Kettlebell Kings Blog

Functional BodyBuilding - Awaken Training Series 

Posted by Kettlebell Kings on Jan 17, 2018 4:53:35 PM

Kettlebell Kings is excited to have Marcus Filly contribute a four part series for our followers about functional bodybuilding with a focus on kettlebells. Marcus has competed at the CrossFit Games six times, three times as an individual (2016 12th fittest) and three times as a team member (2012 6th fittest team). Marcus can be found at his website here: and social media @marcusfilly and @functional.bodybuilding

We believe kettlebells are under utilized by most in the Crossfit community and are only used for swings when a WOD calls for it. As we have seen with some of our other pieces we have published regarding power lifting and other movements common in Crossfit workouts, kettlebells can and should actually be used to help improve your abilities in movements like deadlift, power clean and bench press. Additionally, as we have seen in some of collaborations with Mind Pump Media, kettlebells are an excellent tool for aesthetic training as well. If you find the information you see here helpful and want more, make sure to subscribe to our free posts through any of the links below or here.

By Marcus Filly:

In partnership with Kettlebell Kings, we have taken 4 workouts from the Awaken Training Series programs and are bringing them to you in a series. Kettlebells play a huge role in the athletic development of our athletes through Awaken Training Series. They are commonly used implements in our training program and we love finding new applications for them. For this particular content we have made some subtle changes to the exercise selection and loading implements to highlight the kettlebell even further. Wherever possible in the following workouts that you will see, we have used kettlebells.

Give the training a try. We have accompanying notes along with sets and reps to ensure you understand the why behind what you are doing here.  

Warm Up

4 Sets  of 6-8 reps Half Kneeling Bottom Up KB Press per arm, then rest 30 seconds 


12 Goblet Loaded Lateral Band Walks then rest 30 seconds



12 Scapular Push Ups on Kettlebells then rest 60sec



*Our warm ups are specifically designed for each training session to warm up the movement patterns and joints that are getting trained in the session to follow. In general we like to think about targeting musculature that supports the larger compound exercise that are to follow in our strength and conditioning sets. In today’s warm ups we are focusing on getting the scapular to turn on and start firing for the upper push and pull dominant session to follow. 

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A1. Kettlebell Incline Bench Press; 30X1; 6-8reps; rest 60sec x 3



A2. Incline Dual Kettlebell Prone Row; 2111; 6-8reps; rest 60sec x 3 sets



*In a classic upper horizontal push and pull superset, we are using slow tempos and higher time under tension along with moderate rest periods to focus a bit more on muscle endurance and motor control. (Tempo prescriptions start with the eccentric count, so the bench press would be down for 3 seconds, do not pause at the bottom, explode up, then pause 1 second before the next rep.)



B1. Single Arm Ring Row; 2020 Tempo; Max Reps on each arm at the prescribed tempo; rest 60sec x 3


B2. Feet Elevated Kettlebell Plank; 45-60sec unbroken; rest 60sec x 3



*In this second superset we are moving from two open chain exercises to two closed chain exercises coupled together. By moving to closed chain push and pull exercises we are training the muscle and brain in a slightly different way while still get in additional volume in the same movement pattern. 

Get automatic updates when we publish Part 2 with Marcus by filling out the sign up for to the right on desktops or below on mobile devices or here: 

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Topics: body building, aesthetic training, Marcus Fily