I need you to throw away your current perception of weight training, and look at the kettle bell as something new and different. You must do what every trainer in the world hopes you will do: be open, listen, and learn.
While you may not think you need to, having at least one session with a trained kettle bell professional will make an enormous difference in your results. You’ll be using multiple muscle groups at the same time through ballistic, full-body movements.
A kettle bell professional can show you the basics; like, the Clean, Swing, Goblet Squat, Windmill, and Turkish Get Up. When performed properly, kettle bell movements will improve your body control, shorten your workout time, and give you functional results (and physique).
The core movements in kettle bell training have exploded into hundreds of new exercises and techniques. Assuming you’ve been to at least one session with a kettle bell professional and are ready to get started, here is what I recommend based on gender.
A new female kettle bell trainee might pick up the weight, and automatically try to perform a 1- arm upright row (without one thought of lifting technique, mind you), and immediately exclaim, “I can’t lift that!” When done properly, kettle bell movements will improve your body control, shorten your workout time, and give you functional results (and physique) unlike anything you’ve been able to achieve in the past.
A big mistake is selecting a weight that is too light (again, assuming that you have trained with a kettle bell professional). If you do this, you will never perfect your form, you will never progress to heavier weights, and you will not achieve the real benefits that kettle bells have to offer.
Unlike women, most men will look at the 16-kg kettle bell starting weight and say, “That’s way too light! Areas of your core (back, abdominal, and upper legs) will be on fire during your first session.
To maintain proper form, you need a weight that is in proportion to your skill level, which may be low initially. Men who have never used a kettle bell are especially susceptible to muscling through a movement, rather than performing it with proper form.
You will hear this term used more in CrossFit boxes and by most traditional kettle bell instructors. Innit Kettle bells are made with a high-quality, chip-resistant coating that’s strong enough to endure your most punishing workouts.
1) A chip-resistant coating, smooth enough for stamina-building work sets without irritating your hands, yet with just enough texture to take gym chalk. Some other aspects of kettle bell design to consider are: grip diameter, grip width, ball diameter, and the distance from the top of the ball to the bottom of the handle.
This workout will make you so beefy, Hollywood would be crazy not to cast you in the next Marvel movie! Whether you’re a trainer or fitness enthusiast the kettle bell should have a place in your training for the results it can deliver in less time.
Whether you decide to use your kettle bell to supplement your training or as a stand-alone tool you will gather the exact system on how to do so. The benefits of the kettle bell are immense and with this single tool one can create incredible strength, power output, and stamina if used to its potential.
At the Innit Academy we believe the kettle bell can create powerful athletes regardless of your chosen sport and with this system you will have everything they need to do just that. At the Innit Academy we believe the kettle bell can create powerful athletes regardless of your chosen sport and with this system you will have everything they need to do just that.
You’ve breached the barbells and dominated dumbbells, but if you’re still steering clear of kettle bells you’re missing out on arguably the best burn at the gym. “When performed correctly, all kettle bell exercises are full-body moves, so you’re using more muscles and burning more calories,” says Toronto-based strength coach Chris Lopez, Strongest Level II kettle bell instructor and owner of KettlebellWorkouts.com.
Think about a baseball bat, says trainer Jason C. Brown, creator and owner of certification program Kettle bell Athletics. “Kettle bells create a longer lever arm, which requires you to use more force to move an equal weight the same distance,” Brown says.
The dead lift is a multi joint move, so the average guy can probably handle 32 kg/70 lbs here to start, Brown says. Not only are your shoulders and abs working hard to keep you stable, but there’s more challenge to your grip since all the weight is in one hand.
Lopez actually makes clients ace all 14 steps while balancing their shoe on their fist before they’re allowed to try it with a kettle bell (you can opt for a two-pound dumbbell to save face at the gym). When you feel confident that you have the form down sans resistance, reach for a 12 kg/26 lb kettle bell.
Since form is so imperative here, Lopez says you shouldn’t move up a weight until you’re able to maintain perfect vertically with your arm, keep the elbow fully locked throughout all 14 steps, and feel comfortable going slow (most people rush due to discomfort). But because it doesn’t require swinging momentum or extension, a carry has a lower risk of injury than other kettle bell moves, which means you can go a bit heavier.
