Kettlebell Training: 5 Kettlebell Sessions for All-round Fitness

woman standing over a kettlebell ready to complete a kettlebell training session

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 a cannonball from which a handle protrudes doesn’t stop there. Other purported benefits of kettlebell training include:

Superior muscular endurance
Improved cardiovascular performance
Enhanced proprioceptive sensitivity
Improved coordination
Cast iron core strength
Gorilla-like grip
Augmented mental toughness

Do you want some of these benefits? It’s a no-brainer. Of course you do! Well then get yourself a bell if you haven’t already done so (see range of recommended KBs below), and start including kettlebell training into your exercise regime.

The 5 sessions that comprise this article will help get you on your way. But first . . .


Quick Kettlebell FAQ

Can you lose weight with kettlebells?

Yes, kettlebells are one of the best (if not the best) pieces of exercise 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 stimulate the large muscle groups, kettlebells can make for excellent aerobic training whilst also promoting the physiological adaptations that result in hypertrophy. In short, if it’s toning you seek you really couldn’t find a better fitness tool for the job.

Are kettlebells good for losing belly fat?

See above!

Is kettlebell a good workout?

When someone says ‘I wanna get fit’ I instantly retort with ‘Then go buy a bell’. Most all kettlebell movements activate the two major muscle groups – legs and back. To fuel and feed the major muscles the cardiovascular and respiratory system are fired up which can result in an intense aerobic 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 everyday?

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 KB exercises engage the same muscle groups, too much will likely result in injury. It is for this reason why 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 leave your bell alone for a bit and allow your body to recover.


5 Kettlebell Training Sessions

Note: prior to undertaking any of the training sessions below please ensure to conduct a thorough, whole-body warm-up. For warm-up ideas and methodologies follow the link.

Also, if you encounter an exercise that you are not familiar with, see our Exercise Archive for tutorials and demonstrations.

Session 1: 500 Swings

10 swings (32kg)
5 no weight squats
15 swings (32kg)
5 no weight squats
25 swings (32kg)
5 no weight squats
50 swings (32kg)
5 no weight squats

Repeat four more times!

This is a snippet of the 10,000rep 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.

If you think you’ve got what it takes follow the link for a full overview of the 10,000rep kettlebell swing challenge.


Session 2: 1000 rep Circuit

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

Okay, this is not exclusively a kettlebell session. But so what? By including into your KB sessions a variation of non-kettlebell exercises, such as press-ups and burpees (to name but two options), it enables those muscle groups that the kettlebell predominantly targets to recover.


gSession 3: 20-minute AMRAP

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

The idea here is to complete as many repetitions as possible (hence AMRAP) in 20 minutes. Perform 10 repetitions on each exercise (5reps each arm for the two single arm exercises) before moving on. Cycle through the four exercises continuously until your countdown timer sounds.


Session 4: 10 Ton Xs 2

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-ton total!

You might well be scratching your head over how I arrived at those totals. It should be obvious really. Though nothing is until you understand it – am I right? So, to arrive at the total weight lifted you merely multiply the number of reps by the weight of the resistance, which in this example is either a 24 or 32kg kettlebell.

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


Session 5: 3 X 10-minute AMRAPs

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 = ?

The objective here is excruciatingly simple. 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 no more than 2 minutes!


Range of Recommended Kettlebells

Kettlebell buyer’s guide

The problem today is, because kettlebells have become so popular, and because few people have the first clue about what constitutes as a proper kettlebell, the market is flooded with, well, crap. Kettlebells should never be made out of plastic.

Also, irrespective of the weight (or pood, as it is called in Russian (one pood = 16kg)), the kettlebell should be the same size. The dimensions of an 8kg (or ½ pood) bell should not differ from a 32kg (or 3 pood) bell.

Furthermore, the geometry of the kettlebell should mirror that of the standard Girevoy competition bell. All of the bells below satisfy these requirements.

Powrx Competition Kettlebells

Product Overview (click image for availability)

The Competition Kettlebell is made of 100% Steel making them durable. It has a flat base making it STABLE when you perform floor exercises. Each kettlebell comes with a digital exercise chart. Powrx’s kettlebells are created in the image of the Girevoy competition standard design – this is an absolute must.


ATREQ Competition Pro Grade Kettlebells

Product Overview (click image for availability)

ATREQ Competition Kettlebells are manufactured from cast steel and available in sizes ranging from 8kg through to 36kg at 4kg increments. The kettlebells are all the same size and shape of across each size.


Bull Training Competition Kettlebell 8 kg – Professional High Quality Material

Product Overview (click image for availability)

All Bull Training kettlebells are moulded from industrial-grade cast iron for extra strength. As with all competition kettlebells the dimensions are the same irrespective of which weight you select.


Capital Sports Compket Steel Competition Kettlebell

Product Overview (click image for availability)

To ensure optimum support during your training, Capital Sports adhered to their usual high-quality standards when making the Compket Competition Kettlebells. Each bell is made according to current competition standards thus ensuring that they are filled to the precise weight and accord with the standard kettlebell dimensions.


(As we are very interested in user experience here at Hungry4Fitness, we would be very grateful if you could take a few seconds out of your day to leave a comment. Thanks in advance!)

Blog Author

Adam Priest is a former Royal Marines Commando, personal trainer, lecturer, boxing and Thai boxing enthusiast.

9 views0 comments