Sunday, October 5, 2008

Maxercise Metabolic 300

In keeping with the last blog on Metabolic Conditioning, I'd like to present another variation on metabolic conditioning in the form of a 300-style workout challenge. As you may remember, metabolic conditioning occurs when you simultaneously engage the muscular system (using full-range, whole-body movements) and the cardio system. In order to do this, you perform these exercises back-to-back, with little-to-no rest. Metabolic conditioning has an amazing effect on the body and it's the finest way to alter body composition while giving yourself a killer cardio workout. Unlike regular cardio, where you get no muscle-building benefits and, in some cases, can even lose hard-earned muscle, the Maxercise Metabolic 300 will actually contribute to building muscle while stripping away unwanted body fat. The workout is set up with five double-kettlebell movements, all performed back-to-back, without setting the kettlebell down. You have the choice of performing either 20, 15 or 10 reps (depending upon your strength & conditioning levels) using about 1/3 to 1/2 your body weight. If you perform 20 repetitions, go through the circuit three times. If you perform 15 reps, four times, and 10 reps go five times through. Each option gives you a grand total of 300 repetitions. This workout is versatile in that you can change each circuit, as long as each movement is a whole body, ie, compound movement. For my first circuit, I opted for double 16kg kettlebells, which at 72# is a bit more than 1/3 my body weight, about 40%.

For my first round, I performed:

15 Double Swings
15 Double Snatches
15 Double Front Squats
15 Double Clean & Press
15 Renegade Rows w/ push-ups

*I did a push-up, then Row L/R for 15 reps

It took me approx 6:41 to complete

I rested for 3 min.

I went into my next circuit, which I changed slightly:

15 Overhead Jerks
15 Bent-Over Rows
*w/ KB between the legs
15 Double Front Squats
15 High-Pull Swings
15 Bottoms-up KB push-Ups aka Crush push-ups
*I like this exercise because it has a very strong abdominal component to it, in order to maintain balance on the handle

3-1/2 min rest

Next circuit:

15 Double KB Thrusters aka Squat-to-Overhead Press
15 Double Alternating Rows
15 Double Swing-to-High Pull
15 Jump Shrugs
*w/ the KBs OUTSIDE the legs
1/4 squat, attempting to jump while vigorously shrugging the shoulders
15 Push-Ups on the KB handles

Last circuit, I was pretty blown out! In my mind, I thought I'd already completed the 300 Challenge and forgot I still needed a 4th circuit of 75 reps!
Funny how the mind resorts to trickery when doing intense workouts like these!
Here's what I came up with next:

Alternating See-Saw Press
*my arms were so tired I was only able to get 10 reps per arm
10 Bent-over Alternating Rows
I needed 35 more reps to finish my circuit and I was failing bad!


a Kettlebell Maxwell Manmaker, basically a Burpee, with a push-up and then a clean
a) It's a double clean
b) You put the KBs down
c) Squat and jump back into a push-up position
d) Perform a push-up
e) Recover back to a semi-squat and
f) re-clean the bells and repeat the sequence.

I did 10 of these.

Man, was I getting tired...and I still had 25 reps to go!

Because my hands were getting so tired and I was afraid I wouldn't be able to grip the bells anymore, I decided to go with an old standby--a great finisher--the Bear Crawl.
Did I mention that I performed this workout outdoors, on a worn tennis court, in the midst of a rain storm? (I'm talking to YOU, Dr. Fink) Well, damn the puddles and full speed ahead.

I Bear Walked across the tennis court for at least 25 reps per arm, then for good measure, knocked out 15 Double Swings, giving myself a bonus 40 reps, depending how you count your bear crawls....I kicked my own ass and it felt great. My teen assistant was there with the BCAAs at the ready, water and a pwo shake at the finish line. She also documented the workout on the youtube page if you'd like to see it.

In other news, My good friend, strength coach Josh Henkin, interviewed me last week and it was a real pleasure. Listen in here.


Q: Can you over train with Kettlebells and Jungle Gym??? And what would be the definition?

I'm a Martial Art instructor in the evenings/weekends teaching 2hours Sunday, 2 hours Tuesday and 3 hours Wednesday. I work by day as a Computer Analyst (...sitting on my butt pressing buttons) but to compensate I get in a 2.5 - 4mile jog 1 to 3 times per week. I also use the kettlebells (first 12 exercises of your 300 KB challenge) 1 or 2 times a week and the Jungle Gym (2 sets of 3 exercises for 10-12 reps) 2 or 3 times a week. Am I over doing it or can I safely do more? I often feel I could do more but I don’t want to start catabolizing due to overwork.


I have read if I am still sore from the previous days training I can still train today? Is this valid for KBs and JG’s???