© Provided by Shape skynesher/Getty But don't just opt for a kettle bell when you need to quickly replace your usual equipment that’s gone MIA. “Kettle bells almost become part of your body, so that's why they are pretty synonymous with this functional training philosophy of being able to do movements you do in the real world,” says Lace Layoff, a NASM-certified personal trainer and the founder of Bells Up.
By holding the weight close to your chest or in a racked position (when you hold the kettle bell at your shoulders, bells outside the body, with elbow tucked into your sides), you have to engage your core and upper body to stay upright. © skynesher/Getty Along with helping you achieve a J. Lo-approved booty, kettlebellsquats work your core and upper body in ways that just aren’t possible with other equipment.
“You have some opportunities with a kettle bell for what I and some of my friends call ‘accidental exercise,’” says Prentice Rhodes, a NASA -certified personal trainer and performance enhancement specialist. “You’re actually working a little harder to stabilize the weight than you would with some other implements.” Compared to that of a dumbbell or barbell, a kettle bell ’s weight isn’t completely balanced, so you’ll have to work harder to keep the bell straight throughout the exercise, training your body unilaterally (re: on one side) in the process, explains Rhodes.
In the rack position, the kettle bell ’s uneven weight distribution will ask your core to remain strong and centered and your arm to stay in toward the midline, says Rhodes. Plus, your forearm muscles will need to work harder to keep your wrist in a neutral position, he says.
Aside from providing bonus strength training for your upper body, kettlebellsquats have the potential to create some major lower-body gains. Once you’ve reached the bottom of your squat, your biggest glute muscles (gluteus Maximus) will help drive your hips out of the squat, while your quadriceps will help you extend the knees and spring back up to standing, says Rhodes.
Throughout the whole kettle bell squat movement, your hamstrings act as your glutes’ support system too. But no matter how you're squatting, it's important to have a solid foundation before you casually pick up a weight and try a complex or heavy-loaded exercise.
For instance, if your legs are on the long side, you may feel more comfortable standing with your feet a bit farther apart. Once your feet are in their proper place, stand tall in what Rhodes likes to call a “vertical plank position.” Draw your shoulders down and away from your ears; brace your abs and glutes; tighten your quads, and lift your kneecaps, he says.
As you sit down into your squat, bracing your core will help stabilize your spine so you can efficiently drive into the floor and pop back up to standing, he adds. Form that bad habit, and you could experience inflammation and irritation in the intervertebral discs and nagging back pain, according to the Department of Health and Human Services in Victoria, Australia.
If you’re a total newbie, start training with a lighter weight that allows you to complete a greater volume (say, 12 reps), which will help teach the nervous system to properly activate the muscles being used throughout the move and train the body to perform a proper squat, says Rhodes. As you gain strength, increase the weight and decrease the volume, aiming to finish five to eight reps instead.
Before you start dropping it like it’s hot, make sure you properly warm-up (try this dynamic routine designed for weight lifting), says Rhodes. As for which kettlebellsquats are worthy of a spot in your regular rotation, Rhodes has one simple answer: All of them.
Provided you can maintain proper form throughout, you should incorporate numerous types of kettlebellsquats into your workouts. If you’re completely new to kettlebellsquats, don’t pick up a bell and immediately attempt a seriously challenging weighted pistol squat.
Women's Health Oprah encourages young woman sharing her own weight -loss journey This move will activate your back muscles, which in turn improves your posture and stops your shoulders from rounding, says Layoff.
Keeping chest lifted and spine straight, bend knees and shift hips back to lower into a squat, until you reach the bottom of your range of motion. Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, toes pointed out at a 45-degree angle, holding the bottom weight of the kettle bell with both hands at chest and the handle directly below the chin.
Keeping chest lifted and spine straight, bend knees and shift hips back to lower into a squat, until you reach the bottom of your range of motion. Holding the bottom weight of the kettle bell with both hands at chest and the handle directly below the chin.
Keeping chest lifted and spine straight, bend knees and shift hips back to lower into a squat, until you reach the bottom of your range of motion. Remember to keep your forearms vertical when you bring the kettle bells into the front rack position to prevent them from slamming into your chest.
Grab a handle with each hand and sit back into hips (as you would when prepping for a dead lift). With a straight spine, propel the kettle bell up vertically by thrusting hips forward.
