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Kettlebell Muscle Building

author
Carole Stephens
• Saturday, 12 December, 2020
• 14 min read

Nice, and the skill barrier to entry is lower than for KettlebellMuscle (which required proficiency with double snatches) Just surprised to read new stuff (published in April 2017) from Geoff, because he stepped away from KB's and Original Strength to pursue other endeavours outside the fitness world.

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(Source: www.joe.co.uk)

Contents

He still willingly answers questions about training, but doesn't write books, teaches at certs or accepts new personal training clients anymore. I've got all the weights from 16 kg to 32 kg in 4 kg increments, so I can probably get away with using pairs with a +/-4 kg mismatch, provided I switch arms between sets.

The matching bells (except the 28) reside at my parent's place for when I am visiting them. Anyway, I think you could use unlatching bells and switch hands.

Also, by Geoff Expert, very similar in its structure, and he explicitly mentions using only one bell. I've done a number of Geoff's programs, including some similar to that.

To target a bit more the upper body pulling? I was reading the article and it seems like a very nice program, definitely going to try.

To target a bit more the upper body pulling? If you want to work your arms specifically, KB muscle cleans' (i.e. cleans with zero/minimal movement at the hips) could work but then you'll miss out on the lower body work you would have got from the swings. I would stick with the program as written and, if after a while you really feel that you're missing out on upper body work, supplement with either KB bent over rows or some kind of curl variation.

kettlebell kettlebells bodybuilding crossfit repeat sport fitness
(Source: www.pinterest.com)

If you want to work your arms specifically, KB muscle cleans' (i.e. cleans with zero/minimal movement at the hips) could work but then you'll miss out on the lower body work you would have got from the swings. I would stick with the program as written and, if after a while you really feel that you're missing out on upper body work, supplement with either KB bent over rows or some kind of curl variation. Yes you're probably right, but I was thinking that since Geoff refers to “upper body pulling” since you are cleaning the kettle bells before the press and squat.

I can see some visible definition and growth starting already in my shoulders and arms and chest. I base that on a comparison: in the first workout, which is alternating Cap and FAQ sets for ladders of 1,2, I really struggled particularly with the squats.

Today’s workout was the same but the ladders up to four reps and I completed it feeling much stronger. It was slightly tough at the end of the 30 minutes, but I definitely felt like I was handling the workout instead of the other way around.

I’m looking forward to the last phase which should be more geared to fat loss as well. For reference, I am using a pair of 24 kg bells. I’m 43 yrs old, 6’1” 240 lbs and have been working with kettle bells for about 3-4 years now.

Double swings were a tested exercise when I did my ROC cert and recent back in the day when Pavel was still there, so I practiced them plenty to dial in my technique, but have mostly avoided them since my last cert in 2009. The main exception has been as part of one of the complexes in Geoff Expert's KettlebellMuscle (phase 1 light day).

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(Source: www.onnit.com)

To me, the groove feels very natural, and there is a satisfying sense of completion in catching each rep in the rack (just as there is for the snatch). So far I really like the programs from Geoff Expert, definitely the reward vs time investment ratio.

In the last few years, kettle bells have gone from a popular but still somewhat esoteric strength-training obsession to being considered as a fundamental tool right alongside barbells, dumbbells, body weight, and machines. Case in point: After an interaction over social media, I recently had the opportunity to train Nicole Wilkins, a four-time CFBB Figure Olympia champion and a three-time CFBB Figure International champion, to dial in her form on the major kettle bell lifts.

On the contrary, there are plenty of ways to fit them in, depending on if you're in-season or off-season training and if you are looking to add muscle or lose fat. Secondary strength/volume: Single-arm standing or seated kettle bell presses, before a superset of dumbbell or cable lateral and front raises.

Burnout and/or cardio: Kettle bell snatches, 5-8 per arm at the top of each minute, to burn serious calories and boost shoulder strength, or heavier kettle bell swings to hammer the rear Delta while also building up the entire back side of your body. “ Kettle bell snatches and swings are just a great way to incorporate cardio into your routine and get your heart rate up,” she told me.

One of the biggest advantages of training with kettle bells is the ability to increase both mobility and stability throughout the joints that need one or the other. Maintaining joint mobility is a crucial part of staying injury free, because the inability to move through exercises with a full range of motion can be detrimental in your ability to get into the correct positions needed to lift safely.

kettlebell muscle bodybuilding building week master plan tall april
(Source: www.bodybuilding.com)

Joint stability, on the other hand, is essential for being able to safely bear the load you're lifting, without one of your “weak links” raising the white flag. If you are looking to improve mobility and stability, the Turkish get-up is a great exercise to add to your routine.

