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Kettlebell Sessions For All Round Fitness

Updated: Feb 21

A CrossFit athlete completing kettlebell sessions.

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Yes, the rumours are true, kettlebell training is one of the best methods of developing whole-body fitness, burning fat, and building functional strength.

But the benefits of training with what Pavel Tsatsouline calls a ‘cast iron weight which looks like a basketball with a suitcase handle’ don’t stop there. According to the author of The Russian Kettlebell Challenge, other training outcomes include:

  • Superior muscular endurance

  • Improved cardiovascular performance

  • Enhanced proprioceptive sensitivity

  • Improved coordination

  • Cast iron core strength

  • Gorilla-like grip

  • Augmented mental toughness

If you want to bag these benefits, you need to start including the following five kettlebell sessions in your routine. (Or you can fast-track your fitness with this free 6-Week Kettlebell Training Program >)

Kettlebell sessions FAQ

But before we get physical, you might be interested in learning a little more about the ways that kettlebells can improve your health and fitness. In this FAQ, we will see that kettlebell training is an effective method of promoting weight loss.


Also, we will consider some simple ways of using kettlebells. Each FAQ concludes with a link to an article that covers the subject in more detail.

Can you lose weight with kettlebells?

Yes, kettlebells are one of the best (if not the best) pieces of resistance equipment for toning and sculpting lean-defined muscle. For this aesthetic boon, we owe thanks to the dual way in which kettlebells burn fat and build muscle.


Because they are highly functional and activate an array of large muscle groups, kettlebells can stimulate the cardiovascular system while promoting many positive physiological adaptations.


These physiological adaptations, Tsatsouline tells us, include increases in ‘strength endurance,’ ‘general endurance’ and overall ‘work capacity.’ Furthermore, studies have shown that kettlebells can even improve your running performance.


Is kettlebell a good workout?

When someone tells me that they want to improve whole-body fitness, I tell them to start a kettlebell training programme. My reason for advancing this advice is because classic kettlebell movements (snatch, swing, jerk, and long cycle) engage the big muscles of the back and legs. They also recruit many smaller stabiliser muscles.


Fuelling these muscles fires up the cardiovascular system. This induces an intense aerobic workout. (In the Hungry4Fitness book Atomic Kettlebells, I reveal the surprising heart rate increases documented during a simple 30-minute workout.)


Few if any exercise machines offer this blend of physical stimulation. With enough space and the correct weight kettlebell, you would never need to visit a gym again, they are that good. So, if you are serious about improving your fitness go purchase a kettlebell immediately.


Can I train with kettlebells every day?

Yes, of course you can. But I wouldn’t recommend it. Remember the saying ‘you can have too much of a good thing’? Well in the case of kettlebell training, for the fact that it is demanding on the body and most kettlebell exercises engage the same muscle groups, too much will likely result in injury.


It is for this reason that we should implement rest days between kettlebell sessions. This doesn’t mean you couldn’t go out for a run or cycle (swim or row) on your rest days. It merely means leaving your bell alone for a bit and allowing your body to recover.

Kettlebell sessions

Before undertaking the kettlebell sessions, ensure to conduct a thorough warm-up. (For warm-up ideas and methodologies follow the link >)


Also, if you encounter an exercise that you are not familiar with, pay our Exercise Archive Page a visit for tutorials and demonstrations of alternatives.

Kettlebell sessions #1: 500 Swings

This is a snippet of the 10,000 kettlebell swing challenge where, over 20 consecutive days, the competitor aims to perform 500 daily swings. If she (the competitor) successfully sustains this daily diet of swings, she will be amongst a select few individuals who have completed this gruelling challenge.

But before committing to 10,000 reps, try 500 first. The workout process couldn’t be simpler. You’re ascending a repetition ladder. To give the forearms and posterior chain muscles a rest, you will perform a set of 25 air squats.

The objective is to complete the progression in the shortest time possible. You can increase the intensity of this kettlebell session by finishing each cycle with a 500-metre row.

Kettlebell workout

10 swings (32kg)
25 air squats
15 swings (32kg)
25 air squats
25 swings (32kg)
25 air squats
50 swings (32kg)
25 air squats

Repeat four more times!

