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Best Kettlebell Strength Program

author
James Lee
• Wednesday, 25 November, 2020
• 7 min read

If you don't associate kettle bell exercises with building muscle, well, that's understandable. But make no mistake: Kettle bells can be a huge ally in the quest for mass.

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Contents

As I explained in my article Grind to Grow: Try Your Squats and Presses with Kettle bells,” part of the reason the kettle bell triggers newfound strength and muscle growth is because of its offset shape. It forces the body to stabilize its joints differently from barbells, dumbbells, and other traditional bodybuilding equipment.

This forces your muscles to contract differently than normal, and increases the demand placed upon them. Look no further than the extra depth that every lifter instantly discovers when they front squat with a pair of kettle bells in the rack position, versus a barbell across the back.

With this new and increased range of motion comes increased muscular growth in your legs, and strength in your entire torso, from the inside out, including the all-important core musculature. Best of all, the kettle bell lends itself to a simple, but very challenging programming.

This 12-week program requires only two kettle bells and time for three workouts a week. But after one time through it, you'll find yourself more muscular in all the areas that matter: shoulders, upper back, upper chest, arms, legs, and posterior chain.

Mechanical Tension: Lifting heavier weights for lower reps, similar to the way powerlifters train; think multiple sets of 2-5 reps. Muscular Damage: Lifting moderate weights for medium to higher reps, similar to the way bodybuilders train; think multiple sets of 8-20 reps. Metabolic Stress: Doing either high reps or complexes where you don't set the weight down, producing intense burning and the release of metabolites like lactate.

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Swing (single or double kettle bell): Lower body pulling Start the program with a pair of matching kettle bells you can press approximately 4-6 times.

Your goal is to do as many sets of each exercise, with perfect form, as you can in that time. Then, when you're ready, clean the kettle bells back into the rack position and perform a set of front squats.

Your goal is to do as many sets of swings as you can, with perfect form, in that time. To start this phase, determine your rep max (RM) with both the military press and the front squat using your two trusty kettle bells.

Always round down the number of reps if you hit a decimal point in your math. Your goal is to do as many sets of each exercise, with perfect form, as you can in that time.

Clean the kettle bells to the rack position, then perform a set of military presses. Clean the kettle bells back into the rack position, and perform a set of front squats.

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Do an RM test with your pair of kettle bells for the swing. If not, use these weeks to keep practicing with the one-handed swing, trying to build up to 20 reps per hand, each at chest height.

Your goal is to do as many sets of swings as you can, with perfect form, in that time. Once again, find your RM for the military press and the front squat.

There's one big difference in these workouts: You'll clean the kettle bells to the rack position and perform a set of military presses, followed immediately by one set of front squats. When your rest time is over, clean the kettle bells back into the rack position and repeat.

This slight variation may not seem like much, but it increases the time under tension you experience and triggers metabolic stress. *Your RM will drop due to fatigue as the sets progress.

By this point, you should be able to comfortably swing a pair of kettle bells. Do an RM test with your pair of kettle bells for the swing.

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If not, keep on practicing with the one-handed swing, working up to 20 reps per hand, each at chest height. The amount of tension running through and across your abs will already be severe, especially combining the military presses and front squats in the same day.

However, if you can't live without ab training, I recommend you do hanging variations, like hanging leg raises, to decompress your spine from all the loading. Since this is a strength and muscle program, you need to eat a lot.

A tried-and-true starting point is to multiply your body weight (in pounds) by 15-20 for total calories. In my book, you can't beat the time-tested 30/40/30 split of protein/carbohydrates/fat when growth is the goal.

If you start putting on fatter than you'd like, cut back. Otherwise, your assignment is simple: Eat, sleep, lift, and grow.

We recently reported on a study that found kettle bells are an awesome tool for cardio. In fact, researchers found that a simple k’bell routine was more effective than a free weight + body weight circuit at amping V02 max.

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From a two-move AMAP routine to a ladder drill to straight circuits, there’s a variety of ways you can get your strength +cardio workout in. So, pick your poison and lift, swing, and hoist your way to fat loss and muscle gains.

High rack right side step back lunge then stand and press X 5 b. Swings X 10 c. High rack left side step back lunge then stand and press X 5 d. Goblet square X 10 30 seconds of rest between sets.

By Brian Wright Strongest Certified Team Leader, Strongest Certified Elite InstructorPosted on September 24, 2021. I often describe that my personal training career took a fortunate turn in the road when I attended my very first kettle bell level 1 certification back in 2009. I felt like I had seen a few things and had a firm grasp on how to help people with solid principles.

When I was taught how to leverage all that kettle bells had to offer, I found that a whole new world opened up which skyrocketed my personal training business and my own strength /conditioning results. Pavel references this program in his latest book, The Quick and the Dead.

This snatch protocol, in my experience, is the absolute king in minimalist training. I live in a busy metropolitan area and train working professionals who have demanding jobs, families, and hectic schedules.

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This assumes my small group or individual client has a base level of strength. For this program, we use completion of multiple sets of ten one-arm swings with an appropriately sized kettle bell.

Many coaches use dice to program series, but I prefer a progressive plan. The focus as always, is power development and constant improvement of skill acquisition.

The main reason is that using the five rep protocol demands a higher skill for people to get the most from the full power expression. Still, it’s important to introduce a heavier load and reducing the reps is a great way for students to begin to understand that they can do this.

Given so many busy professionals are ruled by sedentary lives, I encourage my students to be as active as they can. If I can see students twice a week consistently following the above program, and they do the third day on their own (some get-ups, the 044 protocol when applicable, and some cardiovascular variation work), then by the end of a short six-week period, they become drastically stronger, leaner, and healthier.

Once a staple of every child’s PE class, it has fallen by the wayside as physical education in s... The Strongest school of strength offers several programs to structure your training and develop your athletic qualities...

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Sources
1 www.setforset.com - https://www.setforset.com/blogs/news/lose-weight-fast-with-kettlebells
2 darkironfitness.com - https://darkironfitness.com/how-quickly-can-you-lose-weight-with-kettlebells/