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A Step-By-Step Beginner Bulldog Workout.

In this article I am going to take you step by step from basic beginner bulldog workouts to advanced bulldog workouts with one 88-pound bell. Learn more right now and start building up.

By: Mike Mahler

The following is a chapter from Mike Mahler's upcoming book, "The Kettlebell Solution For Size And Strength."


Book Excerpt

"But it is too heavy?"

"Grow Stronger" from the movie "The 13th Warrior."

I get a ton of emails from people all the time who want to work up to training with the 88 lb. kettlebells otherwise known as the "bulldogs."

Many people make the mistake of thinking that you are not ready for the 88-pound bell if you cannot use the 88-pound bell for the basic kettlebell drills such as: Cleans, Presses, Windmills and Turkish Get-ups.

This is simply not true and a provincial way to look at working up to the 88-pound kettlebell. The way to work up to using 88-pound. bells for training is to actually use the 88-pound kettlebells in your workouts. But what if you cannot even press the 70-pound bell yet? How are you going to work with the bulldog? Simple - by starting with basic exercises and building up to more advanced kettlebell exercises.

This practical approach will build confidence, as you grow stronger. The right exercises will build strength, but more importantly will build confidence, which is extremely important when taming the 88-pound bell and overlooked by most trainees.

In this article I am going to take you step by step from basic beginner bulldog workouts to advanced bulldog workouts with one 88-pound bell. I will save the fun of taming two "bulldogs" for another time and place. Let get started!


Phase 1A:
(Beginner Bulldog Workout Step 1)

The Exercises:

  • 2-arm deadlift (grab one 88-pound bell with two hands): Basic leg exercise that will help build a solid foundation for the kettlebell front squat down the road.)

  • bulldog bulldog
    Two-Arm Deadlift.
    Video: Windows Media - MPEG - iPod Video

  • 2-arm high pull (grab the bell with two hands, stand up quickly drive through with the hips and pull the bell to waist level. Work on getting it to head level. This is a great exercise for working up to two arms swings. Why? The closer the bell is to you the lighter it will feel. Thus, this exercise is much easier than the 2-arm swing.)

  • bulldog bulldog
    Two-Arm High Pull.
    Video: Windows Media - MPEG - iPod Video

  • 1-arm side bend: Hold an 88-pound bell to the side like a suitcase and lean in the opposite direction. This is a great exercise for building up the core for windmills and side presses.

  • bulldog bulldog
    One-Arm Side Bend.
    Video: Windows Media - MPEG - iPod Video

  • Suitcase deadlift. Hold the bell out to the side and squat down until the bell touches the floor. Switch hands with each rep.

  • bulldog bulldog
    Suitcase Deadlift.
    Video: Windows Media - MPEG - iPod Video

The Program:


Phase 1B:
(Beginner "Bulldog" Workout Step 2)

The Exercises:

  • Two-Arm Swing (to waist level work on taking it to head level)

  • bulldog bulldog
    Two-Arm Swing.
    Video: Windows Media - MPEG - iPod Video

  • 2-arm Clean (one hand is overhand and one hand is underhand)

  • bulldog bulldog
    Two-Arm Clean.
    Video: Windows Media - MPEG - iPod Video

  • 1-legged Deadlift (hold 1 88-pound bell with two hands and hold one leg up behind. Switch sides after each set)

  • bulldog bulldog
    One-legged Deadlift.
    Video: Windows Media - MPEG - iPod Video

  • 2-hand Press (pick up the bell by the horns and press it overhead with two hands)

  • bulldog bulldog
    Two-Hand Press.
    Video: Windows Media - MPEG - iPod Video

  • 2-hand Front Squat (grab the bell with two hands like a steering wheel and squat all the way down)

  • bulldog bulldog
    Front Squat.
    Video: Windows Media - MPEG - iPod Video

  • 2-arm Row (Grab a kettlebell with two hands and pull the kettlebell to your stomach)

  • bulldog bulldog
    Two-arm Row.
    Video: Windows Media - MPEG - iPod Video

The Program:

    Day 1:

    • A-1: Two-hand Press 3x5
    • A-2: Two-arm Row 3x5
      • Do A-1 and A-2 back to back. In other words, do one set of A-1, wait a minute and then do a set of A-2 and a wait a minute. Keep going back and forth until you have completed three sets of five on each exercise.

    • B-1: Two-hand Front Squat 3x5
    • B-2: Two-arm Swing 3x5
      • Do B-1 and B-2 back to back. In other words, do one set of B-1, wait a minute and then do a set of B-2 and a wait a minute. Keep going back and forth until you have completed three sets on each exercise.

