Click here to download the program: 4-Week Kettlebell Program
*Introduction to the Program
Ah. The kettlebell. If you’re new to LF and to the kettlebell, here’s a previous article that shares 7 benefits of training with the cannonball with a handle.
There is a myriad of ways to program with a kettlebell. This 4-week program requires just one kettlebell (recommend 16kg for most guys to start), and is a program you can do at home, at the gym, outside, or anywhere that a kettlebell can accompany you. On page 2 of the program, I provide recommendations to expand this into an 8-week program.
If you are completely new to exercise, I’d recommend starting with the 12-Week Bodyweight program first (after consulting with a physician). If you exercise regularly or have exercised regularly in the past and are ready to get back into it, I’d recommend starting with the 4-Week KB program, or checkout the 5-Week Bodyweight program.
The program uses circuit training, which is a type of training requires you to complete a series of exercises in succession with minimal rest intervals between movements, while resting between rounds.
4-Week Circuit Workout Program & Design
The goal of this 4-week circuit program is to build and develop muscular endurance and to start learning kettlebell movements, using just one kettlebell and your bodyweight. You will work your entire body in each circuit.
Circuit Program Construction & Variables
The three workouts in this program use your entire body, which is why I recommended at least one day of recovery between sessions. I recommend Monday/Wednesday/Friday, but you can do Tuesday/Thursday/Saturday, Monday/Wednesday/Saturday, etc…
One your off-days, I recommend 15-20 minute “practice sessions” with two other kettlebell movements with the 16kg bell: the KB Get-Up and the KB Clean. These are not additional workouts; these are learning sessions. Use the LF Hub instruction pages as resources to help you learn these movements.
Changing the intensity between Light/Medium/Heavy days is a lifting principle that creates variety in the stress placed on your body. This helps with both recovery, strength adaptation and prevents burnout in programming. The movements in the circuit will go Light/Medium/Heavy order, following a Monday/Wednesday/Friday pattern. The Kettlebell swings remain at a Medium-Heavy intensity, with 90-100 swings per workout.
In this program, we are going to be modifying repetitions to increase or decrease our intensity between Light/Medium/Heavy workdays.
Time per session: 20-40 minutes
An upside to circuit training is efficiency. You can hit your main muscle groups in a short amount of time. I’ve found that 30–40-minute sessions are long enough for a strength building workout (if designed correctly) and short enough for the busy guy who can’t spend hours in the gym due to his other responsibilities. In this program, some workouts will be longer and some shorter (depending on the intensity), but on average these will last 30-40 minutes.
# of Exercises: 5
I picked 5 exercises here. These exercises cover the basic movement patterns as described by strength coach Dan John (loaded carries, squat, hinge, pull, push). The number of exercises you pick determines both your time and scope of your workout.
# of Rounds: 3-5
In this program, you will complete 3-5 rounds depending on the day. This variable changes the total repetitions completed per workout (intensity). If you need to make this easier, complete 2/3/4 rounds instead of 3/4/5 rounds.
Rest: 2-3 minutes between rounds
This variable is critical. I recommend that you rest 2-3 minutes between rounds, and most optimally, rest until you can talk again without sounding winded (the talk-test). Most skip or shorten their rest periods due to a commitment to intensity… the downside of skipping your rest is that you won’t harness your body’s energy systems in the most optimal way.
Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions on the program. Be strong!
*As always, I’d recommend consulting with a physician prior to starting any exercise plan.