The following article is a guest post by the team over at Kettlebell Kings, making a case for why you should consider kettlebell sport training. Kettlebell Sport is still relatively unknown in the U.S., but rapidly growing in popularity. If you’re interested in a training regimen that involves competition and can be trained at home with minimal expense, then kettlebell sport may be just the thing to keep you motivated.
Over the past decade, kettlebells have exploded in popularity. They are hailed all over the fitness world as a great way to build strength, increase endurance, and improve cardiovascular health for people of all ages and fitness levels. These are all great benefits of regular kettlebell training, but they don’t have to stop at the amateur level. Kettlebell Sport can take the rewards of kettlebell training to a whole new level.
If you are completely unfamiliar with Kettlebell Sport, start with our introduction posted here for more information about the details and specific lifts. For a primer on the sport and why you should try it, keep reading.
Kettlebell Kings Competition Kettlebells
The basics of Kettlebell Sport are simple. There are three events – kettlebell snatch, kettlebell jerk, and long cycle. Lifters use competition style kettlebells. Lifters have 10 minutes to complete as many repetitions as possible when they are competing in a specific event.
Unlike most traditional weightlifting competitions, Kettlebell Sport focus on endurance rather than hitting your maximum load. The endurance aspect forces competitors to establish excellent strength, cardio, and mental stamina.
You might be thinking these events are too much for you to handle, especially if you have never competed in a sport.
In reality, nothing could be further from the truth! Kettlebell Sport competitors are a diverse group in terms of age, background, and prior experience. Here are five reasons you should consider giving the sport a try.
Women’s 20Kg Long Cycle Event at the 2017 Kettlebell Kings Texas Open
Many people who regularly go to the gym have no specific fitness goal in mind. Whether you hop on the treadmill, take a boot-camp class, or lift free weights, it is surprisingly common to not know exactly what your fitness goals are.
If showing up at the gym without a driving force has lost its appeal for you, you are not alone. The promise of athletic achievement and hunger to work toward a goal are what motivate a number of Kettlebell Sport competitors.
When you begin training for a Kettlebell Sport event, you know exactly what your goal is: increase the number of reps you can perform of a particular exercise in 5 or 10 minute sets. The simplicity of the sport is great for people who want to focus on an athletic event whether they have prior competitive experience or not.
However, a simple goal does not mean simple training.
When you are working toward a Kettlebell Sport competition, your training program will consist of a variety of exercises. A typical week in the program could include the following:
Because Kettlebell Sport requires endurance, strength, agility, and concentration, a diverse range of exercises can help you meet your goals. With a desired endpoint in mind, your fitness journey can be fun, efficient, and well-rounded.
In order to perform the Kettlebell Sport exercises for 10 minutes, the lifter must be efficient with their energy. The overall goal is to use the least energy possible for every lift so a much-needed energy boost will be available toward the end of the set. Your breathing pattern, cardio endurance, and strength will all contribute to your level of performance.
Because the entire body must work to achieve the lifts and maintain a fast pace, Kettlebell Sport training is also an efficient workout that benefits every major muscle group. When you are working with kettlebells, you will improve in the following areas:
No other workout provides as many benefits with so few movements. Kettlebell Sport and kettlebell training is in between pure endurance exercises and traditional strength exercises.
Any program that offers the cardio and endurance benefits of long-distance running as well as the strength benefits of heavy lifting is worth your time and investment.
Most sports require a huge investment upfront in order to achieve measurable progress. Baseball, golf, and tennis are just a few of the sports that have a wide barrier to entry. This is not the case with Kettlebell Sport events.
Because every competitive lift requires only one or two kettlebells, depending on whether you compete in single or double arm lifts, you can get away with buying very few pieces of equipment for training purposes.
In addition, many of the exercises used for cross-training are light on equipment as well. Bodyweight exercises can improve your strength while cardio exercises such as running, swimming, and cycling can push your endurance.
Of course, it will be beneficial for many athletes to train with lighter bells when they are beginning. One common mistake when training for Kettlebell Sport is advancing to heavier weights too quickly. Fortunately, kettlebells of all shapes and sizes are widely available at gyms and fitness centers throughout the country.
Since kettlebells are so popular right now, it should be relatively easy to access equipment prior to entering your first competition. If you do not own a set of kettlebells yet, we highly recommend starting with the competition bells available on our website. They are high quality and used in professional events across the globe.
We guarantee they will be a great choice when you are just starting out.
One reason people fail to meet their vague fitness goals, such as lose 10 pounds or run every day, is the lack of an obtainable but tough short-term goal. Whether you are competing in a professional competition or trying to best your personal record, striving to surpass a designated goal inspires motivation.
When training for a sport, every workout counts. A major reason to work hard during your training is that you know how fierce the competition is. If you are someone who loves improvement and tangible results, Kettlebell Sport is a fantastic option for you.
There are multiple metrics for success when training for Kettlebell Sport. Of course, your main goal is the endurance required for 10 minutes of lifting, but along the way you can gradually increase and maximize speed and weight.
Kettlebells come in a variety of sizes, so you will be able to work your way up to the professional competition weight of 24 kg for women and 32 kg for men. At the same time, you can train with lighter kettlebells and improve speed and endurance.
The combination of resistance and cardio will keep you motivated and always searching for ways to improve.
One of the most common problems with an exercise regime, especially when training for a competitive event, is the amount of time it takes to complete workouts. The vast majority of us do not have hours to spend at the gym each day preparing for an event.
With Kettlebell Sport, you can train relatively quickly and still manage good results.
Most training programs for beginners require workouts three or four days per week. This level of work is manageable for even the busiest among us. Rest days between tough workouts will give your body time to recover and allow for consistent and sustainable advancement.
If improving your body and mind while achieving goals you never thought possible sounds appealing to you, we have a program to get you started! Check out our 4 Week Training Program that will challenge and motivate you to take your training seriously.
For more information about lifts, competitions, and investing in a kettlebell, visit the Kettlebell Kings website.
Kettlebell Kings Competition Kettlebells
I'm a software product manager with a full-time job, family, and a desire to stay strong, mobile, and fit. I separate fact from fiction to find the most effective and affordable options for home fitness. If you'd like to build your own home gym, start here.