        Wait a minute and then do ...

    • 1-arm side bend 2x5 l,r (1-minute breaks in between each set)
    • print Click Here For A Printable Log Of Phase 1B Day 1.

    Day 2:

    • A-1: Two-arm Clean 3x5 l,r
    • A-2: Two-arm Front Squats 3x5
      • Do A-1 and A-2 back to back. In other words, do one set of A-1, wait a minute and then do a set of A-2 and a wait a minute. Keep going back and forth until you have down three sets on each exercise. Do sets of five for each exercise.

    • B-1: Two-arm Press 3x5
    • B-2: Two-arm Row 3x5
    • Do B-1 and B-2 back to back. In other words, do one set of B-1, wait a minute and then do a set of B-2 and a wait a minute. Keep going back and forth until you have completed three sets on each exercise. Do sets of five for each exercise.

      Wait a minute and then do ...

    • One-legged Deadlift 2x5 l,r
    • print Click Here For A Printable Log Of Phase 1B Day 2.


Phase 2A:
(Intermediate "Bulldog" Workout Step 1)

The Exercises:

  • One-arm Swing to waist level (work on getting it to head level)
  • bulldog bulldog
    One-Arm Swing.
    Video: Windows Media - MPEG - iPod Video

  • 1-arm Clean with pre-swing (work on doing it with no pre-swing)
  • bulldog bulldog
    One-Arm Clean.
    Video: Windows Media - MPEG - iPod Video

  • 1-arm Clean and hold (hold the bell in the rack for 10 seconds and crush grip the bell as hard as possible)
  • One-arm Front Squat
  • bulldog bulldog
    One-Arm Front Squat.
    Video: Windows Media - MPEG - iPod Video

  • 2-arm Press with 2-second pause at the bottom of each rep
  • bulldog bulldog
    Two-Arm Press.
    Video: Windows Media - MPEG - iPod Video

  • 2-arm Row with 2-second pause at the top of each rep
  • One-arm Side Bend

The Workout:

    Day 1:

    • A-1: 1-arm Front Squat 3x5 l,r
    • A-2: 1-arm Swing 3x5 l,r
      • Do A-1 and A-2 back to back. In other words, do one set of A-1, wait a minute and then do a set of A-2 and a wait a minute. Keep going back and forth until you have down three sets of five on each exercise.

    • B-1: 2-arm Press 3x5
    • B-2: 2-arm Row 3x5
      • Do B-1 and B-2 back to back. In other words, do one set of B-1, wait a minute and then do a set of B-2 and a wait a minute. Keep going back and forth until you have down three sets of five on each exercise.

        Wait a minute and then do ...

    • 1-arm Side bend 2x5 l,r (1-minute breaks in between each set)
    • print Click Here For A Printable Log Of Phase 2A Day 1.

    Day 2:

    • A-1: 1-arm Clean and hold 3x5 l,r
    • A-2: 2-arm Row with pause at the top 3x5
      • Do A-1 and A-2 back to back. In other words, do one set of A-1, wait a minute and then do a set of A-2 and a wait a minute. Keep going back and forth until you have down three sets of five on each exercise.

    • B-1: 1-arm Front Squat 3x5 l,r
    • B-2: 1-arm Clean 3x5 l,r
      • Do B-1 and B-2 back to back. In other words, do one set of B-1, wait a minute and then do a set of B-2 and a wait a minute. Keep going back and forth until you have down three sets of five on each exercise.

      Wait a minute and then do ...

    • 1-arm Side bend 2x5 l,r (1-minute breaks in between each set)
    • print Click Here For A Printable Log Of Phase 2A Day 2.


Phase 2B: (Intermediate Level With 88lb Bell Step 2)

The Exercises:

The Workout:

    Day 1:

    • A-1: 1-arm Push Press 3x3 l,r
    • A-2: 1-arm Bent Over Row 3x3 l,r
      • Do A-1 and A-2 back to back. In other words, do one set of A-1, wait a minute and then do a set of A-2 and a wait a minute. Keep going back and forth until you have down three sets of three on each exercise.

      • B-1: 1-arm Front Squat 3x5 l,r
      • B-2: 1-arm Clean with Isometric hold 3x5 l,r

        Do B-1 and B-2 back to back. In other words, do one set of B-1, wait a minute and then do a set of B-2 and a wait a minute. Keep going back and forth until you have down three sets of five on each exercise.

        Wait a minute and then do ...

    • Bottom Position Windmill 2x5 l,r (one-minute breaks in between each set)
    • print Click Here For A Printable Log Of Phase 2B Day 1.

