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What Is The Best Kettlebell Workout?

What is the best kettlebell workout? Get some great sample workouts that our forum members recommend along with additional information about results that can be expected, advantages, and more! Check it out!

By: Workout Of The Week


TOPIC: What Is The Best Kettlebell Workout?

The Question:

Kettlebells are not the most popular piece of exercise equipment. However, many people have achieved great results through using them.

What is the best kettlebell workout? Be specific.

What kind of results can one achieve through a kettlebell workout?

How do kettlebells compare to the use of dumbbells and barbells?

What are some of the advantages and disadvantages of using kettlebells?

Bonus Question: Have you used this type of training and if you have would you recommend it to others?

Show off your knowledge to the world!

The Winners:

    Prizes:
      1st place - 75 in store credit.
      2nd place - 50 in store credit.

To use your credit, e-mail Will @ will@bodybuilding.com for more info.


1st Place - EAGLES56
View This Author's BodySpace Here.

Kettlebells are not the most popular piece of exercise equipment. However, many people have achieved great results through using them.


Workout
What Is The Best Kettlebell Workout? Be Specific.

With a goal of adding mass and functional strength, pairing modified German Volume Training with kettlebells delivers a truly grueling workout.

-> Day 1:

-> Day 2:


Results
What Kind Of Results Can One Achieve Through A Kettlebell Workout?

One can accelerate fat loss, improve dynamic flexibility and develop impressive core stability. Core stability is imperative in everyday activities. A strong core links the upper and lower body. The majority of one's force production is supplied by the core. A lack of core stability leads to overall weakness and may hinder gains in size and strength.

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Kettlebells Vs. Dumbbells & Barbells
How Do Kettlebells Compare To The Use Of Dumbbells & Barbells?

Kettlebells are cheaper than a barbell or dumbbell set and can be used in a large array of exercises. Kettlebells are used in a more natural and functional manner than dumbbells and barbells due to the handle.

The basic snatch performed with a barbell limits the range of motion and involvement of the hips, glutes and hamstrings which limits exercise efficiency. The simplified comparison: kettlebells will deliver strength endurance and size as well as working with a complete Range of Motion. Dumbbells and barbells are better suited toward strength training since one can utilize much heavier loads.

RELATED POLL
What Type Of Weight Do You Prefer?

Dumbbells.
Barbells.
Kettlebells.
Other.


Advantages & Disadvantages
What Are Some Of The Advantages And Disadvantages Of Using Kettlebells?

Kettlebells are relatively inexpensive and can easily replace an entire home gym without occupying much more space than a couple shoe boxes. These pieces of equipment also promote a strong grip, forearm musculature and preparing the wrist to accommodate ballistic shock experienced during contact sports and physical labor.

Another additional advantage of using kettlebells is the extra cash one saves from a gym membership and transportation to the gym which translates to more money to spend on food.

Unfortunately, kettlebells remain at a fixed weight (ranging from 8-88lbs each) which means that one must find a way to increase the difficulty level (Ex. Increased Time Under Tension; slower tempo).


+ Click To Enlarge.
Bodybuilding.com Writer, Mike Mahler.


Bonus Question
Have You Used This Type Of Training And If You Have Would You Recommend It To Others?

Although I have not used kettlebells yet, I intend on incorporating them into a workout regimen in the near future. The benefits of core and stability training with kettlebells cannot be surpassed. I highly recommend this type of training to anyone seeking improved coordination, balance, endurance, functional ability, fat loss and more!

References:

  1. http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/kettlebells.htm
  2. http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/ss9.htm
  3. http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/mahler67.htm

EAGLES56


2nd Place - Dave02
View This Author's BodySpace Here.

Kettlebells are not the most popular form of training among bodybuilders, but are gaining more and more respect by professional athletes and martial artist alike. Kettlebells can be used for many purposes, from increasing endurance, flexibility, and coordination, all the way to strength and mass.

The great thing is that you can focus on one or two goals, such as muscle mass and strength and without even trying you'll also get endurance, flexibility, and coordination along with it, not to mention toughness. Just take one look at Mike Mahler, Steve Maxwell and Pavel Tsatsouline. All three are strong/ athletic men with a more than respectable physique.


+ Click To Enlarge.
Mike Mahler.

