Kettlebells are not just a piece of equipment in the gym or the latest high intensity fad workout. No, kettlebells are a serious piece of training equipment that can help you see the gains you are after. You probably remember your first experience using a kettlebell, as naïve as I was in believing they were just for lightweight or cardio based programs. Kettlebells can actually offer a full body, robust, muscle building and fat blasting workout. Follow these tips to develop a more robust regimen with your kettlebells.
Lift heavy and lift often
As I have found, often the selection of kettlebells at the gym aren’t quite cutting it. Or the personal trainers are constantly using them in sessions. Instead of waiting, I bought my own. There are plenty of kettlebell packages to get you started. Not only will this give you a good range of weights to achieve different goals, is also means you don’t need to go to the gym, work out at home and completely change your regimen.
Start your morning with some kettlebell squats and presses.
Get a sweat on after work with some kettlebell swings, then cap it all off with some core focus, I love kettlebell crunches, adding that weight makes the burn in your abs so much sweeter. The key to a robust kettlebell workout is challenging yourself with heavy weights and higher intensity workouts more often.
Full Body or isolation
No matter who you talk to, people generally either swing one way or the other.
They follow a full body program or they isolate certain muscle groups. I personally have found success in these two strategies not being mutually exclusive. There are benefits to both so why not challenge your regimens to include both? Kettlebells are an ideal piece of equipment to achieve this.
I work chest and hamstrings on Monday’s, my heavier kettlebells are perfect for chest press, bench fly’s and incline chest press. Mix that again with some heavy kettlebell squats and single leg deadlifts. Then follow it up on Tuesday with a full body routine. Lighter kettlebell swings, military press, bent over rows, bicep curls and deadlifts. This strategy of mixing isolation and full body regimens will not only add lean muscle mass but burn fat at the same time.
Take an active rest
Without doubt the best way to burn fat is through high intensity interval training, or HIIT for short. I have always found the best workout is a HIIT workout. Kettlebells are the best piece of equipment in my opinion for a HIIT workout, and a great way to incorporate an active rest. But a HIIT workout doesn’t mean you have to forgo the heavy lifts.
Instead, work your normal regimen of heavy lifts, and then when it comes to rest, think again. Grab those lighter kettlebells and work in a full body exercise for the rest period. Try a squat into military press for the 30, 45 or 60 seconds using the rest you would normally take. Not only will this offer a more robust regimen, but you will find yourself burning fat like never before. Then when the ‘rest’ period is over, it’s straight back into your working sets.
Pyramids – more than just a monument
Pyramid training is another great way I managed to build a more robust workout.
Pyramid training works by increasing the resistance or weights during each working set. This style of training is great for building muscle and increasing your strength. With kettlebells it’s even easier to make your regimen more robust.
Find a comfortable kettlebell weight to start your sets, then as each set is complete work your way up to the next weight class. Very quickly you will find each rep harder and harder. This will help increase the muscle damage done in your workout. Meaning your muscle fibres must repair themselves and grow even faster. Muscle memory will no longer be a factor when you add some pyramid training into the mix.
Kettlebells are a great tool when it comes to a dynamic exercise regimen.
They are mobile, offer a multitude of exercises and can be stored easily. Instead of using them as a nice way to end a gym session, build your workout around them. Follow the tips above and pretty soon you’ll be burning fat with a robust kettlebell regimen like no other.