Ideally, the best exercise is doing something that is only coincidentally exercise, like carpentry or killing terrorists. 

    • #2
    • March 27, 2020, at 7:47 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  3. Phil Turmel Coolidge

    So, someone should highlight that the QotD is the QatD.

    Oh, that would be me. (:

    • #3
    • March 27, 2020, at 8:03 AM PDT
    • 7 likes
  4. Boss Mongo Member
    Boss Mongo

    Aaron Miller (View Comment):
    Can you do most of the same exercises with a plain ole dumbbell?

    Yes, but the exercises won’t be as efficacious. With a dumbbell, you can straighten up the body and support the weight with your skeleton. With a kettlebell, the curvature of the “bell” ensures the weight is always off-center, so your musculature is supporting much more of the weight all the time–especially at your core. That’s one of the reasons QatD isn’t for beginners; it takes time to build up strength in unexpected places.

    • #4
    • March 27, 2020, at 8:48 AM PDT
    • 6 likes
  5. Boss Mongo Member
    Boss Mongo

    Phil Turmel (View Comment):
    So, someone should highlight that the QotD is the QatD.

    Well played, sir.

    • #5
    • March 27, 2020, at 8:48 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  6. RightAngles Member

    My former personal trainer Adam had me doing kettlebells. He’s a Marine. I often thought he might be trying to kill me. Here is Adam:

    • #6
    • March 27, 2020, at 9:24 AM PDT
    • 10 likes
  7. Boss Mongo Member
    Boss Mongo

    RightAngles (View Comment):
    I often thought he might be trying to kill me.

    That’s considered a feature, not a bug.

    • #7
    • March 27, 2020, at 10:11 AM PDT
    • 6 likes
  8. Jeff Hawkins Coolidge

    prefer the 1995 Sam Raimi movie

    • #8
    • March 27, 2020, at 11:45 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  9. Ontheleftcoast Member

    Mongo, you might enjoy the work the people at Original Strength are doing. One of the guys who developed it is Geoff Neupert, who was with Pavel for quite a while.

    I’ve never been able to do heavy overhead presses without bad repercussions, (upper thoracic and neck problems due to autoimmune arthritis, and also RSI in one shoulder) but I’ve gotten closer than I have been in years to being able to do light presses. What’s really helped is progressions and regressions in TGUs. Not going past low post with a given weight until my form is clean, and so on. If I don’t do something stupid I’m hoping for a full getup with my swing weight within a year. I’m in my late 60s, so I have to work smarter.

    • #9
    • March 27, 2020, at 11:57 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  10. Boss Mongo Member
    Boss Mongo

    Ontheleftcoast (View Comment):
    I’m in my late 60s, so I have to work smarter.

    I’m in my early 50’s, but starting to learn that. Slowly.

    I realized I had to change my (heavy) ways when I decided my back needed me to do a “you’re not the boss of me” workout. I discovered that, indeed, it is the boss of me.

    • #10
    • March 27, 2020, at 12:52 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  11. Ontheleftcoast Member

    Boss Mongo (View Comment):

    Ontheleftcoast (View Comment):
    I’m in my late 60s, so I have to work smarter.

    I’m in my early 50’s, but starting to learn that. Slowly.

    I realized I had to change my (heavy) ways when I decided my back needed me to do a “you’re not the boss of me” workout. I discovered that, indeed, it is the boss of me.

    I trained with a guy who said something that sticks in my mind: “You start where you are today and if you’re working to improve your technique and to expand your performance envelope, it’s athletic.”

    • #11
    • March 27, 2020, at 2:01 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  12. Vectorman Thatcher

    Join other Ricochet members by submitting a Quote of the Day post, the easiest way to start a fun conversation. There are many days available on the April Signup Sheet. We even include tips for finding great quotes, so choose your favorite quote and sign up today!

    • #12
    • March 27, 2020, at 2:53 PM PDT
    • Like
  13. Vance Richards Member
    Vance Richards Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Used to spend a lot of time in the weight room but never did anything with kettlebells. The few guys I have known who use them talk about it with almost a cult -ike following.

    I would think in addition to strength you are working on balance and a bunch of little smaller supporting muscles are called into play?

    Anyway, I was pretty strong up till my early 40’s, but the past decade has seen me spending a whole lot more time sitting in the office. That was good for my finances, but physically I am way too soft. Maybe Enter the Kettlebell should be my next Kindle purchase. Then, you know, actually buying a kettlebell or two would help as well.

