NO-BS Grappler’s Workout Program - Strong As Hec

NO-BS Grappler’s Workout Program

I've said the double kettlebell clean and press (and it's variations) is pound for pound the best exercise on the planet for BJJ, and it is!  Today, I'm gonna give you *THE* NO-BS grappler's workout program. This program is minimalism at it's best.

The "red-headed stepchild" of kettlebell lifts... 

The kettlebell clean is often over-looked for the "sexier" kettlebell exercises like the:

  • Swing
  • Getup
  • Press
  • Snatch

The clean is often looked at as a means to an end  or a "transitional exercise".  As an exercise just to get the bells to your chest so you can press, push-press or squat them.


The kettlebell clean in itself is a TREMENDOUS stand alone exercise.

In fact...

I would choose the clean over the swing any day of the week (and twice on Sunday) for grappler's. 



The kettlebell clean is "the grappler's exercise"

The clean follows the same principles of Jiu-Jitsu:

  • Force production
  • Force reduction
  • Force redirection

On top of that, it's teaches you how to "become hard" for Jiu-Jitsu by teaching you how to absorb shock.

It will strengthen your tendons, connective, and pretty much bulletproof your body, making you near indestructible.

Here's a few reason's the kettlebell clean should be a staple exercise if, you're a grappler, busy dad *and* tired of being man-handled on the mat by the young bucks:

  • The ability to carry yourself with a sense of pride and walk with the strength and power you deserve as a man, husband and father.
  • "Bullet-Proof" your hips, back and shoulders to keep from feeling "broken" after a tough week of rolling.  Even after training with "the big boys".
  • Boost your confidence knowing you're strong and powerful enough to roll with anyone anytime regardless of your age or their size.
  • Build lean muscle in the right places--while simultaneously losing those last few unwanted pounds of belly fat in 30 minutes or less per day, leaving you with more time for Jiu-Jitsu.
  • A "minimum effective dose" to improve your strength and endurance with one simple (but not easy) exercise, so you can have more time to train Jiu-Jitsu.

If you resonate with any of this points above...

I have the grappler's workout program for you!

I give you:

The Russian Bear 

I grew up in the 90's and if you did as well, I'm sure we had one thing in common, the love for the video game, Street Fighter II.

In the game there is a character named, Zangief.  In his bio it mentions he has a love for wrestling bears in Russia.


I thought it was appropriate to name this workout program in his honor because, it will certainly feel like you're wrestling a bear (minus being in Russia, unless you actually live in Russia)!

What you will need: 1 pair of kettlebells, 1 countdown timer

Beginner Gentlemen: Double 20-28kg
Stronger Gentlemen: Double 28-36kg

Ladies: Double 10-16kg
Strong Ladies: 16-20kg

Weeks 1 & 3: Straight Sets

A straight set is completing the same number of lifts each set. Each session will be 20 minutes. 

Set a timer for 20 minutes and aim to complete as many sets possible in 20 minutes.

Rest as needed.  
Be sure to calculate your total sets.
The Protocol: Double Clean  
The Goal: Complete more sets in week 3 compared to week 1.

Mon - Sets of 6
Wed - Sets of 4 (Use a pair of kettlebells one size up)
Fri - Sets of 10

Weeks 2 & 4: Ladders

A ladder is where the reps climb (or decline) in sequential order. E.g., (4, 6, 10) = One ladder complete.

In weeks 2 & 4 you will seek to complete as many ladders possible in 20 minutes. 

Rest as needed.  
Be sure to calculate your total sets.
The Protocol: Double Clean   
The Goal: Complete more sets in week 4 compared to week 2.

Mon - 3, 5, 8
Wed - 2, 4, 6 (Use a pair of kettlebells one size up)
Fri - 4, 6, 10

Be sure to keep a training journal so you can track your progress...

But Hector, what should I do on the "in between days"? 

I knew you were gonna ask that.

Here's what you should do...

not a damn thing!

... Rest.
... Go for a walk.
... Spend time with your family.

Remember the points above?

If you're struggling to find time to "get it all in" -- strength, endurance, Jiu-Jitsu and still have a family life...

You will do nothing else.

This is a minimalist workout program and will pack a huge punch. 

You will:

... Get stronger.
... Become an endurance freak.
... Pack on muscle in all the right places.
... Drop body fat and gain the confidence to walk with your shirt off.

If you have any questions, leave me a comment below.


P.S. Oh, if you liked this post and think you will get value out of The Russian Bear -- then you're gonna LOVE Kettlebell Berserk!.

Kettlebell Berserk! is my upcoming double kettlebell workout program based on what I call "the black belt of kettlebell lifts". -- The Double Kettlebell Jerk!

If you're looking for the most efficient way to get in great shape and take your body, life, and Jiu-Jitsu game to the next level... 

Jump on the waitlist and I'll send you a FREE copy of my popular eBook, Kettlebell Workout Snacks.

Thanks for providing Kettlebell Workout Snacks for FREE, this eBook is truly top notch and you could have and probably should have sold it as a program.

Marc B.
  • Anthony says:

    This is great! I’m excited to try it. I assume it’s meant to complement full-time BJJ training? I actually train Muay Thai and boxing but I think it will be equally effective.

  • Matt says:

    Heyho Hec!

    Quick questions:
    1. In the blogpost you put a 20 minute timeframe, in the workoutsnacks v4 this timeframe is reduced to 15 minutes. Why is that?
    2. In the workoutsnacks v4 you mentioned increasing kb on day 2. In case i don’t have a havier kettle bell, what about increasing the work time in order to increase the intensity?

    Thank you very much for the great content you put out for free! Highly appreciated!

    • 1.) This ensures we honor the “Delta 20 Principle” which states, volume per session, week, and month should vary by 20%. The reduction in volume allows you to supercompensate and come back stronger the next week.

      2.) No, don’t increase the time. For another means to increase intensity, hold the bell longer. E.g., set of 4 presses: complete one press every 15 seconds. Holding the bell in the rack each time. This is a tactic we use with our students and it works REALLY WELL.

      Great questions. Let us know how the plans turn out for you.

  • >