The majority of folks get their kettlebell training started with a single ‘bell. As they master the basics and move forward with more advanced exercises and workouts, they’ll likely look to start training with a heavier ‘bell, training with two kettlebells at a time, etc.
The truth is, however, with a little creativity and know-how, one can get a lot of mileage from a single KB. There are lots of ways to make training with a single kettlebell more challenging – for example, increasing reps, slowing down the tempo (on selected lifts), and decreasing rest periods are methods that will make a workout more challenging without having to increase weight or move to training with two kettlebells at once.
Reading through some of my old Hardstyle magazines, I actually found a great article by Geoff Nupert, Senior RKC that provides a great – and very specific – answer to this question of how to get the most out of your single kettlebell.
You do get the Hard-Style magazine from Dragon Door, don’t you?
Geoff offers the example of the Rite of Passage program from Enter the Kettlebell! by Pavel. Pavel recommends that you be able to perform five Clean and Press ladders of (1,2,3,4,5) before you move up in weight. Pavel puts no time restrictions on this program. So, according to Nupert, an easy way to adjust the intensity of your workout would be to adjust the rest periods. Knocking them down just slightly can make your workout a lot harder – and will keep you from having to bump up to a bigger ‘bell.
Nupert also details several different ways to manipulate and keep track of rest periods in the article, like using specific rest intervals between sets, using a density training approach, etc.
To check out the full article, download a digital version of this copy of Hard-Style magazine below:
(Hard-Style is actually a full magazine that comes out quarterly and is published by Dragon Door. The hard-copy version carries a retail price of $6.95 – but I’ve made special arrangements to provide you with this back issue for free. This issue has actually got several more great articles in it – enjoy!!)
So the advice from this kettlebell pro on moving up to a heavier ‘bell/progressing to double kettlebell training/etc.? It’s great – but make sure you’ve gotten the most out of your single KB! Keep training hard!