    • #13
    • March 27, 2020, at 4:52 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  14. Ontheleftcoast Member

    Vance Richards (View Comment):

    Used to spend a lot of time in the weight room but never did anything with kettlebells. The few guys I have known who use them talk about it with almost a cult -ike following.

    I would think in addition to strength you are working on balance and a bunch of little smaller supporting muscles are called into play?

    Anyway, I was pretty strong up till my early 40’s, but the past decade has seen me spending a whole lot more time sitting in the office. That was good for my finances, but physically I am way too soft. Maybe Enter the Kettlebell should be my next Kindle purchase. Then, you know, actually buying a kettlebell or two would help as well.

    Simple and Sinister is also good. What you’re going to see in anything Pavel does is terrific content delivered with sometimes annoying shtick. Pavel teaches hard style, there’s also girya sport. The KBs in hard style are solid, so they’re different sizes for different weights. The sport KBs are all the same size with different wall thicknesses. There are some technique differences. Form is the key.

    The Simple and Sinister program hinges (you’ll get the play on words when you start) around 10 sets of 10 swings, (done in any combination of single handed, two handed, and double KB swings) and 5 Turkish Getups on each side. The TGUs when progressed right are often wonderful shoulder rehab.

    I like it because it’s extremely flexible; you can do it as HIIT with very short rests; if you’ve been overtraining or are really deconditioned you can set a heartrate upper limit and resting HR that allows you to train without overdoing it. 

    I started swings and getups with 16 kg, which turned out to be too heavy. I finally wound up with 20 lb, and two handed swings were about right. I’m hoping I can do 8 kg getups starting in a month or two; I’m doing heavier weight progressions under that and am now taking 20 kg to high post, which gives you an idea of how big the holes are in my flexibility.

    I had to drop the swings down to 5 x 5 with 20 lb When I hadn’t hurt myself for a couple of weeks went to 4 x 5 with 12 kg, then 5 x 1 + 4 x 4, and so on, adding sets and dropping reps per set as needed.

    The program warmups are goblet squats with some other stuff, and again… form. What I found very useful was to use a phone off to one side which fed live video to a tablet or laptop in front of me. There are apps. That way I could watch my form in real time without having to turn my head, which isn’t always a good thing to do. 

     

    • #14
    • March 27, 2020, at 5:42 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  15. Boss Mongo Member
    Boss Mongo

    Vance Richards (View Comment):
    The few guys I have known who use them talk about it with almost a cult -ike following.

    I think a big part of the enthusiasm (yea, verily, sometimes unto something like cult-like zeal) from people that get into KBs is what they call the WTH effect. You get totally unintended beneficial consequences that leave you going “What The Hell?” Example: Someone who does only a swing/TGU workout (neither of which seem to fire “pull” muscles) will see a 30-50% increase in their max pull-up numbers.

    While my life rule #1 is “there are no silver bullets,” I can attest that the WTH effect hits all KBers to some extent.

    • #15
    • March 28, 2020, at 5:55 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  16. Boss Mongo Member
    Boss Mongo

    Ontheleftcoast (View Comment):
    The TGUs when progressed right are often wonderful shoulder rehab.

    Concur. While–as stated in the OP–I can no longer do any significant (if any) standard pull-ups–I can and am getting a lot of benefit by going “back” to the TGU. I’ve also had to humble myself and drop the weight used. But I’m seeing improvement, and I’d forgotten what a joy TGUs could be.

    • #16
    • March 28, 2020, at 5:59 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  17. Boss Mongo Member
    Boss Mongo

    Vance Richards (View Comment):
    Maybe Enter the Kettlebell should be my next Kindle purchase.

    @vancerichards, I highly recommend getting the paperback (it’s oversized and glossy) because you need to see the pictures for the form and technique do’s and don’ts. I don’t think the Kindle edition pics would have the resolution or provide the context (side by side do and don’t pics) to get the most out of it. Plus, it’s easier to put in marginal notes and tabs.

    • #17
    • March 28, 2020, at 6:23 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  18. Boss Mongo Member
    Boss Mongo

    By the way, for those who aren’t KB enthusiasts, the TGU–Turkish Get Up

    • #18
    • March 28, 2020, at 8:19 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  19. CarolJoy, Above Top Secret Coolidge

    What sort of places sell Kettleballs?