A: You can over train on anything and everything. You certainly can overdo it. Over training is not a condition per se but a state that comes about from prolonged lack of recovery.
Over reaching is the more acute state, over training is something that takes time and effort to get to and thus a longer recovery time.

The parameters are:

  • are you feeling strong?
  • are you making progress?
  • are you getting morning erections?
  • are you sleeping well?
  • are you feeling recovering from your workouts?
  • are you feeling run down, flu-ish?
  • are you getting injured?
  • are you gaining fat?
  • is your appetite all over the place?
Re: the jogging, for martial arts, it's probably a waste of time, unless you have weight control issues, there's simply no reason for you to jog like that and it's the activity that should be cut out first.

Re: Training while sore from the previous day. I say, get your workout started, maybe with some joint mobility, and if you don't begin to feel better, and more motivated, lighten up or do something else.

Testimonial Corner

About three years ago you published an article in Hard Style about a muscular-endurance circuit using KBs. I didn't know who you were at that time, but it looked interesting, so I tried it. Even though I was not prepared for this type of work, I scaled it back and managed to get through three rounds. I did this twice a week for about four weeks, and was making tremendous progress. I then decided that KBs were indeed the one true way, and ordered a full set. The next week I fractured my collarbone and two ribs in a mountain biking crash. After a long recovery, and then doing too much, too soon, I turned to an online KB coach. It was an O.K. experience that lasted six months. I then began Pavel's ETK program and made good progress -- on those specific lifts. But nothing else really changed and I soon realized that ETK and kettlebells-only work might not be the best all-around program for me.
I then remembered your Hard Style workout (I saved the issue) and despite my misgivings about online coaching, I decided to turn to you. It was a great decision! So, back to the new workout that you sent, which contains at least two of the five exercises in that Hard Style article: double snatches and double thrusters. The difference now, though, is that you've had me build a foundation that will allow me to support that work. This is really getting good...
John B.

Thanks John, and thanks to everybody for reading!
Let me know how you do with the Maxercise Double KB 300 Challenge!

In Strength & Health!


Jeff said...

Excellent information--thanks for posting this!

Is this workout a foretaste of the KB feast to come in OH? Gulp!

Steve Maxwell said...

we shall see...but in a word: yes.
Where's your log?

BamBam said...

Where did you get those kettlebells?

john said...

If you read Steve's blog but missed the link to Josh Henkin's interview with Steve (it's easy to overlook amid all the other info in the post), I strongly encourage you to set aside an hour and listen closely.

The interview is an impressive articulation of the origins, principles, and downright uniqueness of Maxwell's system.

Steve exemplifies the true meaning of "coach."

Steve Maxwell said...

Thanks, John!
The interview was a good time and I hope you guys listen in and enjoy.

Clint said...

Thanks for the reminder about the interview. I downloaded it at work the other, but didn't get a chance to listen yet.

Today is my 33rd birthday, and for my birthday workout, I decided to follow the Coach's recommendation of trying this workout.

Holy Hell! This should be called the "Maxwell Asskicker!"

I had to modify slightly to prevent death, but here's what I did:

Body Weight: 210lbs (14% bf) – 2 24kg Kbells: 106lbs

Set 1:
10 Double Swings
10 Double Snatches
10 Double Front Squats
20 Single Clean & Press
10 Renegade Rows w/ push-ups

Rest: 3 minutes

Set 2:
10 Double Jerks
10 Double Bent-Over Rows
10 Double Sumo Squats
20 Single High-Pulls
8 Bottoms-up KB push-Ups / Crush push-ups

Rest: 3 minutes

Set 3:
10 Double KB Thrusters
10 Double Alternating Rows
10 Double Clean
10 Jump Shrugs
10 Push-Ups on the KB handles

Rest: 3 minutes

Set 4:
10 Kettlebell Maxwell Manmakers
25 Bear Walks
25 Farmer Walks (note: 1 rep = l+r)
15 Double Kbell Situps
20 Single Snatches
47 Pushups (after discovering I only did 263 reps)

Note: Intense is an understatement. To be honest, I had to take a couple of extra 10-15 second breathers here and there, in addition to the pre-planned 3 minute rest intervals.

Also, while typing this up, I realized that I had only done 263 reps, so I just busted out 47 pushups to make up for my deficit).

I might continue this workout for the next month and time myself, so as to beat my previous time with each workout.

Thanks for the inspiration, Steve!


Deanmc said...

WOW, that IS an intense workout!

Rob O'Brien said...


Thanks for the Metabolic Workout post! I have been looking to mic it up and this is one I am going to try for a few months. I am 165lbs and about 10 - 12% bodyfat. I want to get back to 8%. I will let you know how it goes.

Thanks Again!