C. Keeping chest lifted and spine straight, bend knees and shift hips back to lower into a squat, until you reach the bottom of your range of motion. Grab the handle with one hand and sit back into hips (as you would when prepping for a dead lift).
With a straight spine, propel the kettle bell up vertically by thrusting hips forward. C. Keeping chest lifted and spine straight, bend knees and shift hips back to lower into a squat, until you reach the bottom of your range of motion.
Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, holding the kettle bell with one hand on each side of the handle at chest. B. Squat as deep as possible to the left, while turning right toes up and flexing right foot (right leg remains straight and torso leans slightly forward to maintain balance).
Just like dumbbells, barbells, steel maces, and other weightlifting equipment, there’s no one-size-fits-all with Kettle bells. Different kettle bell sizes will be best for certain genders, ages, exercises, and overall fitness goals.
What is the best Kettle bell size for building muscle, gaining strength, burning fat? It's all organized by sections, so if you want to scroll down to your specific question, it will be easy to find.
Before the end of the 19th century, Russian girl had found its way into the sphere of competitive weightlifting sports in Russia and some parts of Europe while the term, Kettle bell,” was widely adopted at the dawn of the 20th century in the Western world. Unlike the simple structures of Dumbbells and Barbells, Kettle bells have complex, equally-important parts, each of which contributes to its uniqueness.
The anatomy of a Kettle bell, as seen from the above picture, includes the Handle, Corner, Horn, Window, Bell, and Base. The Bell is the center of mass of a Kettle bell while the Window is the space that separates the Handle from the Bell, affording the user convenient and flexible movements that are lacking in Dumbbells and Barbells.
If you are new to weight training, it's best to start at a beginner level so you can learn proper mechanics. Your age, fitness, and experience determine the type of Kettle bell training you can take-on.
Kettlebell grinds are not only the best for beginners, but they are also very great for experts as its technique is perfect for building muscle and strength. The obtuse shape of the Handle also helps in ensuring a perfect grip and some products now come with a chip-resistant coating that enhances grip and lets users see the weight written on the Kettle bell through contrast.
Note: Although those increments may seem big, a jump from training with 15lbs to 20lbs is normal for kettle bell lifting. For one, it gives users greater flexibility to choose between the wide range of weights and ease scaling-up a bit if they please.
When we talk about men here, we mean active males starting from the age of 18 years. The most important thing is an improvement, the ability to fulfill your potentials as your training progresses.
It is our professional recommendation that you start with a weight that is proportional to your skill level and fitness. This helps you to maintain a good form while you scale up with smiles and less stress.
Starting with anything in this range will help you to conveniently learn how to use proper techniques whether you’re training on your own or with a trainer. Like we mentioned with men, the talk of women here refers to females starting from age 18 years.
While we advise everyone to carry just enough weight, some women have been found to underestimate their strengths, opting for Kettle bell sizes that are too small. A general rule of thumb is for you to carry a Kettlebellweight with which you’re able to do 5 repetitions (reps) of any workout you’re starting with.
Also, if you’ve reached a stage whereby you can conveniently do 20 reps of that workout, then it’s the right time for you to pick up something heavier. The American Academy of Pediatric shad since the year 1990 asserted the potential benefits of monitored weightlifting for children and adolescents on health and athleticism.
A kid’s Kettle bell size for a workout will depend on fitness and age. In the end, it will be the level of fitness that will determine the number of Kettle bell workout reps each child will perform.
They can help you build your strength and balance, as well as improve your cardiovascular fitness. However, to avoid injuries, if you're a senior just starting a workout with kettle bells, you should use lighter kettle bell weights and as you improve your form and strength, you can gradually increase the kettlebellweight you carry.
And it will be wiser for you to focus on cardio-based kettle bell exercises such as swings, squats, cleans, and presses because you're no longer trying to build excessive muscles, but just enough to keep your bones together and covered. If you have any doubts, be sure to ask your doctor or a physiotherapist about kettle bell training and if it's right for you.
When you aim to do a lot of ballistic workouts with the kettle bell and you have never done any of such activities before, starting with 18LB is good for women while 26LBS will be alright for men. If you had done some moderate ballistic workouts before, 35LBS is a good start for men and 26LBS is okay for women.
