When it comes to working out at home, getting your hands on a kettlebell can be one of the easiest and most cost effective ways to get started. Most people would love a home gym, but they cost a lot and take up valuable space. With a set of kettlebells you can perform a multitude of exercises and different routines to suit most fitness goals and levels of experience. However, some people are still questioning how effective kettlebells workouts are to meet certain goals so this article will attempt to clear up any misunderstanding and remove any doubts you might have as to whether kettlebell training is for you.
Can You Get the Lean Hollywood Look with a Kettlebell Workout?
In the past muscle bound action stars where all the rage in Hollywood. Megastars like Arnie, Sylvester Stallone and Jean-Claude Van Damme were top billing in movies like Commando, Rocky and Bloodsport and commanded the highest salaries.
Now things have changed and the more athletic and functional physiques are now most popular amongst actors and those working out with the goal of getting in great physical shape. This term was coined the Lean Hollywood Look by fitness blogger Rusty Moore and is best personified by actors like Daniel Craig in the role of James Bond, Ryan Reynolds in films like Blade and Highlander and Matthew McConaughey in every film he’s been in. In this condition you can still wear great fitting clothes without your muscles limiting your choices, but when you hit the beach you’re always the guy in the best shape.
Can you get the Lean Hollywood Look by working out at home with kettlebells? You sure can. This kind of toned, athletic physique is built on functional strength and by following dynamic exercise routines. These types of exercises and routines can be easily performed with a kettlebell or two. By doing a high intensity kettlebell routine you can keep your metabolism working at top speed, allowing you to burn more calories per day keeping your fat levels down and your lean muscle visible.
A key part of the Lean Hollywood look is having visible abs. To achieve this part of the look you need to have well developed abdominal muscles but most importantly also have low body fat levels. Read this article on the best home kettlebell exercises for a six pack to make sure you are on the right track.
Are Kettlebell Workouts Effective at Avoiding Skinny Fat Syndrome?
If you are already skinny fat then I know you feel. I was there once and it’s not a fun place to be! I managed to beat skinny fat syndrome and the good news is you can too. There are two types of skinny fat: truly skinny with a bit of fat around the midsection. The other type is someone with an average build but with pockets of fat around your chest, belly and other parts of your body.
This applies to men and women and a good kettlebell workout can be very effective at ending your skinny fat status.
If you are the first type and are truly skinny but with fat in certain areas, giving you that wobbly, soft look then your best course of action is to start weight training with kettlebells or other free weights (both men and women) and eating a high protein diet. The aim here is to build some muscle which will get you toned and firm you up.
If you are the second type and are in pretty average shape but have dodgy pockets of fat that prevent you from wearing the clothes you want or having fun at the beach then you need to take a different approach. You should try and lose the fat first to get to an average shape and then focus on building some muscles to get toned and firm. This applies to both men and women who are skinny fat and in this category. Women need to weight train as much as men to get toned. If you just do cardio you will become even skinnier and softer with no muscle tone. You don’t want that do you?
As kettlebell workouts are great at building muscle and zapping calories, you can do all of the above with just a kettlebell or two. Make sure you read this article on how to pick the right kettlebell for your goals and then get started ASAP. Every day you wait to start makes you another day further away from your goals.
Are Kettlebell Workouts Suitable for Women?
Kettlebell training is perfect for people who want to do one or more of the following:
- Lose weight
- Get toned
- Look athletic
- Get fitter
- Improve their strength
- Get rid of the wobbly bits
- Build muscle
If one or more of those goals interests you and you are a women then yes: kettlebell training is suitable for women.
A lot of women (and some men) avoid weight training as they assume they will bulk up after a few sessions and lose their feminine shape. This is not the case. As women have much less of the male hormone testosterone than men, they have a much harder time building muscle. Men find it hard enough to build muscle so women have no chance of putting on muscle if they aren’t training and eating specifically for that goal. It can be done but it won’t happen by accident after a few months of working out.
Why is weight training good for women? Because it can help them achieve their goals of being toned, looking athletic and having a firm but feminine body. If you are still not convinced read this guide covering whether kettlebell training is suitable for women or not. Cardio can help you lose fat, but if there is no muscle tone underneath, you won’t look your best.
So yes, kettlebell training is suitable for women and is one of the easiest and most cost effective ways of doing resistance training at home. If you are unsure of which one to get, read our guide on how to pick the right kettlebell for your goals.
Can you do Cardio with a Kettlebell?
You can indeed perform a cardio workout with a kettlebell. There are a few different types of cardio workouts that are done with different goals in mind:
- Long, slow and steady cardio for fat loss
- Fast, intense cardio to improve fitness levels
- Short high intensity interval training (HIIT) for fat loss and improved fitness levels
All of the above can be done with a kettlebell. You just need to follow the right routine. Doing cardio at home can be quite tricky if you don’t have the right equipment to hand. We’ve already looked at how to do cardio at home without a cardio machine but one easy and cost effective way is to follow a circuit training routine with your new kettlebell.
Circuit training involves performing a number of exercises, or a circuit, using a weight or doing body weight exercises like push ups. These exercises are done in fast succession, without long rests in between each one. This gest you out of breath and your heart rate up which improves your fitness levels and burns calories like a cardio workout. It also has the added advantage of building muscle which helps to get you toned and in great athletic shape.
Are Kettlebell Workouts Effective?
So to answer the question of how effective are kettlebell workouts, you need to look at your goals and see if they can be achieved with resistance training and cardio training. If you want to run a 10k or become a bodybuilder than kettlebell training isn’t the best option for you. But if you want to be fit, healthy, strong and in great shape then kettlebell training is a great way to start working out at home without splashing out on a home gym.
To find out which kettlebells are right for you and your goals, read our ultimate guide to kettlebells today.