The Absolute Best Kettlebell Workouts For Men To Get Shredded - Boxlife (2023)

Kettlebells are incredible training tools. The versatility, unique exercises and effectiveness they deliver is fantastic. When they’re done properly, kettlebell workouts can transform your fitness and physique.

In this article I’m going to teach you how to get the most from your kettlebell workouts. I’ll discuss different types of kettlebell workouts and how to pick the right kettlebell for your workouts. Finally, I’ll leave you with sample workouts for you to get started with.

Your kettlebell game will be going up several gears…

Contents

  • 1 Kettlebell Workouts for Men – The Different Types
    • 1.1 Muscle building kettlebell workouts
    • 1.2 Fat burning kettlebell workout
    • 1.3 Kettlebell circuit workout
  • 2 Selecting the kettlebell for your workouts
    • 2.1 Competition kettlebell
    • 2.2 Regular kettlebell
  • 3 Sample kettlebell workouts for men
    • 3.1 Upper body muscle building kettlebell workout
    • 3.2 Lower body strength building kettlebell workout
    • 3.3 Full body kettlebell circuit workout – advanced kettlebell lifters only
  • 4 Kettlebell Training Tips
    • 4.1 Use great technique
    • 4.2 Mix up exercises
    • 4.3 Combine movements into circuits
  • 5 What to expect from kettlebell training

Kettlebell Workouts for Men – The Different Types

As with lots of other types of gym equipment, there are all kinds of different types of workouts you can do with a kettlebell. Lots of people limit their kettlebell training to kettlebell swings, but there’s so much more you can do .

Here’s a few of the different types of workouts you can do with a kettlebell…

Muscle building kettlebell workouts

Any kind of resistance can be used to build muscle. A kettlebell is no different to a machine, dumbbell or barbell in this regard. In fact, there are advantages that a kettlebell has over some of these other approaches…

  • It’s far easier and safer to do ballistic exercise with a kettlebell than a resistance machine
  • You can do an entire exercise routine with just a single kettlebell – you can’t do that with a machine
  • You can get kettlebells in a huge range of weights
  • There’s a massive exercise repertoire available with kettlebells, including some specific kettlebell movements such as swings
  • You can do all the functional strength exercises you can do with other approaches, and add others to boot
  • Kettlebells are unilateral exercises, so they iron out any muscle imbalances

For the most part I don’t like to say one exercise approach is better than others, because they’ve all got their place. The point here though is that you can do some excellent muscle building workouts with a kettlebell.

Fat burning kettlebell workout

When it comes to fat burning workouts, kettlebells are fantastic. The fact that you can do such a wide variety of exercises with a single item lends itself brilliantly to fat loss. A whole body workout can be achieved with a handful of kettlebell movements. This transforms your fitness levels and burns huge amounts of calories.

It has been known for years that high intensity resistance training is an effective weight loss strategy when paired with a sensible diet. One of the best pieces of equipment for high intensity training is a kettlebell.

The effects of the training on carbohydrate metabolism and fat metabolism are well known by now.

Kettlebell circuit workout

A circuit workout is where several exercises are performed back to back without rest. This is known as a ‘circuit’. Once a set of the exercises has been completed, you can take a short rest break.

You can complete multiple circuits in the workout.

The beauty of using kettlebells for a circuit workout is that you don’t need to change equipment all the time, so it makes transitions between exercises seamless. Each kettlebell exercise you do will have different target muscles, so you’d end up training your entire body in a limited amount of workout time.

Depending on the type of exercise and the amount of weight used, you could use circuit training to create different exercise adaptations. Your kettlebell circuit workout could have a muscle building, aerobic capacity or weight loss goal.

(Video) ULTIMATE FULL BODY KETTLEBELL WORKOUT | (Beginners and Advanced)

Selecting the kettlebell for your workouts

The Absolute Best Kettlebell Workouts For Men To Get Shredded - Boxlife (1)

There are two types of kettlebell that are worth using – a competition kettlebell and a cast iron kettlebell. They come in a range of weights. Based on my experience, here’s how I would suggest you think of them…

Men

  • Light kettlebells: 6-16 KG (13-35 LB)
  • Medium weight kettlebells: 18-28 KG (40-62 LB)
  • Heavy kettlebells: 28 KG + (62 LB+)

Women

  • Light kettlebells: 3-8 KG (6.5-17.6 LB)
  • Medium weight kettlebells: 8-16 KG (17.6-35 LB)
  • Heavy kettlebells: 16 KG + (35 LBs)

This is just a guide of course – you might find these to be wrong depending on your experience of kettlebell training.