When you aim to do lots of slow lifts with the kettle bell and you have never done anything like that before, starting with 22LBS is good for you as a woman while 30LBS for you as a man. Some people start doing kettle bell workouts because they want to build their size and strength.
To build your size and strength using kettle bells, you need to focus on exercises that can give you the most beneficial results. Additionally, you can include another free- weight equipment in your Kettle bell exercise to get the most out of your workout.
Excellent free- weight equipment you can combine with Kettle bells for incredible muscle build-up is the Steel Mace. You can learn more about how to get the best out of these two weightlifting equipment from our Steel Mace and Kettle bell Arm Blast Workout.
The kettle bell swing is a ballistic exercise that you can use to train your posterior chain muscles and it’s most useful in building your hip power and speed. To perform the kettle bell swing, you need to move the bell in a pendulum motion from between the knees to anywhere at your eye-level or above it.
For average active men doing Basic Goblet Squats, the best Kettle bell size is 40LBS. The Goblet Squat is a typical beginner’s exercise to help new Kettle bell lifters get positional awareness, accumulate basic squat strength and technique, and get a better balance.
You can learn more about perfecting your squat by reading our How to Fix Hip Pain article. The Kettle bell Turkish Get-ups are very useful for developing your solid movement foundation as they tend to focus on your small stabilizing muscles.
Not only does it reveal your problems, but it also helps you develop a functional core, serves as a safeguard against back pain and improves your posture. Beginners, intermediate and advanced flows exist for individuals fitting each level.
It is best to use the Kettle bell size that you are most comfortable with for two to three exercises you want to put into a flow. Complexes can be done in a sequence or one exercise after the other (i.e. 5 x squats then 5 x presses then 5 x sumo dead lifts, without resting or putting the kettle bell down).
Unlike other Kettle bells, their handles and other parts are always of the same shape and dimension regardless of their weights because of the need to maintain consistency in competitions and fairness among competitors. They are usually based in kilograms and range in 2 or 4 kg increments according to international standards, each weight having varying color for convenient identification.
A kettle bell workout is a great way to tone your body, burn fat, earn some killer abs and keep fit. For average active women, the best Kettle bell sizes for tone-up, burning fat and keeping fit is 18LBS for beginners, with a gradual build-up to 26LBS as you get used to the bells.
For average active men, the best Kettle bell sizes for tone-up, burning fat and keeping fit is 26LBS for beginners, with a gradual build-up to 44LBS. If your goal is to burn fat, you want a weight that you can use with little rest and for HIIT workouts.
This means you should go lighter than what you would use for traditional sets and reps workouts with longer rest. If we had to choose the three overall best Kettle bell sizes, we'd go 26, 35, and 44LBS or 20, 30, and 40lbs, depending on the supplier you buy from.
It enhances core strength and stability through its multi planar and unilateral movements. It’s the most convenient way to reduce body weight, burning up to 400 calories in 20 minutes.
If you’ve never trained with kettle bells before, choosing the correct weight takes some thought. Choose heavier weights for swinging or ballistic exercises and strength training.
Use lighter weights for slower exercises, sometimes referred to as “grinds,” and cardio workouts. The American Council on Exercise prefers using lighter weights for their 2010 whole-body kettle bell workout, which includes ballistic, strength, grind and cardio components.
As you become more experienced training with kettle bells, progress to heavier weights for ballistic exercises such swings, cleans and snatches. Experiment a bit to find a weight that allows you to execute the exercise properly.
Turkish setups, windmills, shoulder presses or single-arm rows require a lighter weight, usually because you are working more slowly or targeting your arms. Whole-body kettle bell exercises, such as the Turkish half-getup, have a lot of moving parts that can go askew if you're using a weight that's too heavy.
Cardio, circuit, fat loss, kettle bell, metabolic conditioning, met con, weight loss Some links in posts are affiliate links. This means we earn a commission at no extra cost to you.
We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. We are excited to work with Dough Farinelli, owner of Rise Above Performance Training on a super informative series about hard style kettle bell movements.
