Are two exercises enough to get you fit? Would you just want to do two exercises forever? Can mastery of two exercises translate over to several other movement patterns? No one can get you thinking as minimalist as Pavel Tsatsouline and his training programs.
In preparing for my upcoming RKC (Russian Kettlebell Challenge) certification course I’ve been reading Pavel’s Enter the Kettlebell. Seeing the programs in it reminds of my time with his Power to the People program because of the similarities in the minimalist approach. Both programs revolved around 2 exercises performed in a systematic way several times a week.
I remember trying the Power to the People program, which revolved around deadlifts and a barbell side press, and being impressed with the simplicity and results. I got strong on those lifts and felt good doing it. The idea of consistent practice of key exercises has influenced my programs ever since.
So I’m going to be incorporating more kettlebell routines into my personal program, doing them on days between my normal workout. Depending on how you look at it, the kettlebell workouts are the something “extra” we’re usually looking to do on days we aren’t in the gym or the “regular” workouts are variety days in an RKC type program.
So the answer is yes and no – a two exercise program can get you fit but it can’t address every need, and most people would go crazy only doing two exercises. But if I had to pick two exercises that 80% of all riders should be doing more often it would be the Turkish Get Up and the kettlebell swing. If you spent 30 minutes a day working on those two exercises you’d accomplish more than most riders who skip strength training or spend hours doing every exercise under the sun.
I’m totally ripping this off from the RKC program but spending 10 minutes doing some foam rolling, stretching and mobility drills, doing 5 minutes worth of Turkish Get Ups (switching hands after every rep) and 12 minutes worth of swings is a spectacularly efficient and effective workout.