There’s no doubt about it, kettlebell training will change your life. Hundreds of years old and still exactly the same. It is impossible to improve upon because it is fitness perfection.
If you’re new to kettlebell training, this article will answer any questions you may have. If you’re a veteran of the kettlebell game, you’ll still learn something. And if you’re somewhere in between, perfect!
Let’s get into it.
The Kettlebell: A brief history
The kettlebell is one of – if not the – oldest bits of training equipment in the world. It orignated in Russia over 350 years ago and was used as a counterweight in market stalls.
Soon, people realised this cannonball with a handle (or kettle without the spout – hence the name) was a laugh to throw about and it quickly grew to become a strength training phenomenon of the Soviet Union, soon becoming its national sport.
To this day, the Russian military are required to use the humble kettlebell as their main training instrument, due to its almost mythical efficiency at building strong, fit personnel.
Benefits of kettlebell training
The benefits of kettlebells go way beyond those listed here but I’ll get you on your way with these.
A lot of workouts will market themselves as ‘functional’ but are they really? And what does functional even mean? You want a workout that will transfer into daily life and whatever goals you have.
Kettlebell training works your entire posterior chain, all of your muscles basically at once, builds muscle, burns through calories and makes you an all-round stronger, fitter person.
If you want to be a bodybuilder then maybe barbells, dumbbells and machines are the way to go. They would be functional for that specific goal, but it wouldn’t really transfer over to day to day life except for being big and strong.
I remember when I started playing football again after doing nothing but weightlifting for the previous 5 years and I could barely run. My performance was a pile of dog doodah and I would get out of breath just doing simple everyday things.
After I ditched the conventional weights and moved over to kettlebell training, my overall fitness had skyrocketed and I was ‘fitter’ than I’d ever been, whilst looking better and being just as strong, if not stronger than before. That is true functionality.
Kettlebells are fun, there’s no two ways about it.
I love training with a kettlebell, there is constant variation and progression – two key elements if you are to make great gains whilst also staying motivated.
Never has it been so fun to do so much hard work in such a short space of time. Start by buying one kettlebell and see just how much fun you can have with this one tiny piece of kit.
A truly minimalist bit of kit
Speaking of tiny pieces of kit…
Kettlebells take up virtually no room so you can store them with ease in your house, garage, wherever. You could even pop it in the boot of your car and take it on trips with you.
For minimalists like myself, this is so handy as it means you don’t have to be committed to a gym or a load of kit in order to get a cracking workout in.
Even when your collection grows, it still won’t take up much room so just bear that one in mind – kettlebells are future proof AF.
The Kettlebell workout
This workout is the perfect blend of strength, muscle and fitness training rolled into one.
Perform all reps of 1 exercise, take 15 seconds rest, perform the next exercise and so on until you’ve done all of them – that’s one round. Once you’ve done one round, take 60 seconds rest and go again 4 more times.
All you’re going to need is a 16kg kettlebell for guys or an 8kg for gals (if any read this blog). Be sure to invest in a quality cast iron one – like the one I got from Amazon Basics.
Kettlebell swings: 10 reps
Shoulder press: 10 reps each arm
Renegade row: 10 reps each arm
Goblet squat: 10 reps
Snatch: 5 reps each arm
Finish up, go and get a shower and then bask in those endorphins young warrior – you’ve earned it.
The kettlebell may just be the best piece of equipment in the world. Give the workout a go for a few weeks and see what you think – it may just change the way you train forever.