However, once the weights get heavy, the long handle of the dumbbell places immense pressure on the hands and wrists, making it unstable and harder to push heavier loads overhead. If you use a kettle bell, the weight is more compact and the pressure will remain on the forearm allowing for a neutral or rotating grip.

If you're like most people, you'll find you're able to move more weight through a greater range of motion, with a more natural movement pattern. That's why strength coaches love the double- kettle bell front squat as a spine-friendly way to build athletes' quads, glutes, and hamstrings, while also demanding serious work from secondary and tertiary muscle groups such as the shoulders and core.

“Kettle bells may be more form-oriented than other tools used for strength training, but if you put in the work consistently you will get better and you will see progress,” Wilkins told me. I started out as a beginner with kettle bells six years ago, after injuring my back in CrossFit so badly that my doctor told me to never lift again.

Whether you are a bodybuilder, powerlifter, Crossfire, or just enjoy swinging kettle bells, we all want to stay healthy and be able to keep learning new ways to do what we love. The goal of bodybuilding may be to increase muscle mass and decrease fat to look aesthetically your best, but by supplementing your training routines with kettle bells, you can develop more muscle, improve cardiovascular conditioning, build up muscular endurance, improve overall mobility and stability, and develop better body awareness while still reaching your goals.

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(Source: www.youtube.com)

Looking cool requires flawless technique, accounting for all safety points, and training with intention. However, since strength is a function of mobility and stability, we must pay homage to the details of healthy movement.

No other tools in modern history have offered more for dynamic strength gains than kettle bells. Certainly there are trade-offs in training which must be considered when setting goals, and more strength should always be a top priority.

How we look communicates our work ethic, discipline, overall health, confidence, and other aspects of our character. Male or female it is important to maintain our muscle mass as we age and the kettle bell gets results.

That’s why we train with kettle bells for massive shoulders, thick arms, solid legs, ripped abs and athletic skills for any task. Two key variables in the strength and hypertrophy equation are “X” (the speed of the work) and “Y” (time under tension).

We don’t want to isolate the targeted muscles, because that approach doesn’t yield as much mass. Compound exercises are universally accepted as the most effective way to build muscle and strength.

kettlebell muscle building exercises caveman kettlebells strength hypertrophy cavemantraining mass
(Source: www.cavemantraining.com)

Compound movements involve more than one muscle group, and usually use two or more joint systems. With double servings from a simple menu of exercises, we will stimulate the growth environment.

The concept of irradiation is important for creating tension and linking tensing muscles together. One must force neuromuscular activity to call as much of the muscle fibers into the workload through a full range of motion.

By making light training weights feel heavier during your reps, you force more supporting muscle tissue into activation. We demand results, and that’s why we crush the handles tightly for the entire set.

That’s why we flex our glutes, quads and abs as we stand through the top of our squats. When we make our training more difficult by adding tension, we will force more hypertrophic adaptation with 85% resistance for sets of eight to twelve reps.

The tempo of the lift is the amount of time spent in each phase under the added tension of the load. Add tension and stay active as the resistance is loaded through the eccentric or “negative” phase.

kettlebell workout leg muscle building hipwallpaper
(Source: www.youtube.com)

Pause and hold at the fully loaded position for at least one full second, sometimes up to five. Exploiting this isometric position under great resistance yields significant results.

To make the muscles grow, place great emphasis on the negative phase. A lifting tempo of 5-2-2 is a five-second negative, a two-second isometric pause, and a two second focused contraction until there is a full squeeze of the working muscle groups.

Your breathing may need to change with the longer duration lifts, but never lose your structure. “Breathing behind the shield” is an important cue to remember, especially when briefly holding those isometric positions.

The get-up is a great drill to set up a strong and stable body. It will get your shoulders fully functional, fortify strength, and build coordination throughout the entire kinetic chain.

The snatch does a great job of eccentrically loading the posterior, but it happens so quickly that barely any time is spent under that tension. This is why it is not the greatest muscle building exercise even though what it does for the glutes, legs and abs is incredible.

kettlebell training muscle exercises build trains anatomy bootcamp adult building strength chalk benefits
(Source: www.menshealth.com)

To achieve this most effectively, training weights should be in the calculated ranges of 80%, 90-95% and even beyond 100-105% efforts. It’s great that Dragon Door manufactures the “in between” weights in increments of two kilograms.

Having these options will help smooth out the growth curve so the jump up to a bigger kettle bell won’t take nearly as long as before. Sets of double military presses will make your upper body, shoulders and arms more massive than single kettle bell work of the same volume.

The beauty of training with kettle bells is that asymmetries are attacked since each weight must be unilaterally stabilized. Perfect technique doesn’t just make you look cool, it is also the only way to achieve your strength or size goal.

