10 Jul The 3 Essential Kettlebell Workouts

Here is what I would consider to be 3 essential kettlebell workouts

First, I much prefer the term “training session” when referring to a workout, so I’ll use that moving forward. 

But, the word “workout” seems to resonate with people, I understand.

These are simple, valuable and effective kettlebell training sessions that virtually anyone can do (provided they have the requisite skills).

These sessions are also not too much volume

As a matter of fact, they are on the conservative side of the volume spectrum. 

Of course, you can do more and scale up, depending on:

  • Skill level
  • Training experience
  • Level of strength and conditioning

These training sessions are a framework to work from. 

It is best to have 3 different kettlebell sizes for these sessions, but if one is all you have, then that’s what you work with. I really like a saying a heard once -“You do the best you can with what you’ve got.” That statement seems to apply to so many things in life. 

Anyway, back to the kettlebell stuff.

For men, your 3 kettlebell sizes may be a 24, a 28, and a 32 kg kettlebell.

For women, maybe an 8, a 12, and a 16 kg kettlebell. 

Honestly, it all depends on experience, skill, and strength levels so these are just general guidelines.


I think about everything when designing a training session (and most certainly a program).

There’s a reason for every exercise and why it’s done in the sequence I’ve outlined, but that would take a lot of time to explain and I’m not sure it’s necessary. Understand there is a specific reason for the exercise sequences.

Also, each session is designed so that you perform all prescribed reps for each exercise before moving to the next. Just wanted to be clear on how the sessions work.

Here they are:


This session is so fundamental. 

Swings, get-ups, and squats. And, a movement primer using the grossly underutilized kettlebell deadlift. 

1-Kettlebell deadlift, 5 reps each set focusing on the hinge pattern, 3 sets

2-Two-hand kettlebell swings x 100 (10 reps, 10 sets, rest as needed between sets)

3-Get-ups x 3 reps 

4-Goblet squats (5 to 8 reps, 3 sets)

(Personally, I typically finish sessions like all of these mentioned with strict pull-ups 2-3 sets of 5 reps and maybe a series of loaded carries).


This session is the only one in this group that contains all 6 core kettlebell exercises. 

1-Goblet squat (2 sets of 5 reps)

2-Get Ups x 2 reps, one medium, one heavier

3-One-hand swing x 60 reps total (3 sets of 10/10 each side, rest as needed between sets)

4-Snatch x 60 reps total (3 sets of 10/10 each side, rest as needed between sets)

5-Clean x 5 reps each side (3 sets of 5/5 each side, rest as needed)

6-Press x 5 reps (2 sets of 5 reps)


Prior to writing this, I had literally just performed this session.

In this session, we are using the get-up first as a “movement primer” and this always seems to work well. With my first get-up, I’m sometimes a little clunky and by rep #2, I’m usually moving with grace. For what that’s worth.

1-Get-ups x 2 reps, one medium, one heavier

2-Two-hand kettlebell swings (10 reps, 10 sets, rest as needed)

3-Kettlebell press (5 reps each side, 3 sets)

4-Goblet squat (5 to 10 reps x 3 sets)

As you can see, these are minimalist training sessions. They are not complicated. They are focused on the fundamental movements.

I am also outlining a monthly training block based on these sessions (see below).

Every program needs a name, so let’s call this…


To summarize how it works, you would do:

  • Session #1 on Monday
  • Session #2 on Wednesday
  • Session #3 on Friday

Pretty simple. 3 days a week.

You will want to think about how to progress the program each week with either slightly increased volume or load. Considerations to progress will “depend.”

Remember, progression is the key to improvement.

However, I do think that you could improve your kettlebell skills and proficiency even without volume or load increases over the course of 4 weeks.

This is a time-efficient way to train with kettlebells.

Use these as stand-alone sessions.

Or put them together and build progressively on the framework. 

Let me know how you do.

If you like this approach, you will be very interested in an upcoming project.

Make sure to join our tribe to learn more about it.

And, if you’d like more Kettlebell Workouts, check out Kettlebell Impact. (It’s FREE!)

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Scott’s background as a strength coach, athlete and former clinician are the basis for his one-of-a-kind approach to teaching strength, human movement, and peak performance. Scott is dedicated to helping serious fitness enthusiasts, athletes, and lifters all over the world, regardless of age, background, or training experience, become the best version of themselves through improved strength and skill development for a lifetime of health, happiness, and high-performance.

Scott is the passionate host of The Rdella Training Podcast, a leading fitness podcast in Apple Podcasts where he interviews the most brilliant minds in the industry. Finally, he is the author of The Edge of Strength, available in Amazon. To learn more about Scott, please visit the About Page.

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