Keeping Training Fun With Kettlebells!

Lets face it sooner or later bodybuilding can get boring and lead to burnout. Try this kettlebell program to ease the boredom.

Lets face it; sooner or later bodybuilding can get boring and lead to burnout. After all, week after grueling week of barbell squats, deadlifts, and weighted dips is no joke and requires a serious commitment.

Regardless, if you are into training for the long run and want to be healthy as well. You have to take time to address your weak links and build up different forms of strength such as muscular endurance. One fun and effective way to keep training interesting, address your weak links and take your muscular endurance through the roof, is to incorporate kettlebell training into your routine.

What the heck is a kettlebell? Imagine a bowling ball with a thick suitcase handle on it. Now imagine this apparatus weighing anywhere from 8-to-88 pounds and you have an idea of what a kettlebell looks like and what weights it comes in. Kettlebells are not a new invention and they have been around for hundreds of years. Many of the legendary old-time strongman used kettlebells such as Arthur Saxon, Eugene Sandow and Sig Klein. Also, take a look at some old comic books and you will most likely come across some character playing with kettlebells.

Recently, kettlebells have become popular again in the U.S. and worldwide thanks to Russian strength coach Pavel Tsatsouline and Dragondoor publications. According to Pavel, many branches of the Russian Military still use kettlebells as an effective method of keeping their soldiers in tip-top shape. Today, many branches of the U.S. military are beginning to benefit from the power of kettlebell training and many U.S. soldiers even took their kettlebells with them to Afghanistan and Iraq to stay in shape.

So what exactly makes kettlebell training so effective? Glad that you asked. First, kettlebell ballistic exercises such as: the swing, the snatch and the clean and jerk, teach the trainee how to work his or her body as one unit. This full body strength is critical if you want real world strength that will transfer from your training to your athletic activities. The strength that you build from bicep curls and triceps pushdowns that oh so many bodybuilders love are not going to do much good when someone is trying to take you down in a wrestling match or when you are trying to power your way through tough opponents on the football field.

However, doing exercises that require the involvement of several major muscle groups at once is going to have tremendous benefit for every athlete activity regardless of whether you are a weekend warrior or a professional athlete. Second, authentic Russian kettlebells have thick grips. This turns just about every kettlebell exercise into a grip exercise. My massage therapist noted the other day that my forearms are very thick and contain lots of strong muscle fibers. All that I do for strength training right now is kettlebell training, so obviously that is where the forearm strength is coming from.

If you are a fan of farmers walks, then you will love the extra challenge of holding onto two thick-handled kettlebells as you do the all so pleasurable farmers walks. Third, due to the displacement of the weight on a kettlebell, you are constantly working on stabilizing the weight on various kettlebell drills such as: the overhead presses, Turkish get-up and windmill. This recruits more stabilizer muscles to address weak links. Fourth, many kettlebell exercises such as windmills, bent presses and side presses, build up your core strength and increase shoulder flexibility. Shoulder flexibility will assist you in athletic activities such as jiu-jitsu and make it easier for you to lockout weights overhead.

Fourth, one of the best aspects of kettlebell training is the fact that kettlebells are portable. I hate training in gyms. In addition to really lame music, gyms are generally crowded when you want to go, don't always have the equipment that you want and can be costly. In addition, I live in beautiful Santa Monica, Calif. and I much rather train at the beach than in some smelly and crowded gym. There is nothing like a breath of fresh air as you engage in a grueling workout. Finally, kettlebell training is fun. Exercises such as snatches and swings are dynamic, challenging and enjoyable, and when done in high repetitions, they give you a great cardio workout. Kettlebell core drills such as Windmills and Turkish get-ups look really cool and if something looks cool, it is generally fun to do. Kettlebell training is also a fun way to turn some heads and scare some people. What more could you ask for?

Here is a kettlebell only program that you can do two to three times a week for four weeks as a break from your current routine or as an effective way to take your muscular endurance up a notch:

Kettlebell Routine




If you find that three workouts per week is too much for you, then try a Monday and Thursday Split or a Monday and Friday Split. Try the following tips as well to ensure that you recover adequately from each workout:

  • Stretch all the major muscle groups for 10-15 minutes after each workout
  • Get a CyroCup and Ice major muscle groups after each workout
  • Take a cold/hot shower after each workout (30 seconds cold/60 seconds hot)
  • Have a protein-carb shake immediately after each workout
  • Get a sports massage 1-2 times per month
  • Sleep 8-9 hours per night
  • Relax on your days off and after each workout

After four weeks of the above kettlebell program, you will have no doubt of the effectiveness of kettlebell training. Feel free to stay on the outlined program for a few more weeks or just incorporate a few kettlebell exercises into your regular bodybuilding program. For example, so 1-2 sets of swings as a warm-up or cool down after a few workouts. Or replace your normal ab exercises with Turkish Get-ups and Windmills. The possibilities are endless.