Kettlebell workouts are among the most popular workouts in the US for burning fat right now.
But did you know that many, if not most people fail to see the success they desire?
It’s true and it’s all because they don’t know this “Secret Strategy” in their kettlebell workouts.
But before I reveal what this “secret strategy” is, let’s look at some common mistakes that keep people who are doing kettlebell workouts from losing fat.
Mistake #1: Using the kettlebell like a dumbbell.
This is the dumbest mistake going. It shows that there is a fundamental lack of understanding of how to use the kettlebell and it’s benefits. Why not just use the dumbbell? Seriously.
Why Not Just Use Dumbbells...?
Mistake #2: Using “traditional” set and rep schemes.
By traditional set and rep schemes, I mean 2×12, 3×15 – schemes like that. The truth is, the very nature of some of the kettlebell exercises, such as the Swing, Clean, and Snatch, allows you to do A TON more work than that. And that’s one of the keys to making progress – more work.
Mistake #3: Using the wrong sized kettlebell.
Nothing drives me crazier than seeing “Smiling Suzie Spandex” on TV holding her 4 pound kettlebell and twirling it around her head. I mean, why bother?
Here’s the the Truth:Properly designed kettlebell workouts allow you to use kettlebells that are heavier than you imagined you could use.
It is not uncommon for women to start with 18lbs and work up to routinely using 35lbs plus! (I actually have a female client who routinely uses 35lbs – 53lbs for ALL of her kettlebell exercises – and she still retains her femininity!)
This is a VERY IMPORTANT concept for you, as a woman to grasp. See, you’ve been indoctrinated – LIED TO – that you need to work out completely differently from a man – that you need to use lighter weights in order to prevent you from becoming “big and bulky.”*
If you only take one thing away from this article – I want it to be this: That is a Damnable Lie!
And worse yet, it’s been perpetuated on you by hucksters and scam artists that just want your money!
Here’s More Truth: You need to be strong in order to burn calories. The stronger you are, the more calories you can burn because you can do more work, and the more fat you can lose.
Alright, enough of the most common mistakes people make with their kettlebell workouts and enough ranting – let’s get on to the “secret strategy.”
Here it is:
To burn as much fat as possible, do as much work as possible during your kettlebell workouts in as short a time frame as possible.
Let’s break it down.
In order to do as much work as possible, you must have great technique with your kettlebell exercises. This means you have to have practiced the basics.
In order to do as much work as possible, you must select the correct exercises – the ones that allow you to do a ton of work per unit of time. Examples are the kettlebell Swing and the kettlebell Snatch.
In order to do as much work as possible, you must use the appropriate sized kettlebell – one that’s “just right” – not too light an not too heavy. This is one that will allow you to perform at least 30 seconds of work per set.
In order to do as much work as possible, your kettlebell workouts must have a definitive duration. They don’t necessarily have to be long – 20-30 minutes will work, but they must have a pre-determined start and finish time.
And finally, the Top Tactic to use in this Secret Strategy for fat loss is the Interval Method, during your definitive duration. Select specified work periods, like 30 seconds and alternate them with specific rest periods, say, 30 seconds. Do this for your specified time period.
For example, 2 hand Swings for 20 minutes – doing as many Swings as possible in 30 seconds and resting for 30 seconds. (Don’t overlook that – I just gave you one of the very best fat burning kettlebell workouts!)
So there you have it – not only do you have the “Secret Strategy” for burning gobs of fat with your kettlebell workouts, but also one of the Top Tactics as well.
The kettlebell is becoming a very popular tool for fat loss both in homes and gyms all around the country.
And for very good reason – the kettlebell is arguably the best tool for rapid fat loss.
Yup – I know what you’re thinking – that just can’t be possible.
“A kettlebell is just a cannonball with a handle on it – how can that help me rapidly strip away my unwanted body fat?”
Here are the top 3 reasons your kettlebell will help you peel off that nasty ol’ muffin top.
1. The Kettlebell Is Convenient.
You know what one of the determining factors is for you rapidly getting rid of your unwanted body fat?
