One of the things that made me fall in love with Kettlebell Sport training was the fact that it was the most difficult type of workout I had ever done. If you know me, you know I like a challenge, and this challenged me like nothing else. Not just technically, but physically and mentally as well.
As a runner who thought she had pretty good cardio to begin with, I was shocked by how much training to last 10 minutes under a kettlebell improved my cardiovascular fitness. As someone who already trained with weights, I was pleasantly surprised to find how much my strength increased from lifting kettlebells for endurance. Continue reading →
Kettlebells are made for high-repetition exercises
There’s a reason why a 10 minute set of clean and jerk is completed with kettlebells, not dumbbells or a barbell. The way the kettlebell can be gripped and held in the rack and overhead positions makes it a great tool for endurance-based work.
Swings and snatches especially are two of the best kettlebell exercises to build your cardiovascular base. They are incorporated into today’s workout, plus one other exercise, for high-repetition sets. Test your work capacity!!!
This week’s workout incorporates six exercises that I consider “basic benchmarks” for your fitness and strength level. Four of them utilize a kettlebell, and the other two are bodyweight exercises (although you can weigh yourself down with a kettlebell for pull ups if you really want to!).
The goal for this workout isn’t to crush yourself – the goal is to have perfect form and really hone each movement. The rep ranges are low so you can focus on quality of movement. Doing less repetitions doesn’t necessarily mean you’re not getting as good of a workout, especially if you do each repetition with intention.
Think of this like a practice session. Take your time with each movement. Breathe. Rest in between sets as needed. Building skills takes time.
(PS – if the assisted pistol squat is too challenging with a kettlebell, just work without one!)
My absolute favorite conditioning exercise with kettlebells is the Clean & Jerk (also known as Long Cycle). If I had to choose just ONE kettlebell movement to do to get in shape, this would be it. There’s something about the combination of a hinge movement plus bringing the bells overhead that just gets your heart rate going like crazy!
Don’t believe me? Try the workout below and let me know how you feel afterwards.
(And if you don’t know how to do a kettlebell Jerk – no problem. Just do a push press and you will get the same result.)
I have to apologize: sometimes I can’t think of a good name for my weekly workout, so I give it a really silly one! Who would have thought the hardest part of creating a new workout every week was coming up with a creative and catchy name for it?
(If you have any fun suggestions for kettlebell workout names, feel free to send them my way…)
I took a StrongFirst hardstyle kettlebell certification back in July, which I mentioned in last week’s workout. (Quick recap: I truly believe that the different styles of kettlebell lifting complement each other: hardstyle practitioners can benefit from relaxation and efficiency principles, and Sport practitioners can benefit from tension and strength work.)
This week’s workout was my favorite workout from the certification, so I thought I’d share it with you! Choose a pair of bells that you can press for at least 5 repetitions. Each round, you will do 3 (hinge-based) cleans, 1 double press, and 3 front squats. Set the bells down for 20 seconds, then repeat! You can do anywhere from 10-20 rounds, depending on your fitness level and the weight kettlebells you choose.
Are you a fan of “hardstyle” or hinge-based kettlebell lifting?