Kettlebells

The 40 Workout Kettlebell Snatch Challenge

Unlike other Kettlebell challenges, the 40-workout is progressive and implements safer protocols. The idea is that you begin with 2-arm kettlebell swings, and perform 25, 50, 75, or 100 reps (depending on your level of fitness). On the second day you add 5 reps. On the third day add another 5 reps, then on the fourth day lower 5 reps. Fifth and sixth days you add 5 reps, respectively, then on the 7th day drop 5 reps.

So here is a sample 40-day plan for 2-hand kettlebell swings, starting with 100 reps:

  • Day 1: 100 reps
  • Day 2: 105 reps
  • Day 3: 110 reps
  • Day 4: 105 reps
  • Day 5: 110 reps
  • Day 6: 115 reps
  • Day 7: 110 reps
  • Day 8: 115 reps
  • Day 9: 120 reps
  • Day 10: 115 reps
  • Day 11: 120 reps
  • Day 12” 125 reps
  • Day 13 120 reps
  • Day 14 125 reps
  • Day 15 130 reps
  • Day 16 125 reps
  • Day 17 130 reps
  • Day 18 135 reps
  • Day 19 130 reps
  • Day 20 135 reps
  • Day 21 140 reps
  • Day 22 135 reps
  • Day 23 140 reps
  • Day 24 145 reps
  • Day 25 140 reps
  • Day 26 145 reps
  • Day 27 150 reps
  • Day 28 145 reps
  • Day 29 150 reps
  • Day 30 155 reps
  • Day 35 150 reps
  • Day 36 155 reps
  • Day 37 160 reps
  • Day 38 155 reps
  • Day 29 160 reps
  • Day 30 165 reps
  • Day 31 160 reps
  • Day 32 165 reps
  • Day 33 170 reps
  • Day 34 165 reps
  • Day 35 170 reps
  • Day 36 175 reps
  • Day 37 170 reps
  • Day 38 175 reps
  • Day 39 180 reps
  • Day 40 175 reps

After 40 days, take a minimum 10-day break, then restart the cycle with either a more difficult movement, with higher repetitions, or with greater weight. The purpose of the challenge is to eventually be able to do it with the Kettlebell snatch.

How to Perform the Kettlebell Snatch

There are certain movements you must master before attempting the snatch:

Here are the key points you must practice:

1 – Perform a “clean” in front of your face

The Kettlebell clean requires you to pull the Kettlebell, then “flip it” with an open hand technique, and have it rest against the outside of your arm, without banging it. It’s a very important technique to master, and very difficult to teach. Once you’re able to perform the Kettlebell clean, the idea is to “clean” the kettlebell higher up, closer to your face, and then punch through. The punch through idea we’ll discuss later, but until then check out this tutorial on how to perform the clean:

 

2 – Shoulder Mobility and Flexibility

You must be able to properly hold the Kettlebell in a vertical, lockout-position over your head. Some people simply don’t have proper shoulder mobility and flexibility in order to perform the movement. If you’re a big dude, and have performed typical bodybuilding movements, then you may be lacking in this department. This is dangerous. If the arm is not in perfect vertical alignment, it could cause you to shift out of balance and lead to injury. One recommended movement to practice the overhead lockout position is the overhead kettlebell carry:

 

3 – First part, Swing

Some might see the snatch and think it is Kettlebell one-arm swing with an overhead press. This is only somewhat true. It is very important to be able to generate enough power in the one-arm swing to be able to easily transfer into a high clean position followed by an overhead lockout. It’s one fluid movement, but begins with the one-arm swing. If you haven’t yet practiced this technique, then you need to watch this tutorial:

4 – Second part, high pull

Once you’ve gotten the swing portion right, then it’s time connect the swing with the high clean using the high pull movement. The high pull as performed will help target the upper back, but when performing in a snatch sequence, you are only performing the movement partially. Regardless, it’s an important movement to master:

 

5 – Do not bang the bell

Finally when putting these four movements together, it’s important to practice how NOT to bang the bell. Keeping the hands loose helps with the smooth transition. Check out this video for further explanation:

 

Finally let’s put all these five steps together:

  • Stand with your feet slightly wider then shoulder width apart with a kettlebell between your feet.
  • Grab the kettlebell with one hand and pull the bell towards your body. Keep pulling it up, bringing your elbow above your head.
  • Use the momentum to swing the kettlebell toward the back of your forearm the way you would in a clean, and punch through so that you arm is now vertically above you.
  • Return the kettlebell to starting position in a controlled manner and repeat. 4

Check out the video:

 

Kettlebell Swing vs Kettlebell Snatch

You’ve seen many Kettlebell swing challenges out there, but what about Kettlebell snatch challenges? Would such challenges be considered safe, and are Kettlebell snatches really the next step from swings?

Here are some key facts to know about both movements:

  • Swings develop more of the lower body, as one is able to lift more weight in the swing.
  • Both are great developers of the upper back and posterior chain.
  • The one-arm swing version activates both your abs and your obliques. The snatch is also a great abdominal movement, but the obliques do not have to work as hard.
  • Snatches win in the fat loss department simply because the movement trains more muscles groups at the same time
  • Biggest drawback of the snatch is that it is not a beginner movement. It will take time to perfect the exercise.

Kettlebell Snatch Alternatives

If you’re unable to perform the Kettlebell Snatch, then you’re better off sticking to Kettlebell 1-arm swings until you have perfected the movement.

There are no other alternatives to performing the snatch. It is truly something you must practice with lighter weights before you can take on a full challenge implementing the Kettlebell snatch.

Do not simply exist, conquer.

  • Parth

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Best Kettlebell Workout for Fat Loss

Sorry to break it to you, but there is no “BEST” Kettlebell workout for fat loss. However, there is a “BETTER” Kettlebell workout for fat loss. Your Kettlebell training should gradually progress to become more challenging and more intense.

So how do you make a workout become more and more challenging? Well, I like to set little mini challenges up for myself. I’ll start off with a basic workout, and then I’ll design a more advanced version of that workout.

The idea is to gradually add more work to the first workout until I hit my target, advanced workout. Here is an example:

Basic Workout:

3 rounds of:

  • Kettlebell Snatch, 5 reps
  • Kettlebell Turkish Get Up, 3 reps
  • Rest 1 minutes

Advanced Workout:

5 rounds of:

  • Kettlebell Snatch, 8 reps
  • Kettlebell Turkish Get Up, 5 reps
  • 2-Hand Kettlebell Swing, 12 reps
  • Rest 1 minutes

That advanced workout is pretty tough. Especially if you do it with a 50lb Kettlebell. So how can we steadily transition to the Basic Workout to the Advanced Workout? Here’s a sample progression plan:

  • Week One – Perform 4 rounds
  • Week Two – Perform 6 Snatches, and 4 Get Ups
  • Week Three – Add in 10 Repetitions of 2 Hand KB Swing
  • Week Four – Perform 5 Rounds
  • Week Five – Perform the Advanced Workout

Your progression may take longer than 5 weeks. But the bottom line is that a) You’ve created a decent 6-week training program in a matter of minutes, and b) you’ve been challenging yourself so you’ll be stronger, faster, and leaner from where you started out from.

Do this for two other workouts, and you have a great, 3 day per week Kettlebell program that just takes 20-30 minutes per session. Keep yourself educated with the latest exercises and try to invent some new ones along the way.

To continue your Kettlebell education, I suggest picking up a copy of Kettlebell Revolution. Click here for more information

Kettlebell Workout Routines for Women

Women love Kettlebell’s because they do a great job of targeting trouble spots important to women: hips, thighs, and butt. Almost every single Kettlebell movement adequately targets these muscle groups.

But women need to be careful not to overwork these muscle groups. I don’t believe in spot reduction, and when your body burns fat, it burns fat all over your body. If you have significant levels of bodyfat in these areas, make sure you combine your kettlebel workouts with a sound diet.