Your strength will build as you slowly increase the resistance, but be smart, if there is pain then stop. Training with a coach is the surest way to get rock solid technique in the shortest time possible.

Other ways to check your technique are training with a partner or taking video of your lifts. To force the muscles grow, this program will call for “heavy” lifts.

muscle building kettlebells kettlebell exercises cavemantraining caveman
(Source: www.cavemantraining.com)

Finding the right work / life balance in a lifting program is important for continued progress. I like to split the year up in four periods and let my fitness goals change with the seasons.

It is a harmonious to try to gain size in the fall, strength in the winter, hypertrophy in the spring, and then get ripped for the summer. For mass gaining programs, I would recommend lifting four days a week.

This template demonstrates the simplicity of working opposite modalities to push and pull your way to a bigger, stronger body. After making progress with very rigorous training days, it’s necessary to bounce back.

Here are a few simple tips to help shorten recovery time between training days: set a bedtime, eat for recovery not flavor, drink a gallon of water every day, stretch twice a day, nap daily, limit inflammatory foods like sugar and alcohol. The only thing missing from this mass building plan is eating, abs and arms.

I just stick to a few simple principles to fuel muscle growth while keeping me lean in the process. The heavy squats, weighted pull ups and other such drills require so much abdominal recruitment that accessory work is not necessary.

kettlebell turkish muscle exercises exercise build academy onnit
(Source: www.onnit.com)

Even though it is difficult to balance gaining mass and strength while keeping a lean physique, it can be done masterfully. This is also why it is important to per iodize your programming throughout the year and eat to nourish your lifestyle.

The two drills below do a great job of isolating and adding volume to the biceps and triceps. Rome wasn’t built in a week, so take time building your physique.

Building muscle is perhaps the most common goal among amateur and professional gym enthusiasts alike. Kettle bells offer a unique exercising experience that can often be fun and refreshing to those who have found themselves stuck in the same workout routine.

Perhaps the greatest benefit is that most kettle bell exercises are dynamic and ballistic, which means that lifts are faster instead of the slow, controlled strength training that most gym enthusiasts have become used to doing. They are shaped like a more spherical kettle and have an attached handle to make gripping the weight manageable.

Kettle bells have recently experienced a popularity explosion, with a plethora of books, videos, and classes being created. This is because of the unique training experience that they offer, which makes use of dynamic moves that target almost every aspect of fitness.

muscle kettlebell fitness exercises onnit build penthouse training academy workout close header building muscular hand strength program
(Source: www.onnit.com)

Kettle bells are held in one or both hands and are used to progress through a wide variety of exercises that we will discuss in a moment. This kettle bell activity is a potent exercise that makes use of both lower and upper body power and strength.

The double clean and press is a holistic workout that targets almost all the muscles in your body and generates full-body tension. Performing the double clean and press with a pair of heavy kettle bells removes pressure from the wrists that would usually be present if you were to do the exercise with a barbell.

This is also a great exercise if you are looking to build some substantial upper body strength, as the little twist at the top of your abs stimulates them as well. These components include balance, cardio, strength, power, stability, and endurance.

You will need to have a solid baseline before you begin putting your core strength and balance to the test with heavy weights. Kettle bells also require a lot of training and practice, and you will need to use a weight that is heavy enough for you to use the power of your legs and hips to lift.

Either way, you can do wonders for your fitness and strength with a single kettle bell and abiding to the #stayathome guidelines. Today's workout, programmed by our Fitness Editor Andrew Tracey, follows a 30-minute every-minute-on-the-minute (Mom) pattern.

kettlebell muscle building loss fat vs complexes
(Source: www.youtube.com)

MH Fitness Editor Andrew Tracey has got your workouts on lockdown With the kettle bell between your legs, hinge at your hips, swinging the weight backward (A).

Sink your hips and drop into a squat (B); at the bottom, your elbows should be between your knees. Assume a press-up position, but with the kettle bell on its side under your left hand.

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Sources
1 kettlebellsworkouts.com - https://kettlebellsworkouts.com/whether-to-use-one-kettlebell-or-two/
2 www.lumobodytech.com - https://www.lumobodytech.com/what-size-kettlebell-should-you-buy/
3 kettlebellsworkouts.com - https://kettlebellsworkouts.com/which-kettlebell-to-start-with/
4 www.onnit.com - https://www.onnit.com/academy/what-is-the-best-kettlebell-weight-to-start-with/
5 www.onnit.com - https://www.onnit.com/onnit-double-16kg-kettlebells/
6 www.strongfirst.com - https://www.strongfirst.com/community/threads/how-heavy-a-kettlebell-to-build-muscle.14714/