How To Keep From “Fooling Yourself” With Your Kettlebell Workouts (The Sweet Spot?)

How To Keep From “Fooling Yourself” With Your Kettlebell Workouts (The Sweet Spot?)

In “Magic Land,” we’d all be able to eat what we wanted, workout the way we wanted, and look like Ah-nold and perform like a mix of your favorite military special operator and an elite athlete.

Alas… if only “Magic Land” existed… *Sigh*…

As a result, many folks end up training like a cat high on nip and chasing a laser pointer.

One day they want to do a One Arm One Leg Push Up – for reps.

The next, press ½ their bodyweight in one arm – also for reps (while sipping a cup of steaming hot coffee)…

The day after that, they want the conditioning levels to pass the SFG Snatch test – 100 reps with the 24kg in 5 minutes or less – twice in a row in 7 minutes.

And on Friday, they want to pack on 20 pounds of muscle while simultaneously losing 20 pounds of fat, while studying to be a vegan chef.

Of course, I’m kidding… Somewhat.

The problem with kettlebells and kettlebell workouts is that somehow, many of us were sold “magic beans.”

All we had to do was toss them away and up would sprout a giant beanstalk that would take us to “Magic Land.”

In other words:

“All you have to do is swing these K-bells” and you’ll [INSERT WHATEVER DESIRE YOU HAVE IN HERE].” 

At the end of the day, kettlebells are just tools. 

Yes, better tools than most. But tools nonetheless.

So, if you want to avoid accidentally fooling yourself by hopping from workout program to workout program – kettlebell, bodyweight, hybrid, or otherwise…

Pick your #1 goal, and then track and measure the outcome over time.

Most of us don’t want to be “powerlifting strong” anymore.

It takes too much durn time and the cost of recovery is too high.

And most of us don’t want to look like the Hulk (although admittedly, that would be cool – at least without the green skin).

And most of us don’t have the desire to go run 100 mile ultra races.

But being “strong enough,” looking decent both in clothes and with our shirts off, and having the capacity and energy to “do what needs to be done” without sucking wind and gassing out would be a good place to end up, wouldn’t you agree?

That’s why I recommend most guys (and yes, even women) focus on “Recomposition Training” – stripping off body fat and building muscle simultaneously.

(Simultaneously = in the same training block.) 

As you do so, along the way you’ll become stronger and “better conditioned.”

Why is this my recommendation?

Simple.

It’s less energetically demanding and time consuming than focusing on “getting ripped” or “getting jacked.”

Both require a lot of focus that many of us just don’t have.

It’s basically the training “sweet spot.”

Will you get as “hyoooge” doing “Recomp” training as you will from a “hypertrophy-focused mesocycle?”

No.

But you’ll also have a life. Be able to get out of a chair or go to the bathroom without wincing from extreme leg soreness. Be able to walk up and down stairs or roll around on the floor with your kids.

Will you end up with a 600lbs / 270kg deadlift?

No.

But you also won’t be worried about jacking up your back either.

Will you end up “shredded” with “6-pack abs?”

No. Well – maybe.

You don’t need to be “shredded” single digit body fat to see your 6-pack. Only about 10-12%. 

(Shoot, what if you just walked around with a 4-pack?)

How do you know if you’re actually “Recomping?”

Simple.

Like I said earlier

[1]  Track your workouts. 

You should see an increase in workload over the course of time. As you do more and more and more work, your body will harden up and lean out. (Assuming you’re using the right programming.)

[2]  Measure yourself.

Grab a tape measure and your waist, shoulders, chest, arms, hips, and legs.

Do this every 30 days.

Weigh yourself too.

Take pictures: Front, side, and back. Same lighting. Same pair of shorts. Same time of day.

And if you can, get your body fat tested. Calipers, BodPod or DEXA. (Just be consistent and use the same ones over the course of time.)

[3]  Run the numbers.

A classic sign of “Recomping” is when the scale doesn’t seem to drop / move a whole bunch, but you’re losing and gaining inches / centimeters in all the right places.

Example:

Chest, shoulders, arms, quads = bigger

Waist = smaller

Weight = [slightly] less

And truth be told, whether you’re training for Recomp or not, these are still good habits to start. 

That way, you’ll always know exactly where you stand and you’ll never end up fooling yourself into thinking you’ve made progress when you’ve really gone nowhere.

Hope this helps.

Stay Strong,

Geoff

P.S. If you need a Recomp program that “covers all the bases,” here’s a new one I put out recently that you might’ve missed.

https://cart.chasingstrength.com/kb-max-yt 

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