Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Death By KB

Workout of the Day

WOD 1 – In the morning…

Sumo Deadlift 3, 3, 3+

Good Mornings 10, 10, 10

Inverted ring rows 15, 15, 15

Pushup with hand release 20, 20, 20

DB clean and press (20 kg) 10, 10, 10

Bicycles 50, 50, 50

WOD 2 – In the afternoon…

32 kg kettlebell swing ladder, aka “death by kb swing”

Decided to go with sumo deadlifts today rather than standard in an effort to save my back for the kettlebells later in the day. I figured I might sacrifice a bit in strength but I actually still felt pretty strong. My last set was at 185 kg for 4 reps—not bad for never doing sumos. The good mornings felt heavy at 80 kg but I managed my way through them. The real tester today was the afternoon session.

I threw the kettlebell in the car when I left the house this morning and left my WOD location undetermined. When I got done teaching the weather was phenomenal, literally 75 degrees and sunny, so naturally the only appropriate place to train was down by the river. I made it down to the shadow of Red Bridge in Fair Oaks just in time to catch the last bit of early afternoon sun and away I went. The last time I’d done a ladder like this was in Paris this past March, and that was with a 25 kg fence post anchor. Needless to say, the demand here was a tad different.

It all felt pretty easy until I hit 12 or 13. By then the rest intervals were getting shorter and shorter and I was able to fully recover in between. At 14 I started splitting the reps to try and conserve energy. By 16 I was really starting to hoof it. In the 18th minute I finished with only 5 seconds to spare and was barely able to hold on to the bell. I only managed 14 reps in the 19th minute and that was that.

This was a throwback routine for me, something I used to utilize quite frequently when I trained in DC. It’s a simple format that is always effective and requires little to no equipment or preparation. Pick a multi-joint exercise and start moving. The early sets warms you up, the later ones kick your ass. Rarely does it go much beyond 20 minutes, unless you’ve grossly underestimated the appropriate weight. I’d love to see some other people try this and see how they do. I know there are some kettlebell machines out there that will humble my performance.

Still haven’t done my version of the bystander WOD, but hoping to get something together Thursday. Also, Danish Anywherefit shirts are still available for order until the end of this month in honor of the video submissions from Yasir and Andre. Get ‘em while you can.


  1. Hey Blair,
    Are the "Good Mornings" that you do to train more hip explosiveness or do you go really deep and tax your lower bac/hammies? My oly coach gets me to do them to mimic 2nd/3rd pull.

  2. A friend did this but tried to do it under the radar ;) Here you go:

    "got inspired by blair morrisson blog today and did "death by 32kg american swings": 17 rounds +11 swings

    it was mainly an issue with the grip, i was winded but not too bad, just couldnt hold on the the bell"

  3. @ Evy, I do the good mornings for lower back and posterior chain strength. never explosively. interesting idea though.

    @ bear, same issue here. the grip is what goes...

  4. Too Funny!

    I did this just last week. Personal best at 21 rounds....50lb KB. I remember well the times back in DC when we did these simple ladders on a variety of moves. I still incorporate often rotating different exercises.