Kettlebell + Body Weight Strength Workout

It’s so easy to get sucked into the ‘alure’ of the metabolic conditioning workout …

And don’t get me wrong … the high-rep, low-rest, kettlebell and body weight circuit – style workouts I typically post on this blog are awesome.  These sessions hit every muscle in your body and work your a@@ off!  But it’s very important to remember that you have to do some strength work as well.

Having this strength foundation is so important … a simple, non-scientific way to look at it is this:  If you’re doing a workout that calls for, say, 10 pull ups and 5 presses with a 53# kb, if you lack the basic strength level to complete these moves, you’re sunk.  The workout is going to be really hard.  On the other hand, if you max out at 10 pull ups with a 53# ‘bell hanging from your waist and you can press the 106# kb with ease, this workout is going to be a heck of a lot easier.  So strength work will vastly improve your performance in your conditioning workouts.

Now, one of the big obstacles with this type of training can be lack of equipment – if you’re working out at home or don’t have access to traditional strength implements like barbells and dumbbells, building a sound strength based workout can be tricky.  So I wrote the workout in the video below with this exact predicament in mind …

You could approach this workout as either 1) mixing it in with what you’re currently doing (maybe alternating conditioning and strength workouts) or you could devote a specific period of time  – say four to six weeks – to exclusively working on building strength.  Watch the video for a walk-thru of the workout:

Workout Recap

  • Start with 3 ‘low intensity’ Turkish get ups on each side
  • Your first exercise pairing is pull ups and split squats. Stop two reps short of failure on the pull ups, and do six reps each leg of the split squat. Take as much rest as you need to hit it hard and use maximal weight – probably 2 or 3 minutes between sets.
  • The second pairing is the kb clean and press (6 reps per side) and a ‘negative’ sit up (6 reps) – do these in the same fashion as the pair discussed above.
  • Finish the workout with about 50 swings.

This is a basic strength workout you can do with a single kettlebell and your own body weight … if you’re not doing at least some strength work like this, you’re missing out.

Thanks for reading and talk soon –

Forest Vance

P.S. If you’re looking for more specifics about workout programming … if you’d like more detailed explanation of any of the exercises above … or if you just want a no-brainer, done-for-you program you can follow and start on right away, check out the great sale I’m running on all my best-selling fitness programs this weekend – it’ll give you tons of new workout ideas and help you reach your goals.  Click the link below for more info:

Product Review: Kettlebell Muscle by Geoff Nupert

We know that kettlebells are a great tool for losing fat and improving conditioning.  But few folks realize they can also be very powerful for building muscle …

There are a multitude of factors that go into ‘ideal’ hypertrophy (muscle gain) program design – time under tension (how long a set lasts), rest periods (rest time between sets), intensity (% of 1RM used), etc.  Kettlebell Muscle by Geoff Nupert ‘laser targets’ these factors into a formula that flat out works for building a lot of muscle mass in a short amount of time.

I recently picked up a copy of the book after putting it off for a while – being completely honest, a big reason why was it seemed to be priced a bit high for such a short book. But the bottom line is the information in a book is the reason you pay the price you do for it, not the length – and it turned out to be well worth it.

Without giving too much away, the book is about using double kettlebell complexes and chains to gain muscle. (A complex is where you do several exercises back-to-back without resting – click here for some examples).

If you’re strapped for time, this is an awesome program. The entire program has you working out less than one hour total each week for twelve weeks.  The remainer of the book covers the eight basic KB exercises used in the workout, some info about the effectiveness of kettlebell training in general and why the double kettlebell complex is so effective for adding muscle, and some basic nutritional tips to help you reach your goals.

All in all, though the book seems high-priced at first glance, it’s well worth it.  If you’re looking to add muscle and you want a time – efficient program to do it, bite the bullet and pick up a copy – you’ll be glad you did. For more details about the book and to order from, click here.


P.S. For more reviews of the latest kettlebell books and DVD’s, plus tons of free articles and videos on kettlebell training, PLUS a free copy of my Beginner’s Guide to Kettlebell Training, please make sure to sign up for my weekly email newsletter by dropping your best name and email address into the box at the upper right of the page!

Beginner Kettlebell Workout

Here’s the situation:  You just started training with kettlebells. You’re doing the ‘right thing’ and taking your time to practice and learn perfect technique with the basic kettlebell exercises like the swing, Turkish getup, and goblet squat.

But you want a complete workout you can start with right away, something that’ll leave you feeling like you did something productive to move you towards your fitness goals of fat loss, improved conditioning, etc., something that’ll ‘hold you over’ while you take your time practicing and learning the basic drills …

Try this workout:

Video recap

  • alternating lunge 30-60 sec
  • squat curl 30-60 sec
  • PUP hold 30-60 sec
  • halo 30-60 sec
  • sumo deadlift 30-60 sec

Perform exercises back-to-back without rest in circuit fashion; perform three total rounds of the circuit

Get started with this beginner kettlebell workout while you practice and perfect your form in the basic HardStyle kettlebell exercises; train hard and talk soon –

Forest Vance, RKC

P.S. Signed up for my weekly newsletter yet? You’ll get a free copy of my Beginner’s Guide to Kettlebell Training when you do … just drop your name and email into the box at the upper right of the page to sign up now!

Kettlebell Workout For Combat Athletes

As I mentioned in my last post, the feedback I’ve gotten from you (regular readers of this blog) in the last several weeks has been super helpful.  So I’m making an effort to cover topics that I’m getting lots of requests for – today, I’m going to share with you a basic kettlebell workout I’ve designed for combat athletes.

Kettlebells are a fantastic tool for building strength, endurance, efficiency and mental toughness – all qualities that are needed for combat sports like mixed martial arts, boxing, kickboxing, etc.

Most kettlebell exercises have specific application to fighting skills – for example, an efficient kettlebell clean and press requires the athlete to go very quickly from relaxation to tension, something a combat athlete has to do multiple times during a fight.

Now, the term ‘combat athlete’ is obviosly very broad – a boxer is going to train quite differently than a mixed martial artist.  But there are some similarities – and I’ve written up a sample kettlebell circuit workout that can be adapted for your specific situation.

The important part of this circuit is that each exercise is done for time instead of reps; the work:rest ratio is what we’re focusing on.

The ‘combat kettlebell circuit workout’ I’ve created is built for a mixed martial artist who has five minute rounds in competition – but the work:rest ratio could be adapted if you’re a boxer, wrestler, etc.

Do as many reps as you can of each exercise in one minute; move immediately to the next exercise without resting; rest for about 60 seconds and repeat the circuit two to four more times for a total of three to five rounds.

  • kettlebell swings (single or double)
  • Turkish get ups (one minute continuous reps each side)
  • kettlebell squats (single or double)
  • kettlebell burpees (burpee performed with kettlebell in each hand; kb push up – jump feet up to squat – jump in air with kettlebells at sides – these are brutal)

Kettlebells are a popular training tool for combat athletes because they’re great for building strength endurance, cardio conditioning and mental toughness (among many other things).  The ‘combat kettlebell circuit workout’ I outlined in this article is a great starting point; train hard – and I’d love to hear your feedback in the comments section below!

P.S. Want to learn more about how to perform the basic kettlebell exercises in this article – and where to get tons more kettlebell circuit workouts just like this one?  Check out my Kettlebell Basics Premium Workout Mega-Bundle by clicking below: