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Kettlebell Training and 3 Powerful Kettlebell Routines

Before I tell you anything about kettlebell training or kettlebell routines, I want to reveal a little secret.

Do you know that nervous and exciting feeling you get when you figure something out that nobody else knows? It’s that powerful feeling of knowing something that works and you are so excited that you don’t want to share it with anyone – you want to keep it all to yourself.

I’ve experienced that feeling before and that’s because I’ve figured out something cool – something POWERFUL! I’ve discovered one of the most effective fitness training tools on the planet. And I started getting such incredible results that I wanted to keep it all to myself.

This was over two years ago. Since then, I’ve slowly started to spill the beans. I’ve showed it to a couple of friends and they’ve started to get incredible results as well.

This is the story of the kettlebell and the power of kettlebell training.

What is so special about Kettlebell Training?

Kettlebells have been around for a really long time. Actually, they first made an appearance back in the 1700s where they quickly gained popularity in Tsarist Russia where strongmen and weightlifters were known as ‘girevik’ or ‘kettlebell men’.

Over the years, they’ve been used by athletes, military troops, police forces and average people like you and me to develop insanely strong, lean and injury-proof bodies. Sadly (and oddly) however, they never gained mainstream attention like some other fitness tools you might be familiar with.

In its simplest form, a kettlebell looks like a cannonball with a handle. Kettlebells are different from dumbbells because of where their center of gravity (COG) lies. Unlike dumbbells, the COG for a kettlebell is outside of your hand. This unique design changes how your body works with the weight. Many of the kettlebell movements rely on momentum which places a larger focus on the muscles in your body that are designed for deceleration and stabilization. These dynamic, multi-directional movements relate extremely well to real-life movements.

There are four key differences between kettlebell training and modern weight training:

  1. Modern weight training focuses on specific muscle groups; Kettlebell training focuses on specific movements.
  2. Modern weight training focuses on building strength; Kettlebell training focuses on building functional strength.
  3. Modern weight training separates cardio and strength training; Kettlebell training combines them.
  4. Modern weight training focuses on slow, controlled movements; Kettlebell training involves whole-body, dynamic movements.

I could write a book about all the remarkable benefits that kettlebell training can do for you. Well, actually, I did write a book about it. In fact, I put together a comprehensive kettlebell training guide that shows you everything there is to know about kettlebells and kettlebell training. And, for a limited time, you can grab a free copy of the brand new Ultimate Kettlebell Training Guide 1.0.

What is the best part about kettlebell training?

We’re all aware that ‘not having enough time in the day’ is the number one excuse for not exercising. Kettlebells help you combine strength, cardio and flexibility training all into one quick and effective workout. There is no need for any other equipment. In less than 30 minutes, you’re on your way to an incredible body.

I know this because I do them all the time.

There are dozens of exercises and, in the Ultimate Kettlebell Training Guide 1.0, I show you in detail how to perform and take advantage of the four most powerful kettlebell exercises. They are:

  • Two-hand kettlebell swing
  • Kettlebell snatch
  • Kettlebell Turkish get-up
  • Kettlebell Clean and Press

These are the exercises I use to do all of my kettlebell routines.

3 Powerful Kettlebell Routines

The thing I absolutely LOVE about kettlebells is their exhausting versatility. I have designed and performed so many workouts using solely this one fitness tool that your head would explode if I tried explaining it (just metaphorically :)).

The idea with kettlebell training is that once you understand and learn the fundamental movements, you can let your imagination run wild as you create dozens of unique kettlebell routines.

This is me performing the kettlebell snatch.

Here is my all-time favorite kettlebell routine. I call it the ARE WE THERE YET workout.

This simple yet effective workout follows the Tabata protocol because you will be alternating a short period of intense work with a shorter period of rest. I love doing this workout using the Kettlebell Swing but you can do it with any of the four exercises listed above (except for the Russian get-up).  It goes a lil’ something like this:

Alternate between the following:

  • 30 seconds Kettlebell Swing
  • 15 seconds of rest

You will be doing this for a total of 5 minutes. That is one set. Each set equals out to 3.5 minutes of swinging and 1.5 minutes of rest. You’ll perform a total of three sets with 2-3 minutes of rest in between each set. It doesn’t sound like a lot, but it adds up.

The intensity of the workout depends on the weight of the kettlebell you are using and how strictly you are following the set times. I use an interval timing app on my iPhone to ensure I follow the times EXACTLY.

Once your fitness level improves, you can play around with the times. I am now at alternating periods of 45 second swings with 15 second rest. I use a 45 lbs kettlebell for this.

Give this workout a shot and let me know what you think. It sounds simple, but it is very challenging.

I know the title says “THREE Kettlebell Routines” but I’m only going to list one here. To get the other two, you’ll have to get my Ultimate Kettlebell Training Guide 1.0. It’s free so you have no reason not to get it! (I know- I’m so sneaky!)