In the first article and video of the Hard style Series for Kettle bell Kings I broke down all the essential kettle bell dead lift movement nuances and their progressions. The dead lift is the foundation where the hip hinge pattern is established. This hip hinge pattern is essential to build a strong posterior chain and to learn how to move the body properly when we get to the hard style swing. However, before we get to the swing, which will come in the next installment, let’s strengthen up those legs and core a bit more by learning how to properly squat with the kettle bell.
The hard style squat is a great option for most trainees. Like in the dead lift, I believe the set-up is much easier to achieve than with a traditional barbell because the kettlebellweight is compact and stays right in front of the body. Not only will the trainee have an easier time balancing their body throughout the movement with the weight so close to the center of their body, the weight also is not placed on the back, like a traditional barbell squat. The barbell back squat compresses the spine; and for young trainees or people with back problems due to weak hips and core muscles and/or legitimate disc issues or stenosis of the low back, this is not the squat variation for them. Unlike the kettle bell dead lift, the squat consists of starting with an eccentric (downward, weight moving with gravity) motion towards a bottom depth, followed by a concentric (upward, weight moving against gravity) motion back towards the starting position. Because of this movement pattern it makes it slightly more challenging than a dead lift where the main focus is the set up followed by a concentric movement.
Have the bell handle up high, just under your chin, and connect your biceps to the side of your body and have your forearms follow the line of your rib cage going upward. Whether you of your client cannot achieve a proper Goblet Squat yet or you can do them well and looking for a new hard style progression, I have you covered; just remember the basic set up and execution is always the same.
We have all seen those baby pictures where the child is playing in the dirt or picking up an object in a deep squat position. We all have the potential ability to do that, however we tend to lose that as we age and by adding environmental factors, like sitting in chairs all day, our squat form has become compromised. After the Goblet Squat is achieved and mastered you can tackle this unique variation using only one kettle bell in the racked position.
I really enjoy this variation because you cannot replicate it with a barbell and a dumbbell is too difficult to position properly. This version provides a safe squat progression that challenges the pattern and core stability. To find your rack position first try with no weight ; connect your bicep and elbow to the side of your body and then bring your hand towards your heart like during the “Pledge of Allegiance” where the forearm follows the rib cage upward. Play around with the position so it feels comfortable, it will be slightly different for each individual and women will tend to have their arm towards the outside of their body more.
Using two kettle bells for a squat is much more advanced and it is where you can really start to replicate a heavy barbell squat and move some serious weight. The double kettle bell front squat finds us with two bells in the rack position. With the kettle bells so close to our bodies and with the weight being so compact breathing is much more labored and the core engagement during this exercise is highly involved; without this core engagement, the weights could pull your forward and round your back during the movement. Make sure to stay tight and grip the heck out of the handle while you are moving to create tension and keep your body in proper alignment. Also take your breaths at the top, between reps, to get your air.
Hitting these large muscle groups means a greater hormonal response along with metabolic effect. The Squat can be categorized as a pushing exercise, and so can be paired with the kettle bell swing for a dramatic effect.
The ability to squat well requires adequate stability, mobility, strength and movement patterning. Regular squatting keeps the joints fresh and mobile reducing the potential for back and knee pain.
Start the movement by pushing the hips backwards Keep the weight on your heels and the outside of the feet Imagine you are wearing ski boots Widen the feet if you have hip mobility issues Turn the feet out to approx 10 degrees Thighs must get to at least parallel with the floor Push the floor away from you on your way up Keep the back flat, chest up and look up Breathe in, hold and descend, breathe out on the way up It is important to note that if you do not squat deep enough (thighs at least to parallel with the floor) then you are not engaging your backside correctly.
If you find that squatting nice and deep causes you problems then you can program and strengthen the movement pattern by using a resistance band. Allow the kettle bell to rest against the chest if needed and keep the arms tucked in.
Practice : work up to 20 perfect repetitions moving smooth and steady. Hold the kettle bell in both hands with the handle pointing upwards.
You will find it easier holding the kettle bell by the body rather than by the handle in this position. As you get stronger and more comfortable with the movement you can add a press into the top of the exercise (see image above) to increase even more muscle activation.
Now we move on to the single-handed variation of the kettle bell squat. You will create an imbalance and rotation through the body by holding the kettle bell one handed and against the chest.