So what are effective Kettlebell Workout Routines for Women? Well, just as I don’t believe in spot reduction, I don’t believe that you need a dramatically different program for women. For any goal that you have you want to simply modify a basic workout to include movements that target your trouble spots.

For example, here is a basic Kettlebell workout:

  • Kettlebell Row, 2 sets of 5 repetitions, 60 seconds rest
  • Kettlebell Swing, 2 sets of 10 repetitions, 60 seconds rest
  • Kettlebell Overhead Press, 2 sets of 5 repetitions, 60 seconds rest
  • Kettlebell Front Squat, 2 sets of 10 repetitions, 60 seconds rest
  • Kettlebell Chest Press, 2 sets of 5 repetitions, 60 seconds rest

There are a few simple modifications we can make to this workout to make it more effective for women:

  1. Place all lower body movements in the beginning
  2. Add one more lower body movement into the mix
  3. Increase overall volume (sets and reps) of lower body movements

Now, if there is another part of your body you wish to work on, say triceps, then you can certainly add more volume to overhead and chest presses – two great kettlebell tricep movements.

In addition, you can add in tricep pullover or extensions.

As you progress with your training and become more experienced, you will be able modify any workout to suit your needs.

For additional Kettlebell workouts, I suggest picking up a copy of Kettlebell Revolution. Click here for more information

Kettlebell Workout for Runners

When I think of runners, I think of these incredibly skinny, borderline anorexic, weak individuals who do way too much cardio to pack on any lean muscle mass. Sorry, but when I see marathon athletes, that’s what I see.

 

Over the years, almost every single athlete out there has realized the importance of strength training in their athletic regimens. Endurance athletes such runners should add in strength training to increase their lean muscle mass, improve their power, and boost endurance.

After seeing endurance athletes such as Lance Armstrong use Kettlebells in their regimen, endurance athletes are finally starting to embrace Kettlebells as a supplement to their long distance running.

So, what kind of training program should  runner follow? One that increases their explosive power and is opposite of their long distance runs. So we’re talking about heavy, low rep power movements.

Here’s a sample workout:

3 rounds of:

  • Alternating Kettlebell Swings, 5 repetitions, 30 seconds rest
  • Kettlebell Front Squat,5 repetitions, 30 seconds rest
  • Kettlebell Clean and Press, 5 repetitions, 30 seconds rest
  • Kettlebell High Pull, 5 repetitions, 30 seconds rest
  • One Leg Kettlebell Deadlift, 5 repetitions, 30 seconds rest

Why the 30 seconds rest periods after each set? Well I feel that runners need to train at periods of high intensity. So the Kettlebell exercise is their high intensity portion, followed by a 30 second, or low intensity portion.

Runners usually stay at a low to moderate intensity level in their runs without training in the high intensity zone. It’s good to switch things up. In addition, the shorter rest periods makes your body work harder than normal.

I would also recommend adding sprint interval into your training program. You can do this either after your Kettlebell workout, or at a different session. Here is a sample sprint interval workout:

10 rounds of:

  • 30 seconds Sprints
  • 60 seconds Jog

These two workouts should be enough to improve your running speed.

For additional Kettlebell workouts, I suggest picking up a copy of Kettlebell Revolution. Click here for more information

Best Kettlebell Exercises for Fat Loss

Alright, so you know Kettlebell exercises are great for fat loss. But are there certain movements that are better for fat loss then others? You better believe it! We want movements that burn the most fat by increasing your heart rate.

Here they are:

Kettlebell Front Squat

Squats engage a lot of muscle at once, which makes them great for burning fat. To perform this movement, clean a kettlebell and rack it to your shoulders. Place the other hand out in front of your for balance.

Push your hips back and bend your knees. Keep your chest out and shoulders back. Make sure to keep your abs tight and breath normally. Keep pushing your hips back until your thighs are slightly past parallel to the floor.

Return back to starting position and repeat with the other hand.