The book is packed with everything you need to know about getting started with kettlebell training, how to pick the right sized kettlebell for yourself, how to take advantage of the incredible benefits of kettle training and how to perform four powerful kettlebell exercises. You will also get the other two kettlebell workout routines I’ve put together. One of them is actually a modification of Mike Tyson’s old-school protocols he used for his training!

What is your experience with kettlebell training? Do you do any unique kettlebell exercises or kettlebell routines? Please share in the comments below.

Ahmed-LivingNotSurviving - May 30, 2011

Gonna have to get the book. I’ve always been intrigued by the functionality and effectiveness of kettlebells, but I never perfected the form. Thanks for this!

    Srdjan Popovic - May 30, 2011

    Thanks for the support! Let me know what you think of the book when you’re done with it. Your feedback would be greatly appreciated!

Wayne - May 30, 2011

Hey Srdjan,

I recently discovered kettlebells and I love them. They are great tools for just about every aspect of fitness. I love the the swing and the snatch, which you show. One thing about doing the snatch, I found you really have to punch through the movement or you will bang the heck out of your forearms.

Wayne

    Srdjan Popovic - May 30, 2011

    I would have to say that the snatch is probably my favorite KB exercise as well, although I’ve been getting incredible results with the KB Turkish get-up. With any exercise you do with kettlebells, you absolutely MUST master the form – it is very important (not difficult, just important). The forearm banging is common for beginners. You should’ve seen how swollen mine were for the first month. But you progressively learn how to manipulate the weight more efficiently to prevent such things from happening.

Alykhan - Fitness Breakout - May 30, 2011

Srdjan,

Kettlebells are very unique and can add a different dimension to traditional strength training and cardio. I do as little as 15 minutes of swings and get ups once a week and I have noticed a difference in my whole body functional strength just from this routine.

Alykhan

    Srdjan Popovic - May 31, 2011

    It’s incredible how little time is actually required to get a very effective workout with kettlebells. 15 minutes out of your day is nothing! I also love how kettlebells challenge my body in WHOLE different way in comparison to traditional strength and cardio training.

    You should try incorporating snatches into that routine. I find them to be much more challenging!

Darren@moreprimetime.com - June 1, 2011

I’m convinced. Any advice on where to get a kettlebell or the best type?

    Srdjan Popovic - June 1, 2011

    Nice to have you on board, Darren! There is a section in the training guide (near the beginning) where I outline the best places to get a kettlebell. They are actually not that easy to find but I’ve done the snooping around for you and listed out the best resources. Let me know if you still need help with finding a place or picking out a kettlebell after you read the section – I’d be glad to help!

Sean - June 1, 2011

Srdjan – I received the confirmation email but the link simply brought me back to the blog page and didn’t give me a download.

Sean - June 1, 2011

Srdjan – just saw the 2nd email with the download – thx.

Sam- Look Like An Athlete - June 2, 2011

Srdjan,
I definitely enjoy kettlebells and love them when it comes to doing lower body work. I haven’t done them as long as you have but I know that your advice and obviously your passion for this small iron piece of equipment will help many people get in to shape.

-Sam

    Srdjan Popovic - June 2, 2011

    Thanks Sam! My love/passion for kettlebells is strongly correlated with the results I get by using them. They are truly effective and I would encourage everyone to give them a try!

Ray - Six Pack Abs Diet - June 2, 2011

Srdjan,

I’m training with kettlebells as part of my 30 day fat loss diet plan. I did 3 sets of two hand kettlebell swings (with very little rest between sets) earlier this afternoon and I still feel it :). I really enjoy working out with them and can’t see going back to dumbbells. BTW, I signed up to receive your kettlebell training guide.

Keep up the good work!

Ray

    Srdjan Popovic - June 2, 2011

    Ray, people underestimate the brutal POWER of kettlebell training, but it seems like you’ve got it figured out! Combining kettlebell exercises into a tabata protocol (short bursts of activity with shorter periods of rest) is extremely effective for more than just fat loss. On top of everything, they kettlebells are really exciting to work out with. I’ve been using them for some time now and I’m always coming up with new ways to utilize them.

    I hope you enjoy the KB training guide. I got some cool workouts in there that you can implement into your 30 day challenge. Let me know what you think!

Jordan - The Healthy Teacher - June 2, 2011

Srdjan,
I have sadly only used kettlebells once:(
Now more than ever I believe in their power. I am waiting until my knee injury is heeled before I get into them for real. My dad ordered a program called kettleworks and has experienced amazing results. I will refer him to this post though because he is getting bored with the program!

Great informative post again.

Cheers,
Jordan

    Srdjan Popovic - June 3, 2011

    Jordan, sorry to hear about your knee man! It’s always good to let it heal properly before you get back into things.

    Kettleworks is a great program (it’s also fairly popular as it’s advertised on many kettlebell-related websites). Hopefully your dad can find some use in this post or my KB training guide. Thanks for helping me spread my message, Jordan!

