The Benefits of Kettlebell Training for Fat Loss, Strength Training, Explosive Power, and Muscle Building
By Mike Mahler
"Stuck in a rut? Bust out of it in a big way with a kettlebell workout. This old-school piece of equipment is a throwback to the dawn of strength training; many of you may not be familiar with it. After a brief introduction to its physique -building values, we feel confident you'll soon give kettlebells-style training a try."
- Joe Weider, Editor of Muscle & Fitness Magazine
It is time to train like a man again (especially if you are a woman) and get back in touch with visceral impulse that has been locked away for years. No need to purchase a gym membership or spend $1000s on expensive equipment. Two kettlebells are all that you need to increase muscular endurance, lose fat, and build size and strength. Kettlebells do not take up much space so you can train in your apartment, backyard, garage, or go outside and get some fresh air. Kettlebell training is a form of training that will not only improve the appearance of your physique, it will give you strength and mental toughness that you did not know was even possible. Is kettlebell training the be all end all of working out? No, it is simply a very effective way to train and enhance whatever program you are on.
What is a kettlebell? Glad that you asked. Imagine a black bowling ball with a suitcase handle on it and you have an idea of what a kettlebell looks like. A kettlebell is a big hunk of iron that comes in several sizes: 8lbs, 12lbs, 18lbs, 26lbs, 35lbs,44lbs, 53lbs, 70lbs, 80lbs, 88lbs, 97lbs and for super strong men and women 105lbs! You can do standard weight training exercises with kettlebells such as: bench presses, curls, and rows. However, the unique value of kettlebells is derived from ballistic (fast exercise) work such as: snatches, swings, cleans, and jerks. In addition, to giving your incredible muscular endurance when done in high repetitions, with a proper nutrition plan any excess fat that you have will melt off rapidly.
Ballistic exercises are not the only exercises that you can benefit from, kettlebell exercises such as: the Turkish get-up, Bent Press, and Windmill will develop a rock-hard midsection and increase shoulder flexibility and stability. As a result many chiropractors are using kettlebells with their patients for rehab. If you are a man that wants to increase size and strength, try doing some of my favorite kettlebell exercises: Double Clean and Press, Double Front Squat, Renegade Row, Double Swing, and the Double Clean (Scroll down for more info). If you are a woman that wants to lose weight and tighten up your glutes, quads, abs, and arms, apply a steady diet of kettlebell training ballistic work with some low rep kettlebell training strength work and you are all set.
You may be thinking that you could do all of the above exercises with dumbbells. While this is true, anyone that has used both will tell you that kettlebells are much harder to handle and yes in this case, harder is much better. Kettlebell handles are much thicker than dumbbells and will give you a vice grip in no time. Also, the off centered weight of a kettlebell will force you to use more stabilizer muscles and work the targeted muscles through a longer range of motion. For combat athletes and anyone else that likes it tough, the ballistic shock of kettlebells teaches you how to absorb shock efficiently which is critical for combat sports such as: wrestling, MMA, football, and Hockey. The above reasons are why MMA fighters such as Frank Shamrock, BJ Penn, and Fedor enhance their workouts with kettlebells. Also, it is why top strength coaches such as Ethan Reeve and Louie Simmons recommend kettlebell training to their athletes. Athletes are not the only ones that are hooked on kettlebell training. Members of the entertainment world such as Chris Pontius of MTV's JackAss and WildBoyz and Harley Flannagan, founder of the legendary NYC hardcore band "The Cro-Mags" have attended my kettlebell workshops and are ecstatic about Kettlebell training. Both Chris and Harley talk to everyone they know about the benefits of kettlebell training and you will as well after you attend one of my seminars.
Still skeptical? try the following experiment with a dumbbell. Take a dumbbell and try doing three sets of twenty one-arm swings (see description on next page). After you have done twenty swings with one arm, switch hands and do another twenty reps. Continue to go back and forth until you have done three sets of twenty reps. Now if you thought that was hard, imagine making that exercise several times harder with a kettlebell. Imagine how much fat your will burn and how your muscular endurance will go through the roof. No doubt about it, high rep kettlebell training is an aerobic workout and great alternative to stepping classes, spinning classes, and anything else that strips you of our manhood and makes you feel like a jack ass. If you feel like a jack ass when you do something, then it is probably something that you should avoid unless you are getting paid well ;-) Personally, I actually like to get results from my training and I am sure you do to. A balanced kettlebell training program combined with a solid worth ethic and healthy nutrition plan is a sure-fire recipe for success.
I have been training with kettlebells for over ten years and I have never been in better shape. In addition to being lean and strong, my body has learned how to work as one unit. My muscular endurance and mental toughness have improved tremendously. Best of all, I do not have to go to the gym to get an incredible workout. Give kettlebells a shot for three months and I sincerely doubt that you will ever want to go back to barbell curls and leg raises. Once you have been infected with the power of kettlebell training, there is no going back. Take a look at the exercises below for more information.
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