Let’s face it, after a long, tough day at the office putting up with your boss’s nonsense, 9 times out of 10 you just don’t have the energy to drive to the gym and do one of those long, drawn out workouts – you know the ones I mean – 45 minutes of weight training followed by 30-45 minutes of cardio. Then you’ve gotta slug home and find the energy to make something healthy to eat.
Heck, you know it and I know it – it’s much easier to hit the drive-thu on the way home and pick up something for you and the family than it is to go home and make something. So you end up eating a bunch of convenient junk and sabotage the workout you just did.
The kettlebell is the solution to your problem. You can use it from the convenience of your home in as little as 10 minutes a day. You read that correctly – 10 minutes a day.
You see, the kettlebell is portable which means you can use it anywhere – your basement, your living room, your bedroom, in your backyard – anywhere. And kettlebell exercises are so easy to do that you don’t need a lot of space – you can do most of them just standing still.
In fact, a properly designed kettlebell workout will allow you to work out in the comfort of your own home in as little as a 6×4 foot square space!
So not only are kettlebell workouts convenient, they’re time and space efficient too!
2. The Kettlebell Helps You Remain Compliant.
Other than convenience and ease of use, compliance, or lack thereof, is one of the main reasons people fail to lose the weight they so desperately want to see come off. If an activity is too inconvenient, too time-consuming, or too difficult, the chances are you’re not going to stick with it.
And that’s the problem with most conventional weight loss workouts. But that’s not the case with properly designed kettlebell workouts – they’re convenient, time-efficient, and challenging and fun!
This means you can use your kettlebell from the comfort of your own home, performing kettlebell exercises that focus on all your “trouble areas” and still have plenty of time and energy left over to make and eat dinner with your family, have the energy to engage your spouse, and actually feel relaxed instead of exhausted at the end of the day.
So now you have set yourself up for success – you’re working out at home which is actually convenient for you, instead of someone else (i.e. going to someone else’s health club). Your new kettlebell workouts don’t eat into your family or personal time and are actually fun, which makes them that much easier to do and keep on doing.
3. The Kettlebell Is Cost-Effective.
According to a recent CNBC article, the average gym membership in 2008 cost between $40-$50 per month. Now consider that the fitness industry has a retention rate of 18%. This means that 82% of people who buy gym memberships stop using them but keep paying for them. This means that if you bought a gym membership in January there’s an 82% chance that you would not only stop using it, but, according to your membership contract, you’d still be paying, or in this case – wasting $40-$50 per month. That’s $480-$600 per year you could save!
That’s just a waste of money!
You can go to your local sporting goods store or shop online and get a kettlebell for around $40-$50 – the same cost of one month’s membership at your local health club (and save on the “initiation fee”).
Then you can put the extra savings toward something you love – perhaps a small weekend trip away for you and your spouse or significant other, or new (smaller) clothes, or, well, you know what you’d spend it on!
Here’s the bottom line -
Working out with your kettlebell at home saves you not only time, but also money.
Of course, there are plenty of other reasons why the kettlebell is the best tool for rapid fat loss, but all of those are irrelevant if you can see the practical points of using it – Convenience, compliance, and cost-effectiveness.
Kettlebell workouts are becoming wildly popular today. They’re everywhere from your local Target to NBC’s, “The Biggest Loser.” But what kind of results are people seeing?
I guess that depends on the kettlebell routine. Some are hit, and some are miss. Here’s what you absolutely must know about kettlebell workouts in order to burn fat.
Kettlebell Workouts – 3 Necessary Principles Of Fat Burning
When you search for kettlebell workouts on the internet, you’ll never know what you may find. Many kettlebell workouts look like they’re just thrown together haphazardly, with little or no purpose other than to get “a workout in.”
When your using kettlebell exercises to burn fat (and to a certain extent – any exercises), you need to pick not only the correct exercises, but also the correct set up, or loading parameters for those exercises.
Here are the three things you must do with your kettlebell workout routines in order to burn maximum calories, and therefore, fat.
1. Lift Heavy (for you)
2. Lift Explosively
3. Manage Fatigue
Now before any of those ideas scare you, let’s take a closer look at “why” these are the best methods to incorporate into our kettlebell workouts.
