Kettlebell Physique – What To Expect? (Here’s 5 Things To Consider)
You might be thinking of training with kettlebells? However, you may be wondering what type of physique you will get if you decide to start working out with them?
Theres a few factors to take into consideration, so it’s not as simple as saying “you’ll get lean or thicker”.
With any kind of resistance training, there’s more to just lifting weight to get the desired results.
Kettlebell Physique – What To Expect? Short Answer…
Using kettlebells will improve your grip and forearm strength, while your arms, shoulders and legs will get stronger too. Kettlebells work the body all at once, as opposed to isolating individual muscle groups. Your posture, core strength and posterior chain will get much stronger and any muscle imbalances you have will drastically improve too, due to the fact kettlebells encourage functional movement and increased mobility of joints. Depending on your diet, type of workouts, kettlebell weight, goals and genetics you can expect a leaner physique.
1. Your Diet
What you should focus on is your diet, as that will have the largest impact on your body fat and ability to build and maintain muscle. Makes sure you are eating well and hitting the gym regularly and you’ll see results.
You need to track your calories, dial in your macros, and consume less energy than you expend.
You don’t have to be too nerdy or accurate, but diet will pay far more dividends than gym time for body fat percentage goals.
You can look athletic with any training plan. Some people find traditional weightlifting boring after a while. For some, kettlebells are more fun. I use kettlebells because they are fun and easy to use at home and on the road.
Exercise will help, but this is fundamentally a nutrition dilemma.
2. Posterior Chain
Providing you iron out any beginners postural problems which are natural when attempting any new kind of training, you will find over time that your posture in general will be better and you will notice a difference to the way you hold yourself.
Kettlebells make use of so many muscles at one time due to the compound nature of the exercises that are performed.
A lot of kettlebell exercises work the posterior chain, these are the muscles that run down the back of your body:
- Upper back
- Lower back
As you will know, kettlebells involve the use of swinging exercises (swing, snatch, cleans etc) that will utilise the muscles above more than a regular isolation exercise would.
You can also expect to see a rapid improvement in your core strength, which in turn will help improve your posture.
In any movement stabiliser muscles act to stabilise one joint so that the desired movement can be performed in another joint.
These muscles usually aren’t directly involved in a movement, but work to keep you steady so that your primary muscles can do their job.
Stabiliser muscles will not only help improve your posture but help increase your strength too.
3. Cardio, Endurance And More
Exercising with kettlebells will dramatically improve your cardiovascular output, as kettlebell routines are a fusion between strength and endurance.
High repetition kettlebell lifting over time will build your endurance levels up and with that you will find your stamina levels will get way better too.
This ties in to increasing fitness levels across the board, while altering the shape of your physique to be more athletic due to the nature of the workouts.
However, if you are lifting very heavy kettlebells, you won’t build the same endurance as you would with a medium to heavy kettlebell doing longer sessions.
There are two types of training when it comes to kettlebells and they are Grinds and Ballistics?
Grinds involve kettlebells being lifted up and down (presses, squats, windmills, get-ups etc).
Ballistics involves the kettlebell to be swung through two-planes of motion (swings, cleans and snatches).
For weight loss or improving conditioning, ballistics should supersede grinds.
Ballistics using two heavy kettlebells are good for boosting testosterone levels for a good hypertrophy session, but the bulk of a session should be made up of grinds.
You will gain explosive power when using kettlebells and all round strength, which will help alter your physique.
Kettlebell exercises will also help with any muscular imbalances you have, as the type of functional movements will encourage the correct use of the body as opposed to isolating the muscles with regular weight lifting methods.
Some kettlebell exercises may feel awkward and cumbersome to begin with, but preserve and you will also feel the use of muscles you didn’t think or know you had.
Incorporating kettlebell training with running for example, will be beneficial and work in conjunction with each other very well and you will see rapid improvements in your running if you do so.
Once again, find the right balance to see what works for you.
4. Explosion And Strength
The physique that you train for and what your body is designed for means that kettlebells can make you become lean and defined when you focus more on endurance. On the flip side, you can become bigger when you focus on heavier weights.
You can become in between those when you lift heavier and train with explosion.
One of the first things you will notice from training with kettlebells is the strength in your forearms and also grip strength.
Due to the kettlebells weight being offset, this means that the majority of the weight is in the “bell” itself and not the handle.
This makes training interesting and more demanding due to the fact you are always having to control the kettlebell more than a dumbbell for example.
As you will know, a dumbbell feels more comfortable due to the fact the centre of mass is through the handle.
Due to the fact kettlebells use a large variety of muscles when doing certain exercises, you will gain great “functional fitness” strength.
Functional fitness involves doing movements that mimic everyday actions, these incorporate multiple muscles groups at the same time, to build strength, stability and mobility across the body, allowing the body to move and operate as it should.
Doing these type of exercises with a heavy kettlebell will have the same desired effect, just as it would when using a barbell or other weights.
Some common functional exercises include:
- Bodyweight squats
- Jumping, lunging, or box jumps
- Jump squats
- Lateral bounds (running from side to side)
- Movements done while balancing on one leg
- Walking lunges
The list goes on, there are so many combinations. In the end, you need to look at the kettlebell as a weight, it’s resistance and how you use it, plus hard work and your genetics will define the outcome.
5. Complete Workout
With the majority of kettlebell exercises being compound movements, you will be getting more of a full body workout, than you would with other equipment and thus improving your fitness levels in the process.
Kettlebells are convenient to store and transport. They allow you to do nearly any movement without changing equipment or waiting for equipment.
Kettlebells allow greater range of motion and freedom of movement. Kettlebells save space. Kettlebells are superior to barbells for conditioning and cardio.
The cons are that kettlebells require a steaper learning curve to become as effective as barbells.
However, once you’re competent with kettlebells you can rapidly develop an amazing physique and conditioning, but this comes as the cost of more competence in programming and technique mastery.
Kettlebells are also great for women, as kettlebell training will make your arms become more toned, your legs and bottom firmer and more shapely, which makes for a more athletic appearance.
Since kettlebells distribute weight unevenly, they challenge your core during exercise and work your muscles in new ways, which can give you the results you’re after.
Kettlebells can be used to tone up your entire body, but they can also give you a thicker physique should this be the look you are trying to achieve.
From my experience, kettlebell training has altered my physique to be more athletic and lean. This is down to the sessions I do which last between 15 – 30 minutes and incorporate a range of different workouts – from full body, upper body and lower body workouts.
I have a range of different kettlebell weights between 10kg – 20kg and go between them depending on which exercise suits the weight.
The use of functional training will help not only your physique, but the general daily running of your body with the methods used.
You will gain explosive power and strength, as well as better endurance and stamina.
There isn’t really many drawbacks to using kettlebells, other than the fact you can go too heavy too soon and do some damage and get injured.
However, play around with different weights to see how they feel to you. Don’t worry about how this influencer or that person uses a 30kg kettlebell etc.
Start off light, get your technique down and then you can progress to heavier kettlebells in time.
Workouts This Way…
If you enjoyed this, then please check out the YouTube channel, with over 60 workouts which include the use of kettlebells, resistance bands, dumbbells and even body weight exercises too.
Don’t forget, I will be adding more workouts weekly to help you stay fit and healthy at home with just the use of a kettlebell.
Heres one for you to try below…
With workouts of all types, for all fitness levels. You know that we have you covered, so stay tuned for more.