A Beginner's Guide To Kettlebells


An introduction to kettlebells and why these are some of the best tools available for your fitness goals.​

The purpose of this article is to highlight the many benefits of kettlebell training as probably the most effective and balanced training tool to hit the public ever.

For many people the excuse has always been time. Problem solved! Why go to the gym, when the gym can come to you! But... I hear you say... I miss the social aspect of meeting friends in the gym!…. And that can only be a good thing as gyms are for training - not socialising. Ok, we don’t mind you talking and even encourage social interaction, but do it after your workout so you can train properly and get the results you deserve. Then arises the problem of motivation when training at home and this is understandable. However, how wonderful would it be if you could get an amazing workout with just 10-20 minutes of training a few times a week, and get real results??? Imagine that, a well-balanced workout before you have even parked your car and then found out you have to queue for a treadmill as 3 are still broken!

For mums at home the kettlebell is the perfect choice. Put the DVD in, push play and hammer out a great training session when you have that all-important YOU time and take action towards the future you want. For the busy office worker, you only need so many pub sessions per week so use those evenings wisely - and why not give back to the community by suggesting your office gym or complex invest in a few kettlebells so that everyone can benefit. When the staff are happy, the business works better! And with a quick lunchtime workout you also have your evenings free - bonus!!!

Kettlebells provide the best performance to space ratio on the market. They take up about the same amount of space as a shoe box and can provide the whole body with strength and fitness workouts as they use compound and functional exercises. Compound exercises use several muscle groups at the same time resulting in faster and more effective workouts and less injury due to isolation strains. Functional exercises refer to moves that replicate the things we do on a regular basis and so have “function” in the real world. When do you ever need to bicep curl in real life? When do you need to lift a fridge off your chest as in bench press? Or when do you find yourself needing urgent abdominal assistance when lying on the floor? As most abdominal work seems to be floor-based.

Kettlebells focus on swings, cleans, snatches and more. These exercises replicate the things we do on a daily basis. We squat to pick things off the floor, we lift shopping out of the boot of the car, we put luggage in the overhead storage on aeroplanes and so forth. I am not knocking general exercise as, if done correctly, any form of exercise is better than none at all. I am simply stating that there are more effective ways of training in terms of time in and results out. Kettlebell training provides a perfect blend of strength and fitness. How many strong people do you know that cant run for the bus? And how many fit people struggle to lift decent weights in the gym? Being strong does not mean you are fit and being fit does not mean you are strong. I am not saying we need to be a culture of physically focussed super humans. I am saying there is more to getting fit than sitting on a spinning bike and reading the daily newspaper.

The stronger the muscles, the stronger the supporting tendons and ligaments, and the less prone you will be to injury and joint disorders. The fitter you are the greater your lung capacity and heart strength and the less prone you will be to drop dead one day for no apparent reason other than death. Many people lift and carry things as part of the daily job, in fact, I would estimate that almost every job involves carrying something at some point in time- considering deliveries and our consumer driven tendencies. If you have never trained your lower back, it is no wonder a few discs explode when you try to get your new TV up 3 flights of stairs and then hold it while your partner tells you where it should go.

Almost everyone has had a back injury of some sort and this is due to our technology enabling us not to lift a finger and instead sit at a computer all day controlling the things that we have designed in order to make our lives easier. Great!... wrong!!! What happens to the car that is not used for 10 years and sits in the garage? You turn the key and nothing. Why expect any different from your body, it is just the same in theory. Approximately 80% of clients that seek a personal trainer are there for weight loss. They want to drop a dress size, want to get a target weight, or want to look good for a special occasion in a few months time. While weight loss is a whole article in itself I will briefly say that grit and determination will be enough if you have a decent diet and lifestyle, have no more than the average dose of stress and legal/illegal substances and get a decent time in the magic land once a night. However, a diet of chips, kebabs, microwave meals and then a 14-hour daily job that allows you about 20 hours sleep a week will not exactly mould too well with your most hearty kettlebell efforts - if you can stay awake or even face your training that is.

Kettlebells can get your heart rate up by 300% in just one minute- the same as coming face to face with a T-rex while shopping - trust me. They can also burn up to 1000 calories per hour if you are insane enough to train for one hour and at that intensity. For Joe public, a balanced kettlebell workout of the basics with some stretches will be the perfect antidote to the daily grind and progress can be noticed in just weeks! To be honest, the only exercise you would need for weight loss is the 2 hand swing- and lots of them! But being human, monotonous repetitions border on the mundane, then the insane then the nothing to gain then its all in vain and eventually the brain - switches off .

For those of you that realise the destination is more important than the journey here (and can slog through your swings) you will see the rewards of your labours. For those of you that need variety and new challenges in order to meet your goals and motivate yourself, you need to stop dreaming, lose the excuses and get swinging before another year is lost thinking about almost doing something... almost. The only person standing in your way is usually yourself. The only question is how long have they been standing there and when are you going to move them???

Fitness will not land in your lap, or be sent special delivery or be on a one-day clearance at Amazon. You need to work for it and accept the responsibility that comes with acting or not acting. No-one can let you down, only yourself! The kettlebell fixes all of the usual excuses like money, space, time, weather, travelling, wrong shoes etc. and all that is required is for you to jump in and have good fun while doing it! The tough bit is... that is the tough bit - isn’t it. Best of luck with your training!

To jump in with kettlebell right now just click on the Free Stuff tab and go straight to our free kettlebell masterclass video series!

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