Here is one question: Will I change my shape with kettlebells? YES!
Kettlebells are simply another tool in the fitness arsenal. There is nothing magical about them; however, training with kettlebells present some important advantages.
The offset center of gravity requires much greater stabilization than a dumbell or barbell which in turn, will strengthen the stabilization muscles – including the important “core” stabilization muscles, which primary function is to stabilize the spine. Everything you do with a kettlebell works these muscles.
What does this mean? It means more carryover into other activities outside the gym, along with a very long list of other benefits that would take an entire book to describe.
One important one we'll cover is calorie-burn. 600-800 calories per hour is not uncommon. Plus, due to the nature of the exercises you will burn more calories for several hours afterwards. This depends on a number of factors, of course. So there are exceptions, both greater and less than these numbers.
There are other activities that do this, but not very many do so as efficiently.
Kettlebells are more versatile than other implements. Two or three kettlebells will be all you need in the beginning. You can work every muscle in your body, as well as get a smoking cardiovascular workout with one kettlebell. They take up very little space, never wear out, and an entire set costs a fraction of what even the junkiest exercise machines run.
That depends. The short answer is no.
If you've had a few sessions from a certified kettlebell instructor, maybe you are ready to decide what weights are appropriate. Don't simply buy a small size because you are new.
I've had women come to me for training with 5lb kettlebells they've purchased, and after less than an hour find themselves swinging 26-35lb kettlebells, and laughing at the 5lb toys they've brought with them.
Strength is a skill, and learning to use your body efficiently should be part of any exercise program.
Even the weakest person can probably exert hundreds of pounds of force using the hip, spinal stabilization muscles and legs, especially when using all these muscle groups together, as in kettlebell training.
To benefit from kettlebell training, you must properly “load” your body. BUT, proper instruction is necessary to utilize this ability safely in an exercise program.
First of all, never confuse being sore or tired, or the amount of “burn” you feel with how beneficial your training is.
Most floor abdominal exercises are very poor at actually strengthening the spinal stabilization muscles, or “core” muscles, to use the mass-media's favorite term. These muscles, including the back, lats, glutes, hamstrings and deep-down stabilization muscles are not even utilized during the endless bouts of crunches and leg lifts found in many of these classes.
What you are doing is creating a great “burn” by producing lactic acid, which does nothing but impede strength gains, and possibly contribute to hypertrophy (an increase in muscle size) in those areas. Who wants a wider midsection? Not most people I know.
The same goes for cycling classes. Yes, they may give a great burn to the legs, but name one person who has ever increased running or throwing speed, punching power or lifting strength from riding a stationary bike...you can't!
The list of athletes, professional fighters, and everyday folks who have seen increases in these activities through kettlebell training is long. Ask me if you want some specific examples.
Weight or fat loss is more about proper nutrition and hormonal balance than any form of exercise. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise. There is no magical exercise program, pill or food combination that can change that. Train your ass off, eat like garbage and your weight will not change.
I have had clients lose 50-100lbs through kettlebell training. Those same clients were strict about limiting and controlling food intake and
Nutrition is at least 85% of any weight loss goal.
I require everyone to work with me privately for a few sessions prior to attending group classes purely to ensure that everyone has the proper grasp of a few basic movements. This is for safety and your success.
Kettlebell fitness is not about how many complicated movements one can do, but how well you are able to perform the basics. I take pride in the fact that several of the area's kettlebell instructors have - at one time or another - come to me for training to enhance their skill. My focus on correct and safe technique is why.
Once a few basics movements are learned correctly, a student can quickly adapt to most group workouts. If those basics are "glossed over" and basic concepts are lost, everything else suffers.
Nine to 10 students in one group class is a large class! I prefer no more than 3 to 7. This is for quality control and safety. There is no way for an instructor to effectively supervise more than this many students during a kettlebell class. Proper technique means safe and efficient exercise.
Many of the area's kettlebell group classes offer a per-class price structure. I used to do this. I went away from this for the simple reason that the more folks trained, the better results they got and the faster they progressed. I encourage every person to come to group class as many times per week as possible.
Those that are currently getting the best results are attending group workouts an average of 5x per week.
I offer classes seven days a week, sometimes up to four classes a day. You can exercise with a kettlebell almost every day without overtraining, if you do so intelligently.