These little cannonballs of terror often sit silently mocking me from the corner of the gym, and I know full-well that however painful they are, they are incredibly effective. Unlike many of the other turn-of-the-millennium fitness fads, kettlebells are anything but, having been used for strength training since the late 1800s.
If you’re hesitant to start throwing around a little bowling ball with a luggage handle, here are a few reasons you might want to reconsider:
1. Total body exercise
Probably the biggest benefit to training with kettlebells is that you recruit multiple muscle groups with every move you perform. Whether you’re swinging them, pressing them, or jerking them, training with kettlebells requires you to engage your core, work your legs, your back, shoulders, and all sorts of other muscles that you’d miss out if you were just using the bench press.
2. Easier alternatives
Despite how they look, a lot of kettlebell moves are easier to master than their barbell alternatives. Think about front squats, or snatches, even deadlifts for that matter. They are all far easier to perform with a single kettlebell than a barbell.
3. Improve your power output
Continuing the comparison between training with a barbell, kettlebells will help you develop your ability to produce movements over an extended period of time, known as your power-endurance. Unlike a barbell, kettlebell moves can’t be performed slowly (otherwise you’ll smash yourself in the face), increasing the force with which you perform your lifts over time.
4. Cardio + strength training
The power required to perform kettlebell exercises means that you will inevitably be getting a good cardiovascular workout while simultaneously strengthening multiple muscle groups. A great alternative to the treadmill if you’re looking to burn fat without sacrificing muscle mass.
5. Core strength
The ballistic form of training you get from working with kettlebells means that not only are you torching body fat and building muscle, but you’re also constantly working your core in order to remain stable and balance with each movement.
6. Grip strength
In order to progress key moves like the deadlift or pull-ups, your grip and forearm strength will need to be at a certain level otherwise you won’t be able to hold onto that bar. Kettlebells possess a thicker handle than their barbell and dumbbell counterparts which taxes your grip and develops greater forearm strength.
So everytime you incorporate some kettlebell exercises into your workout, you’re also working to improve those key moves.
7. All-in-one training
Not to oversell these bad boys, but you can pretty much do your entire training program with just a set of kettlebells, effectively eliminating your need to circulate the gym to use multiple pieces of equipment.
This also means that you can get your workout done quicker, getting you the hell out of there and on with the rest of your day as fast as possible.
Gay Fitness Challenge 2018
If you need a little more motivation and guidance before you start swinging kettlebells, why not sign up for our next Gay Fitness Challenge?
Work towards your own goal, with a training and nutrition program specially designed for you.
You can train alone or take part in gay group exercise classes, and you’ll have the support of fellow gay guys who are going through the same thing you are.