Kettlebells: Why Are They Awesome?

9 Jan

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It is no big shocker that swinging my kettlebell around is my favorite form of exercise .  However, these little beauties are the source of many questions, confusion, and possibly snarled noses.  This is why I want to share a little bit about why I love kettlebells, and why I think you should too!

This post part 1 of a 3 part post:

  1. Why Kettlebells Are Awesome
  2. How To Get Started Using Kettlebells
  3. Exercises To Do With Your Kettlebells

Why Kettlebells Are Awesome

  1. Full body workout-Kettlebell exercises target multiple muscle groups at once instead of traditional strength exercise which target isolated muscle groups.  Think of it this way.  Say you can leg press a ton of weight on a weight machine.  That does not mean you lift a washing machine of equal weight.  The weight machine is only targeting one muscle group.  Your lifting a washing machine is going to require use of just about every muscle you have in your body working together.  That is an example of isolated strength training not translating into real life strength.  I don’t wish to go out and hoist washing machines up in the air any time soon, but I do want to be real world strong.
  2. Perfect for the time crunched-Because of the full body conditioning, you are maximizing your workout time. 15-minutes on the eliptical can burn 50-125 calories depending on pace, where a 15 minute intense kettlebell workout can burn around 300 calories.
  3. Combines both cardio and strength training-If you doubt the aerobic aspect of a kettlebell workout, just try one of mine that I have listed on here…I promise you will work up a sweat and get that heart rate up!
  4. Insane potential for calorie burn-studies show that you can potentially burn up to 20 calories a minute with kettlebells.  This is compareable to running a 6-minute mile or cross-country skiing uphill at a fast pace.
  5. It is not expensive-All you need to start is one single kettlebell.  Depending on the weight you start with, you are looking at a $25 to $40 investment.  There are free interval timer apps, and stop watch functionality on smart phones for timing your workout.  To learn proper form and technique, you tube videos and web articles are free!  There are also a plethora of DVD’s out there if that is up your alley.
  6. Muscles are awesome, and totally necessary I learned early on during my fit journey that muscles drive your metabolism   When you only do cardio, you will lose equal parts muscle mass and fat.  The problem with that scenario is that once you decrease your muscle mass too much, your metabolism will stall out.  You plateau and lose momentum.  You will most likely regain the weight you lost in the first place.  Also, the more muscle mass you have, the more calories you will burn when at rest.  That is the majority of our day is considered “at rest” (aka when your now working out.

Hopefully I have you intrigued at this point.  The problem?  You have no idea where to start.  I get it.  It is intimidating.

Stay tuned for part 2 How To Get Started Using Kettlebells!

In the meantime, send me your questions in the comments and email!

FC2FC_kettlebell_motivation

Stay Strong and Keep Moving,

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21 Responses to “Kettlebells: Why Are They Awesome?”

  1. Melanie @ 4Kottez January 9, 2013 at 2:10 pm #

    I love that you love kettlebells – I really do think they are a great workout. I love using my dumbell as one. LOL

  2. Shawna January 9, 2013 at 2:48 pm #

    I just recently found your blog and I must say I love it! You inspire me in so many ways! I have been sick and in a deep funk the past couple weeks. I can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. Reading your posts and things give me some determination back and make me wanna do better. I will be an every day reader for sure 🙂 Thank you for what you do!!!!

    Shawna

    http://lifeasweknowit76.blogspot.com/

  3. savynaturalista January 9, 2013 at 3:47 pm #

    I love the reasons you gave but I still dread my kettle bell especially with squats…

    • fatchicktofitchick January 9, 2013 at 3:59 pm #

      Oh as much as I love those suckers, I hate them too. Squats are always the UGH! of my workout but I like the results they give. I just don’t always like doing them!

  4. Laura January 9, 2013 at 5:18 pm #

    Great post as usual!!

  5. kepotts January 9, 2013 at 7:06 pm #

    Yippee kettle bell love all the way! I love learning new moves with these suckers & totally agreed about a good cardio burn from them…hello KB swings!

  6. Jane January 9, 2013 at 7:27 pm #

    I love my kettlebell day workouts. The only time I donr’t like it is when my trainer sneaks in that 40 lb one. He even sneaked in a 50 lb one day! Looking forward to more squats after I get my bionic knee on the 28th.

  7. Nicole January 9, 2013 at 8:56 pm #

    I have to disagree with your first point. If you are solely focusing on leg workouts, then yes, you won’t be strengthening your arms, back, chest, etc. in order to lift that washing machine. But, if you are strength training correctly, you will work out all muscle groups. I’m not knocking the fact that Kettlebells are the jam-they are definitely effective! It all depends on your goals. But I wouldn’t say that either is better over the other.

    • fatchicktofitchick January 9, 2013 at 9:01 pm #

      Fair point. This was based on what I have seen from various sources. I do consider all things fitness to have huge asterisks implied as one size does not fit all and there are always exceptions.

  8. Tony January 9, 2013 at 8:56 pm #

    Interesting reading. Unlike everyone else, must confess total ignorance about these things. You do make an interesting case for them. I look forward to parts 2 and 3.

  9. Silly Girl's Momma January 9, 2013 at 10:00 pm #

    Thank you for the insight. I have two kettle bells sitting in my living room collecting dust. Not lifting has been a major issue for me on this weight loss journey and now I am scared to lift because of the weight gain…I know dumb thoughts but they are there. Headed to my living room to watch a little tv and move those kettle bells. Thanks again for all your inspiration.

    • fatchicktofitchick January 9, 2013 at 10:03 pm #

      I was scared of the same thing. I promise you that it will not make you gain real weight. The first couple of weeks it effected my weight and since then it has only helped it when I incorporate strength training. Swing those bells girl!!!

      • Silly Girl's Momma January 9, 2013 at 11:01 pm #

        Just finished swinging the bell around…felt great! My goal is to wear a tank on vacation and feel good about my arms.

  10. sfletcher81 January 9, 2013 at 10:11 pm #

    You’ve been awarded the Versatile Blogger Award: http://ichalkit.wordpress.com/2013/01/09/the-versatile-blogger-award/. Congrats!!!!!

  11. journey2dfuture January 10, 2013 at 7:21 am #

    I’ve been hearing a lot of about theses bells over the last few weeks. I’ll forward to your follow up posts. I might even be convinced to buy some myself. 😉

  12. Jamie January 21, 2013 at 1:31 pm #

    I recently discovered your blog and I am loving it! There are times I feel like I am too far gone to lose weight but you definitely inspire me. I just bought a kettle bell set and am really excited to start using them. I do have a question. Do you use a certain type of device to keep track of your calories burned? I hear a lot of people talking about FitBits, BodyBugg’s, etc.

    • fatchicktofitchick January 21, 2013 at 1:39 pm #

      I am so glad you found my blog! Trust me, if I can do this, no one is too far gone. I am currently in the market for a heart rate monitor so I can accurately track my calories burned. Right now I base it off the length of time I do the work out and the intensity. If I go as hard as possible, I give myself 15 calories a minute. If I am not pushing quite as hard (longer workout) I give myself 10 calories a minute.

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