The Batman Kettlebell Complex

The Batman Kettlebell Complex

The Ultimate Superhero

The Batman is my favorite comic book superhero of all time. There’s just something about him being human yet feared by gods and demons alike that makes him quite an easy character to idolize. He’s tough, badass, and probably one of the most intelligent superheroes ever created. Which explains my almost insane excitement for the new Batman vs Superman movie. Not to mention how it would definitely connect with the Suicide Squad film.

It was also a twist of fate when I was working on a new kettlebell complex. I’ve been play testing it for a week and I was really only stuck with the naming part. I wanted it to be an update to my Godzilla Complex but I realized this was totally different and hence needed a better name. Which is why I knew what to call it when I saw the two DC trailers and naming it “The Batman” definitely sounds good to the ears.

For The Batman kettlebell complex, we will be using the strict military press so it’s important you use the pair you are already comfortable with. For good measure, take your heaviest and lightest bells. Get the sum of their weights and divide it by two. In my case, my heaviest kettlebell is 32 kg and my lightest is 16 kg so I ended up with 24 kg. Answers with decimals should be rounded off to the nearest “ones” i.e. if you get 23.7, go with 23. If you get 28.4, you go with 28. If you don’t have the right weight in hand, then you are welcome to use the pair which you can press at least twice.

Here’s how one round of The Batman goes:

The Batman Kettlebell Complex

This is to remind you that you have to perform each exercise without setting the kettlebells down. Try to aim for 10 rounds of the complex before you time yourself. If you follow my recommended weight level, you should be able to get the full 10 in less than 20 minutes. Once you find it too easy, it’s either you increase reps or you move on to a heavier pair. Rest time is subjective but shouldn’t be too much that it gets your muscles back in a relaxed state. If you want a number, I say not more than 2 minutes in between.

This kettlebell complex will test your strength and stamina while improving both. The fact that it utilizes cleans, presses, lunges, and squats mean you’ll get one heck of a full body workout and as the saying goes “will leave no stone unturned.” Not to mention how it hacks into your body fat like a flaming chainsaw over butter.

If your experience will be anything similar to mine, your arms will probably give up first so don’t force a press if your body can’t press anymore. It’s normal to get tired halfway. In case you can’t get the full 10 rounds, lower your target to what you currently max at. I’d rather you lower the rounds than lower the weight.


As I mentioned earlier, I’ve been playtesting this for one week, trying out different sequences and all. You can make this complex much more difficult without increasing reps. Feel free to be creative yourself but here’s some of what I tried:

1. Long-Cycle

In a recent blog, I told you all about how the Long Cycle is the most beautiful kettlebell exercise so I went ahead and incorporated it into the complex by simply long-cycling the clean and press twice. It may seem like they’re the same movement as the standard but my tired arms tell me they’re not.

To my experience, long-cycling the clean and press twice made my arms give up faster than simply double cleaning twice and pressing twice after. You won’t feel it the first 3-4 rounds but I’m sure you’ll notice the huge difference in stamina drain once you get to round 5 and above.

2. Heaviest Pair

I recommended the “middle” kettlebell because it allows you to press it twice comfortably. This variation makes use of the heaviest pair you got. It’s either the pair you can’t strictly press or simply the pair that you can’t press more than once without losing air.  This one will incorporate the the double kettlebell jerk.

I tried it with a pair of 32’s and to be honest, it was horrible…in a good way. You can definitely “cheat” the presses but you can’t get away with the lunges and the squats. I got to 7 rounds when my “jerk” failed in round 8. I stopped there because, well, it’s dangerous and I know The Batman knows his limits too.

3. One-Arm Battle

Remember how I told you the secret to kettlebell training is about the imbalanced movements? This variation involves using just one kettlebell. You can play around with this one if you want. You can choose to go with the standard complex or try the one kettlebell version of the two above alternatives. The hard thing about this is how the reps will double in number. This is because you’re not supposed to drop the kettlebell until one round is over. This means you’ll be doing one set of movements per arm, per round.

You can choose to do it alternating per movement (left clean, right clean, left press, right press, etc.) or you finish one half with the left arm then do the other half with the right arm. Again, you’re not supposed to drop the kettlebell until one round is done. If you feel fatigued or if you feel like you should drop it then by all means do so. After all, The Batman was created to get you stronger and not to get you injured so please lift responsibly. 

Now if you’ll excuse me, I think I see the Bat Signal.

Robert James
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