How To Get “The Pump” Using A Pair Of Kettlebells
**Disclaimer, there will be much bro science in today's post** In this weeks workout, I'll be showing you how to get "the pump" using a pair of kettlebells. Fellas, you know what I'm talking about... that AWESOME tight feeling in your muscles after a tough set of curls or presses.
This is a typical body building tactic to build muscle and is often frowned upon for methods of strength training.
Is Training To Failure Necessary To build muscle?
For the purposes of training for strength, you actually want to avoid the burn aka: "the pump" all together. But you now what?
Nobody really knows what happens on the cellular level for hypertrophy (i.e., muscle growth), there are several theories out there and some are more credible than others but, at the end of the day there is no definitive conclusion.
But, sometimes... you just want to feel the pump in your muscles, it literally feels like you're muscles are growing that very moment and with each successive rep and set.
So, if this is you, if you love kettlebells, like chasing the occasional pump, and love muscle... here are a couple of ways to do this.
One way to get this done is with double kettlebell complexes. The only problem with kettlebell complexes (this isn't really a problem) is you have to use sub-maximal weights due to the amount of prolonged tension you will be under; and If I can be completely honest with you...
This blog post is about pure ego (I am a still a dude after all) and I want to be able to move the biggest kettlebells possible and still be able to chase "the pump" (I understand that the pump sounds really weird, but so do the other kettlebell exercises like the snatch and jerk ).
The second way to accomplish this is to choose *one* compound (multi-jointed) lift like the press (and it's variations, the push-press or jerk) squat, or deadlift and perform a ton of volume (typically with 60-70% weights) with light to medium weights in a short period of time.
This is what we will be doing today.
how to get jacked and build some serious muscle with a pair of kettlebells--enter the double kettlebell jerk
I know I mentioned earlier that there's been no conclusion on hypertrophy on the cellular level but... experience has shown that high volume with light to medium weights can build some serious slabs of beef... so I'm going with experience today.
I wrote a blog a few weeks ago on the 4 Steps To the Double Kettlebell Jerk. Today I'll show you how to program the Double Kettlebell Jerk to build muscle. Often times the jerk is referred to as a great conditioning exercise and boy... is it ever.
IMHO the Long Cycle Clean and Jerk (LCCJ) is a one stop shop for everything you'll ever need: strength, endurance, speed, agility, quickness, and.... getting jacked (I could say building muscle but, getting jacked sounds cooler)!
Plus, the Double Kettlebell Jerk allows us to still move a lot of weight; more weight than we could ever strict press. This is how we'll be able to accomplish both goals of, getting jacked while using the biggest kettlebells possible.
It's all in the programming
The reason I chose the Double Kettlebell Jerk and not the squat or deadlift is two fold:
- It's not as neurologically taxing as the squat and the deadlift; your central nervous system (CNS) recovers fairly quick from upper body exercises like the press and
- I actually want you to do this workout 😉
The key to hypertrophy (i.e., building muscle i.e., getting jacked i.e., chasing the pump) is volume
Meaning, you need to get more reps and more sets done... volume is essential. So is intensity (the amount of weight being moved), which is why we are going with the Double Kettlebell Jerk to move the biggest weight possible *and* the greatest total amount of weight possible in the shortest time...
The Workout Details Aka: The Training
Use a pair of kettlebells that you can strict press at least 10-12 times.
➣ Set a timer for 20 minutes
➣ Perform as many sets of 8 double jerks possible in that time frame.
I did this with a pair of 32's and made it to 11 total sets (88 total jerks). The total amount of weight moved = 5,632kg (12,426.43 pounds).
"Holy pumping biceps, pecs, and shoulders Batman."
That a A LOT of weight moved over-head in a 20 minute time frame.
Give it a try and let me know how it goes.
P.S. If you're new to kettlebell lifting and do not feel competent in the jerk... you can perform the strict press or even the push-press. The only thing you would change is the volume by performing sets of 5-6 for 20 minutes.