Competition kettlebell

Competition kettlebells are a uniform size with a narrow handle, designed to be used with chalk. The handle is the same width as the bell. The competition kettlebell is the same size regardless of the weight used, and is made from steel rather than iron.

Regular kettlebell

A cast iron kettlebell has a wide, thicker handle and isn’t uniform size – the heavier the kettlebell, the larger it is. Standard kettlebells are made from iron and often wrapped in a protective coating. As a general rule, most gyms will have cast iron kettlebells based on price.

Sample kettlebell workouts for men

The Absolute Best Kettlebell Workouts For Men To Get Shredded - Boxlife (2)

Upper body muscle building kettlebell workout

A kettlebell lends itself well to upper body muscle building – you can replicate all of the major compound lifts… presses, rows, cleans etc. As well as this you can do kettlebell specific movements such as swings.

Here’s a great upper body muscle building kettlebell workout…

Beginners, perform 3 sets of 10. Intermediates, 4 sets of 10 and advanced kettlebell trainers can go for 5 or more of 10.

Maintain a high level of intensity, keeping rest periods as short as possible. These are all effective movements as long as the weight is sufficiently hard…

Incline Kettlebell Bench Press

Dual Kettlebell Bent Over Row

How to do a Kettlebell Overhead Press

The American Kettlebell Swing | Exercise Tutorial

Kettlebell Sumo Deadlift High Pull

Dual Kettlebell Shrug

(Video) 10 Best Kettlebell Exercises for Beginners | John Wolf

These upper body exercises train the entire upper body and they’re suitable for all levels of ability. As a reminder, beginners, perform 3 sets of 10. Intermediates, 4 sets of 10 and advanced kettlebell trainers can go for 5 or more!

Lower body strength building kettlebell workout

Kettlebell training is great for building leg muscle and strength. Alongside kettlebell swings, you can also use kettlebell lunges and kettlebell squats. These are fantastic exercises for building a strong core, strong legs and improving your physique and athleticism.

Here’s a great lower body workout that’s suitable for all levels. The difference being the more advanced and stronger you are, the heavier the kettlebells you should be using.

There are different rep ranges for the exercises here, so pay attention to the title descriptions.

Kettlebell Goblet Squat 4 x 15

Kettlebell Swing 4 x 25

Kettlebell Bulgarian Split Squat 4 x 10 (per side)

Kettlebell Single Leg Deadlift 4 x 10 (per side)

Kettlebell Russian Twists 3 x 10

This lower body strength building kettlebell workout will challenge your legs, glutes, core, lower back and forearms. It’s a true examination of your core musculature as well as your legs, so keep your core tight with every one of these exercises.

Your ability and strength will determine the weight of the kettlebell you use. If you’re strong, use a heavier weight. Take a minute of rest between sets.

(Video) 30 Mins Kettlebell Full Body | Build Muscle | One Kettlebell Only

Full body kettlebell circuit workout – advanced kettlebell lifters only

This workout is a chance to link together various aspects of training. These are challenging movements, designed for experienced kettlebell users.

It’s a high intensity workout, where you need to have plenty of exercise experience in order to cope. You’ll work on conditioning training, explosive movement training, core strength, ballistic full body exercises and complex movements in one workout.

We’ll use kettlebells to mimic some of the conventional weightlifting movements, and enjoy the many health benefits of these effective exercises.

This is a circuit training workout, so the plan is to perform a set of each one. You then rest for a given amount of time – my suggestion is 60 – 120 seconds. Long enough to recover, but short enough to maintain exercise intensity.

Perform as many rounds as you can either within a time window, or to a certain target. Doing it this way means you’ll enjoy a cardio workout and a strength workout in one. These are mostly full body compound movements to make the workout efficient.

There are different rep ranges for the exercises here, so pay attention to the title descriptions…

Kettlebell clean and press x 10 (per side)

Kettlebell snatch x 12 (per side)

Single arm kettlebell high pull x 15 (per side)

Kettlebell thrusters x 10

Kettlebell step ups x 12 (per side)

(Video) The Ultimate Kettlebell Workout (Kettlebell Khaos)

Kettlebell push ups x 15

If you perform these exercises with intensity and purpose, you’ll enjoy incredible results despite the simplicity of the programming. This kind of workout really highlights the versatility of the kettlebell. It reminds us that in a world of increasing technology, sometimes simplicity still wins.

