There are many answers to this type of question, which all depend on many variables, such as how long you’ve been training for, what other workouts you are doing, what your goals are, etc. The list is long and without having a conversion; it is hard to give the perfect answer.
If you want a personalised answer please leave a comment below or get in touch via Facebook. With all that said there are a couple of guidelines that can help you determine how often you should do a kettlebell workout.
If a home kettlebell workout is the only form of training you are currently undertaking then a lot of people would recommend you perform your kettlebell workout roughly three times a week and I would have to agree. If your schedule allows it, a safe bet would be to train one day, then have two days of rest, then do another kettlebell workout. For example your kettlebell workout schedule could look something like this:
- Day 1 – Monday: Workout
- Day 2 – Tuesday: Rest
- Day 3 – Wednesday: Rest
- Day 4 – Thursday: Workout
- Day 5 – Friday: Rest
- Day 6 – Saturday: Rest
- Day 7 – Sunday: Workout
- Day 8 – Monday: Rest
- Day 9 – Tuesday: Rest
and so on….
If you want to up the tempo a bit you can limit your rest intervals to just one day, so that you are training once every other day. This would mean you are training around four times a week. In order this make this increased schedule work for you I would recommend doing some kind of split routine. Otherwise you are going to be working the same muscles far too often. This will limit your progress and could even result in an injury. See below for an example home kettlebell split routine:
Example of a Kettlebell Split Routine
A split routine is when you divide the body up into different sections and split the routine by section. A popular split is the push/pull/legs split. For this kettlebell routine you have split the body up into three sections which are:
- Pushing Exercises: these are exercises where you use a pushing motion. These would be chest exercises like the bench press, shoulder exercises like the overhead press and tricep exercises like the tricep extension. To quickly establish what exercises fit into this category ask yourself: ‘does the exercise resemble a pushing or a pulling motion’.
- Pulling Exercises: as the name suggests, these exercises are based around a pulling motion and mainly work the back and bicep muscles. Examples would be the deadlift, (renegade) rows, pull ups (not with a kettlebell) and bicep curls.
- Legs: the other two days are focusing on your upper body but your lower body only gets one day. On this day you are working your legs so exercises like squats, lunges, Turkish get ups, pistols, stiff leg deadlifts and calf raises.
What about abs? Well you can work your abs directly with kettlebells as we covered recently in this article on how to get a six pack at home with kettlebell training. But when it comes to kettlebell training, most exercises don’t just work one part of the body or one muscle group. Due to the dynamic nature of kettlebell training, and what makes it so effective, you are hitting all kinds of muscles and body parts when doing exercises like Turkish get ups, swings and deadlifts.
So invariably, your are getting in a great home kettlebell ab workout no matter what exercises you perform, despite not targeting them directly. By following a well-rounded kettlebell routine, there is no need to have a separate section of your workout devoted just to your abs.
What We’ve Covered Today
In this article we’ve discussed how many times a week you should perform a kettlebell workout and I’ve given you a sample routine to follow. By having between one or two rest days between your workouts, you will be giving your muscles enough time to repair and grow before you hit them again. Failing to give them adequate time to recover will stunt your progress.
I know new trainers want to train everyday but it is counterproductive, believe me! When I first started working out with free weights I tried to go to the gym five days a week and I did the same exercises each time. The amount I could lift actually began going down after a while! Learn from my mistakes and make sure you have enough rest days in your routine. If you still want to workout on a rest day, do some cardio instead.
Most of what we’ve covered in this article can be done with just one kettlebell although with two you will have more variety as to which exercises you can perform. If you haven’t chosen your kettlebells yet, read our guide to the best kettlebells on the market to help you get the right ones.
If you have any specific questions about your routine and how best to train at home with kettlebells, leave a comment below.