Ok, so what does L, M, and H mean?

Last cycle, I explicitly programmed percentages. This time I'm going a little less exact and just programming Light, Medium, and Heavy. Both have their benefits: percentages tend to make you go a little harder, vague L/M/H makes you reflect a little more on how you feel each day and your skill with the movement.

The trouble with percentages is that they mean different things to different people. For a novice, the percentage really is likely a percentage off of your true 1RM (PR or most you've ever lifted). But as you get more advanced, you need to start thinking about your percentage off of a training max (usually around 90% of your true 1RM). And with egos involved, sometimes it's hard to use a training max instead of a real max.

So this time, we'll go with the L/M/H rating. For kettlebells, what does that mean? Try to stick to a three bell range for everything. I've commonly seen these recommendations:

Average Strength Lady 8/12/16
Strong Lady 12/16/20
Average Strength Gentleman 16/24/28
Strong Gentleman 24/32/40

I mostly agree with that for the guys, but the gals at Barbell Strategy are way stronger and I think those recommendations are too light. Regardless, pick three bells to use all month. I'll be using the same set for both exercises, try that unless you have a large disparity between the exercises. Your "Heavy" can be pretty heavy since you'll never be doing more than a single with it. Your "Medium" should be a challenge, but something you'll never miss, and "Light" should be light - something you can to perfectly with every rep. If you're unsure, let's talk before you start.

And for the barbell...A novice can interpret that as 75%/85%/90%, I'll be interpreting it as 70%/80%/85%, I suggest that anyone who's been at Barbell Strategy longer than a year do the same. Of course, please allow day-to-day variance if you're feeling extra strong or extra tired.

As an added challenge, Blake has a nice way to select your weights. Once you reach 100lbs in any barbell lift, you're only allowed 20lb jumps. That means you absolutely must own a weight before you go up, because you have to go up by 20lbs.

Michael Deskevich