3 Kettlebell Workouts Secrets Stolen From Elite Athletes
When we look into the world of elite athletes, we see that they are lean, muscular, and strong. (Not the endurance ones like marathoners – they’re skinny and weak.) These athletes have very little if any belly fat, leg fat, or chest fat. Their bodies look and work the way they’re designed to and coincidentally are the way we want ours to look and feel.
Secret #1: Lift Heavy.
The first thing you need to know about these athletes, is that they train for strength in order to make their performance in their sporting events better.
Because training for strength allows you to do more work. And for athletes, more work means running faster, or lifting heavier weights, or jumping higher.
And the way you train for strength is to lift heavy – or heavy for you. Take a look at elite middleweight powerlifters, weightlifters, and even track and field athletes. All of them are strong AND lean.
Getting stronger, especially with kettlebells, means that you can ultimately do more work.
And doing more work means you will burn more calories. And burning more calories means you’re burning more fat.
So that’s one reason to lift heavy kettlebells.
The second is even cooler – lifting heavy targets very specific parts of your muscles that use a ton of energy. These are called Type 2 muscle fibers. And they are only activated when you lift heavy.
So by actually lifting heavy, you are burning more calories than when you lift lighter weights.
But it gets even better than that!
Third, When you lift heavy, not only do you use the energy-gulping Type 2 muscle fibers, but you are also using the rest of the muscles in your body a lot more. That’s because these muscles have to stabilize your body to keep it from bending or twisting in the wrong way.
In essence it’s almost like you’re using twice the amount of energy you would with lighter kettlebells.
And the really cool thing about using kettlebell routines that incorporate heavy lifting, is that the kettlebell itself makes your body work harder, due to it’s offset handle. This makes those stabilizer muscles work harder than if you used a dumbbell or any other piece of exercise equipment.
So, by lifting heavy kettlebells to burn fat you are making all the muscles in your body work harder than they normally would using any other piece of equipment. And that means you’re going to burn more calories – calories that will come from your stomach fat, your leg fat, and all the other fat on your body.
Secret #2: Lift Explosively.
Here’s another little secret that virtually no one knows – elite athletes move explosively, or at least as fast as they can.
On the surface, that seems kind of a strange thing to say, but the athlete who can move the fastest, more often than not wins.
And moving fast requires producing a lot of power. And the best way to produce a lot of power is by moving explosively. And producing a lot of power requires a lot of energy - energy that comes from calories stored as fat on your body.
Unfortunately, the only way to lift explosively with conventional exercises and routines is to sprint, jump and throw medicine balls around or learn the Olympic lifts. For many, those options are impractical at least, and dangerous at worst.
Kettlebell training allows you to train explosively without having to overcome those impractical options, by incorporating specific explosive kettlebell exercises (called ballistics) like the Kettlebell Swing and the Kettlebell Snatch into your routine. And by using these explosive kettlebell exercises, you can perform literally hundreds of explosive fat-burning repetitions each week, literally melting the fat off your body.
But it gets even better that that.
Not only does lifting explosively help you burn more calories, but it also lets you eat more carbs than normal because your muscle cells become more sensitive to the powerful storage hormone, insulin.
This means you can eat more of your favorite foods and still lose body fat!
There’s one more secret that when combined with kettlebell training will help you burn maximum amounts of fat…
Secret #3: Manage Fatigue
If most people don’t know about lifting explosively, I’d say 99% of all people working out to lose fat miss this secret.
The key is to learn how to manage your fatigue levels. See, when you (your muscles) get tired, they can’t contract as hard, which means they can’t produce as much force. And when they can’t produce as much force, you’re not using as much energy as you were before.
This of course then means you’re not burning as many calories, and therefore fat, as before.
So, the best kettlebell workouts will be structured in such a way as to allow you to lift heavy, and lift explosively, and therefore burn a ton of calories (fat) without killing you each and every set.
Now that we’ve seen how to structure your kettlebell workout routines, what are some of the best exercises to include in your fat-burning kettlebell workouts?
Best Kettlebell Exercises To Include In Your Kettlebell Workouts
Every kettlebell workout designed to burn fat should include at least one, if not most of these kettlebell exercises.
