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Kettlebell Centurion Workout Challenge

(Image credit: unknown)

Kettlebells are fantastically versatile pieces of exercise equipment once you’ve mastered some of the trickier movement patterns like the clean. This challenge from PT Beth Thayne, on the other hand, uses two foundational kettlebell movements – the swing and two-handed press – which makes it accessible, although it’ll pose a serious challenge to anyone.

“This is a real forearm burner, and will challenge your core, upper body and grip strength,” says Thayne.

“Use a weight you can overhead press using both hands for at least 15 reps – somewhere between 8kg and 20kg depending on your shoulder strength.

“The workout should be completed all in one go with no rest. Although if you need to rest, take it between sets and try not to rest for more than five to ten seconds.”

“It can be done either as a finisher at the end of a session or repeated three times for a full session.”

The Workout

In this challenge, the exercises are put into a tri-set, so you do the first set of exercise A, then the first set of exercise B followed by the first set of exercise C with as little rest as possible. Then return to the first exercise to do the second set, competing a different number of reps as indicated.

To make it easier to follow in the gym, we’ve included a table with the reps required in each set at the bottom of this article.

1A Kettlebell swing

Sets 7 Reps 5, 10, 20, 30, 20, 10, 5

Start with the kettlebell on the floor just in front of you, with your feet shoulder-width apart and a slight bend in the knees. Keep your back ramrod-straight throughout. Hinge at the hips and lean forwards to take hold of the kettlebell and pull it back between your legs. Drive your hips forwards to swing the kettlebell up to shoulder height. Let the swing end naturally and come back down again, hinging at the hips as the kettlebell passes between your legs, then drive your hips forwards to power the next swing.

1B Overhead press

Sets 7 Reps 3, 5, 10, 15, 10, 5, 3

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, holding the kettlebell with both hands in front of your chest. Press it straight up, exhaling as you do. To complete the lift with good posture, push your head forwards so that it’s between your arms. Slowly lower the kettlebell while inhaling, bringing your head back as you do so. Once the kettlebell is down to your chest, pause and then go again.

1C Overhead hold

Sets 7 Time 5sec, 10sec, 20sec, 30sec, 20sec, 10sec, 5sec

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, gripping the kettlebell with both hands. Press it above your head, keeping your arms extended and your core tight throughout. Once the time is up, slowly lower the kettlebell under control.

Kettlebell swingOverhead pressOverhead hold
Set 1533
Set 210510
Set 3201020
Set 4301530
Set 5201020
Set 610510
Set 7535

Jake was formely an intern for Coach and now contributes workouts from some of London’s top trainers. As well as training in the gym and running, he’s competed in the eight-hours-long overnight event Europe's Toughest Mudder twice and the 24-hours-long World's Toughest Mudder once.