Training with a 6 minute Kettlebell work out

Posted: June 2, 2016 in Strength and Conditioning for Health and Fitness

One of the great advantages of kettlebell work out is that it is a very efficient way to improve your fitness level. You get to develop strength, endurance, mobility, some degree of flexibility (if you are not flexible enough to begin with), cardiorespiratory endurance, and even some amount of power. But instead of thinking of it as a work out, think of it as training.

Other qualities which can be influenced by kettlebell training

Think of it as training. Why? Because you also learn new skills, develop better habits, develop persistence, patience, and confidence. Unlike the fitness components mentioned earlier, these qualities are hard to measure. But these traits are what is necessary to improve in any skill. Kettlebell training is not just a work out. If done consistently, it molds you into a better you. The end result that many people aim for is improvement of fitness levels, feeling better, better health, looking great, and having more confidence.

Small, deliberate, and consistent actions is the secret

It takes small, regular, deliberate steps to get there. And training with kettlebells is one way. It requires not just a single training session, but multiple sessions to learn the lifting techniques. When your technique has improved, your fitness level surely would have improved too! So do not think of it as just a work out. Think of it also as training, since it builds upon the previous training sessions.

Hitting many birds with one stone!

In training, you are working on not just one, but at least 3 to 4 or even more areas at the same time. You need to focus on your breathing, proper body mechanics, timing, stance, joint alignment, fixation, and so on.  Each of these areas would improve at a different rate after a training session. It takes quite a few sessions before an observable positive change can be observed. 

The accompanying video is a sample of a quick session which is a culmination of a lot of training sessions in order to be put together. Once you have the necessary skills to do the lifts, it can be a training session on its own. It is a combination of many lifts performed one after the other with the exercises are arranged in a series of flow. It starts when the kettlebell leaves the ground and finishes once the kettlebell rests on the ground. 

It is for those who have already trained for a few times already and can do cleans and overhead presses safely. Shoulder strength, control and stability should be good. If you have shoulder instability, remove the windmill exercise.

These are the exercises and their volume for this particular training session:
  1. Arm to arm swing x 10 reps
  2. One arm swing x 10/10 (10 left & 10 right)
  3. Clean x 10/10
  4. Clean and press x 5/5 (although I had a miscount so my actual reps is ⅘  :D)
  5. Alternating clean and lunge x 8
  6. Alternating clean and one arm split press x 8
  7. Alternating clean to windmill x 6
  8. Front squat x 10

Some movements are short and quick while some are longer and more complex. Notice that the breathing is rhythmic and it goes with the movement. The weight of the kettlebell should be appropriate for your strength and skill level. Do not use a very heavy weight if you are still learning some of the moves. Take note that the windmill requires a lot of concentration and shoulder stability! Ladies may use 6 to 8 kg. Sexier ladies (stronger ones) definitely can use heavier bells. Gentlemen, due to the anatomic advantage of higher muscle mass on the chest and shoulder area, generally can start somewhere between 10 to 14kg. Of course, there are those who can definitely handle a lot more weight safely.

The training time is around 6 minutes for this particular combination. The time is just one factor which you may control aside from the weight of the kettlebell. Other factors are the repetitions of each exercise, the number of exercises, the complexity of  the exercises… so many things! The bottom line is that approach training as an investment. Each kettlebell workout should be a training session. It is like a platform that will develop something- be it strength, or skill, or any of the many components of fitness.

The kettlebell is just one tool. It is great to compliment it with other types of training like bodyweight training like the Animal Flow!

If you like this video, make a comment! Share to your friends and see who can do it better among your group!

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