18 Feb 3 Great Kettlebell Workouts for Beginners (Part I)
I’m frequently asked about beginner’s kettlebell programs.
Recently, one of my subscriber’s asked what type of routine I would suggest for a beginner?
And, is there a clear progression to follow?
In this article, I’ll give some clear examples on what type of programming I’d recommend for a beginner.
Of course, this all depends on many different things, such as specific goals, previous training background, FMS score, quality of movement, age, and all the other factors that are assessed in a good program design.
However, in the “big picture” of things, I wanted to provide a few recommendations for beginner programs.
When starting out with kettlebells, the key is to focus on the fundamentals.
But, focusing on fundamentals is NOT just for beginners, it’s for the advanced.
When I’’m referring to the fundamentals, I’m referring to the kettlebell swing, the turkish get up, and the goblet squat.
These exercises are “the big 3” because they are truly the foundation for great kettlebell training.
If you can’t perform these exercises well, you won’t be able to progress your training very well.
I say this all the time, but it’s all about fundamentals.
Now, assuming you have learned these 3 exercises properly and have a good baseline with them, here are 3 examples of beginner’s programs.
Strength Training Session #1
- Kettlebell Swings (double arm) 20 reps
- Turkish Get Up (no weight until the movement is mastered) 2 reps each side
- Kettlebell Goblet Squat x 10 reps
Rest and repeat 3-5 rounds.
Strength Training Session #2
- 10 minutes of Double Arm Kettlebell Swings, rest as needed
- 5 minutes on continuous Turkish Get Ups
The best 15 minute training session you may ever experience.
Strength Training Session #3
This is one of my all-time favorites, a descending ladder protocol.
- Double Arm Swing x 10
- Goblet Squat x 10
- Double Arm Swing x 9
- Goblet Squat x 9
- Double Arm Swing x 8
- Goblet Squat x 8
- Take this all the way down to 2 reps for each
Take only 5-10 seconds rest between each combination of swings and squats, then begin the next set with one less rep going down to 2 reps.
Actually, this is awesome for beginner through advanced. It’s a pretty wicked session I’d encourage you to try.
You can finish this up with 5-8 minutes of Turkish get ups.
These are all simple, but highly effective beginner programs.
Now, how do you progress from here?
Well, you could add heavier load, you could add more volume (sets and reps), or you could increase the time.
You could also add in other secondary exercises and drills, as well.
Again, the real key is to get these fundamentals down really well, then build from there.
Assuming you have a fundamentally solid swing and turkish get up, then I’d start working on the clean, the snatch, and the press (not necessarily in that order).
You want to make sure that each exercise matches your program goal.
Don’t ever do things just to do them.
Do them because they align with your specific training goals.
I’ll have a couple more articles coming soon with great examples of both intermediate and advanced kettlebell programs.