Kettlebell strength building

Discussion in 'Strength & Conditioning Discussion' started by November, Jan 16, 2015.

  1. November

    November Yellow Belt

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    What would be a good way to use my kettlebells (20kg pair and 24kg pair) to build strength and muscle mass? I use them in my conditioning circuits, but I would like to know how to use them to build strength. Should I do 5 sets of 6 exercises (squats, cleans, presses, etc.) with 45 sec work 15 sec rest with 1 min between sets? Or is that too many reps and more conditioning than strength work? Do you guys know of any good kettlebell strength building programs?
     
  2. Pancake Sprawl

    Pancake Sprawl WAR IGOR!!!11

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    get heavier ones. you want to build strength? lift heavy shit.
     
  3. November

    November Yellow Belt

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    Idk man, those 24's are really heavy.
     
  4. ironwolf

    ironwolf Double Yellow Card Double Yellow Card

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    Turkish get up, press, snatch.
     
  5. Higus

    Higus Gold Belt

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    The point is that you won't become stronger than the maximum weight you can carry. In the end, you'll get really good at swinging the 24's, but what's next? A bigger kettlebell?

    If you are doing volume get up's and swings with 24's, you're probably pretty strong, but to what end? What kind of goals do you have?
     
  6. ironwolf

    ironwolf Double Yellow Card Double Yellow Card

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    24kg is a good weight to have. Get good at the Turkish get up (TGU), focs on that and get to where you can do like 10 reps each side, then just add reps.

    I also like the basic swing for lots of reps like 300 per workout, maybe its 20 reps and a 1 minute rest until I have 300, thats more of a cardio thing.

    You can press that kettlebell and you can do stuff like snatches, cleans, crush press sit ups, and stuff like that The 24kg is sort of the gateway to real KB strength, get solid with that thing, THEN get into the 28 and 32kg KBS.

    And again, the TGU is a must-do lift so master that with your 24kg.
     
  7. ironwolf

    ironwolf Double Yellow Card Double Yellow Card

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    and dont get too butt hurt, lots of people here talk shit about anything that isnt 5x5, 531, you name it.
     
  8. Flash_Monsta

    Flash_Monsta Black Belt

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    The point they're trying to make is that you can only get so strong with kettlebells. Once TS is strong enough to throw around the 24s then what next? Get heavier KBs? Adding more reps isn't strength training.
     
  9. Uchi Mata

    Uchi Mata Preaching the gospel of heel hooks and left kicks

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    Kettlebells will help your endurance and build some strength, but it is true that the only way to keep building maximal strength is to continually lift heavier weights.
     
  10. November

    November Yellow Belt

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    I see what you guys are saying. But the thing is is that the 24's are pretty heavy, too heavy for me on certain exercises. I get that I need to keep progressing, but the weights I have now are heavy enough, so I'm looking for a good program to build strength, as I don't know where to start. How should I structure a good strength building kettlebell workout? That's what I wanna know. The weight is not a problem. Is the circuit I mentioned in the original post good for strength building? I have not worked with kettlebells for building strength, I've only used a small 16 kg one in my conditioning circuits.
     
  11. selfcritical

    selfcritical Brown Belt

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    If those are the only tools you've gotl, you can get some mileage out of progressions out of the pistol, weighted pull-up (just put your feet in the horns) and press, as well as swings and cleans for posterior chain. It's supoptimal, but there is work to do. If you were using it as a power endurance tool I'd have a lot more things to say. What's your training history and strength level?
     
  12. Flash_Monsta

    Flash_Monsta Black Belt

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    Well you can do squats, rows, Presses and Deadlifts with KBs but then it's only 24kg. Personally, I don't think using Kettlebells is a good way to increase absolute strength because progression is limited compared to Barbells. They're good for explosive movements, but absolute strength probably not so much.

    Not to sound patronising, but you do know what you want exactly, yeah? I think most people might confuse strength, with muscular endurance or hypertrophy if they're new to weight lifting.
     
  13. Genghiz

    Genghiz Blue Belt

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    I like kettlebells a lot, but personally I think barbells are far more effective for building maximum strength. Kettlebells are awesome for ballistic power type movements, strength-endurance and cardio though.

    But if you must focus on kettlebells for strength - focus on heavy swings. Heavy. Like work on building up to swinging the beast (48kg) for 10x10 and progressively shorten the rest intervals over time.
     
  14. ironwolf

    ironwolf Double Yellow Card Double Yellow Card

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    I agree, KBs cn't take the place of barbells but they make an excellent addition to it. I can swing the beast but Im still working on the TGU with itl
     
  15. Pancake Sprawl

    Pancake Sprawl WAR IGOR!!!11

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    get stronger in the exercises that are hard for you, and once you exhaust all exercises and can totally dominate the kettlebell, that's when you should move up a weight.

    but like everyone else said, turkish get ups hit pretty much every major muscle group, so once your kb's are easy to do the turkish get up with, you must start adding weight.

    i'd recommend not adding too much weight, 2.5lb-5lb additions are a good way to increase the load without breaking your back.
     
  16. BrockLesnarSon

    BrockLesnarSon White Belt

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    Try double kettlebell movements if raw strenght it's what you are after. Double long cycle, double snatch, double swing, double clean, double front squat it will get you pretty damn strong.
     
  17. JauntyAngle

    JauntyAngle International man of mystery

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    I don't think anyone's trashing kettlebells.

    The point is just that max strength is the maximum contractile force that the muscle can develop. You don't train that doing very high reps, and you don't train it by doing exercises in really mechanically disadvantaged positions. (Arguably, you don't even train movements that are really technical and fiddly). Because those things means you can't be training at really high intensity, and without really high intensity you don't develop maximum force production much. To go do significant amounts of work at very high intensity, it has to be low rep and you need to be in a mechanically good position. It helps if the movements are relatively easy get good at. That's why the basic barbell movements are the best way to develop high maximum strength.

    I presume you know all this, right?

    You're just doing your thing where you vent your frustration with the forum by throwing out half-considered stuff that actually you know is not true?
     
  18. ironwolf

    ironwolf Double Yellow Card Double Yellow Card

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    If you read like 2 or 3 posts up, you'll see where I say that kettlebells can't replace barbell work but that are a great addition to it.

    And FTR, this is pretty much the first kettlebell thread where kettlebell work hasn;t been bashed. Im not venting frusteration at all.
     

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