Now if you aspire to be the next Mr. Olympia, focusing on kettlebells might not be for you, but that doesn't mean you can't use them to add some variety. Many powerlifters and gymnast use kettlebell exercise as supplements to their training.

There is no one really best kettlebell workout, because everyone has different goals. However a good workout that really packs on some muscle - not to mention a host of other benefits - is to take Charles Stanley's EDT method of training and apply it to ketllebells.

Perform 3 times a week, alternating the 2 workouts (Note: The rest between sets is up to you - I like to keep it between 30 sec to 90 sec. Rest 5 minutes between each PR zone).


-> Workout 1:

    1st PR Zone 15 min

    • A1: Double KB Floor Press x 5 reps
    • A2: Pullup w/ a KB hooked on each foot (Palms out - focus on lats) x 5 reps
      • Using a kettlebell you can lift about 10 times, perform the 2 exercises in an antagonistic fashion. Do as many reps as possible, then next time you perform the workout, make sure to increase you work load by performing more reps. Once you increase the reps by 20%, increase the difficulty of the exercise by either slowing it down, or by using a heavier kettlebell.

    2nd PR Zone 15 min

    • B1: KB Front Squat x 5
    • B2: Double KB Snatch x 5
      • Using a kettlebell you can lift about 10 times, perform the 2 exercises in an antagonistic fashion. Do as many reps as possible, then next time you perform the workout, make sure to increase you work load by performing more reps. Once you increase the reps by 20%, increase the difficulty of the exercise by either slowing it down, or by using a heavier kettlebell.

      print Click Here For A Printable Log Of Workout 1.


-> Workout 2:

    1st PR Zone 15 min

    • A1: Double KB Clean and Press x 5
    • A2: Slow Chinup w/ a KB hooked on each foot (Palms in - focus on Biceps)
      • Using a kettlebell you can lift about 10 times, perform the 2 exercises in an antagonistic fashion. Do as many reps as possible, then next time you perform the workout, make sure to increase you work load by performing more reps. Once you increase the reps by 20%, increase the difficulty of the exercise by either slowing it down, or by using a heavier kettlebell.

    2nd PR Zone 15 min

    • B1: Turkish Get-Up using left arm x 5
    • B2: Turkish Get-Up using right arm x 5
      • Using a kettlebell you can lift about 10 times, perform the 2 exercises in an antagonistic fashion. Do as many reps as possible, then next time you perform the workout, make sure to increase you work load by performing more reps. Once you increase the reps by 20%, increase the difficulty of the exercise by either slowing it down, or by using a heavier kettlebell.

      print Click Here For A Printable Log Of Workout 2.


Results

Kettlebells can be used to achieve strength, mass, flexibility, coordination, fat loss, endurance, and if you do exercises like snatches it will even increase you pain tolerance, which is a big plus for military, law enforcement, and people who participate in full- contact sports such a MMA. But to get the full benefits you need to make sure your performing the exercises correctly.


+ Click To Enlarge.
Snatch.


Kettlebells Vs. Barbells

Kettlebells are great for many things, but not everything. For instance, if your goal is max strength, then you're probably better off sticking to barbell powerlifts. However the KB can be great supplemental exercises that will help you reach your max strength.

Just ask the guys at Westside Barbell. But in comparison - if all around fitness is your goal with an emphasizes on a certain goal - for instance - strength and fat-loss, Kettlebells will get you there faster than anything, plus KB workouts are just plain fun. Kettlebells also have a therapeutic effect on the body, and make it more injury resistant.


Advantages & Disadvantages

The advantages of Kettlebells is that you can take them almost anywhere. They can help you reach a variety of goals, and your workouts are always fun and enjoyable, however don't mistake fun and enjoyable as easy. The only real disadvantage is the your working with a fixed weight, but anyone with an imagination can come up with a way to make the exercise harder and more challenging.

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Bonus

I train with kettlebells a lot, however I also use barbells for deadlifting and overhead pressing with max weights between 1-5 reps, otherwise I don't see any need to train with anything else. In the past I've used everything from Benches to Machines, and in the end, I found myself getting injured from time to time, plus the workouts weren't fun. Then I came across kettlebells and never looked back.


+ Click To Enlarge.
Barbell Deadlift.
Video: Windows Media - Real Player


3rd Place - Veeshmack
View This Author's BodySpace Here.


Workout
What Is The Best Kettlebell Workout? Be Specific.

