Strength and Endurance With Kettlebell Complexes

Brandon Hofer

Guest Contributor - Yoga and Kettlebells

Yoga, Kettlebells

EDITOR'S NOTE: Brandon Hofer is a StrongFirst Level II-certified kettlebell instructor, personal trainer, yoga practitioner, father and husband, and defender of the kaizen way of life and health. He helps clients recover from weakness, injuries, surgeries, accidents, and chronic medical conditions by blending various styles of kettlebell training and yoga practice. You can find him online at Kaizen, or email him:



Rarely do we find it sufficient to pick up one thing, one time, and be done with it. "One-shot" strength is for powerlifters and emergencies. More commonly, what we need is strength over the long haul. Many programs excel at creating a great deal of either strength or endurance. This program is designed to foster both attributes, helping you meet your "real-world" needs.



Download the Entire 12-Week Program - Click Here

What Size Kettlebell Should I Use?


  • Beginner – 16kg
  • Intermediate – 20kg
  • Upper intermediate – 24kg



  • Beginner – 8kg
  • Intermediate – 10kg/12kg
  • Upper intermediate – 16kg


The Program

Perform the training sessions on three non-consecutive days per week: Monday, Wednesday, Friday, or Monday, Wednesday, Saturday, for example.


Start with "5 minute mobility" before each session:



You'll notice that the video is not five minutes long, as you might expect. The moves were abbreviated for quick viewing. 


Here are the full times:

  • Hip Hinge - 30 seconds
  • Spider Man - 30 seconds
  • Spider Man w/ twist - 30 seconds
  • Crescent Lunge to Down Dog - 60 seconds
  • 3 Legged Dog - 30 seconds each side
  • 90/90 - 30 seconds
  • 90/90 with fold - 30 seconds
  • Goblet Squat - 30 seconds


Optional Finisher - 90/90 to Deep Squat + twist and reach


Day One

Warm up:

3 sets:

  • Single-leg deadlift x5 each side
  • Halos x5 each direction
  • Overhead carry – 20 yards, down and back (40 yards total)



Main sequence:

4 sets:

  • Snatch & press, right side, x5
  • Snatch & press, left side, x5
  • Goblet squat x10
  • Rest 60 seconds




EMOM (Every Minute On the Minute) 10 minutes:

  • One-arm swings x10, rest for remainder of minute

Alternate hands each minute



Day Two

Warm up:

3 sets:

  • Turkish get up x1 each side (2 total)
  • Double rack carry – 20 yards, down and back (40 yards total)



Main sequence:

4 sets, repeat 5 times (R-L-R-L-R-L-R-L-R-L):


RIGHT side:

  • Clean & press x1
  • Snatch x1
  • Back lunge (keep kettlebell overhead) x1
  • Half-kneeling press x1
  • Return to standing x1 (keep kettlebell overhead) x1
  • Front squat x1


LEFT side:

  • Clean & press x1
  • Snatch x1
  • Back lunge (keep kettlebell overhead) x1
  • Half-kneeling press x1
  • Return to standing x1 (keep kettlebell overhead) x1
  • Front squat x1


Rest 60 seconds, then repeat the entire sequence.


While this complex is not the same one as above, it makes clear how the the kettlebell complex is done - one movement flowing into the next without putting the kettlebell down.




For these, do the work, then rest for the remainder of the minute.

3 rounds:

  • One-arm swings, right x10 (1 minute)
  • Turkish get up, right x1 (1 minute)
  • One-arm swings, left x10 (1 minute)
  • Turkish get up, left x1 (1 minute)

Total = 12 minutes


Day Three

On day three of each week, perform the session with one kettlebell size lower than usual.


Warm up:

3 sets:

  • Goblet squat x5 (hold bottom position for 3 to 5 seconds)
  • Halos x5 each direction


Main sequence:

4 sets of double KB complex

  • Double clean x5
  • Double press x5
  • Double front squat x5
  • Double push press x5
  • Rest – 90 seconds


Here are two more movement demo videos. Again, the sequences are different than those specified in this program, but the movements themselves are there for reference.




Snatches, EMOM for 10 minutes, alternate hands each minute


Download the Entire 12-Week Program - Click Here

Do I Do the Same Kettlebell Workout for Twelve Weeks?

Well, yes and no. The exercises stay the same, but the sets, reps, and rest listed above are your week-one starting point.


Each subsequent week gets a little more difficult. Replace the rounds, reps, rests, and total times listed above with the appropriate values from this table:


Workouts, kettlebells, Kettlebell, Elite Programming, Elite Workout Programs



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