I’m a firm believer that just like running a half marathon, completing a half marathon with a kettlebell is something everyone should do AT LEAST once in their life (coincidentally, I’ve completed both of them exactly once). While most of us probably won’t do anything as crazy as setting a Guinness record for the kettlebell marathon, we can still have fun, challenge ourselves, and reap the cardio benefits from doing a long, steady state kettlebell set.
As you may have guessed, today’s workout is to complete a kettlebell half marathon (30 minutes)!
Here are a few guidelines for the workout…
Choose from 1 of 3 lifts: swing, clean & jerk, or snatch (clean & jerk is the easiest as you can rest in rack; swing and snatch will fatigue your grip much more).
Complete 30 minutes of nonstop lifting (meaning you cannot set the kettlebell down until the end of the time).
Switch hands as many times as you like.
Pace yourself! It’s a (half) marathon, not a sprint.
Kettlebells are one of the most versatile exercise tools out there. If we’re talking bang for your buck, kettlebell training is at the top of the list. With one portable and relatively inexpensive tool, you can increase strength, coordination, stability, balance, power, speed, mobility, and cardiovascular fitness.
Now let’s hone in on that last component, which is always on everyone’s mind: cardio! Whether you love it or hate it, cardiovascular exercise is a crucial component of any fitness regimen. If you can’t walk up the stairs or run down the street without getting out of breath, can you really consider yourself “fit”? The beauty of using a kettlebell to get your cardio in is that lifting kettlebells is low-impact, can be done anywhere, and there is absolutely no running involved.
Let’s explore 6 different ways you can utilize kettlebells to get your blood pumping and strengthen that heart muscle. Continue reading →
Sometimes all the time you’ve got to spare is a few minutes.
No time to drive to the gym, no time to do a long warm up, no time to fuss about what you’re going to do. That’s what having a pair of kettlebells at home is for! And I’ve laid out a quick, challenging workout for you here that is sure to feel like you’ve worked out for longer than just 15 minutes…
Kettlebells have become increasingly popular in the fitness world, and for good reason. They are an incredible tool to build strength, conditioning, unilateral coordination, endurance, and mobility. Unfortunately, there is also a lot of misinformation on the internet about kettlebell training. People throw a kettlebell around for a few weeks and call themselves experts, when in fact it takes much more than a little practice or even a certification to truly be an expert on kettlebell training. As someone who has spent many years lifting kettlebells, is a World Champion in the sport, and is certified under multiple different organizations, I consider myself well-versed in the world of kettle. I want to help clear up some of the misconceptions I see and hear that might prevent some people from experiencing the joy of lifting kettlebells!
Myth #1: Kettlebell lifting is inherently dangerous and especially bad for your back. Continue reading →
While kettlebells are most commonly known for building explosive hip power with a ballistic swing, in my opinion the type of training kettlebells are most optimal for is strength-endurance. That is, lifting kettlebells for minutes at a time, without setting them down (aka Kettlebell Sport training). Kettlebells have been used for this type of training throughout history, and for good reason! This type of training builds incredible conditioning, endurance, and mental tenacity. While Kettlebell Sport competitions are incredibly tough and not for everyone, I believe the training can be used effectively for anyone who enjoys lifting kettlebells.
Kettlebells are definitely my favorite tool for fitness.
(I think you already knew that.)
I can’t think of another tool that is as versatile and accessible as the kettlebell; it’s why it’s still easy for me to come up with a new workout every week even after a year! There are an unlimited number of ways to put together a kettlebell training session.
I do tend towards my favorite exercises, however, a few of which I included in today’s workout. Turkish Get Ups, Snatches, Thrusters… (oh my!). You might even get some burpees in there if you choose wisely. Enjoy!
If you’re not familiar with the Pentathlon, it was created back in the day by Kettlebell Sport OG Valery Federenko.
The Pentathlon is made up of 5 single-arm exercises: Clean, Clean & Press, Jerk, Half Snatch, and Push Press. Your goal is to find your maximum number of repetitions in a 6 minute set of each exercise, with a 5 minute recovery period between each set. However, there is a repetition maximum (which is different for each lift). You can choose any weight you like for the lifts, and the weight can vary between lifts. You can switch hands as many times as you like, but you cannot set the kettlebell down.
I competed in my first and only Pentathlon event in Aberdeen, Scotland in 2015 with my friend Abigail Johnston. It was a lot of fun, and a nice variation from the typical kettlebell competition. Every once in a while I like to throw it at my students and see how they do. Since the Pentathlon can be quite a long workout, I created an abbreviated version for you in today’s training!
Give it a try and comment on the video with your score.
Here’s my first workout for you of 2018. It’s a test of sorts, where you’re going to max out for 1 minute on 7 basic exercises, and then complete a Snatch endurance test. A test of your kettlebell “prowess”, if you will. (Prowess is an awesome word and it came to me while I was uploading this video, so just go with it.) If all goes well, we’re going to retest this workout at the end of the year so you can see how much you’ve improved!
When you’ve completed the workout, please leave a comment on YouTube with the kettlebell weights you used and your numbers for each test. That way, you can easily find your numbers when we retest at the end of the year.
Ahh, the eternal fitness question: how do I get six pack abs?
You’ve probably heard that kettlebell training is good for your core, and it’s true. (FYI, your core is not just your abs – the core encompasses all of the muscles that stabilize your spine.)
Since you are training the entire body as one and requiring your core muscles to stabilize for you throughout, lifting kettlebells is a great way to train your core. I wouldn’t say it’s the ONLY thing you should do to train your core, however.
The muscles that stabilize the spine should ideally be trained in all different planes of movement (i.e. sagittal, frontal, and transverse), which means you should add rotational and lateral movements into your repertoire. Additionally, crawling exercises are crucial for core health, and can be practiced at any fitness level.
So will kettlebell training give you a six pack? I think you all know the answer to that question… abs are made in the kitchen. Your level of leanness (plus genetic factors) is the biggest factor in determining whether or not the rectus abdominis will be visible. However, I believe function is so much more important than aesthetics – and in terms of a functioning core, kettlebells are a great tool to help you get there!
Try out today’s “Hard Core Kettlebell Workout” and let me know what you think!
The definition of svelte is slender, however, I think of svelte more like a word to describe a lean, mean, kettlebell lifting machine (which I much prefer over slender anyway). Plus, it fit the alliteration I was going for on the title of this video…
Today’s workout includes a 5 minute endurance set with a series of strength exercises, which combine to form the perfect storm of a kettlebell workout.