Kettlebell sessions #2: 1000 rep Circuit

This is not exclusively a kettlebell session. To give the forearms and palms time to recover, I’ve interspersed kettlebell exercises with functional bodyweight movements and a cardio station.

As I mentioned above, all the exercises are interchangeable. Also, if you’re not a fan of rowing but prefer, say, running, or skipping, you can modify the aerobic station to suit your preferences.

Kettlebell workout

1: Kettlebell swings (24kg) – 10 repetitions

2: Kettlebell single arm press (24kg) – 10 repetitions on the right arm

3: Kettlebell single arm press (24kg) – 10 repetitions on the left arm

4: Kettlebell squats (24kg) – 10 repetitions

5: Kettlebell pulls (24kg) – 10 repetitions

6: Wide arm press-ups – 10 repetitions

7: Burpees with a 10k medicine ball – 10 repetitions

8: Punches with resistance band (25kg resistance) – 10 punches on each arm

9: Kettlebell cleans (24kg) – 5 on the right arm and 5 on the left

10: 100m Row blast – I tried to maintain a pace of 1:40/500

Kettlebell sessions #3: 20-minute AMRAP

The idea here is to complete as many repetitions as possible (AMRAP) in 20 minutes. Perform 10 repetitions on each exercise (5 reps for each arm for the two single-arm exercises – clean and jerk) before moving on.

Cycle through the four exercises continuously until your countdown timer sounds. Once you’ve scrapped yourself off the gym floor, tally up your rep scores. Use this as a benchmark to compete against the next time you tackle the workout.

Kettlebell workout

2) KB squats
3) KB single-arm cleans
4) KB single arm press (jerks)

Kettlebell sessions #4: 20-ton challenge

You might well be scratching your head over how I arrived at these Kg totals opposite each kettlebell exercise. To determine the total weight lifted across a set, you merely multiply the number of reps by the weight of the resistance (which in this example is either a 24 or 32-kg kettlebell).

Of course, if you select a lighter or heavier kettlebell, you’re going to have to do a spot of numerical gymnastics before undertaking the session. Just try to ensure that you get as close to the 20-ton marker as possible.

Kettlebell workout

1) KB swing (24kg) 100 reps = 2400kg
2) KB squats (32kg) 100 reps = 3200kg
3) KB jerks (24kg) 100 reps (50 each arm) = 2400kg
4) KB cleans (32kg) 100 reps (50 each arm) = 3200kg

Complete twice = 22.4 tons total!

Kettlebell sessions #5: AMRAPs

Our final kettlebell sessions is based on the Girevoy Sports Competitions. On each of the three exercises, you are going to try and complete as many reps as physically possible in 10 minutes. And yes, before you ask, you are entitled to a rest before embarking on the next AMRAP. But try and cap the rest duration at 2 minutes.

Achieving a good score across an AMRAP is a combination of graft and tactics. If you work too hard early on, you run the risk of fatiguing early. This will adversely impact your overall score.

For a 10-minute AMRAP, I find that the best tactic is slow and steady. Aim to maintain a methodical pace. Of course, few people can constantly swing a kettlebell for 10 minutes. Thus, unless you’ve got immense muscular endurance (or your kettlebell is made of premium-grade polystyrene), you’ll need to rest. When doing so, try to keep your rest short. Stay disciplined and allow yourself no more than, say, 20 seconds.

Best of luck!

Kettlebell workout

1) KB swing (16/24/32kg) AMRAP 10 minutes = ?
2) KB alternate arm clean to press continuous cycle (16/24/32kg) AMRAP 10 minutes = ?
3) KB squat (16/24/32kg) AMRAP 10 minutes = ?


Enjoyed these kettlebell training workouts?

Get your hands on over 70 more with Atomic Kettlebells >

Kettlebell sessions blog conclude with Atomic Kettlebells.


About Adam Priest –

A former Royal Marines Commando, Adam Priest is a content writer, college lecturer, and health and fitness coach. He is also a fitness author and contributor to other websites. Connect with Adam at


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