One of my favorite things about the kettlebell is the fact that you can achieve an incredible level of fitness using this one piece of equipment. Its one-stop-shop efficiency is one of the many reasons it has become so popular. The kettlebell can provide anything a dumbbell or other single piece of weight training equipment can provide, and more often than not, better. Exceptional strength, incredible work capacity, a champion’s conditioning, and mental toughness are just a few of the benefits of kettlebell training.
It’s portable! When I first started training with a kettlebell, many were dismissive until they were put in a situation where it was necessary. My perspective of training revolves around the lifestyle of a Marine. Even when not deployed, the training schedule can be brutal. In between overseas deployments, there are a series of field evolutions and smaller deployments to stateside facilities. We usually have to pack some fitness equipment and haul it with us. The kettlebell offers efficiency in a small package that can easily fit in a backpack, duffle, or can simply be carried (all of which I’ve done plenty of). After all,
there are other pieces of equipment that we are required to bring. It’s times like this when individuals that are wrapped up in traditional methods start to consider the kettlebell as a viable option. Marines are routinely required to do more with less, and this is no different.
Not having (or wanting) much equipment to work with also prompts you to look at another fitness tool that is the best one we have: our own bodies. Bodyweight training alone is an awesome option for developing strength, conditioning, mobility, and flexibility. When coupled with kettlebell training, it is the perfect combination to gain and maintain peak levels of fitness. Both are versatile, effective, portable, and fun. You can claim a small corner of any office, squad bay, tent, room, or spot at the park and get to work with just your body and a kettlebell. I don’t travel without either.
From deployments to long road trips visiting family to vacation my kettlebell comes along for the ride. There is no need to go wandering around looking for a gym, I brought one. No need for treadmills, ellipticals, or some butt blaster machine! No use for a room full of mirrors to stand in front of; just my body, my kettlebell, a small space, and some simple, but highly effective, movements.
There are countless movements to choose from ranging from very basic drills for the novice to advanced drills for the more seasoned practitioner. With a little imagination, you can accomplish your mission in short order. You won’t need to take up much space, and you do not need many movements within the workout itself. The following are a list of progressively more advanced workout that you can incorporate into your training. Consult a professional kettlebell trainer if you’re unsure of the exercises before you get started. Good luck!
Kettlebell Workout 1
A1: 1-Arm Swing - 3-5 x 60 sec
A2: Alt 1-Arm Swing - 3-5 x 60 sec
A3: Dive Bomber Push Up - 3-5 x 60 sec
A4: Coffin Sit Up - 3-5 x 60 sec
Done one after the other with no rest in between, upon completion
of the circuit rest 30-60 seconds and repeat for 3-5 rounds.
Kettlebell Workout 2
A1: Long Cycle to Squat - 6-8 x 6-10 ES
A2: Mountain Climbers - 6-8 x 30
Rest/ shake it out for 15 seconds before going to next exercise, repeat for 6-8 rounds.
Kettlebell Workout 3
A1: Planked Clean & Side Press - 6-8 x 5-8 ES
A2: Star Jumps - 6-8 x 20
One after the other with minimal rest between exercises, repeat for 6-8 rounds.
A1: Kettlebell Side Snatch - 6 x 8-10 ES
A2: Pistol Squat - 6 x 5 ES
One after the other with minimal rest between exercises, repeat for 6 rounds. For an added challenge for 2-4, try as many rounds as possible in 20 minutes.
This article was featured in the Aug/Sept 2011 Issue of the My Mad Methods Magazine. "The Kettlebell, Your Body: Fitness for the Minimalist" was written by Angel Otero. Learn more about the My Mad Methods Magazine by Clicking Here
Master Sergeant Angel Otero (34) is from Toughkenamon, Pennsylvania and has been in the United States Marine Corps for 15 years. He is currently serving as an Infantry Weapons Company Operations Chief with 1st Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment in Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. He currently resides in Hubert, North Carolina with his wife (Carmen) of 13 years and his two children Kaira (7), and Angel Jr (6). Find out more.
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