Once you have mastered the racked kettle bell squat above you can add even more muscle activation and cardiovascular demands to the movement. As you drive up from the bottom of the squat continue the momentum upwards and press the kettle bell overhead.
Watch a video of the kettle bell thruster squat and press below: Holding the kettle bell permanently overhead while you squat requires excellent mobility through the upper back and shoulders.
Keeping the arm over the head makes the heart work harder too as it pushes the blood uphill. The kettle bell is held with both hands but the squat is performed on just one leg.
Using a resistance band or Tax as demonstrated earlier is a great way to build up strength and mobility in the movement. An advanced kettle bell squat variation that requires very good hip mobility.
Take it nice and steady at first as the kettle bell can throw your weight quickly backwards. Once you really start to get the hang of loading your kettlebellsquats you can add in a second kettle bell.
The easiest starting point is by holding a kettle bell in each hand in the racked position against the chest. You can even link fingers if you wish but try to keep the elbows in and upper body nice and compact.
Ensure that you are great at squatting without a kettle bell before loading the movement pattern. You can use a resistance band to help improve your squatting skills and strength.
Take your time, progress carefully and logically and the rewards will be well worth the effort. The kettle bell is excellent for squats due to its unique holding positions.
Everyone is different, begin with only your body weight to master the technique first then start to add weight using the goblet squat. The kettle bell squat is a huge exercise for hitting all those large muscle groups.
Squatting is one of the most fundamental movement patterns that you shoulder master. CrossFit is my jam, hot yoga is my Sunday ceremony, and a 5-mile run from Brooklyn to Manhattan is my pre-brunch ritual.
The front and back squats I have to do during CrossFit are also easier since I focused on my form and keeping my heels down. Alena Luciano, MS, CSS, Pn1, founder of Training2xl made it clear that adding weights is the way to upgrade your regular squats.
Hold a kettle bell or dumbbell in both hands at chest level and stand with your feet hip-width to shoulder-width apart. Driving through your heels, come back up to standing and give your glutes a squeeze.
Once I settled on the goblet squat, Luciano helped me devise this four-week plan to ensure my booty gains: My tight hips made it challenging to be parallel with the floor, so the first week I had to get used to the comfortable soreness.
To be fair, Luciano mentions: “Front loaded squats are a great exercise for quads, core, and upper back.” And after sending Luciano a video for a form check after my first day, she pointed out that my heels often came off the ground when I pushed up.
She recommended that I really focus on pushing off the floor with my heels when I drive upwards to remedy the situation. After toying around with positioning, I actually found it easier to keep good form when I did the squats barefoot, which Luciano assures is totally safe.
“You’ll know you’re ready to go up when the last two reps of each set are no longer super challenging,” Luciano says. While I definitely felt the extra 7 pounds of my 42-pound kettle bell, I wasn’t noticeably sore from the added weight.
Reflectively, I wish I’d thought to take a PRE- and post challenge measurement, but I assure you the jean test results are indisputable. That means weights can help bring on a stronger butt, faster metabolism, and more calories burned all day long.
In celebration of my friends’ comments and my slightly lifted rear end, I danced my way over to Lululemon to purchase a pair of black workout booty shorts. I may still have some work to do before I feel 100 percent comfortable strutting around in them at my gym but I like wearing them around the apartment and admiring my improved rounder bum whenever I check myself out in the full-length mirror in the bathroom.
Massaging yogis was always great for anatomy exploration, but some of my clients were everyday bodybuilders, forever chasing the Hollywood superhero body. Massaging through gym rats’ chronically tight and tense muscles was a workout in itself.
Arguably, the reason why many needed to see me in the first place was due to poor training habits (coupled with too much time spent in a chair). They’ll also use external apparatus to stabilize movements for the sake of muscle isolation and “extra focus on the muscle fibers.” These training habits eventually rewire the nervous system to forget how to activate the stabilizers it was born with and effectively make the everyday bodybuilder prone to injury and, in the long run, substantially less capable at life.
Training for functional mass involves protocols that build nice big Hollywood muscles while also making the body more useful at real life tasks and less prone to back, shoulder and knee injuries. Their muscles are rock hard when activated, but unlike powerlifters and bodybuilders, they have the ability to switch off when not in use and are not short and chronically tight.
If the goal is functional mass, arguably the best training modality would be Olympic lifting with a mix of calisthenics. O-lifting is a long and highly rewarding path, for those who possess the movement ability.
However, it’s not accessible to the vast majority of everyday people, because we just don’t move well enough. I encourage anyone to start their O-lifting journey if they can pass my simple litmus test: being able to hold a naked (20 kg) Olympic bar overhead while sitting in the deep squat for two minutes.
Never use a bench, chair, pad, fixed resistance machine or anything to help stabilize movement or isolate target muscle groups. Smashing the muscle fibers to destruction, so they’ll grow back bigger and stronger is absolutely achievable using the stabilizers you were born with.
I think that avoiding the use of external apparatus for help with stability is the most important rule that should be applied to all training, no matter the goal. Forget back ‘n’ biceps, shoulders ‘n’ triceps or chest ‘n’ abs.
Replace it with squat ‘n’ pull, hinge ‘n’ push, loco mote ‘n’ resist rotation, say. Don’t go the gym and further train yourself to flex into the shape of a cashew nut (biceps, chest and superficial abs).
Be more superhero and train extension, with dead lifts, pull-ups, push-ups×, squats, cleans, military press* and loaded carries. *A skilled practitioner presses from their lats while radiating tension throughout the midsection with their glutes.
For mass training, two kettle bells always beats one because this increases the work volume. When I’m programming for my remote clients, any given functional mass session only lasts 40-55 minutes.
Given that the first 15-20 minutes of that is spent on joint mobility, this leaves a short window for the main workout component. Ballistics involve kettebells being swung through two-planes of motion (swings, cleans and snatches).
For goals such as losing weight or improving conditioning, ballistics should outweigh grinds. Since the golden years of bodybuilding in the ‘70s, it’s been known that the more time the muscles spend under tension, the better for hypertrophy.
I served in the Royal Marines Commandos with a dude who had a better body than Captain America. He only ever did thousands of really light reps and isometric holds with resistance bands and baby dumbbells.
We may have admired his physical appearance, but we relished in the fact that he was weak and sub-par as an operational Commando. His dead lift was pathetic, he couldn’t outrun a hedgehog, let alone run a heavy backpack over a mountain, he often had lower back pain, and he couldn’t reach his magazine pouches because his big, useless muscles were in the way.
Through my years of training I know that loaded jump squats are a very reliable ingredient for developing legs like tree trunks. But crippling injuries also usually come as a complimentary extra for those who can’t deep squat slowly without load.
If someone can sit in a deep squat position for over 4 minutes, they qualify for adding load. Then after some months, adding explosive speed will induce miracle muscle growth.
This is an age-old ingredient for muscle mass because it optimizes hormone release and facilitates the highest possible volume. Strength is tension… How much full body tension you’re able to produce reflects your ability to apply force.
More relaxed, loose muscles = better blood flow, faster recovery, less chronic tension and related injuries. But if the goal is looking like a Marvel superhero in the shorter term, without breaking the first two (and most important) of these golden rules, training to failure in some lifts for 2-3 months won’t do any harm.
But if you want to put on some muscle mass in a short space of time without cocking up your hormone balance by taking vitamin-S (anabolic steroids), train to failure and grow some sarcoplasmic muscle mass. A great way to deplete the glycogen stores within the muscles and leave your arms or legs feeling like they might drop off.
Many uneducated or inexperienced trainers think it’s their mission to create delayed onset muscle soreness (Does) for their paying clients after every session. Regular, weekly Does creates excessive muscle toxicity, which has a plethora of negative side effects and cripples good movement.
Soles Does in unavoidable for people who’ve been wearing foot coffins (shoes) all their lives and want to learn to run properly. Does in all major muscle groups is expected for the first couple of weeks of any good hypertrophy program.
Do you wake up naturally and feel like moving first thing in the morning most days of the week? If all the muscle chasers I know put half the energy and discipline into planning and executing their rest as they do their workouts, they would be bigger.
Avoid processed crap, cook for yourself, prep meals, plan shopping Every session should begin with 20 minutes of joint mobility and muscle activation, relative to your individual movement needs and injury history.
Then take a week off and try another functional mass program to change the stimulus. All programs should contain all human movement patterns and should obviously be suitable for the person it’s written for.