If you are looking to gain strength then Kettlebells can be a great tool to help you achieve your goal.
Why Kettlebells are Great for Strength Building
The truth is you can build strength with any type of added resistance, whether that is Dumbbells, Barbells or Powerbags. But there is one advantage that Kettlebells have over other pieces of equipment, the handle.
The Kettlebell handle is shaped in such a way that its is ideal for holding the weight in many different positions.
For example, during the Kettlebell Press the ball of the Kettlebell lies against the forearm which offers a comfortable position for the wrist which enables you to press much larger weight.
During the Squat the Kettlebell can be placed in the rack position nicely resting against the upper arm and forearm and enable much larger weight to be held against the body.
How to Build Strength with Kettlebells
If you want to build some serious strength with a Kettlebell Workout then it is important that you follow some important tips.
- Ensure that you are comfortable with holding the kettlebell in the various holding positions. So you will need to practice the racked position, as used with the Squat, Lunge, Clean and Press.
- Start off with higher repetitions to build connective tissue before going too heavy. Connective tissue takes much longer to adjust than soft tissue, like muscle, so start off slow and build up. Begin with repetitions of up to 20 reps for a few weeks before reducing down to 8-15 rep before finally starting your strength training program. My 12 Week Essential Program is the ideal guide.
- Once you have mastered the holding positions and build up your connective tissue strength then it’s time to go heavy. If you want to build some serious strength then you must lift heavy. You will need to lift in the range of 1-6 reps. You will also need to make sure that you are lifting Kettlebells that are really challenging you during every repetition. You should find every repetition hard work and not be able to complete any more that 6 repetitions, if you can then you need to increase the Kettlebell size.
- Progress to lifting 2 Kettlebells rather than 1 Kettlebell. The double racked position, meaning holding one Kettlebell in each hand up and against the chest, will ensure you get maximum overload. Please ensure that you are comfortable holding 2 lighter kettlebells before moving on to the more demanding sized bells.
Kettlebell Workouts for Strength
Below are a collection of workouts that you can practice to build strength using Kettlebells. Strength training means lifting more weight but having more rest so make sure you don’t overtrain and get plenty of rest between workouts. I would recommend resting 2-4 days between workouts.
Strength Workout 1 – Strength Ladder
- Overhead Kettlebell Press – 1 Reps each side
- Overhead Kettlebell Press – 2 Reps each side
- Repeat – adding 1 Rep each side
- When you cannot lift anymore reduce by 1 Rep each side back down to 1
Strength Workout 2 – 5 x 5 Squats
- Double Kettlebell Squat – 5 reps
- Repeat 5 Times
Strength Workout 3 – 5 x 5 Clean and Press
- Double Kettlebell Clean and Press
- Repeat 5 Times
Strength Workout 4 – Timed Push Press
- Double Kettlebell Push Press – 1 Rep every 10 Seconds
- Repeat until you cannot continue
- Rest 3 – 5 Minutes and Repeat for 5 Rounds
Strength Workout 5 – Turkish Get Ups
- Turkish Get Up – Left 1 Rep
- Repeat right side
- Continue until form starting to break or you can’t Get Up!
Strength Workout 6 – Heavy Swings
- Kettlebell Swings (Single or double kettlebells) – 10 reps
- Rest 3 minutes
- Repeat 5 rounds
Strength Workout 7 – Deadlifts
- Single Leg Deadlift – 5 reps each side
- Rest 3-5 minutes and repeat 5 rounds
NB: With all strength workouts you need to go heavy so make sure you have seriously increased the weight but are also very experienced with the lifts and that your form is perfect. Be careful and lift sensibly!