Saturday, March 12, 2011

Today's Workout - SKOGG System Ladders

For the past two years, I have been working out at our gym.  Sure, once in awhile, I would grab kettlebells at home and do a quick workout.  But since I am at the gym most days, I workout with our members, generally at a Warrior Class, Level IV.  I am embarrassed to say that I have never worked out to the SKOGG System DVD.  Although I have done all of the workouts on the DVDs at some time in the gym, I never did them at home.

Today was a rainy Saturday and I just didn't feel like going in to SKOGG Gym, so I pulled out the SKOGG System DVD and did the "Ladders" workout at Level IV (Warrior).  It kicked my butt!!  Actually, I was surprised by how winded and sweaty I got.  I'm used to doing that type of workout, so I thought this was going to be a piece of cake.  For anyone out there that thinks the SKOGG System is ONLY for beginners is very misinformed.

Michael introduced me to kettlebells over 5 years ago.  I started with a 9 lb. kettlebell, and when he tried to teach me a Turkish Get-Up, I revolted.  Turkish Get-Ups are my favorite exercise now, but at the time, I very loudly protested.  My body wasn't ready for that movement.  After years of traditional weight training, my body was inflexible and tight.  However, I loved doing the basic 6.  They are a group of exercises that work your entire body.  It was fun, and I sweat more than I ever did lifting traditional weights...with only a 9 lb. kettlebell.  It was invigorating and empowering!

Soon I moved to an 18 lb kettlebell, and became pretty comfortable at that weight.  But comfortable is not where  I wanted to be, I wanted results, so I was soon swinging a 26 lb bell.  Not only did I get stonger very quickly, my flexiility improved, especially in my shoulders and hips.  Fast forward to the present.  I use a 26 lb. kettlebell for fast paced workouts.  That gives me a great cardio workout, and is heavy enough for strength training as well.  For a slower paced workout, I will use a 35, 44, or 53 pound kettlebell for snatches, cleans, dead lifts and two handed swings.  If you really want to feel your glutes, pick up a 44 or 53 pound kettlebell and do some two handed swings.  If you do the swings the way Michael teaches, your glutes and hamstrings will get the workout of their life.  

The moral of this story can use a light kettlebell and get a great cardio workout.  But if you think the SKOGG System workout is too easy, it's not the fault of the workout.  All you have to do is pick up a heavier kettlebell, and the workout turns into a brand new experience.

Now, I am not suggesting a novice pick up a 53 lb kettlebell and start using it.  What I am saying is don't get too comfortable with a certain weight.  Work your way up.  Use a lighter weight and go fast one day, and use a heavier one and slow down the next.  Giving your body that variety will ensure your success.  Try having a couple different weights sitting in front of you, and change them up during your workout.  Maybe you can use a 33 lb. bell for your swings and switch to a 26 lb. bell for snatches,  but need to grab an 10-20 pound bell for your clean and press.  There is nothing that says you have to use the same size for the entire workout.  

The four workout DVDs are designed for beginners to warriors.  There are many, many possibilities on how to use them.  Change the weight, change the time, and change the tempo.  You will see results very quickly.  Your arms will get strong and lean, your tummy will flatten, and your glutes and legs will firm up.  Most people see results after only 5-6 workouts.  Follow a "clean" diet, and the pounds will melt off.

If you would like to see results from men and women of various age and abilities who have taken the SKOGG System 60 Day Challenge, check out our website.  

To order the SKOGG System, click here.  You will receive an instructional DVD and 4 workout DVDs, taught by Michael Skogg.  To view Michael's credentials, click here

Keep Swinging,



  1. Sue, great post! Skogg System definitely isn't easy and I agree with you - you can change it based on what you feel like doing - cardio or power. Last week I did level 4 of Intervals with a 20lb bell and got a great workout but it was more cardio/endurance. Most of the time I do Skogg with a 25lb bell (which is what is challenging for me right now 1 handed). I can't wait to break in my 45lb big daddy for 2h swings!

    thank you and Michael (he is a great instructor!) for creating this system! it is neat to see what your thoughts are after doing one of the dvds. :)

  2. Love it Sue! Well put :)

  3. Thanks Rosie and Erin. We appreciate all feedback. :)

  4. Sue: I couldn't agree with you more! Like Rosie & Erin, I too am loving the Skogg workout system. I'm still working my way through the various levels of the Roots DVD and it kicks my butt every time. I've been using mostly a 16kg bell for Levels 1 & 2 of Roots, and it is incredible. Although I've been working with kettlebells for over 5 years, it never ceases to amaze me how intense the challenge can become when you simply change the weight of the bell. The advice you've provided here is simply outstanding, and I hope that anyone unsure as to whether the Skogg system is for them will just give it a try. I'm sure they will be hooked after their first workout!
    Thanks to you & Michael for making such a great series. I'm looking forward to completing the rotation, and for what's in store from Skogg in the future!

  5. Sue, You are such an inspiration! I muscled my husband into purchasing the Skogg System and we are both on our 3rd and 4th week. I cannot say enough about it. The Skogg System really has changed my life. I can't get enough of kettlebells and this is the first time in my life I actually look forward to working out. I read your blog and love it. Thank you so much!

  6. Thanks Fitgirl-ATX and Erin,
    working out with kettlebells has changed my life too. Working out at a "normal" gym just isn't my style. Kettlebells are just so effective, and fun. Let us know how you are doing!