“Which kettlebell program should I do?” – Realistic Advice

“Which kettlebell program should I do?” – Realistic Advice 

I’ve been told by those “in the know” that if I want to help more people, I need to be on Instagram. 

So, I’ve been posting some of my thoughts on kettlebell training over there. 

As a result, the IG algorithm “feeds” me things it thinks I’m interested in – like “kettlebell workouts.”

One of my “favorite” kettlebell workouts are the “SYNCHRONIZED FLOWS.”

It’s usually a guy in his late 20s with a man-bun, without a shirt, and a cute girl slathered in spandex doing “flows” – a.k.a. “Chains” – a series of exercises performed one rep in a row – and there’s always some “beats thumping” in the background.

And they’re moving at the same speed through the same exercises.

Usually, but not always, the completion of said Flow / Chain is followed by a fistbump or high five. 

It reminds me of some kind of Saturday Night Live spoof from the 80s with Martin Short.

Another is “Leg Day” where some dude wearing the modern version of Ranger panties demonstrates 12 different leg exercises with his kettlebell/s.

But there’s never any true “context” to these “workouts.” 

Flows for what, exactly?

Leg Day for what, exactly?

Getting stronger?

Improving conditioning?

Getting more muscular (a.k.a. “JACKED!”)?

Burning fat?

Yes? All? None? Or…?

I know, I know… I sound like a grumpy old man…

GIPHY OF CLINT ON PORCH

So, which kettlebell workout should you do?

Well, that depends on FOUR things:

[1] Your current physical limitations, if you have any

Injured or lack range of motion in one or more of your joints?

Well then you won’t be able to do some kettlebell exercises.

[2] Kettlebell exercises you know how to perform

Kettlebells aren’t particularly hard to use – they don’t require a PhD… but they do require some skill and some practice, pretty much like any skill: Woodworking, metallurgy, brain surgery… Ok, they’re not as complicated as brain surgery, although I think some would have you think so.  

But they do require practice. And the more you practice the skill of lifting kettlebells – the nuances of each exercise – the more beneficial the exercises will be to and for you.

I’ve said it before, and it’s worth repeating – start with the single KB lifts. Master them, especially the mobility / stability required to use them. Then move on to the double KB lifts.

(Here’s my 5 Levels of Kettlebell Training Pyramid video.)

[3] Kettlebells you have available to you

Fortunately, the “kettlebell landscape” is far different than it was 20-25 years ago.

Back then, there was one dealer / manufacturer and gyms didn’t carry them.

Today, kettlebells are ubiquitous.

I sold the majority of mine back in the late 2010s, but fortunately, one of my close friends and the health club we belong to have all the kettlebells I need. 

Sure, it can be kinda expensive to have a lot of them, especially if you buy them new. But you can find great deals almost daily on Facebook Marketplace.

[4] Your #1 goal

Readers of my newsletter generally have one of 4 goals:

1- Lose fat/get lean

2- Get stronger/ more muscular

3- Rehab old injuries/ feel younger

4- Improve conditioning for a sport

And your kettlebell workouts – or better stated – kettlebell training programs are really based on the variables of 1+2+3+4 = THE BEST PROGRAM FOR YOU RIGHT NOW.

So, if you’re looking for a program to achieve your goals, or are between programs right now, which program is right for you, {first_name}?

I’ll leave a list of resources to help you choose in the description based upon your goals. 

Until next time…

Stay strong.

RESOURCES:

Here’s a list of resources to help you choose. (Some programs overlap – or cover multiple goals.)

SWING HARD! https://salutis.kartra.com/page/SWING-HARD-2 

  • GOAL: Improve conditioning, burn fat
  • 10 x “Swing Only” programs
  • 3x week, 15 to 30 minute workouts
  • Exercises used: 2-H Swing, 1-H Swing
  • Single kettlebell

Kettlebell GHFL https://go.chasingstrength.com/kettlebell-ghfl-4/ 

  • GOAL: Burn stomach fat without dieting
  • 12-week program
  • 3x week, 20 to 30 minute workouts
  • Exercises used, Novice: 2-H Swing, 1-H Swing
  • Exercises used, Intermediate: Snatch, Single KB Thruster (Front Squat-to-Press)
  • Exercises used, Advanced:Double KB Snatch, Double KB Thruster, Double KB Clean + Push Press, Double KB Clean + Jerk
  • Single (Novice & Intermediate) and double kettlebell (Advanced)

The King-Sized Killer https://cart.chasingstrength.com/ksk2 

  • GOAL: Improve conditioning, burn fat, get stronger
  • 3x “Snatch Only” programs
  • 3x week, 20 minute workouts
  • Exercises used: Snatch
  • Single kettlebell

‘THE GIANT’ https://salutis.kartra.com/page/oWP219 

  • GOAL: Get stronger, burn fat, build muscle, improve conditioning
  • 5x “Clean + Press Only” programs
  • 3x week, 20 to 30 minutes
  • Exercises used: Single KB Clean + Press, Double KB Clean + Press
  • Single or double kettlebell

Kettlebell RMF https://go.chasingstrength.com/kettlebell-rmf-2022/ 

  • GOAL: Build muscle, burn fat, improve conditioning
  • 3x 12-week “Clean + Jerk Only” programs
  • 3x week, 20 to 30 minutes a day
  • Exercises use: Clean + Jerk (Clean + Push Press)
  • Double kettlebell

Kettlebell MAXIMORUM https://go.chasingstrength.com/kettlebell-maximorum-e/ 

  • GOAL: Get stronger, build muscle, “recomp” burn fat, improve conditioning
  • 12-week program
  • 4x week, 20-30 minutes 
  • Exercises uses: Snatch, Double Clean + Press, Double Front Squat
  • Single and double kettlebell

Kettlebell STRONG! https://cart.chasingstrength.com/strong4 

  • GOAL: Get significantly stronger, 
  • SIDE EFFECTS: Build muscle, “recomp,” burn fat, improve conditioning
  • 48-weeks of programming
  • 3x week, 20-30 minutes 
  • Exercises uses: Double Clean + Press
  • Double kettlebell

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