By James Darley STACK.com
People look at kettlebells as if they were staring at a mythical creature. Sure, Kettlebell Swings have become more popular for fat loss and as a conditioning finisher at the end of workout sessions. But very seldom do people use them exclusively in a kettlebell workout routine.
Kettlebell workout routines can be performed anywhere—in your basement, at the park or wherever your heart desires. You’re no longer a slave to the local franchise gym, where your motivation wanes as you wait in line for dumbbells, racks and machines during peak hours.
But wait, there’s even more! Because they are so versatile, kettlebells give you a powerful tool for both strength training and conditioning. After all, what’s the point of being strong and muscular if you can hardly walk a block without feeling winded.
So, are you ready for the program? Here it is.
Kettlebell Program Overview
Some people make exercise programming way too difficult. Sure, personal trainers and strength coaches are trying to distinguish themselves, but beginner and early intermediate lifters don’t need to be doing contrast training, high-intensity plyometrics, or some Cirque du Soleil act on a BOSU ball.
These lifters will benefit from mastering the five fundamental human movement patterns discussed by Dan John—the hip hinge, squat, pull, push and loaded carry. All of these movement patterns translate to barbell compound exercises, Olympic lifts and everything else you do at the gym.
This program is divided into two separate training days. Workout A focuses on the hip hinge, push and squat patterns. Workout B focuses on the hip hinge, pull and loaded carry patterns. Yes, the hinging pattern shows up twice. The truth is that most people benefit from the added volume targeting the posterior chain muscles, which tend to be “turned off” when they sit for hours on end.
Alternate these training sessions on three non-consecutive days per week. For example, during Week 1, perform A-B-A and in Week 2, do B-A-B. The aims of the program are to promote fat loss, improve work capacity and build muscle size.
What Kettlebell Size Should I Use?
Beginner – 16kg or 20kg
Intermediate – 24kg
Beginner – 8kg or 10kg
Intermediate – 12kg or 16kg
These are only recommendations. Some individuals will use kettlebells below or above the recommended weight. When choosing a kettlebell, make sure you can perform every specified repetition without going to failure. The reps should be challenging, but not vomit-inducing.
A1. Goblet Squats x5
A2. Double Kettlebell Push Press x5
A3. Kettlebell Swings x 15
Repeat the circuit 10 times. Rest should be minimal between exercises. After completing one round, rest for up to 120 seconds. If you need less, use less.
A1. One-Arm Row, 5 per side
A2. Double Farmer’s Walk, 30 seconds or 40 yards
A3. Kettlebell Swings x15
Repeat the circuit 10 times. Rest time should be minimal between each exercise. After completing one round, rest for up to 120 seconds. If you need less, use less.
There you have it. Incredibly simple and time efficient while still allowing you to gain size, lose fat, and improve work capacity. Hope you enjoy the workout. Try it out for the next 6 weeks! After that, use your improved work capacity and cleaner movement patterns to return to barbell and dumbbell training. I look forward to hearing about your progress!