Welcome to the home of Kettlebell Workouts. Here you can discover exactly how to use Kettlebells to get the maximum amount of results whether you are a beginner or seasoned expert. This site is jam-packed full of information about Kettlebell Workouts so to get stuck in I recommend that you start with one of the options below.
How Often Should You Perform Your Kettlebell Workouts?
Knowing when you should be resting and when you should be using these kettlebell workouts will make a huge difference to the results you achieve along with minimilising injury potential.
We achieve results when we exercise by forcing our incredibly adaptive body to perform movements out of our comfort zone. As we push ourselves our body realises that we demanding something from it that it is not totally efficient at. We are using more energy than usual, stretching soft tissue more than usual and using more motor neurons than usual.
Just like every action in life we either move away from Pain or towards Pleasure. Once the body experiences discomfort through exercise it then starts to adapt in order to prepare for future similar stimuli. In other words it thinks, wow that workout was tough, I will need to make some changes to make it easier next time.
It is during this ADAPTATION phase that all the good stuff happens. You lay down more muscle fibres, the energy system improves and soft tissue becomes more pliable.
So, once you understand the adaptation phase or Super- Compensation phase, if you want to get technical, you realize that rest between sessions is vital. Without rest our body cannot adapt and therefore we cannot improve.
Now for the shocking part, depending on what type of training you are doing you may only need to exercise every 5 days. There are a few factors that determine how many days rest you require:
- Kettlebell Workout Intensity and Neurological Overload
- Muscle Size and Growth
- Nutrition and Overall Health
If you are working out to a high intensity and the overload on your system is great then the ability to rejuvenate and restore homeostasis will take longer
As you progress deeper into your workouts and start to lay down more muscle you will require more time to repair and restructure your system. Bigger muscles take longer to repair.
Finally your overall health and ability to repair damaged muscle tissue will also play a large part in your recovery. A person who rests well, loads the body will good nutrition and significantly reduces stress levels will recover much faster than a stressed out fast food junkie.
So lets put this into perspective. Training with a days rest in between each workout is a good start for an average intensity workout. So, Monday, Wednesday, Friday.
If you find that you are not making gains, in other words the same exercises are getting easier, then it will always be down to two factors:
- You are not training hard enough
- You are not resting long enough
Making simple adjustments to your sessions and a little trial and error can soon sort this out. My first adjustment is usually to add an extra days rest and see how that goes for a few weeks. So exercising, Monday, Thursday, Sunday etc.. would be the new training days.
You may find that after your initial growth period things start to plateau. Again this is usually down to rest periods. Adding another days rest so only training every fourth day, Monday, Friday, Tuesday, would be a good modification.
Of course using the same training program time and time again will also induce a plateau so variety is essential. However, don’t keep jumping from one kettlebell workout to the next every session, it is important to see progression and to have goals. Changing your complete kettlebell workout program every month is usually enough.
Ultimately everyone is different when it comes to how often they need to exercise. Listen to your body and experiment. You’ll soon learn what works best for you.
Using Different Kettle bells for Your Kettlebell Workouts?
There are basically 2 types of Kettlebells, Regular and Competition. Competition bells tend to be larger with a smaller and squarer handle. The size of the competition bell stays the same regardless of weight, this helps will consistency as you change weight. The handle is smaller to avoid sliding and lateral movement of the hand. Competition bells are great for personal usage and for high repetition but for the various changes of hand and holding positions not idea for double handed exercises.
Regular Kettlebells have a larger domed handle and the overall size of the bell increases with the weight. The larger handle will allow moderate lateral movement but the trade off is that you can use 2 hands and also hold the bell by the horns (sides of the handle) for lots of beginner exercises. I use regular bells whenever possible for my kettlebell workout classes, and if there is mixture of the two types, clients always opt for the regular ones first.
When buying your kettlebells make sure that the handle is not too over-sized and conversely not too small. The bell should sit comfortably in the racked position on the forearm. Look for consistency in the curves of the bell, sharp angles out of the body of the bell will cause wrist problems as will an overly rounded body. Cast iron are the only bell worth considering, avoid cheap vinyl options. Finally, bells with a flat rubber sole should also be avoided. Go for cast iron all over and nothing more. I use different coloured cast iron bells for my classes and the clients love them. They will also last you practically forever.
One final note on the handle. If you start to get serious calluses from certain exercises then I recommend using some sandpaper to smooth out the handle. A nice smooth handle will change the game when it comes to performing lots of Snatches, Cleans or High Pulls.
What is the Correct Footwear for Kettlebell Workouts?
Wearing your nice spongy running shoes is not ideal for kettlebell training. Any shoe with a raised heel is going to change your centre of balance. The forward leaning and shortened posterior chain is counter productive to many exercises that utilise the muscles at the back of the body. Barefoot or flat soled shoes are more appropriate for this type of training.