In all honesty, its been such a long time since I used the kettlebell, and unfortunately, I don't have a copy of the training set up that was given to me by strength coach Cole Summers. Since I don't want to run off saying things about a routine that could be misleading, I figure, I'll just give some links to routines that I've been looking to use for my next off-season.


Results
What Kind Of Results Can One Achieve Through A Kettlebell Workout?

If your goals are strictly size-based, kettlebell workouts probably aren't meant for you. Kettlebells work amazingly in terms of core strength, stability, explosiveness, compound movement and raw strength. The major kettlebell lifts usually require a large movement through the body from the ground and ending the kettlebell above one's head, or at shoulder height.

While going through these motions you notice how tense your core gets because of the effort it is putting into carrying the kettlebell. Since using a kettlebell is going to require movement through many muscle groups, it is going to do so much more in terms of strength in comparison to size. You can notice after training with them that your overall explosiveness is greater as well as joint strength and impact resistance.

Endurance is also a big factor for athletes, and I've personally noticed, and so have others, that muscular endurance gets much better while using kettlebells.

As an athlete, your number one goal is always to WIN! So here's just what kettlebells did for the St. Pauls Crusaders of Winnipeg for the past 3 years. Over the last few years, Cole Summers took part in training the Crusaders football team in the strength and conditioning department. A large portion of the training consisted of using kettlebells.

The St. Pauls Crusaders have now won the Championship 3 years in a row, two of those years in the AA division, and the last in the AAA division. What is even more impressive is that in that three-year span, that football team never lost a single game. Sure talent is accountable for about 95% of the effort, but the extra effort put in by training can make the difference.

With all the strength and conditioning the kettlebell brought to the team, maybe it was that little edge that gave them the strength to keep going and push it until the final whistle.

Lauren Brooks Lauren Brooks
+ Click To Enlarge.
Bodybuilding.com Writer Lauren Brooks.


Kettlebells Vs. Dumbbells & Barbells
How Do Kettlebells Compare To The Use Of Dumbbells & Barbells?

Of course, why use kettlebells when you have dumbbells? You'll hear from people using kettlebells say, "My forearms are thrashed!" This seems to be the biggest problem, is that the sling-back of the kettlebell can do a number to your forearms, so I suggest using pads.

The biggest up side of using kettlebells in comparison to barbells and dumbbells is that you work more stabilizers and grip much more efficiently.

The big down side I have found with kettlebells is that they are expensive, and also, you cannot adjust the weight on them, so if you manage to grow out the weight on one, you need to get a heavier one.

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In any case, just because you are using kettlebells, doesn't mean you should neglect dumbbells, barbells or any other form of training for that matter. Training in multiple ways will prepare your body and strengthen it any multiple ways.


Advantages & Disadvantages
What Are Some Of The Advantages & Disadvantages Of Using Kettlebells?

As with all "different" forms of training, you always get that edge that you're training differently than the next guy. You'll get the added benefits of explosiveness and raw strength while that other guy is busy getting big. For athletes and especially Olympic competitors, kettlebells can work wonders.

As much as we all hate to admit it, no matter what our primary goal is when we are training, we always have that piece of us wanting to get big. As more of an impact resistance style training, the kettlebell's explosive movements may not offer much in terms of size, but with strength, size will come and with a kettlebell, strength will come.


Bonus Question
Have You Used This Type Of Training And If You Have Would You Recommend It To Others?

I was first introduced kettlebell training in the summer of 2006. I was attending a training camp for Canada Western Rugby Games; we had coaches from all over the country, and a development coach from Team England itself.

We had a strength coach come in to talk to us, I don't think he's a big name, just from our city, but he was the first one to show me a kettlebell. He went on about how great it was for strength and core stability, and he convinced me to use it. I haven't used one since last winter - it's one of those pieces of equipment I prefer to use during the off-season and for me, that's winter and early spring.

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[ Click here to learn more. ]
What Is Core Stability Exactly?
The purpose of this article is to provide insight into what core stability actually is and how it can impact your training.
Author:
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Would I recommend it? Yes. I don't think I have ever had a different training experience that I would not recommend to someone else. And for all sorts of athletes, kettlebells get the trick done.

Resources:

  1. http://bodybuilding.com/

By Vivak P.
(AKA Veeshmack)


What Is The Best Kettlebell Workout?

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