    Day 2:

    • A-1: 1-arm Front Squat 3x5 l,r
    • A-2: 1-arm Swing to head level 3x5 l,r
      • Do A-1 and A-2 back to back. In other words, do one set of A-1, wait a minute and then do a set of A-2 and a wait a minute. Keep going back and forth until you have down three sets of five on each exercise.

    • B-1: 1-arm Push Press 3x3 l,r
    • B-2: 1-arm Bent Over Row 3x3 l,r
      • Do B-1 and B-2 back to back. In other words, do one set of B-1, wait a minute and then do a set of B-2 and a wait a minute. Keep going back and forth until you have down three sets of three on each exercise.

        Wait a minute and then do ...

    • 1-arm Bottom Position Windmill 2x5 l,r (1-minute breaks in between each set)
    • print Click Here For A Printable Log Of Phase 2B Day 2.

    Day 3:

    • A-1: One-arm Front Squat 3x5 l,r
    • A-2: One-arm Swing to head level 3x5 l,r
      • Do A-1 and A-2 back to back. In other words, do one set of A-1, wait a minute and then do a set of A-2 and a wait a minute. Keep going back and forth until you have down three sets on each exercise. Do sets of five for each exercise.

    • B-1: 1-arm Push Press 3x5 l,r
    • B-2: 1-arm Bent Over Row 3x5 l,r
      • Do B-1 and B-2 back to back. In other words, do one set of B-1, wait a minute and then do a set of B-2 and a wait a minute. Keep going back and forth until you have completed all of the designated sets and reps.

        Wait a minute and then do ...

    • 1-arm Bottom Position Windmill 2x5 l,r (1-minute breaks in between each set)
    • print Click Here For A Printable Log Of Phase 2B Day 3.


Phase 3A:
(Advanced "Bulldog" Workout Step 1)

The Exercises:

The Workout:

    Day 1:

    • A-1: Hack Squat (1-3 reps per set)
    • A-2: 1-arm High Pull l,r (3-5 reps per set)
      • Do A-1 and A-2 back to back. In other words, do one set of A-1, wait a minute and then do a set of A-2 and a wait a minute. Keep going back and forth until you have down three sets on each exercise.

    • B-1: 1-arm Floor Press l,r 3x3
    • B-2: 1-arm Bent Over Row l,r 3x3
      • Do B-1 and B-2 back to back. In other words, do one set of B-1, wait a minute and then do a set of B-2 and a wait a minute. Keep going back and forth until you have you have completed all of the sets and reps.

        Wait a minute and then do ...

    • 1-arm Overhead - hold 2x 1-minute holds l,r after each hold immediately do five reps of bottom position windmills on each side.
    • print Click Here For A Printable Log Of Phase 3A Day 1.

    Day 2:

    • A-1: 1-arm Front Squats 3x3-5
    • A-2: 1-arm Swing 3x3-5 l,r
      • Do A-1 and A-2 back to back. In other words, do one set of A-1, wait a minute and then do a set of A-2 and a wait a minute. Keep going back and forth until you have down three sets on each exercise.

    • B-1: 1-arm Push Press 3x5 l,r
    • B-2: 1-arm Bent Over Row 3x5 l,r (4-second holds at the top of each rep)
      • Do B-1 and B-2 back to back. In other words, do one set of B-1, wait a minute and then do a set of B-2 and a wait a minute. Keep going back and forth until you have completed all of the sets and reps.

        Wait a minute and then do ...

    • 1-arm Overhead hold 2x 1-minute holds l,r after each hold immediately do a five reps of bottom position windmills on each side.
    • print Click Here For A Printable Log Of Phase 3A Day 2.


Phase 3B:
(Advanced Level With 88-pound Bell Step 2)

The Exercises:

  • 1-arm Press
  • 1-arm Row
  • Hack Squat
  • 1-Arm Front Squat
  • 1-arm Snatch
  • bulldog bulldog
    One-Arm Snatch.
    Video: Windows Media - MPEG - iPod Video

  • 1-arm Windmill (half rep: lean over until your free hand is in line with your knee)
  • 1-arm Swing To Head Level

The Workout:

    Day 1:

    • A-1: 1-arm Front Squat 3x5 l,r
    • A-2: 1-arm Snatch 3x2-3 l,r
      • Do A-1 and A-2 back to back. In other words, do one set of A-1, wait a minute and then do a set of A-2 and a wait a minute. Keep going back and forth until you have completed all of the sets and rep.