Kettlebell Training Tips

The Absolute Best Kettlebell Workouts For Men To Get Shredded - Boxlife (3)

Here’s a few basic tips to help you get the most from your kettlebell training…

Use great technique

Kettlebells are incredible and can actually help improve injury symptoms in some cases. However, like any exercise approach there is an inherent risk involved. To minimize these risks you should execute each movement with the best technique you can.

That may mean keeping your ego in check and reducing the weights you lift. If it saves your back, it’s worth it. Always practise your technique with lighter weights. As and when you’re confident your technique is great, increase them.

If you’re really struggling, get yourself a coach to help teach you.

Mix up exercises

To quote Glassman… ‘Routine is the enemy’. I have fun with kettlebells by doing different exercises. Experiment with them – try different rep ranges. Different weights. Go for time rather than reps. Add exercises into a complex.

Not only will you enjoy your training and learn new, more adventurous exercises, you’ll benefit your fitness too. Your strength training routines will improve, your core muscles will be activated more, your legs will be challenged differently.

Keep your body guessing and keep your training interesting.

Combine movements into circuits

The beauty of kettlebell training is that there aren’t any rules. You can combine exercises you like into a circuit. Mix kettlebell exercises with bodyweight exercises. Throw in cardio elements too.

Switch up intensity, durations and techniques.

Not only is circuit training effective for a myriad of fitness goals, it’s also super efficient. You can throw together a 15 minute circuit, 20 minute circuit, a HIIT workout etc. The best kettlebell workout makes for fun exercise.

If you’re enjoying what you’re doing, you’re going to want to do more of it. When it comes to fitness, that’s rarely a bad thing!

What to expect from kettlebell training

If you’re new to kettlebell training, you’re about to enter a whole new world of exercise variety! You’ll be able to experience a new type of muscle strength and complete entire exercise sessions with a single item.

Physically, you’ll change too. You’ll be strengthening the posterior chain (muscles that run up the back of your body) effectively. This will translate into excellent force production benefits. You’ll do a lot of eccentric (where the muscle lengthens) training too.

(Video) Kettlebell Workout for Muscle Growth and Fat Loss

You’ll develop a great understanding of your biomechanics. How your body moves, how to generate force and how power development works. You’ll strengthen your core, strengthen your lower back and strengthen your glutes.

I realize I’m making kettlebell workouts sound amazing… and I make no apology for that, because they are.

Follow the advice in this article and enjoy adding kettlebells to your training arsenal!

FAQs

Can you get shredded only from kettlebells? ›

Kettlebells offer a quick way to get a ripped physique, depending on your commitment. While kettlebells are available at most gyms, if you prefer working out at home, kettlebells don't take up as much room as weight machines, dumbbells or free weights.

Can you get a six pack with a kettlebell? ›

And even today, both male and female gym enthusiasts tend to use this film as a benchmark of fitness, especially when it comes to achieving the perfect six-pack. The good news is that you can still craft a Spartan six-pack at home using one-piece of equipment: the kettlebell.

Can you build a good physique with kettlebells? ›

While kettlebell training is undoubtedly complementary to strength & conditioning, functional movement practice, and losing fat, it is also a fantastic modality for building muscle. With kettlebells, you can build muscle and put on some serious lean mass if you know what you are doing.

What does 100 kettlebell swings a day do? ›

100 kettlebell swings a day improves your posture, reduces back pain, promotes health testosterone and growth hormone levels, and builds a habit of movement and fitness into your daily lives.

What kind of physique will kettlebells give you? ›

Short Answer: Kettlebell use will cause your forearms to be visibly stronger, upper arms and shoulders toned and more defined as fat is lost, legs and rear tighter and more shapely, posture will improve. You will appear (and be) balanced, stronger and more graceful with a general air of healthy athleticism.

How quickly do you see results from kettlebells? ›

How quickly do you see results from kettlebells? With a good diet and a sensible kettlebell training program you will start to see cardio, strength, muscle and fat loss improvements within 30 days.

Can you get jacked with kettlebells? ›

If you want to build more muscle and get a muscular physique faster, start using kettlebells. You'll not only generate more power, build lean muscle, and boost your metabolism, but you'll also improve your balance and stability.

Is it OK to do kettlebells everyday? ›

It is possible to use kettlebells everyday but it will depend on the intensity of the workouts, your current experience and how quickly you recover from the workout. The kettlebell swing is one exercise that you may be able to perform daily.