2 Handed KB Squat

There is also a 2 handed version of the Kettlebell Front Squat. With this version, you simply grab the Kettlebell with both hands on either sides of the handle. This movement will place greater stress on the abdominals.

You can make the movement easier by holding the Kettlebell closer to your body, and more difficult by holding the Kettlebell away from your body with straight arms. Try both version to see which works best for you.

Kettlebell Turkish Get Up

The Turkish getup is a full body movement, which makes it an incredible fat burning exercise. However, it’s also one of the most difficult movements to master. I personally hate it. But it works!

The main idea is lay on your back with a kettlebell held with one hand extended straight out above your head. From this position, you are to get up to standing position while keeping the Kettlebell in this same, locked out position over your head.

The best way to execute this is in the following manner:

  • Lay down on the floor with the Kettlebell in your right hand extended out above your head. To execute the movement, bring your right leg in and use it to pivot to the left. Keep pivoting until your left hand is on the floor behind you.
  • Use your right leg and left arm to move forward. As you continue to drive forward, bring your right leg in and place your left foot forward. At this point, you should be in the bottom position of the lunge.
  • Take a breath and stand up completely. The Kettlebell should be overhead in locked out position at all times. To complete the movement, reverse it so that you are laying back on the ground.

Master these three movements and you’ll be leaner in no time! For additional Kettlebell workouts, I suggest picking up a copy of Kettlebell Revolution. Click here for more information

Kettlebell Workout Routines for Men

Kettlebell Workouts can help men build strength, muscle, and drop fat. Guys tend to get stronger faster then women do, and so they need to be constantly challenged with more weight and varied exercises.

 

With Kettlebells, you don’t need to continue to add weight – as adding weight is difficult with Kettlebells. However, there are so many unique movements that you do with Kettlebells, that you can continue to get stronger and add muscle.

Here’s an advanced strength and muscle workout using some unique Kettlebell movements:

3 rounds of:

  • Getup Situp, 5 reps each hand, 30 seconds rest
  • Floor Chest Press, 5 reps each hand, 30 seconds rest
  • Lawnmower Rows, 5 reps each hand, 30 seconds rest
  • Rolling Pistol Squats, 5 reps each hand, 30 seconds rest
  • Partner Assisted Eccentric Swings, 5 reps each hand, 30 seconds rest

Now, some of these movements are brutally hard. So you can substitute the movements for easier ones that you already know how to perform. I’ll go over a few that you may have not see before:

Getup Situp

The getup situp is similar to a Turkish Get up except that you do not stand all the way up. The idea is to start off in a lying down position with the Kettlebell extended out over your head, and then simply perform a situp while keeping the Kettlebell locked out over head.

Lawnmower Rows

Stand with your feet wider than shoulder width apart. Grab a Kettlebell with your right hand. Bend your body to the left side, placing your left forearm on your left thigh. Bend your knee slightly and keep your back straight.

Perform a row, starting the pull from near your left foot. This looks you’re starting a lawnmower engine.

Rolling Pistol Squats

If you can’t do pistols, then do these with two feet. Hold the Kettlebell in front of your body with two hands, each on the side of the handle. Perform  squat. At the bottom position of the squat, roll back.

Then roll forwards back into squat position and stand up. (Make sure the Kettlebell doesn’t hit you in the head). For additional Kettlebell workouts, I suggest picking up a copy of Kettlebell Revolution. Click here for more information

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Kettlebell Workout for Abs

Kettlebells are great for abs. Almost every single movement you perform adequately engages the abdominal region. By combining direct ab movements such as windmills and around the worlds with indirect ab work such as front squats and snatches, you can develop stronger and bigger abdominals.

 

Getting your actual six pack will be based on how well your nutrition is. Combine high intensity kettlebell workouts with interval cario and a sound diet plan, and you’ll be that much closer to a visible six pack.

