What is A+A Work?

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I’m working on a much longer series of posts that explains the theory and biochemistry of anti-glycolytic training (AGT), specifically the A+A training we do.

Here’s a quick post to summarize what we do and why it’s the best way to get strong and train aerobically while always feeling recovered and strong.

In a nutshell, A+A training is done with kettlebell ballistic movements (swings and snatches, usually) with a (relatively) heavy weight for up to five (snatches) or ten (swings) reps for many repeats.

Be sure to have plenty of rest between them to be almost fully recovered - begin the next one strong and end it strong also. The principal is simple: build up high quality heavy volume without chasing it with fatigue.

My favorite are snatches, but since they're so technical I usually stick to swings:

A+A is Alactic Ballistics - lasting around 10 sec + Aerobic recovery - lasting until you’re ready to go strong again:

Some essential points:

  • you must have really solid technique to begin with and willingness to work on quality in every rep, every repeat, every sessions aiming for mastering the movement

  • it is not the aim to reduce rest periods over time but rather to let it happen over time

  • you will get better without trying to get better, in fact pushing yourself to get better will result in the opposite happening.

  • using a HR-monitor is very helpful to get some biofeedback but don't let it control your training session

  • pay attention to what your body and breathing sensations feel like - not only from repeat to repeat, but from session to session also, as fatigue accumulates with heavy volume work

  • it is more of an aim over time to rely by feel to know when ready again

  • it may be an aim also, to help recovery for instance nose breathing only while resting, shaking the limbs out a bit, walking around, breath counting - fast and loose drills

  • there should be almost no mental pushing involved - it should be more boring than effortful

  • it is not about using the heaviest bell possible - a bell for five reps may be a bell one can swing/snatch around 8-10 strongly

  • hand care is very important, keeping callous short and soft using lotion when needed

  • one should build up to this kind of volume work - the number of reps in a session sneaks up on you

We do A+A work as a way to get stronger (heavy kettlebells build muscle) and to build your aerobic capacity in a way that doesn’t fatigue you.

My goal is for you to leave the gym every day feeling better than when you walked in. And for you to suddenly realize after a few months that everything else you do is easier. Fitness will sneak up on you.

Michael Deskevich