The Kettlebell Swing
The Kettlebell Swing is the most basic and foundational of all the kettlebell exercises. It works your legs, your hips, your abs, your arms, and your grip, especially when you go heavy. You should spend a lot of time working with the Kettlebell Swing to help refine your technique on the other kettlebell exercises. It should be the foundation of your kettlebell routine when you first start out, and probably a long while after that.
Here’s a video:
The Get Up / Turkish Get Up
The Get Up is another fundamental kettlebell exercise. It teaches you how to move your body under your arm and is great for shoulder rehab. Not only that, but it’s good for teaching you how to lock your hips to your torso by way of your abs (core).
Here’s a video:
The Kettlebell Clean
The Kettlebell Clean is one of the kettlebell exercises that’s often overlooked. Primarily you can think of it as the “delivery system” to get your kettlebell to your shoulder so you can Press or Squat. But it can be so much more than that. It’s a really good exercise to put some muscle on your arms if you’re a guy or tone them up if you’re a girl.
Here’s a video:
The Kettlebell Press
The Kettlebell Press is one of THE best upper body strength exercises. It strengthens all the muscles around your shoulders, including your chest, upper back, lats, and arms – both biceps and triceps. And when you perform it correctly, with your shoulder packed, it really works your lats hard, taking the strain off the shoulder joint and transferring it to the muscles.
The Kettlebell Press does this more so than any other form of pressing that I’m aware of, and that’s due to the shape of the kettlebell, with its offset handle. It pulls the shoulder down into the socket and makes the lat work harder than with dumbbells or barbells.
Here’s a video:
The Kettlebell Snatch
The Kettlebell Snatch is often called “The Tsar (King) of Kettlebell Lifts” because of it’s technical requirements and the phenomenal results it produces. It works the entire body, especially your hips, abs, shoulders, upper back, arms, and grip. And when you perform it for enough reps, it literally melts the fat from your body.
Here’s a video:
The Goblet Squat
The Goblet Squat is the fastest, easiest way for anyone to learn how to squat. It will literally having you squatting almost butt-to-heels in minutes. It’s also a fantastic mobility drill for the hips, ankles, and knees. More mobility in the lower body is absolutely a must in order to burn more fat. More mobility = more muscles used = more energy used = more calories burned = more fat lost. The Goblet Squat will get you there.
Here’s a video:
The Kettlebell Front Squat
The Kettlebell Front Squat is a step up from the Goblet Squat. You hold the kettlebell in the “rack” position – a combination of your upper arm, shoulder, and chest – and then squat. Because the kettlebell is off-center and only on one side, this makes your abs work overtime. Again, creating that demand for stability we talked about earlier that burns extra calories.
Any time you work your legs, you’re going to burn more calories, especially in the Kettlebell Front Squat.
Here’s a video:
Putting Your Kettlebell Workouts Into A Routine
At this point you’re probably wondering how you put these kettlebell exercises into a routine.
Here’s what I recommend:
Pick a time and a place you can do your kettlebell workouts on a consistent basis. Consistency trumps intensity.
Pick the number of days you can commit to your kettlebell workouts. 3 days a week, every other day is usually best.
Pick the length of time you can commit to working out on each day. 45 minutes is about right. More is not necessary.
Pick 3 to 5 kettlebell exercises to do each workout.
Train your technique first on each exercise, then push the “workout” mentality later on.
Here are some frequently asked questions that I’ve had to answer, so I thought I’d just put them here.
What are the best kettlebell workouts for women?
Most kettlebell workouts for women are no different, or shouldn’t be much different than kettlebell workouts for men. They should all include the basic exercises, such as the Kettlebell Swing and the Kettlebell Press to work the lower and upper body respectively.
Since women have weaker upper bodies then men, women should incorporate more direct strength work in their kettlebell routines for their upper body.
And finally, the only difference I would suggest in kettlebell workout routines among women is for women who have just had a baby. They should focus on getting their pelvic floor, abdominals, and gluts working again before taking on any aggressive kettlebell training.
What are the best kettlebell workout routines for weight loss?