Lets go over a basic kettlebell workout you can use to target the abdominal region:

3 rounds of:

  • Kettlebell Figure 8’s, 10 repetitions each side
  • Kettlebell Russian Twist, 10 repetitions each side
  • Rest 60 seconds

Perform this simple superset at the end of your regular Kettlebell workout. Start off with just 1 round, and build up to 3 rounds as you get stronger. Lets go over the movements:

Figure 8

 

  • Stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder width apart. Place one kettlebell directly beneath and in between your legs. Keep your abs tight and back straight as you grab the Kettlebell with one hand.
  • Now push the Kettlebell backwards, through your legs and grab it with the other hand. Swing it around to the outside of your other leg, and swing back past through your legs and grab it with the original hand.
  • Think of dribbling a basketball.

Russian Twist

 

  • Sit on the floor with your hands on either side of the Kettlebell, bottoms up. Bottoms up means that the handle of the Kettlebell is pointed towards the ground. You’re holding the Kettlebell upside down with two hands.
  • Keep your elbows close to your body and lean back until you feel like your falling backwards. Twist to the left side, keeping the Kettlebell steady. Extend as far as you can. Return to the middle and twist to the right side.

Make sure you master these two brutal movements before programming them into your workouts. For additional Kettlebell workouts, I suggest picking up a copy of Kettlebell Revolution. Click here for more information

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Best Kettlebell Exercises for Women

There are three particular ares that concern women: arms, abs, and legs. I’ll show you the best exercises to target each of these areas.

Two Handed Swing

  • Stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder width apart. Grab the kettlebell with both hands by the handle. Push your hips back and bend your knees slightly. Keep your back straight and squeeze your shoulder blades.
  • Swing the Kettlebell back between your legs, then reverse the movement quickly. Use your hips to swing the Kettlebell forward as high as possible. Do not use shoulder or arm strength to propel the Kettlebell forward.
  • Let the Kettlebell fall back towards you. Guide it back between your legs and explode forward. The movement needs to be continuous.


Single Leg Deadlift

  • Stand with your feet shoulder width apart. Hold a kettlebell in one hand. You can also do this movement with two Kettlebells. Bend forward at the waist while swinging one foot back behind your body.
  • Keep going until you touch the Kettlebell to the floor. Keep your front knee slightly bent and back straight. Look forward at all times to maintain balance. Return to starting position and repeat on the other side.


Squat Press

  • Stand with your feet shoulder width apart. Clean a Kettlebell up to your shoulder. Push your hips back and bend your knees to perform the squat portion of the movement. On the way up, explode and press the Kettlebell over your head.
  • Immediately rack the Kettlebell and repeat.

These three exercises should be a great start to achieving your goals. However, don’t disregard other body parts such as your bicep, chest, and back. To fix this, I suggest performing pushups and pullups along with the three Kettlebell exercises above for a full body workout.

Here is what a sample workout would look like:

  • Pushups 3×10, 60 seconds rest after each set
  • Single Leg Deadlift, 3×5 each side, 60 seconds rest after each set
  • Pullups 3×3, 60 seconds rest after each set
  • Two-Arm Swing 3×15, 60 seconds rest after each set
  • Squat Press 3×5 each side, 60 seconds rest after each set

Follow this program for 3-4 weeks, then switch it up to a more challenging workout.

For additional Kettlebell workouts, I suggest picking up a copy of Kettlebell Revolution. Click here for more information

Kettlebell Workout for Men

According to Jason C. Brown, creator of KettlebellAthletics.com, the reason why Kettlebells training is becoming so popular because, “It’s user friendly and doesn’t require as much wrist, shoulder, or upper back flexibility as barbells and dumbbells do. You speed your metabolism and burn more calories by adding more total muscle.”

Kettlebell training is hard, but it works. For complete beginners, it’s important to start with the basics. Try and get a spotter or perform the movements in front of a mirror so you can spot yourself.

It’s also a good idea to tape yourself. This way you can review the tape and see what you need to work on. There are also some great programs out there you can grab to help you learn basic Kettlebell moves.

But for the most part, all Kettlebell movements require you to do one thing: to keep your back straight. Everyone that I coach, I tell them to squeeze their shoulder blades. This prevents you from loosing your balance while performing any Kettlebell movement.

