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Onnit Academy Programming of the Week

Onnit Academy Workout Plan of the Week

March 3, 2015
Updated April 11, 2018

The workout plan for the Onnit Academy Gym this week includes the Alternating Double Kettlebell Rack Reverse Lunge Test, the Kettlebell Staggered Stance Push Press, and Battle Rope Sidewinder Hook.

Just as a recap, this week’s Rite of the Week is built off of last week’s Skill of the Week. Last week’s skill of the week was the Kettlebell Overhead Reverse Lunge, the reason for using this particular drill was to help participants and coaches see and refine the alignment necessary to maximize the positive training effects of the drill. Ideally, this positive training effect will increase performance carry over into this week’s kettlebell Rite of Passage which is the Double Kettlebell Reverse Lunge Test.

Using an overhead position, which is actually a harder position, in last week’s Skill of the Week, gives the body a lot of feedback. This feedback makes it really easy for a coach to see whether or not the joint structures are stacked. By stacked, I mean that the hand is over the shoulder,  the shoulder is over the hip, and the hip is over the knee. Ideally, all those joint structures will stack in this overhead position and it will be really easy for both the participant and the coach to see and make adjustments.

Rite of the Week: Alternating Double Kettlebell Rack Reverse Lunge

Rite of the Week: Kettlebell Reverse Lunge

The image above may look like a rotating lunge, but it is not. Keep your body in a straight line as you lunge back.

The Kettlebell Reverse Lunge test is a two-minute test that is incredibly grueling,  but at the same time is really hard for people to do with proper structure. You will find that people lunge in a variety of different ways from stepping out too wide or stepping back too far.

By performing these lunges incorrectly, you really begin to stress out the joints, particularly the spine or the knees, depending on where the body lacks alignment. This lack of alignment is really important going into the Rite of the Week because any lack of alignment over multiple reps is going to provide more cumulative stress.

Exercise Steps

  1. Rack the kettlebells and stand with your feet shoulder width apart.
  2. Seeking to keep the kettlebell as close to your chest as possible, helping you to maintain a vertical spine, step back with one foot and place it firmly on the ground behind you.
  3. Once you step back, keep your hips squared and drop your back knee towards the ground, trying to keep a straight line between your back knee, hips, and shoulder. Step back into the starting position and proceed with the other leg.

Tips & Safety: Remember to control your breathing; the rack position will put increased pressure on your chest, making steady breathing slightly more difficult.

Rules of the Rite

The Alternating Double Rack Reverse Lunge Test is a 2-minute full-body strength endurance test. Men in the Alpha class will need to use double 24kg kettlebells: Amateur men will need to use 20kg kettlebells.

Alpha women will use double 16kg kettlebells; Amateur women will use double 12kg kettlebells. Perform as many Alternating Double Rack Reverse Lunge reps in 2 minutes. If you set down the weight, your set is finished.


Skill of the Week: Kettlebell Staggered Stance Push Press

Skill of the Week: Kettlebell Staggered Stance Press

Again, the image above may look like a rotating press, but it is not. Keep your body in a straight line as you press the kettlebell up.

This week’s Skill of the Week is the Staggered Stance Kettlebell Push Press. By using the Staggered Stance Kettlebell Push Press you are priming the body for next week’s Rite of the Week, which is actually a steel mace drill. In this drill you are using a kettlebell to understand that driving off the rear foot and extending that staggered stance hip is actually going to be the main power generator to get the kettlebell overhead. In next week’s Rite of the Week you will be performing a similar pattern using a steel mace and the staggered stance to generate power through the rear foot and into an overhead position.

Exercise Steps

  1. Perform a Clean to get the kettlebell into the rack position. Stand with your feet hip width apart with a slight bend at your knee. If you start with your kettlebell in your right hand, stagger your stance, toe to heel, by placing your right foot back.
  2. Holding the kettlebell in your mid-line close to your sternum, in a stick rack position. Keepyour back side fixed, from this position,  push press the kettlebell straight up to elbow lockout. You are going to extend your hips forward, from the staggered stance position, during the push press.
  3. Lower kettlebell back into the Rack Position.

Tips & Safety: Keep your back straight, heels down, and your core tight throughout the duration. This is a full body drill, so really focus on using your hips to help drive the kettlebell up.

Advanced Move of the Week: Battle Rope Sidewinder Hook

Advanced Move of the Week: Battle Rope 1-Arm Hook
The Advanced Move of the Week is the Battle Rope Sidewinder Hook. This is a great drill which reminds you to have fun with your training, but also drill some mechanics that will allude most people. The purpose of the Battle Rope Sidewinder Hook drill is to generate force from the ground up. This drill is a lot of fun and definitely a great way to of see how smoothly you can create power from a pivot all the way out through the hand, all while timing the pull back.

Exercise Steps

  1. Start by pivoting the lead leg in, then pivoting out as the following leg pivots in. Keep the lead hand in the guard position the entire time.
  2. Just slightly stepping back out of your range, extend your arm out of your range just a little bit, almost with a straight arm as you get to the apex of the hook and then your going to counter that with a sharp pullback. This pullback motion is also going to send that front leg into another pivot as you pull that rear hip back and then pull the elbow back to finish the movement.
  3. You are going to initiate the movement with a pivot in the rear leg sending that wave of energy all the way out through the hook and immediately reverse that motion. Pivot the front leg and hold that rear elbow back.

Here is an example of how you could program this movement into a workout.

Onnit Academy Gym is the 10,000 square foot flagship facility located adjacent to Onnit Labs Headquarters in Austin, Texas. This unique facility combines all of Onnit’s innovative, functional training equipment with the methodologies and highly trained personnel to provide you with unmatched performance. With two uniquely outfitted training spaces, Onnit Academy Gym utilizes highly refined implements and effective training techniques to help you achieve maximum performance gains. The gym is also the official location of DeFranco’s Gym, an unconventional athletic performance training center originally located in New Jersey. Joe DeFranco trained high profile athletes and entertainers using the equipment now being used in Austin. These individuals include Triple H (Paul Levesque) 13-Time World Champion WWE Superstar, Brian Cushing, linebacker for the Houston Texans, and David Diehl, offensive lineman for the New York Giants.
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