Weight Training With Kettlebells

You may be asking yourself "What the heck is a kettlebell?" Think cannonball – with a handle attached. I started kettlebell training a few weeks ago with my friend. I showed up to my first day of training and I learned all about the finer points of mastering this new sport. My buddy showed me some of the basics and before long I was sweating like crazy. What a great workout!

Over the last few weeks I have learned a few techniques. The first thing I learned was the two arm kettlebell swing. You just swing the kettlebell between your legs while squatting up and down. Up. Down. Swing. Up. Down. Swing. It was a great workout on my legs. Next I learned the single arm kettlebell swing. Its the same as the 2 arm swing except you use one hand and eventually you have to learn how to switch hands in mid-flight. I had a few failed attempts before I mastered it. Word of warning – leave a lot of space between you and other training partners to avoid injury and death.

In the last week I have learned the Sumo Squat and Turkish Get-Up. Being a big guy myself I naturally gravitated to the Sumo Squat and thought I was pretty good at it. I use a massive kettlebell for it which I have affectionately named "Big Blue". The Turkish Get-Up was a bit more complicated as you start with your back on the floor and a weight in your hand and now work yourself into a standing position with the weight above your head.

When we do our workout we have two different types of routines. One is more aerobic and the other is more focussed on strength. I personally prefer the strength days with heavy weights while my partner prefers the aerobic training. Kettlebell is a great exercise for all body types. I personally consider it as a "fun" version of weight lifting as it builds camaraderie as you do the exercises together with a partner. I am really amazed at all the different exercises you can do with the kettlebell and as it is very similar to free-weight training it has the same effect of building all of the smaller stabilizer muscles that "machines" are not as effective at. I find that since many of the exercises involve using your legs to get the kettlebell swinging that it really is a great way of burning calories as the legs have large muscles.

In my twenties I did a lot of weight lifting with free weights and machines. I think free weights and kettlebell training are very similar types of activities and you can benefit equally from either one. The important thing is to do something that you really enjoy so you can stick with it.