Brown also suggests that you, “Keep your weight on your heels during almost all Kettlebell exercises.” This will help recruit your glutes and hamstrings. For sports, this means more strength, power, and muscle mass.

Here’s  great lower body workout for men to use to help them burn fat and build muscle:

3 circuits of:

  • Two Hand Kettlebell Swings, 30 seconds
  • Kettlebell One arm Snatch, 30 seconds each hand
  • Two Kettlebell Front Squat, 30 seconds
  • Rest 60 seconds

This workout only takes 9 minutes to perform, but will be one of the toughest lower body workouts you’ve done. As you can see, Kettlebells allow you to design, short, quick workouts. These short, quick workouts allow you to schedule your program around a busy schedule.

Here are a few tips to help prevent injury while performing Kettlebell workouts:

  • Keep your wrist straight. Most newbies bend their wrist back when lifting Kettlebell. Bending your wrist will cause injury.
  • When performing cleans and snatches, don’t let the bell fall over and hit your wrist. Learn “punching through” and “catching’ the Kettlebell before it hits your wrist.

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Interval Training with Kettlebells

So you’ve tried interval training with cardio movements. You’ve even tried bodyweight interval workouts and dumbbell interval workouts. It’s time to know experience Kettlebell intervals.

Use one of the 4 interval workout schemes turn your normal Kettlebell workouts into high intensity, puke inducing workouts:

Interval Training Scheme #1: Interval Trisets

A triset is simply where you perform three exercises back to back with little to no rest in between each set. So, to perform an intervaltriset, simply choose three movements, perform them back to back, and assign a time frame to each exercise.

Here’s a sample template:

3 rounds of:

  • Exercise#1, 30 seconds
  • Exercise#2, 30 seconds
  • Exercise#3, 30 seconds
  • Rest period, 30 seconds

Of course, you can perform more or less rounds or change the interval period.

Interval Training Scheme #2: Triple EDT

My definition of interval training is basically anything that involves a time frame. EDT, or Escalating Density Training is a method that involves just one, long time frame.

Within this time frame, you alternate between two exercises and perform as many sets of each movement as possible. So, here’s a sample template:

For 10 minutes:

  • Exercise #1, 10 repetitions
  • Exercise #2, 10 repetitions

Rest 2 minutes

So, you’re alternating between 2 exercises for 10 minutes, non-stop, then resting 2 minutes. Do this two more times, to make it a “triple” EDT workout.

Interval Training Scheme #3: Double Interval Supersets

A superset is where you alternate between two movements with little to no time in between each set. Interval Supersets are exactly the same as interval trisets. However, with this training scheme, the “double” simply means that you will be doing two supersets within a workout.

Here’s a sample template of a double interval superset workout:

Superset #1:

  • Exercise #1, 30 seconds
  • Exercise #2, 30 seconds
  • Rest period, 30 seconds

Rest 1 minute

Superset #2:

  • Exercise #1, 30 seconds
  • Exercise #2, 30 seconds
  • Rest period, 30 seconds

Rest 1 minute

So, for this workout, you’re performing two exercises back to back for 30 seconds each. Then rest 30 seconds. Perform each superset 3-5 times. Then rest 1 minute before moving onto the next superset.

Interval Training Scheme #4: Interval Supersets

It’s common to see 3-5 supersets in a normal workout. However, for the most part, I’ve only used one set of supersets. I would do up to 10 rounds, alternating between two exercises.

These were brutal workouts. So, to tone down the workouts, I started to split the workouts and perform 2 or 3 supersets within a workout. This is why I use the terms “double” to mean two supersets within a workout, and “triple” to mean three supersets within a workout.

Hope that clears it up. I believe some people were confused when I used those terms. Here’s a template:

10 rounds of:

  • Exercise #1, 30 seconds
  • Exercise #2, 30 seconds
  • 30 Seconds rest

The idea is pretty simple, but the workouts are brutal. Use Kettlebell exercises that you already know and plug them into the templates to create your own high intensity Kettlebell workouts.

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