Photo by Mathieu Chassara on Unsplash

About 2 years ago, I decided to take classes at this kettlebell gym. They had an offer of free classes for six weeks but obviously it came with a catch. I spoke to the owner of the gym over the phone and he asked me what my goals were. My goal was to lose around 20 lbs since I like to do long distance runs and the extra weight I was carrying around can tire me out more for long distances. Later in the conversation he told me that if I could lose 20 lbs in six weeks and hit my goal, I would get my classes for free. The gym laid out a meal plan for me and I had to attend 20 classes during this time.

To my surprise, I actually did lose all the weight. I’m about 5’10” and at that time I was 195 lbs. At the end, I weighed 175 lbs. Granted, that last week, I did heavily cut calories to lose those last 5 lbs to reach the goal to get the free classes but still, I lost the weight. All it took was consistency for a period of time. These are the things that I learned about kettlebells and why they are an amazing tool to incorporate in your training routine.

Kettlebells Change Your Center Of Gravity

When doing any exercise with a kettlebell, you center of gravity is almost always outside your grip and is constantly changing. Many of the kettlebell exercises are compound and active so having excellent technique is an essential.

The changing center of gravity also helps you build stronger stabilizer muscles. Much more than doing any machine workout in a gym which fixes you on a single plain of motion.

I know the changing center of gravity has helped my shoulders a lot as well. My shoulders always felt weird when going to the gym and doing dumbbell press or any form of military press. Now I just have a light kettlebell and I can hold it over my head for a minute and I can feel the shoulder working hard just to stabilize.

You Only Need One

With a single kettlebell, you can do an almost limitless set of exercises. Unilateral training has helped me have better muscular balance and have more power. No need to take up that much space either. With a single kettlebell and an 8×8 ft space, you can get a full workout in without a problem.

With a 16 kg or 24 kg kettlebell (you can get a nice one on Rogue Fitness for less than $100) you will have no excuses to skip a workout.

Builds Endurance and Strength

I’m looking to run long distances, carry things and do obstacle course races like the Spartan race. Kettlebells have proven to me to be the ultimate tool in all of these. After a 45 minute kettlebell exercise, every little muscle and my body feels worked. Stability and strength is critical for injury prevention. I’m lucky that I’ve never had a severe injury before but I know others struggle with this.

You Can Take It With You

Want to do a strength workout outside? Great! Bring a kettlebell. It’s a lot easier to bring with you than a barbell or even a few dumbbells and provides more functionality. Joe De Sena, the owner/founder of Spartan Race, takes a kettlebell with him wherever he goes. He even goes to the extent to carry it with him through airport security.

 

 

 Photo by Ivan Pergasi on Unsplash

I’m not saying that you should abandon all forms of training for kettlebells but they are a tool that you should use and try out. Don’t try it once and give up. Give it a week or two to try out and see how you like it. I almost don’t like doing traditional strength training anymore since I found kettlebells but that’s just me. Do whatever you think is best for you and your fitness journey.