Kettlbells are a great tool for burning fat and building muscle. Here, we will discuss the benefits of using these primitive looking weights and give a sample workout for you to incorporate into your fitness regime. Kettlebells have been around for many, many years but have recently become very popular with circuit type training and the fitness industry as a whole. Ranging in weight Kettlebells are a very effective tool for burning fat and increasing your cardiovascular fitness.
So What Exactly Are Kettlebells?
Well, as you can see in the picture above, they are simply lumps of iron (or sometimes plastic balls filled with sand) with a handle attached to the top, and that’s about it. They come in varying weights generally ranging from 2kg to 32kg. Some are cast iron, like the ones above, some are plastic moulds filled with sand and some are cast iron coated in rubber. Before purchasing a Kettlebell it is advisable to try and get somewhere where you can get a feel for the different types available as all will feel different in your hand. This is important as some Kettlebell exercises involve swinging and such movements that will cause the handle to rotate within your grip. This is normal and expected, however it can cause chaffing on the palm of your hand if you don’t have a suitable grip.
A unique aspect of Kettlebell training is that it allow’s you to get a good cardiovascular workout as well as allowing you to use them for resistance training and muscle building. You can also use them one at a time which means you don’t have to spend a lot of money on buying 2 to begin with, although I must warn you, once you get one, you’ll probably want a second one!!
Types Of Training
There are so many different types of training you can do with a Kettlebell. You can do any standard resistance training that you would normally do with a dumbbell or barbell, or you can do High Intensity Interval Training such as the Tabata Protocol (If you don’t know what Tabata training is read about it in my other article, The Tabata Training Protocol). They are great for men and women, yes women can use them too, and no you will not get huge muscles and look like a man (I know some of you females are thinking it). Contrary to popular belief, lifting weight, especially Kettlebells, won’t make you huge with muscles.
Here is a video detailing some of the types of movements that can be done with a Kettlebell to gain a cardiovascular workout.
You can see from the above video that Kettlebell’s really are a versatile piece of equipment. You can use them for very short high intensity workouts or longer steady state workouts. A favourite workout of mine is as follows;
This involves 8 rounds of 20 seconds maximum effort and 10 seconds rest
Left Arm Kettlebell Swing (as many reps as possible in 20 seconds followed by 10 seconds rest)
Right Arm Kettlebell Swing (as many reps as possible in 20 seconds followed by 10 seconds rest)
Left Arm Kettlebell High Pull/Upright Row (as many reps as possible in 20 seconds followed by 10 seconds rest)
Right Arm Kettlebell High Pull/Upright Row (as many reps as possible in 20 seconds followed by 10 seconds rest)
Left Arm Kettlebell Clean & Jerk (as many reps as possible in 20 seconds followed by 10 seconds rest)
Right Arm Kettlebell Clean & Jerk (as many reps as possible in 20 seconds followed by 10 seconds rest)
Clockwise Kettlebell Halo’s/Round The World (as many reps as possible in 20 seconds followed by 10 seconds rest)
Anti Clockwise Kettlebell Halo’s/Round The World (as many reps as possible in 20 seconds followed by 10 seconds rest)
So as you can see from above, each “round” has a 20 second maximum effort followed by a 10 second rest period. This is based on the Tabata Protocol I mentioned earlier and equates to a 4 minute workout. If you’re thinking “that’s too short” then you haven’t read my write up on Tabata training yet, you can read it here. It will explain all. personally I do the above workout twice in a row for a total of 8 minutes work, it gives you a good sweat on and is very effective at burning calories.
For those of you who want a little more of a challenge in your workout, then try this; The 300 Kettlebell workout. It’s great for burninga load of calories but is not for the faint hearted!!!
Benefits Of Kettlebell’s
- They are effective at short, High Intensity Interval Training which saves you time on your workouts.
- They are compact and can save a lot of space meaning you can have just one Kettlebell and still get a good workout in each day, from home.
- They are versatile, with just one Kettlebell you can perform a multitude of exercises ranging from cardiovascular to muscle building.
- They allow you to perform explosive movements increasing your power and strength and helping to burn fat.
- They are fun to workout with which makes exercise that little bit more enjoyable.
Above is just some of the main notable benefits that spring to my mind when thinking about Kettlebell’s. They really are a great tool that anyone taking up a fitness regime should invest in. Start off light to save from injury and enjoy the challenge that they bring to your workout.
If you want to get serious about improving your fitness and health then I suggest you get the Kettlebell Burn 2.0 program. It’s a fitness program designed and written by a man called Geoff Neupert, a Mater Russian Kettlebell Challenge Instructor, and is very good. Not only does he give you a clear and concise fitness regime to follow with your Kettlebells, he also gives you nutritional advice. The man certainly know’s his stuff. To get the Kettlebell Burn 2.0 Click Here!
**Warning… Make sure you practice Kettlebell movements that you are not familiar with before going all out. Ensure you get your exercise form correct to help prevent injury!!!**