Clean and Jerk A+A Training for the Minimalist


After reaching timeless Easy in March of 2020, I made a decision to check out The Fast and the Lifeless (Q&D), whereas sustaining sport-specific coaching on the pushup which is a part of my army testing. Happy with the outcomes of Q&D, I made a decision to proceed with this system, however I had an issue. The e-book means that after the primary twelve weeks of Q&D to alternate six weeks of alactic plus cardio (A+A) coaching with six weeks of Q&D.

Being unfamiliar with A+A, I researched and located some readability. Pavel explains it as “5 excessive energy swings or snatches on the minute.” Verkhoshansky outlined it as “10-15 seconds of arduous work adopted by 45-60 seconds of relaxation.” And Geoff Neupert, former StrongFirst Licensed Grasp Teacher, steered one to a few reps of double kettlebell drills in an article discussing his Kettlebell STRONG program and A+A analysis. In experimenting with varied workout routines and parameters, I discovered Pavel’s three to 5 reps labored nicely with single kettlebell swings or snatches however have been too tiring and lengthy with the double kettlebell clear and jerk (C&J) for an efficient A+A apply session.

One to a few double kettlebell clear and jerks take about ten to fifteen seconds, relying on the problem of the load and the way a lot time is required in between the clear and the jerk. So, for this plan, that’s based mostly on the double clear and jerk, the loading parameter is fifteen seconds of labor and forty-five seconds of relaxation, which is between one and three double clear and jerks each minute, relying on what you’ve gotten obtainable.

After virtually a 12 months of experimentation, I wish to share the outcomes of my concept with the StrongFirst group in your personal use, or as a springboard in your personal creativity. This program is the one I loved essentially the most and that I felt was best to comply with given my busy schedule, obtainable kettlebells, and my enjoyment of the double kettlebell clear and jerk. In fact, the best choice is attending a StrongFirst Certification or Workshop for the very best coaching and assets, however this will assist in your, and my, journey there.

The Plan

Clean and Jerk A+A Training Table


After your most well-liked kind of warmup choose a double kettlebell C&J weight that’s comfortably to reasonably arduous. Ideally, choose a weight equal to your 5RM (rep max). In case your choice is restricted, go lighter relatively than heavier (for instance, your 8RM as an alternative of your 3RM).

Choose the reps, one to a few, based mostly in your potential to carry out the double C&J in fifteen seconds: you could possibly do three reps in fifteen seconds with a comfortably arduous weight, however just one rep in ten seconds with a reasonably arduous weight. When you have your 5RM, I like to recommend beginning with two reps per set. If all you’ve gotten is a 3RM weight, begin with one rep. When you solely have a lighter weight, do not more than three reps, which ought to place you at fifteen seconds.

When you choose an applicable weight and rep scheme, your first Monday session must be about ten minutes of double C&J (much less and also you most likely picked too heavy a weight; considerably extra, most likely a weight that’s not difficult sufficient). You must have the ability to breathe out and in by way of your nostril the entire time.

The dip of the clean and jerk

Each Monday, see what number of units you are able to do, utilizing correct method whereas minding the StrongFirst cease indicators:

  • Rep velocity slows
  • Tempo drops
  • Approach modifications
  • Charge of perceived exertion (RPE) exceeds 8 on the 1-10 scale
  • Gasping for breath or respiration sample modifications

Barring the looks of any cease indicators, you must have the ability to improve your units each Monday.

Once you get to thirty minutes with one or two reps, add a rep to your units the subsequent Monday and see what number of units you are able to do with the additional rep. When you are able to do thirty minutes of three reps per set, start once more with a heavier weight, or proceed with the present weight to solidify your beneficial properties for the remainder of the cycle.

If one Monday it’s important to cease with fewer units than earlier than, don’t sweat it, simply go together with the decreased quantity the entire week, and it’ll act as a deload week. Then re-evaluate the subsequent Monday as regular.

Observe this for six to eight weeks. For long-term programming, you may contemplate alternating this with cycles of Q&D.

Kettlebells StrongFirst by Pavel Tsatsouline

Kettlebells StrongFirst
Behold the facility of A+A

Programming Issues

I designed this program for myself as an A+A cycle that I alternate with Q&D six-week cycles. Minimalism was an enormous consideration in selecting the double C&J as the one train. I selected the double C&J as an general energy train to enhance Q&D, and I needed to get higher at it. I’ve a busy job and household, so time is valuable. In addition to simple on the clock, I needed one thing simple on the thoughts: much less thought than Q&D, much less pre-planning than Plan RobustTM or different strictly managed program, and most all-around advantages given the restricted time and workout routines. I selected the goblet squat, and its prying cousin, for hip mobility. I selected the get-up for shoulder mobility, in addition to to remain proficient in my Easy and Sinister get-up of 40kg.

The half-kneeling windmill position of the get-up

This could possibly be a standalone program. I ran on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I did a brief however heavy ruck on Saturdays. Stroll, run, swim, cycle, hike, no matter you like. Simply hold it comparatively simple.

This program generally is a good approach to take a break from Easy and Sinister, whereas minimizing losses within the particular power and conditioning of the swing and get-up. Contemplate alternating this program with Q&D for a number of cycles till you discover one thing else, or till your progress stalls.