    • B-1: 1-arm Military Press 3x1 l,r
    • B-2: 1-arm Bent Over Row 3x3 l,r (do sets of three with 4-second holds at the top)
      • Do B-1 and B-2 back to back. In other words, do one set of B-1, wait a minute and then do a set of B-2 and a wait a minute. Keep going back and forth until you have completed all of the sets and reps.

        Wait a minute and then do ...

    • 1-arm Windmill (half rep) 3x1-3 l,r (take one-minute breaks in between each set)
    • print Click Here For A Printable Log Of Phase 3B Day 1.

    Day 2:

    • A-1: 1-arm Military Press 3x1 l,r
    • A-2: 1-arm Bent Over Row 3x5 l,r (do sets of three with 4 second holds at the top)
    • Do A-1 and A-2 back to back. In other words, do one set of A-1, wait a minute and then do a set of A-2 and a wait a minute. Keep going back and forth until you have down three sets on each exercise.

    • B-1: Hack Squat 3x1-3
    • B-2: 1-arm Swing 3x3-5 l,r
      • Do B-1 and B-2 back to back. In other words, do one set of B-1, wait a minute and then do a set of B-2 and a wait a minute. Keep going back and forth until you have down three sets on each exercise.

        Wait a minute and then do ...

    • 1-arm Windmill (half rep) 3x1-3 l,r (take 1-minute breaks in between each set)
    • print Click Here For A Printable Log Of Phase 3B Day 2.


Phase 4A:
(Very Advanced Level Step 1)

The Exercises:

  • 1-arm Military Press
  • 1-arm Bent Over Row
  • Hack Squat
  • 1-arm Overhead Squat
  • 1-arm Windmill (full range)
  • Turkish Sit-up (first portion of TGU right before getting to one knee)
  • bulldog bulldog
    One-Arm Snatch.
    Video: Windows Media - MPEG - iPod Video

  • One-arm Snatch

The Workouts:

    Day 1:

    • A-1: 1-arm Military Press 3x2-3 l,r
    • A-2: 1-arm Bent Over Row 3x5-6 l,r (do sets of 3-to-5 with 4 second holds at the top)
    • Do A-1 and A-2 back to back. In other words, do one set of A-1, wait a minute and then do a set of A-2 and a wait a minute. Keep going back and forth until you have down three sets on each exercise.

    • B-1: 1-arm Overhead Squat 3x3-5 l,r
    • B-2: 1-arm Snatch 3x5 l,r
    • Do B-1 and B-2 back to back. In other words, do one set of B-1, wait a minute and then do a set of B-2 and a wait a minute. Keep going back and forth until you have down three sets on each exercise.

      Wait one minute and then do ...

    • Turkish Sit-up 2x5 l,r (take 1-minute breaks in between each set)
    • print Click Here For A Printable Log Of Phase 4A Day 1.

    Day 2:

    • A-1: Hack Squat 3x3
    • A-2: 1-arm Snatch 3x5 l,r
      • Do A-1 and A-2 back to back. In other words, do one set of A-1, wait a minute and then do a set of A-2 and a wait a minute. Keep going back and forth until you have down three sets on each exercise.

    • B-1: 1-arm Military Press 3x2 l,r
    • B-2: 1-arm Bent Over Row 3x5 l,r (4-second holds at the top)
      • Do B-1 and B-2 back to back. In other words, do one set of B-1, wait a minute and then do a set of B-2 and a wait a minute. Keep going back and forth until you have down three sets on each exercise.

        Wait one minute and then do ...

    • 1-arm Windmill (full range) 2x5 l,r (take 1-minute breaks in between each set)
    • print Click Here For A Printable Log Of Phase 4A Day 2.


Phase 4B:
(Very Advanced Level Step 2)

The Exercises:

  • 1-arm Military Press With Push Press Extension
  • 1-arm Bent Over Row (pause at bottom and top)
  • Hack Squat (pause at bottom)
  • 1-arm Windmill (full range with free hand behind back)
  • Turkish Get-up (lunge Style)
  • 1-arm Dead Snatch (no pre-swing on each rep)
  • bulldog bulldog
    1-arm Dead Snatch.
    Video: Windows Media - MPEG - iPod Video

The Workouts:

    Day 1:

    • A-1: Hack Squat (pause at bottom)3x3
    • A-2: 1-arm Dead Snatch 3x3 l,r
      • Do A-1 and A-2 back to back. In other words, do one set of A-1, wait a minute and then do a set of A-2 and a wait a minute. Keep going back and forth until you have down three sets on each exercise.