    I already do the same move that is in the fitness vid @rightangles put up. Except I don’t use weights with that move.

    Normally I use a rowing machine, an old and clunky one. That really keeps me in shape. But it’d be excellent to have some variety.

    • #19
    • March 28, 2020, at 10:10 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  20. Boss Mongo Member
    Boss Mongo

    CarolJoy, Above Top Secret (View Comment):
    What sort of places sell Kettleballs?

    @caroljoy, any sporting goods store or department store–say, WalMart–should have them up to at/about either 35 pounds or maybe even up to 50 pounds.

    For heavier KBs, one has to got to the internet. But, while you end up paying about $1 per pound for the KB, shipping can cost up to $1.50 per pound.

    Pro tip: For heavier KBs, go to Walmart online, buy your heavy KB at a decent price, then choose the option to have it sent to the store nearest you. Pick it up from customer service. You pay no shipping. That’s how I got my 80 and 100 pounders.

    • #20
    • March 28, 2020, at 10:18 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  21. CarolJoy, Above Top Secret Coolidge

    Boss Mongo (View Comment):

    CarolJoy, Above Top Secret (View Comment):
    What sort of places sell Kettleballs?

    @caroljoy, any sporting goods store or department store–say, WalMart–should have them up to at/about either 35 pounds or maybe even up to 50 pounds.

    For heavier KBs, one has to got to the internet. But, while you end up paying about $1 per pound for the KB, shipping can cost up to $1.50 per pound.

    Pro tip: For heavier KBs, go to Walmart online, buy your heavy KB at a decent price, then choose the option to have it sent to the store nearest you. Pick it up from customer service. You pay no shipping. That’s how I got my 80 and 100 pounders.

    Thanks for the WM tip. Will make it over there today.

    I appreciate your ideas on fitness right now, as I made this angst-supporting realization early this week:

    • #21
    • March 28, 2020, at 11:13 AM PDT
    • 6 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  22. Percival Thatcher
    Percival Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    CarolJoy, Above Top Secret (View Comment):

    Boss Mongo (View Comment):

    CarolJoy, Above Top Secret (View Comment):
    What sort of places sell Kettleballs?

    @caroljoy, any sporting goods store or department store–say, WalMart–should have them up to at/about either 35 pounds or maybe even up to 50 pounds.

    For heavier KBs, one has to got to the internet. But, while you end up paying about $1 per pound for the KB, shipping can cost up to $1.50 per pound.

    Pro tip: For heavier KBs, go to Walmart online, buy your heavy KB at a decent price, then choose the option to have it sent to the store nearest you. Pick it up from customer service. You pay no shipping. That’s how I got my 80 and 100 pounders.

    Thanks for the WM tip. Will make it over there today.

    I appreciate your ideas on fitness right now, as I made this angst-supporting realization early this week:

    • #22
    • March 28, 2020, at 11:20 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  23. Ontheleftcoast Member

    Boss Mongo (View Comment):

    CarolJoy, Above Top Secret (View Comment):
    What sort of places sell Kettleballs?

    @caroljoy, any sporting goods store or department store–say, WalMart–should have them up to at/about either 35 pounds or maybe even up to 50 pounds.

    For heavier KBs, one has to got to the internet. But, while you end up paying about $1 per pound for the KB, shipping can cost up to $1.50 per pound.

    Pro tip: For heavier KBs, go to Walmart online, buy your heavy KB at a decent price, then choose the option to have it sent to the store nearest you. Pick it up from customer service. You pay no shipping. That’s how I got my 80 and 100 pounders.

    I’ve had good luck on Craigslist. You know how you can often tell a person’s size by their voice on the phone? I was calling about a 20 kg KB; and it was a woman with a faint Japanese accent who sounded petite. I asked why it was for sale, she said “it’s too small.”

    Whoa! Hard core chick! (I’ve known a few smallish women that could; one was training for her Strong First level II which involves one arm pullups and pushups, and she was training pretty heavy with KBs as well.

    Anyway, I go to pick it up, and sure enough, here comes a very short slender Asian woman but she’s having some trouble carrying it. It turned out it was too light for her husband.

    • #23
    • March 28, 2020, at 8:43 PM PDT
    • 5 likes