Do kettlebell swings increase testosterone? ›

And the kettlebell swing promotes a positive hormonal response that takes fat-burning even further. Increasing testosterone and growth hormone levels has been shown to help with fat loss. It also increases muscle mass and energy.

Which kettlebell exercise works the most muscles? ›

Kettlebell swings are one of the most effective kettlebell exercises for building muscle. They work your core, glutes, and legs all at once, making them a great choice for anyone looking to get stronger and build muscle. To do kettlebell swings, start by holding the kettlebell with both hands.

Can you build a big chest with kettlebells? ›

ARE KETTLEBELLS EFFECTIVE FOR TRAINING CHEST? Yes, kettlebells can be just as effective as other free weight equipment like dumbbells and barbells for building muscle and strength in your chest.

How many times a week should I do kettlebells? ›

Kettlebell Training is intense. Most exercises use the whole body and over 600 muscles at a time. Workouts should be kept short and repeated often. So a regular schedule may include a 10 – 15 minute workout 3-5 times per week.

What happens if you do 50 kettlebell swings a day? ›

While 50 swings may not seem like much, you'd be surprised how much a difference this simple act can have in positively impacting your work capacity, grip & core strength, swing technique, body composition, and more.

How heavy should my kettlebell be? ›

To attain balance and coordination, the recommended kettlebell sizes are: Kettlebells between 18lbs (8kg) and 26lbs (12kg) for women. Kettlebells between 26lbs (12kg) and 44lbs (20kg) for men.

How many kettlebell swings equal a mile? ›

This means that it takes approx 2112 steps to cover a mile. Now imagine swinging a kettlebell each and every time you take a step. That's a total of 2000 swings to be done as you walk.

What are kettlebells not good for? ›

Along with benefits, kettlebells have some risks. One is obvious: dropping the weight on your foot (nothing a goddess would do, but I might by accident). Other pitfalls: lifting too much too soon or lifting a kettlebell the wrong way can lead to muscle strains, rotator cuff tears, and falls.

What are some disadvantages to using kettlebells? ›

Cons of Kettlebell Training

If you are not aware of your body and how to switch muscles on and off, then exercising with kettlebells can easily lead to injury. A person with back pain should also be very careful when starting off with kettlebells if you don't have the right technique you are likely to do more damage.

Is kettlebell better than gym? ›

Kettlebell training builds powerful forearms and a strong grip. Kettlebells possess a thicker handle than their barbell and dumbbell counterparts taxing your grip and developing greater forearm strength. As our society continues to move away from manual labor our grip strength continues to decrease as well.

Is 3 months enough to get shredded? ›

Contrary to what you might see on social media or hear from your buddy at the gym, most people won't be able to get significantly ripped in three months. You can lose a few pounds of fat and/or gain a few pounds of muscle in that time, but three months is too short of a time frame to see drastic results.

How do Hollywood actors get ripped so fast? ›

Here are a few things you tend to see in common: Eating a lot more food. Taking protein shakes (here are three I recommend: Isopure, Beef Protein Isolate, Vega Chocolate Protein Powder ) Lifting weights (Here are 25 lb hex dumbbells I use, a 40lb adjustable dumbbell set, and a 16kg kettlebell to get started)

What is the 7 day shred? ›

Unlike extreme methods, our 7-Day Shred is a nutrition and cardio plan similar to what a bodybuilder or physique competitor would use to achieve peak condition before a contest. It will give your muscles a hard and dry look without sacrificing your health in the process.

How shredded can you get in 10 days? ›

It's almost impossible to lose more than 3-5 pounds of pure fat in 10 days—even on the most extreme diets. So don't kid yourself into thinking you've lost 10-plus pounds of fat once this diet is over.

How many reps should I do with kettlebells? ›

8 – 12 reps = Muscle Development (Hypertrophy)

For many popular kettlebell workouts you will be working within this rep range. A classic lifting format is 10 reps x 3 – 5 sets. Rest between sets will be around 60 – 90 seconds each.

Do kettlebells tone your stomach? ›

Kettlebell exercises are excellent for intense full-body workouts, to build strength and muscle tone, burn calories and help you get rid of your belly fat.

What muscles do kettlebells miss? ›

Kettlebell swings work throughout the body, from your arm, and shoulders to your chest, abs, hips, quads, and hamstrings. But their main specialty is actually the part often neglected the most during workouts – your upper back muscles.