Making It Yours

There have been a variety of limitations that affected how I did this plan. I solely had double 16kg and 24kg kettlebells, in addition to singles of 20kg, 32kg, and 40kg. I additionally consciously programmed the warmup to fill in among the mobility and power gaps I noticed with the C&J. The C&J is a superb energy train general, however there’s not a number of knee flexion, so I adopted Pavel’s suggestion of prying goblet squats, and common goblet squats, to prime my physique for the heavy weight and keep hip mobility within the deep squat place.

The prying goblet squat

As a result of I needed to keep up my proficiency with the get-up at 40kg, I included it in my warmup. It’s a nice power and mobility excise that I’d extremely suggest training, even in case you have no targets with Easy and Sinister. Just a few reps gained’t damage, and it’ll do your physique good. I additionally did this throughout my Q&D cycles, doing two to a few get-ups at 40kg after my Q&D apply.

On Mondays and Fridays, the heavy and medium quantity days, I restricted my warmup, to save lots of time and to not do an excessive amount of power earlier than the upper volumes of C&Js. On low quantity Wednesdays, I’d typically do three warmup units, relying on how I felt. However I discovered two warmup units have been sufficient to prime the physique for the C&Js. Follow two or three units to keep up extra of an A+A protocol.

When you don’t have double kettlebells, or doubles in a weight you may C&J, you could possibly simply do single C&Js; simply alternate arms every set/minute. When you can’t/don’t need to do C&Js, this program may nonetheless be useful. With a well-rounded warmup of squats and get-ups, you could possibly choose your most well-liked ballistic or semi-ballistic kettlebell train and nonetheless have an efficient program: swing, snatch, clear, clear and press, clear and push press, clean-press-squat, and many others.

The one-arm kettlebell swing

If you’re extra all for endurance, you could possibly improve your aim for Mondays. I restricted myself to thirty minutes of C&J to maintain my train quick sufficient to suit into my day, however an A+A session may go longer, as much as sixty minutes, in case you have the time, and it aligns along with your efficiency targets. When you do go longer, I’d undoubtedly hold a waviness within the weekly quantity.


After I ran a model of this plan the primary time with the double C&J with two 16kg kettlebells, I had accomplished timeless Easy (32kg). After some cycles of Q&D and A+A, I went again to Easy and Sinister, feeling assured to finish timeless Easy and Sinister with 40kg. In just a few months, I accomplished timeless Easy and Sinister with a 40kg kettlebell. After a Q&D cycle, I did the plan detailed right here. Feeling stronger with the double 16kg kettlebells, I used to be in a position to do three reps per set and it took me a lot of the cycle to get to 100 reps (thirty-four minutes). After that, I began alternating three reps at double 16kg, with one rep at double 24kg, for the rest of that A+A cycle.

I went from double 16kg to double 24kg just because I don’t have double 20kg. Going from double 16kg to 24kg was very tough. The mixed 24s (48kg) have been heavier than my Sinister weight of 40kg, and at first it took me a stable ten to 12 seconds to do one C&J with double 24kg in correct type, and even then, I alternated units of the 24kg with simpler units of 16kg to get better sufficiently. If you end up in equally important weight jumps attributable to gear limitations, I recommend: 1) work your lighter weight till it turns into very simple, and a pair of) be very cognizant and cautious as you start to apply the heavier weight.

The stand of the clean and jerk

After one other six-week cycle of Q&D, I began doing this similar A+A cycle, however solely with double 24kg. I’ve discovered this plan to be an efficient long-term cycle of Q&D and A+A that has continued to offer me improved power and conditioning. On the finish of this cycle, I’ll take a look at myself with the C&J for ten minutes to see what number of I can do. I’ve loved each this system listed right here, in addition to the broader mixture of this with Q&D, and plan to proceed this long-term cycle with the aim of enhancing my health for the military. In some unspecified time in the future, I’ll get a 44kg and 48kg to attain Sinister.


After I began this exploration after finishing timed Easy, I didn’t know methods to proceed a long-term program, and even what sort of coaching to do. Pavel’s Q&D e-book got here out at about the identical time, and I instantly gravitated in the direction of it for its use of swings (in keeping with StrongFirst’s precept of “continuity of the coaching course of”) and pushups (specificity of coaching for my army necessities). As Q&D pushed me in the direction of A+A and my very own experimentations, I had no concept I’d find yourself doing double kettlebell drills, not to mention the clear and jerk. But my appreciation of minimalism and my growing time constraints of labor and household led me to the place I’m now: the place a apply session of greater than thirty minutes appears extreme and training greater than two or three workout routines appears luxurious. It could be good to have hours a day to actually apply and luxuriate in all of the totally different sorts of workout routines and targets, however till then double kettlebell workout routines are extra environment friendly and time saving than single kettlebell workout routines, and I can’t consider a greater all-around, common bodily preparedness (GPP) train than the double kettlebell clear and jerk.

Might you’ve gotten extra time and gear than me. But when not, could this plan assist your power and sanity.

Nathan Barnes
Nathan C. Barnes is an officer within the U.S. Military, at the moment instructing English at america Navy Academy, West Level.

After studying Pavel’s “The Bare Warrior” he grew to become hooked and has been having enjoyable with kettlebells for greater than 12 years now. Whereas not but a StrongFirst Licensed Teacher, he enjoys serving to others on their very own health journeys, as he works towards Sinister and his personal eventual certification.

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