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The BEST Workout To Build Muscle With Kettlebells – (FAST!)

Written by Gregory Dzemaili

20. May 2022

This video summarizes the thought process, that went into our kettlebell course „90 Gains Of Kettlebells“ where we help Men Over 30 build practical as well as aesthetic muscle in only 12 weeks. 

Watch until the end to find out more about this course or click the link 90gains.com.

Theory

Before we jump into the workout, I want to set the stage first with some theory.

I don’t mean to bore you with this, but there are certain elements that I want to to know and understand. 

To find the best and fastest way to build muscle with kettlebells, we have to merge two things.

The scientifically based principle to build muscle and the differentiating nature of the kettlebell. 

We essentially have to understand the basics of muscle building and apply it to the unique characteristics of the kettlebell.

Since the kettlebell is normally used but not limited to build strength, power and/ or endurance 

We have to give our training program some additional thought. 

In order to achieve maximum hypertrophy confined to the realm of kettlebells

We’re bound to have some write offs

Training the same muscle group from different angles or using particular strength curves that allow tension throughout the movement for example. 

However, Kettlebells offer many additional benefits of human performance and this includes building quality and functional muscle. 

Five Things You Need To Know

Number 1

Use a multiset protocol. 

Brad Schoenfeld recommends 50 reps per muscle group or 5 Sets of 10 – twice per week.

Number 2

Periodize your workout protocol. 

In 90 Gains Of Kettlebell for example, we follow a strength phase, metabolic phase and hypertrophy phase 

Each phase lasts 4 weeks and includes deload weeks to avoid burning out.

The first phase is to build up our central nervous system.

The second phase is to increase metabolite build up.

And the final phase bounces off the first two in a process called „supercompensation“.

However, all phases follow the most important factor of building muscle: Mechanical tension.

In some phases, we put a bigger emphasize the eccentric phase of the lifts.

All in the name of hypertrophy. 

Number 3

Train on a specific spectrum of rep ranges. 

In the first phase for example, we only aim for 5 reps and use heavy grinds.

In the second phase, we work for time and aim for higher reps.

Number 4

Use intensity sets or failure sets in a periodized approach – while avoiding an overtrained state.

Now, I belong to the camp who usually advises to stay away from the burn.

However, if used scarcely and effectively, these „burn“ sets have the potential to trigger muscle growth.

So in that frame of reference, we want to use them. 

Number 5

Chose a proper exercise selection by using mostly grinds.

Ballistics won’t work as well since we use a lot of momentum.

and we usually fail to incorporate or emphasize the eccentric phase.

This doesn’t mean, that you must avoid them.

If used effectively they can fit perfectly. 

For example in 90 Gains Of Kettlebells, ballistic exercises show up mostly in the metabolic phase.

Now let’s jump into a proper hypertrophy workout with double kettlebells

That I’m currently using with our client Roman.

Don’t worry, you can also chose to do this workout with a single kettlebell as well.

Workout

With every good workout, we start with a mobility and warm up routine first. 

Then we jump into the first exercise: The Floor Press

The reason why I like this exercise is, because it even adds some additional benefits

If you have the kettlebell in a hook grip as demonstrated, your chest experiences some additional tension.

Exercise Number 2 is a flow: The Reverse Lunge and Curl

Here, our focus is rather on the biceps hence the lighter weight.

The additional stability effect is welcomed though.

Since kettlebells require mostly a stable basis because of uneven loading

Exercise Number 3 became one of my favourites and is also a flow: The Silverback Row

It’s combination of single hand and double hand rows.

You want to focus on keeping your arms close the hips

And squeeze your back for a couple of seconds on top

Exercise Number 4 is another favourite: The Atomic Push Up

The elevated stance adds another layer of difficulty

The legs actually serve to give your chest a break

However, your abdominals are also firing constantly

Exercise Number 5 is the strict press

This is a great finisher and torches your shoulders in seconds.

Because of the nature of the kettlebell, your stabilizers will have to do additional work

The protocol we followed was simple: We did five exercises unbroken for 10 reps each

Failure Sets

This video is an exclusive workout reserved only for 90 Gains Of kettlebells.

Here you see Angie and me doing a failure set with the Press.

The idea is the following: Push your limits and your mind to the limit.

You want to increase metabolite build up to a point

Where the muscle becomes so acidic, that it’s not possible anymore to move. 

Once that happens, try to initiate your muscle once more – and keep the weight floating in the air

As you feel how your muscle is giving up – while your brain is still sending signals to fire. 

As mentioned in the beginning, used this technique sparingly.

Kettlebell Workouts, Tips & Tricks

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Gregory Dzemaili

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