I can remember the first time I picked up a Kettlebell and started with your basic exercises: Swings, Squat Presses, Rows, etc. I had no idea what the heck I was doing and many people in the gym came up to me and said, “What is a meat head like you doing with Kettlebells?” That was when I decided to do some homework and understand the training principles behind the Kettlebell, eventually incorporating them into my overall training program. I watched so many Kettlebell techniques and exercises in gyms, with trainers, and online, then gave them all a try.
Let me just say, Kettlebell training is no joke. These things are the real deal and can turn your workouts into fast and ef- fective blasts of fun. As I was falling in love with Kettlebell training, I ran into Michael Castrogiovanni. In my mind, this guy was the best Kettlebell beast to learn from. I learned so much about Kettlebells and how to properly train with them that I saw a huge gain in my strength and conditioning in short order. Along the way, I learned how to juggle; just one way to get a killer workout with Kettlebells. I started training my clients with them several times a week and everyone witnessed a huge difference in their training. If you are new to Kettlebell training here are some facts:
- Dynamically develop total body strength, power, and conditioning
- Increase muscle stabilization, agility, and proprioception
- Rapidly build functional strength
- Improve grip and core strength
Kettlebell workouts engage multiple muscles groups at the same time, allowing for rapid, full-body workouts. With one piece of equipment, you can do a non-stop circuit of Squats, Cleans, Jerks, Snatches, and Swings. When doing Kettlebell workouts, I always add a sprint or a distance run after my strength circuit. I get my strength with the Kettlebells, then my conditioning. I try to incorporate Kettlebell training twice a week with anywhere from two to four exercises per workout. One day I’ll do four Kettlebell exercises with sprints after they’re completed. The next day I do Kettlebells with only two different exercises from the previous Kettlebell training day with a distance run. Here are 6 ways to mix up your Kettlebell Training sessions
Kettlebell Training At The Beach
To keep the training fun and effective, I will sometimes take a pair of Kettlebells to the beach, swing and launch them, then run after them and repeat. I do this for about 200 yards (always making sure no one is in the way). Also try throwing the Kettlebell in the ocean! Just make sure you keep an eye on where it goes so you don’t lose your Kettlebell. Some people will think you’re crazy, but if they knew how effective and explosive this training was, they’d probably want to join in.
Kettlebell Training At Home
If you don’t have a beach to train at, you can always use your backyard or any surface that will support the landing of a thrown kettlebell. Note that this will leave huge dents in your yard; avoid if you like your grass.
Kettlebell Training In The Water
You can also use a pool, pond, lake, river, or other body of water. Try dropping a couple Kettlebells to the bottom and bring them up to the surface. In pools, don’t throw the Kettlebells into the pool, instead, place them at the bottom.
Juggle Your Kettlebell Training
If you are going to juggle, watch it when you’re practicing on pavement. If you miss the Kettlebell, it might come back at you and hit your shins. Trust me it’s not fun. I learned how to juggle Kettlebells in my alley with no soft surface.
Kettlebell Training While Hiking
Try taking your Kettlebell on hikes or walks. During the hike, take it out and do a workout. There is nothing better than being on top of a hill or mountain and doing a Kettlebell workout with a breathtaking view.
Get Creative When You Mix Up Your Kettlebell Training
You can use Kettlebells with other tools for a sick and challenging training session. I will use a pair of Kettlebells with a Olympic bar and flex bands. Place the flex bands around the Kettlebells and then place them on both ends of the bar. You can do over head walks, presses, lungs, squats and many other lifts with this set up. With doing this the weight of the Kettlebell and then the bouncing of the Kettlebell with the bands makes the exercises twice as hard. Your core is always engaged the whole time and keeping your balance is key. You will work twice as many muscles when doing your barbell lifts with this set up. Also you can use straps or chains and put them around the bells and have them hanging from your squat rack. With doing this you can do all kinds of explosive exercises.
How to Mix Up Your Workouts With Kettlebell Training
Here is a typical workout routine that my clients and I do during the week. The exercises will change every week and you can add any exercise that you prefer to your own workout with this example. Also, try either one Kettlebell or double Kettlebells to challenge your workouts.
A1: Kettlebell Swings – 5 rounds x 10-15 reps
B1: Double Kettlebell Squat to Overhead Press – 5 rounds x 10-15 reps
C1: Double Kettlebell Bent-Over Rows – 5 rounds x 10-15 reps
D1: Double Kettlbell Front Squats – 5 rounds x 10-15 reps
E1: Sprint – 5 x 75 meters
A1: Kettlebell Clean & Press – 4 rounds x 25 reps
A2: Kettlebell Snatch – 4 rounds x 25 reps
B1: Run – 4 rounds x 600 meters