Kevin - Fitness B&W - June 2, 2011

I signed up for the Kettleball guide and only had a chance to skim through it but it looks really nice and I can tell you spent some time on it! Looking forward to digging in, thanks!

    Srdjan Popovic - June 5, 2011

    I’m glad you’re enjoying it Kevin. Feel free to give me some feedback after you get a chance to look through it in detail. Thanks!

Howard - Energia Fitness - June 9, 2011

Hi

Nice post and very timely for me as I have just dusted off my 20kg kettlebells to use in the summer. As I am busy and don´t have as much time to work out as I want I find doing kettlebells with bodyweight movements are great workouts for conditioning and melting off the fat. This is my current favourite
20 two hand KB swings
20 decline pushups
20 one arm kb rows (10 each arm)
10 KB squat to press
100 dynamic mountain climbers
5 circuits as quick as you can. Great fun

look forward to reading your report

Cheers
H

    Srdjan Popovic - June 9, 2011

    Howard, combining kettlebells with bodyweight exercises is very effective. I do it all the time! The great thing about those circuits is that they’re so quick yet incredibly effective.

    Also, that’s a great little workout you’ve outlined – how long does it take you to complete it fully and how long do you rest in between your sets?

    And let me know what you think of the report. Any feedback is appreciated 🙂

Howard - Energia Fitness - June 12, 2011

Hi Srdjan

To answer your question I do this workout with as little rest as possible and my last time for completing 5 complete circuits was 17mins 34 secs. Give it a try and let me know how you got on.

Tried to download the report and it said page not found so can you email it too me please

Cheers

H

    Srdjan Popovic - June 12, 2011

    Ok I’m going to give it a try and see what time I can get. I’m obviously going for 17 min 33 seconds ;).

    And you still should’ve received the email for the report regardless of the message. Let me know if you haven’t gotten anything and I’ll send it out.

Troy - Cube.Dweller.Fitness - June 18, 2011

Gotta love kettlebells!

In April I did a high-rep kettlebell swing challenge with a goal of performing 10,000+ swings in the month. It was awesome. The result improved my running (with no running); both reduced heart rate and faster time.

    Srdjan Popovic - June 19, 2011

    Wow man that’s a really cool idea. I’m already thinking of doing a similar challenge and documenting it. I’ll let you know how it goes.

Hope - April 17, 2012

I did the first kettle bell routine you referred to in this post, this morning. I even downloaded an interval training app on my phone to make sure I got the timing right. I didn’t think it would be too hard because I would only be swinging for 30 seconds at a time. OMG. I literally thought I was going to die. The 15 second rest periods were such a tease! As soon as I got a little lactic acid release, it was time to start again!! I barely made it through 3 sets but I did. Just wanted to let you know that I understand why it is such a killer workout!

    Srdjan Popovic - April 17, 2012

    Hey Hope, it’s really good to see you putting some of the stuff in action. That’s what it takes! Glad to see you found the workout effective. Keep me posted on your progress and keep up the great work! 🙂

dalia g - May 25, 2012

love your website and all the information in it. actually this year i was really wanting to get into the best shape that i can after having 3 babies in the last 5years, and incidentally i tried sprinting in February because i always loved sprinting as a teen. But i had to stop because i didn’t have proper shoes, and at the moment i cant afford to buy better ones, so i gave up for about 2 months and then my husband told me to jump rope and so in late april i started doing jump rope, but i gave up after 2 weeks because my husband, my work out buddy, lost motivation. but i have decided to do this on my own, and ive been jumping rope all week and i started picking up the 20 lb kettelbell we have at home and doing some swings. So… it really makes me happy to read your blog and see that i can get in shape with just these three different types of workouts. hopefully i will get some better shoes soon and start sprinting again at least 2 times a week to add to my jump rope and kettlebell. anyway thanks for the info and i hope you dont mind but i pinned your website to pinterest.

    Srdjan Popovic - June 11, 2012

    Hey Dalia. Thanks for your awesome comment! That’s exactly the message I’ve been trying to portray. You don’t need fancy equipment or expensive gym memberships to build a better body. You can do great things with a kettlebell and a simple skipping rope. Let me know how your workouts go!

    PS – thanks for the pin 🙂

Go Vacation Blog » Blog Archive » Kettlebell Routines for the Masses - July 2, 2012

[…] Have you ever heard of kettlebells? You’re probably shaking your head, but kettlebells have been around for some time now. They were first spotted (and written about) back in early eighteenth century when powerful Russian weightlifters were properly labeled as kettlebell men. This article is about the kettlebell and the incredible power of kettlebell training. […]

Cheryl - November 23, 2012

I am just wondering how and when I can get a copy of your KB Training Guide Please

    Srdjan Popovic - November 30, 2012

    Hey Cheryl, the new KB guide is still in the works. I’m adding a lot of content to it so it might take a little bit. I’ll keep you posted!

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