Updated: Feb 7
By Michael Castrogiovanni
EVOLVE YOUR KETTLEBELL TRAINING
Kettlebell Partner Passing is a dynamic system, designed to offer physical and mental benefits beyond those of traditional kettlebell exercises.
One aim of KPP is to help others enter and sustain an integrated and grounded state of flow- physically, mentally, and spiritually, by playing catch with the kettlebell.
In simple terms, KPP is throwing a kettlebell back and forth with a partner. But when you look closer, you will find more to it than meets the eye.
KPP is a journey to greater depths in life and relationship through communication, cooperation and connection.
GROWING EVEN STRONGER, TOGETHER
KPP creates a synergy to achieve higher levels of consciousness and fitness together that could not be achieved alone. KPP affords endless opportunities for individual growth as well.
The benefits of this style of training transfer into all areas of life as you discover the gems of wisdom fundamental to the Kettlebell Partner Passing system.
INCEPTION OF KPP
Fourteen years ago, on the set of the DVD Kettlebell Basics for Strength Coaches and Personal Trainers, Brett Jones and I passed a kettlebell for the first time. That day, on video, we captured the inception of what I would eventually develop into KPP with the help of friends.
MAKING KPP SAFE AND ACCESSIBLE
Captivated by the idea of kettlebell partner passing, I saw the vast potential in front of me and dove head first down the rabbit hole and became a student.
I immersed myself in the act of passing kettlebells on a regular basis, continually finding new and innovative ways to throw bells.
The organic experience, grown out of inspiration and collaboration, provided the way to develop and grow KPP in order to make it safe and accessible for others.
I continued innovating, teaching and growing the skills that have enabled me to grow beyond what I ever imagined possible that first day passing a kettlebell with Brett.
KPP IS FOR ALMOST EVERYONE
Make no mistake, KPP is not an easy path; however, KPP has programs and progressions for almost everyone.
Because of the inherent risk, partners must have a deep sense of responsibility for self and each other. But what worthwhile path is easy and risk free?
KPP TRANSFORMS SWING POTENTIAL TO APPLICABLE POWER
Enhanced athleticism, absorption, production and redirection of force are just a few of the many advantages Kettlebell Partner Passing has to offer.
The strength forged from KPP is both conventional and unconventional due to the limitless ways to throw and catch the kettlebell that are impossible to duplicate otherwise.
Advanced forms of KPP build powerful and agile feet, legs, torso, and arms that are able to root and uproot in a moment's notice to coordinate intricate movements to pass the kettlebell safely and effectively, with grace, power and fluidity.
The benefit of letting go of and catching the kettlebell builds a freakishly functional type of grip strength.
The hands, wrists and forearms become unified, powerful and receptive to controlling the acceleration of the kettlebell.
Catching and releasing the kettlebell sharpens the focused attention needed to snatch the bell out of the air without damage to digits.
BEYOND PHYSICAL BENEFITS
Only focusing attention on the nearly endless physical benefits of KPP would paint an incomplete picture of what Kettlebell Partner Passing has to offer.
The many meaningful and unexpected benefits of KPP, beyond the physical, give greater depth to the act of passing bells.
For example, KPP students learn to read their partner and the energy of the bell for optimal decision making to keep each other safe while passing kettlebells.
KPP also breaks down walls and barriers between individuals by building trust and communication.
KPP demands a degree of presence and awareness through cooperation that are seldom, if ever, experienced in day-to-day life for many of us.
This rare experience engenders a high level of trust and openness that builds a bond that allows for authentic connection between partners.
CREATING FLOW STATE THROUGH KPP
Kettlebell Partner Passing demands presence in the moment and over time, gives you the ability to enter flow consciously.
Entering the flow of KPP shifts perspective on time allowing for high quality and quantity of work to be done in the blink of an eye.
When done well, 1 hour can pass in what seems like 20 minutes; conversely, when done poorly, 10 minutes can seem like 1 hour.
FEEL EUPHORIC AND CHARGED
The work-rest ratio for the basic two-hand pass is approximately 1-2. The release phase of KPP takes the load off of the individual, decreasing tissue damage by shortening the body’s time under tension, allowing large amounts of work to be done without excessively taxing the physical body.
It is rare for partners to complete a training session feeling tired and sore the day of or days following a session.
These prolonged workouts challenge cardiovascular capacity and leave the partners feeling charged, euphoric and satisfied at the end of a session.
NEXT STEPS AND PREP
Kettlebell Partner Passing is versatile in its application. KPP fits well with just about any style of training, can be used as a warm up and cool down, as a supplement to other strength training protocols, and it can be used as a standalone well-rounded strength and conditioning program by itself.
KPP students begin by learning Kettlebell Solo then move on to the single bell two-hand pass, which remains the main focus for a beginner to master and hone the many nuances of giving and receiving optimal passes. From this movement, all other KPP skills emerge.
From two-hand passing, the next level of focused training is one hand kettlebell partner passing patterns and drills. One hand KPP drills serve as progressive steps towards KPP Freestyle™.
KPP Freestyle™ is a dynamic, fluid, unscripted way to pass kettlebells that promotes individual and partner expressions of strength, athleticism, cooperation and continuously moving flow.
Preparing for kettlebell partner passing without a partner is best done with Kettlebell Solo. Here are some suggestions from the ebook:
• Begin by letting go of the kettlebell during the float phase of the swing and quickly catching it again with both hands.
• Progress to two-hand back flips. Back flips will translate directly to flipping the bell to your partner.
• When you feel comfortable with these single person drills, find a sand box and let go of the kettlebell on the count of 3 at the top of the swing. Count out loud and repeat.
• In the first set, let the kettlebell fly naturally without any attempt to control it.
• Ask yourself, “What would have happened if I had a partner in front of me?”
• Progress to controlling the kettlebell and make it flip so that it lands with the bell bottom straight down and the handle straight up. This is not as easy as it sounds.
• Throw straight passes without the kettlebell flipping, making the bell bottom land flat in the sand and the handle straight up.
• Practice this until you can repeat the steps at will without thinking about them…. People who put the time into single person drills tend to be better partners to pass with than those who jump right to passing.
If you would like to be prepared more fully, get the Kettlebell Solo ebook and follow the program in it to be well prepared for the rigors of passing with a partner.