The best kettlebell workout routines for weight loss are principle based – like the 3 mentioned in this article. Here’s one that lots of people have done with great success.
Should you learn from kettlebell exercise videos?
You most certainly can learn all the kettlebell exercises from specific kettlebell videos. But not all are created equal. There’s a ton of crap on the market. Look for one by a certified kettlebell instructor – an RKC.
Here’s a good kettlebell video for beginners.
Are there any advanced kettlebell exercises that burn fat faster than the ones you listed here?
There are a ton of advanced kettlebell exercises that burn fat faster than the ones shown here – they usually just the ones listed here but you do them with two kettlebells – holding one in each hand. This makes it much more challenging. And you’ll burn a ton more calories. Hence the label “advanced.”
Should I learn how to do kettlebell exercises from a certified kettlebell instructor and if so, who do you recommend?
Finding and working with a certified kettlebell instructor – and RKC – is your best bet. I used kettlebells for 3 years on my own, just working from video. I didn’t really “get it” until 2005 when I went to the RKC – The Russian Kettlebell Challenge – a kettlebell certification course in 2005
Other Kettlebell Workouts Resources:
If you’re looking for the best kettlebell workouts for burning fat, get Kettlebell Burn.
It uses all the secrets elite athletes do to look the way they look. The only difference is that you can look that way without ever leaving the comfort of your own home.
It’s a rainy one here. Nice and cool. Makes for a nice change from the 100 degree temperatures we had earlier this summer.
Funny, when it’s too hot, we want the rain.
And when it’s too rainy, we want the sun.
The problem is the word “too” – it means different things to different people.
Our kettlebell workouts are like that too.
What’s too hard for one person may be too hard for another.
And that’s where the “Missing Workout Ingredient” comes into play.
What is it?
This isn’t what you think – so hear me out.
Just like we need rest from the sun – rain – and rest from the rain – sun, we also need to factor in REST into our workouts.
Most of us like to see how much work we can do.
Me especially. I’m a work-a-holic.
But more work doesn’t necessarily mean you’re more productive – that you see more results.
It only means you did more work.
With our workouts – the KEY to seeing success – i.e. RESULTS – is to remember the following:
“It’s not how much work you do, it’s how much you can recover from.”
For example, number 1 son has found his stride with his sleep schedule – he made it all the way through the night without waking up and has woken up between 530 and 6am the last 3 mornings.
As a result – both his Mom and I took two massive naps this weekend.
Mommy has started losing weight again, with virtually no change in eating habits. (Literally 5 pounds in the space of a week.)
I asked her what she thought it was and she said it was sleep – being able to get enough sleep – i.e., REST.
How’s that work?
Well did you know that scientific studies into sleep have revealed that we need AT LEAST 7 hours of sleep each night?
I’ve reviewed about a dozen sleep studies on the connection
between lack of sleep and fat loss/gain and here are the
common results of people sleeping less than 7 hours:
- Cortisol levels increased along with overall weight gain
- Increased insulin resistance, making carbohydrate digestion more difficult
- Appetite for sugars increased
- Inhibition regarding food choices decreased – so people were more likely to give into their sugar cravings
Interesting stuff, huh?
How ’bout you?
How much sleep are you getting?
How much rest and recovery are you planning into your kettlebell workout routines?
If you’ve stopped seeing the results you’re looking for you may be a prime candidate for more rest and recovery.
So instead of looking to do more work, see what happens when you do less.
If you’re stressed out and running around ragged cause of your job or your kids, then you only need to we working out 3 days a week.
No more – regardless if they help you with your stress levels or not.
Get more rest and your stress levels will melt away.
So that means either more sleep, or less time working out so your body can recovery.
And that means working out SMART.
And that means using kettlebell programs like these -
These allow you to get your workouts done in an unimaginably short period of time each week leaving you time to de-stress and rest.
So, remember, no rest and recover, no results. At least not the positive ones you’re looking for.
As you know, I believe wholeheartedly in manipulating diet for fat loss.
But sometimes, it’s not the diet that makes the difference.
Like when your life is stressful.
Or really stressful, like an old client of mine, David, who is a Sergeant running a drug enforcement task force.
