11 Jul Where Kettlebells Fall Short…
But, we need to remember, they are just tools.
And, we have many other great tools that are available to us, depending on our goals.
The BEST tool is the tool that match’s our primary training goal.
Now, don’t get me wrong here, I absolutely love kettlebells and will be training with them for the rest of my life.
Kettlebells offer many great benefits, without question.
You want to know the big hook for me with kettlebells when I started?
Kettlebells offered many things, but learning better movement was the hook.
It’s the principles of movement, the skill of strength, and the simplicity of training that captured my attention with kettlebells.
And, of course the tool delivered phenomenal results in terms of improved strength, mobility, conditioning, and body composition.
Kettlebells pretty much completely revolutionized my training when I discovered the tool.
And, let me tell you this, it will always be a “staple” and a big focus in my training.
But, that doesn’t mean it’s the ONLY thing there is.
As a matter of fact, I don’t know of anyone who actually claims that “kettlebells are the only thing.”
So, where exactly do kettlebells fall short?
Well, after just completing a laser focused barbell muscle building program which delivered killer results, I’d have to say that kettlebells fall short in building hypertrophy.
Now, hear me out and let me explain a bit further, so there’s no confusion.
KETTLEBELLS DO BUILD MUSCLE.
I’m not saying they are ineffective in that department.
Kettlebell training will help you forge a leaner, stronger, and more muscular body.
As a matter of fact, I created a program called The Shock and Awe Protocol specifically designed for size and strength and the program works.
You also have great programs like Geoff Neupert’s Kettlebell Muscle, which is totally awesome.
Don’t get me wrong, both of these programs deliver and will help you put on muscle, but there is a difference.
The difference is that you can’t pack on muscle to the level you can with a bodybuilding style program.
Here’s what I mean.
THE BODYBUILDER EFFECT.
There is a difference between training for the “bodybuilder effect” and training to put on general size.
The difference is that the “bodybuilder effect” will produce maximum muscular hypertrophy in your arms, chest, shoulders, back, etc.
In other words, you are training to look like a bodybuilder – this is the “bodybuilder effect.”
Let me ask you, have you ever heard of a top level bodybuilder who’s training primarily with kettlebells?
Let’s talk about programming.
A bodybuilding style hypertrophy program focuses more on specific body parts and works your muscles from many different angles in ways that aren’t really possible with traditional kettlebell training.
And, you can train with higher intensities with laser focus on muscle building.
For example, the barbell program I just completed emphasized the basic barbell exercises (bench presses, squats, rows, curls, tricep extensions, etc).
It was a specific bodybuilding style program designed for hypertrophy.
The program allowed me to target muscle groups and apply proven principles for bodybuilding style results and would be tough to accomplish using only kettlebells.
Doing this bodybuilding style program, I was able to achieve a level of muscular development that I wasn’t able to achieve in many previous years with kettlebells.
Sure, kettlebells contributed to muscle building over the years, but I’m referring to the “bodybuilding effect.”
Here’s a picture that was taken just after completing the 6 week hypertrophy program.
The benefits of the tool are outstanding, as I’ve mentioned.
But, the tool does have limitations, just like any other tool.
We need to be realistic in what it can do and cannot.
To put on serious mass and for the “bodybuilder effect”, we need to look beyond kettlebells, use the right tools and, of course, implement the right programming and training variables.
That’s what it’s all about.
As we always emphasize here, chase ONE GOAL at a time.
Make sure that you have the right tool or tools to help you meet your primary training goal.
Understanding the benefits and limitations of the tools we use is a major factor in our training success.
For fat loss, conditioning, performance, and general size and strength, the kettlebell is a unique and effective training tool that will always play an important role.