For many of us the biggest challenge about working out is time. Between hectic mornings, long commutes to work, and high maintenance kids, it is tough to make time for exercise.
These cannonballs with handles are the old way to stay in shape. They were developed in Russia in the 1700s. These must have been cutting edge technology back then! Fast forward to today and kettlebells have made a comeback. They are one of the best choices for a quick, intense work out.
I workout 4-6 times a week for a max of 10 minutes each session. You read that correctly, that means 40 to 60 minutes of commitment inside a week. Can you manage that? I first learned about this in the Four Hour Body by Tim Ferriss. I also began to notice other studies and articles backing up benefits of short term work outs. A quick google search of the term “High-intensity interval training” will give you plenty of information to read up on. If you want to skip the search, read on.
I started out with Kettlebell swings. This simple pendulum action is a near full body work out when properly executed. I started with a 16kg kettlebell and worked up to 150 consecutive swings. I could not do 150 consecutive swings for months. I had to break it off into smaller sets and eventually I achieved 150 consecutive swings. I then went to a 20kg kettlebell and a 24kg kettlebell. 150 consecutive kettlebell swings takes about 4 minutes and you’ll be exhausted at the end.
I added in Turkish Get Ups (TGUs) as I wanted to even out my strength and strengthen my core. This is a complex nine step exercise that takes a little practice. Use a small weight until you are perfect. Once you are using kettlebells really focus on that kettlebell and do not look away from it as you will lose it. Do as many as you can on each side and work up to the larger kettlebells. Do not start with the heaviest kettlebell as the odds of hurting yourself will be quite high. I found that doing 4-6 reps on each side, working up to the max weighted kettlebell is quite effective.
Doing the Kettlebell Swings and Turkish Get Ups will certainly give your body enough of a challenge but your mind might want a little more diversity. I added in a small series of upper body exercises by CJA fitness. http://youtu.be/oJ5rbiTnErs
This workout exhausts me and my arms feel like jelly after it. After about six weeks I had a 1.5in gain in my chest and noticeable definition in my arms.
Here is what my two workouts look like. I alternate between the two.
warm up – Yoga: Sun salutation (1min)
4-6 Turkish Get Ups with a 16kg, 20kg, and 24kg kettlebell (4-6min)
150 consecutive 24kg kettlebell swings (4min)
warm up – Yoga: Sun salutation & quick arm movements/flexes (2min)
10 different arm and upper body workouts outlined in the video above (10min)