I haven’t seen him in a couple of years but he just shot me this email I thought you’d get a kick out of -
“Just wanted to drop you a line on my results on just one of your programs in Kettlebell Express. I have been an off and on client of yours over the years but decided to invest in your booklet to see what I could do.
I selected one of your versions of Basic Training in which the RKC 6 were the exercises used. I won’t give the program so you can post this review but it was goblet squats/ Swings, Presses/ Snatches, and Get-ups/Cleans.
I committed for 6 weeks and got great results just in numbers. I started the program at 205 lbs. and finished at 200. And that was without any adjustment to my diet. I used a single 24kg bell. Week one saw 150 total reps of the Goblet Squat/swing pair, 128 total reps of the Press/Snatch pair, and 70 total reps of the Get-up/clean pair.
Week 6 produced 195 reps for Goblets/Swings, 180 reps for Press/Snatch, and 120 reps for Get-ups/Cleans. Needless to say, the volume went way up. Really greased the groove on the six exercises. Saw a noticeable difference in shoulder girdle musculature.
… thanks for what you do!”
This program David’s talking about is only 3 days a week, 20 minutes a day for a total workout time of 60 minutes a week.
Imagine losing 5 pounds without trying, by working out less, even when you’re stressed out.
You can when you, like David, use the programs inside “Kettlebell Express.”
It’s funny now that the Olympics are here how many videos pop up about these athletes’ workouts.They’re standing in a facility with all the latest gadgetry and demonstrating fancy exercises that their training gurus have “designed” for them.The really funny thing is twofold:
1. How atrocious their exercise form is -
Like a video I recently watched with a female Olympian doing push ups while her feet were suspended in a TRX.
She was doing those quarter push ups where the head hangs the elbows are 90 degrees from the body and the only thing moving barely is the head and the elbows.
It’s a wonder these athletes don’t have more injuries than they do. (This one was an “overhead” athlete – lots of hitting.)
2. Just how complicated these “elite workouts” are.
Sure, these are elite athletes. But I’d wager that for 8 out of 10 of them their workouts should be borderline remedial.
“How can you say that – you don’t know…”
Sure I do.
Pavel and I worked with an World Champion NFL Fullback for a summer back in 2008 and increased many of his numbers by simplifying his workouts.
Plus, I coached D-1 College athletes for 4 years. And I can tell you without hesitation that these athletes are great at the skills of their sport, but many lack strength in basic movements.
Elite athletes are great due to hard work and genetics.
They can be made better at what they do by letting them play their sport and then filling in the gaps or holes in their movement.
Not by making their workouts more complex, which is so popular among the “Experts.”
(Interestingly enough, when we trained this running back, he said there were a group of guys on the team who went out to some fancy place and did a bunch of fancy sports-specific exercises. These guys always got injured every year.)
It’s very similar to Bruce Lee’s philosophy on Martial Arts -
Strip away what is useless and only focus on what is helpful.
You and I may not be elite athletes (Who are we kidding - we’re not even close – Ha!) but we can use the same principles in our workouts.
Keep them simple.
Practice a few things well instead of getting caught up in the “variety” trap.
And like elite athletes, make sure you plan in plenty of recovery.
Olympians and other elite athletes have help.
They get massages, daily treatment, whirlpools and the such.
They also get sponsors and stipends from governing bodies to cover expenses. So they don’t have to worry about getting reports in on time or paying their mortgage.
They don’t have the same kind of stress we do.
And we don’t have access to the help that they do.
So we have to make our workouts and recovery different from theirs.
Our workouts should have recovery from our kind of stress programmed in to them.
They should be long enough to get the job done but short enough and simple enough to automatically allow for recovery.
That’s why I created the 49 different simple, but highly effective kettlebell programs for you inside “Kettlebell Express!”
They’re simple enough to get the job done, short enough to allow you to recover, and challenging enough to keep you motivated, satisfied, and most importantly – making progress.
Make like an Olympian and jump on over here to get them:
My name is I'm Geoff Neupert and I've been helping people transform their bodies and lives for the last 17 years. I am a Master RKC Kettlebell Instructor and I want to show you how to transform your life with kettlebells!