    • B-1: 1-arm Military Press With Push Press Extension l,r (do two reps and two push presses with four second negatives on each side)
    • B-2: 1-arm Bent Over Row (pause at bottom and top) l,r
      • Do B-1 and B-2 back to back. In other words, do one set of B-1, wait a minute and then do a set of B-2 and a wait a minute. Keep going back and forth until you have down three sets on each exercise.

        Wait 1-minute and then do.

    • Turkish Get-up (Lunge Style) 2x5 l,r (take 1-minute breaks in between each set)
    • print Click Here For A Printable Log Of Phase 4B Day 1.

    Day 2:

    • A-1: 1-arm Military Press With Push Press Extension l,r (do two reps and two push presses with four second negatives on each side)
    • A-2: 1-arm Bent Over Row l,r (do sets of three with 4-second holds at the top and two second holds at the bottom)
      • Do A-1 and A-2 back to back. In other words, do one set of A-1, wait a minute and then do a set of A-2 and a wait a minute. Keep going back and forth until you have down three sets on each exercise.

    • B-1: Hack Squat (pause at bottom) 3x3
    • B-2: 1-arm Snatch 3x3 l,r
      • Do B-1 and B-2 back to back. In other words, do one set of B-1, wait a minute and then do a set of B-2 and a wait a minute. Keep going back and forth until you have down three sets on each exercise.

        Wait one minute and then do ...

    • 1-arm Windmill (free hand behind back) 2x5 l,r (take 1-minute breaks in between each set)
    • print Click Here For A Printable Log Of Phase 4B Day 2.


Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How long should I stay at each phase?

      This will vary with each individual. Basically stay with one phase until it becomes easy. In other words, stay with one phase until you can do the workout with minimal effort.

  2. What do I do if one phase is easy but the next one is too difficult?

      Stay with the easier phase a little longer or do some mixing and matching. Follow the principles and add some exercises from the harder phase to the easier phase.

  3. How long should I take off between each session?

      I would take two days off between each session, or just place a full body kettlebell workout with a lighter kettlebell in between each session. For example, do a "Bulldog" workout on Monday, a workout with a 70-pound kettlebell on Wednesday, and then another "Bulldog" workout on Friday.

  4. Can I do this workout every day?

      You could, but I would not recommend that for most people. Stick with two sessions per week and do two sessions with some lighter kettlebells.

  5. Hack squats hurt my knees, what can I do?

      Just do 1-arm Front Squats instead.

  6. What else can I do to maximize the benefits of this program?

      Make sure that you are using perfect technique.

  7. Can I workout more than four times per week?

      Sure but not with high intensity. Add in two active recovery workouts. Use Pavel's or Steve Maxwell's superjoint's programs to speed up recovery.

  8. What else can I do for enhanced recovery?

      Have a protein/carb shake after each workout, get 8-9 hours of sleep per night, get a cyrocup and ice down muscle groups after each session, and get a sports massage twice a month. If you still have some extra dollars, take 2 grams of Aceytl L-carnitine, 3 grams of tyrosine, and 200-400 milligrams of Phosphatidylserine before each workout. Also take ZMA at night to ensure quality sleep.

      View ZMA Products Sorted By Top Sellers Here.

      • Optimum Presents: ZMA
      • NOW Presents: ZMA
      • PrimaForce Presents: ZMA

  9. Can I contact you if I have any questions?

      This program is absolutely free for you to benefit from so I will only answer specific questions from people whohave attended my workshops in the past or have purchased my products or services. It is not fair to my clients who pay me for my time to answer all of your questions for free. I have already given enough away in this article and I expect you to appreciate my time and effort.


Conclusion

There you have it, a step-by-step program for conquering the bulldog? Does it work? Of course it does, but only if you get off your computer and actually start the program. Sitting around analyzing it to death will not get the job done. Get started today and join the few and the proud who have tamed the bulldog. Stay tuned for my next article on how to tame two bulldogs.

Live Life Aggressively!

About The Author:

    Mike Mahler is a strength coach based in Los Angeles, California, U.S.A. He is the author of the best-selling DVD, "The Kettlebell Solution For Size And Strength." For more info, visit Mike's website at mikemahler.com.

Video Provided By:

    Jason C. Brown is considered one of the world's leading authorities on kettlebell training for sport. He also created the series 'Kettlebell Training for Sport" DVD and book and coauthored 'Kettlebell Training for Baseball. To receive Jason's 'Down and Dirty Kettlebell Tips" please visit www.kettlebellathletics.com and sign up today.

Taming The Bulldog: A Step-By-Step Beginner Bulldog Workout.
mahler25@yahoo.com

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