Do kettlebells make you stronger than weights? ›

One study showed that, compared to dynamic moves with kettlebells, basic weightlifting exercises (think power cleans and squats) led to significantly greater improvements in strength over a six-week period. Effects of weightlifting vs. kettlebell training on vertical jump, strength, and body composition.

Can you get in shape with only kettlebells? ›

Kettlebells give your entire body a workout

You're building muscle, increasing power endurance, and getting lean all at once. By bridging the gap between cardio and strength training, your overall physical fitness levels will skyrocket, getting you to the best shape of your life.

Is kettlebell better than cardio? ›

To incinerate your cheat meal faster, skip the treadmill and exercise bike: A 12-minute kettlebell circuit burns more calories than doing all-out cardio for the same length of time, a Southeastern Louisiana University study found.

What happens if you only do kettlebell swings? ›

Kettlebell swings have a plethora of benefits, such as improved cardiovascular fitness, strength, and power. They're also a high intensity yet low impact workout that can burn a ton of calories in a short period of time, making them convenient for anyone with a busy schedule.

Do you need rest days with kettlebells? ›

If you're getting a little winded, that's okay: rest if you need to, but only as needed. Try to keep with the circuit as much as you can. But remember that this active recovery is all about going light while training your body to be able to go harder, so listen to your body first and foremost.

What exercise releases the most testosterone? ›

“Research has shown that lifting heavier weights is the best form of exercise to boost testosterone,” says Dr. Jadick. “As muscle mass increases, it will trigger the body to produce more testosterone.”

What lifts produce the most testosterone? ›

Use compound movements, such as squats, rows, and chest presses. These use multiple muscle groups and stimulate testosterone release more than isolation movements. Lift heavy weights that fatigue you in less than 12 reps and perform at least three sets.

Which activities increase testosterone the most? ›

Lifting heavy weights with a high volume will increase testosterone the most. Exercises include compound movements like squats, deadlifts, bench press, push press, and shoulder press. Also high intensity interval training (HIIT) is excellent for testosterone.

What kettlebell does Joe Rogan use? ›

Onnit 6 - Kettlebell (Digital)

Is a 30 minute kettlebell workout enough? ›

The kettlebell minimum effective dose is designed for busy people like you. The objectives are simple. 20-30 minutes twice a week is all you'll need. And if you own a kettlebell, you don't even need to leave the house.

Do kettlebells give you big arms? ›

You can very easily build big arms with kettlebells. This school weights will spur growth in your biceps and triceps by curling and pressing kettlebells instead of bars.

What happens if you do 100 kettlebell swings a day? ›

100 kettlebell swings a day improves your posture, reduces back pain, promotes health testosterone and growth hormone levels, and builds a habit of movement and fitness into your daily lives.

Can you work every muscle with a kettlebell? ›

Kettlebells are an extremely versatile piece of equipment that allow you to work every muscle group.

Can you get big with just kettlebells? ›

Kettlebells are an amazing tool for building strength, power, muscular endurance, and cardiovascular fitness. However, a kettlebell is a submaximal load that is meant for increasing your strength-endurance and power, not necessarily building bulk and size.

Are kettlebells alone enough? ›

The kettlebell swing alone strengthens every muscle in your body and may be the ultimate minimalist functional training strength exercise. Just one exercise, let's say 100 kettlebell swings can help you build impressive strength and conditioning.

Can you do full workout with just a kettlebell? ›

Any exercise you can do with a dumbbell, you can probably do with a kettlebell too. Kettlebell variations distribute the weight differently and allow you to work through slightly different ranges of motion. In short, this means they offer a somewhat different challenge to doing the same exercise with a dumbbell.

Can you get shredded with just weights? ›

There's no overnight solution to get ripped, but with the right fitness plan, you can tighten and strengthen every muscle in your body using only dumbbells. The key to success is following a strict workout schedule and allowing your body to rest between workouts.

Can you get jacked from kettlebells? ›

If you want to build more muscle and get a muscular physique faster, start using kettlebells. You'll not only generate more power, build lean muscle, and boost your metabolism, but you'll also improve your balance and stability.

What weight kettlebell should a man use? ›

An average, active man should start with a kettlebell between 8 kg - 18 lb and 12 kg - 26 lb. Athletic men should start with a kettlebell between 12 kg - 26 lb and 20 kg - 44 lb. Out of shape, inactive men should try an 8 kg - 18 lb kettlebell.

Is a 20 minute kettlebell workout enough? ›

20-30 minutes twice a week is all you'll need. And if you own a kettlebell, you don't even need to leave the house.

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