Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Kettlebells for Fat Loss

Kettlebells have been around for a long, long time, but have recently re-gained popularity, showing up in more and more gyms every week.

Although they’re essentially just another weight, the unique shape changes the way they’re used, lending them to large, full-body movements that get your whole body working.

This is beneficial for fat loss since, as I’ve mentioned before, it’s your muscles that burn calories. So the more muscles you use, and the harder you work them, the more calories you’ll burn.

Most people working with weights tend to follow a more body-building type routine, working one muscle group at a time; which is beneficial, but not the most efficient way to use your workout time.

By using large, full body exercises, that recruit most, if not all of your muscles at once, you’ll be working much harder, and burning a LOT more calories (since you now have about 600 muscles burning energy rather than just a few).

So it makes sense that any exercise that recruits more muscles will be a much better way to spend your time in the gym (or at home) than the typical 3 sets of 10 on chest press, 3 sets of 10 shoulder press, 3 sets of 10 leg extension.....

The traditional kettlebell exercises such as swings, cleans, snatches, windmills, Turkish get-ups etc. are all full body movements, using just about every muscle in your body. Since they are predominantly performed from a standing position, all of the muscles in your legs, hips, backside and back are working to support you throughout the entire movement.

This means that you’ll not only be burning more calories, but by working your whole body in one movement you’ll also be improving your co-ordination, balance and stability.

On top of all of that, you’ll also find that you’re getting a great cardio workout to boot, meaning that those long, boring hours on the treadmill/bike/x-trainer are not necessary!

If you’ve got 600 muscles working at once, all requiring oxygen to work, then you’ll soon be out of breath – THIS IS CARDIO! Regardless of what people say, if you’re out of breath, you’re doing cardio. It’s irrelevant if you happen to be lifting weights while you do it or not. The bonus here is, instead of just being out of breath (like traditional “cardio”), you’ll also be working your muscles, making them stronger, more flexible, and also burning more energy (calories). Why would you waste time running when you can get all the benefits and more in less time lifting weights?!

As a side note, if you’re doing traditional cardio (i.e. long sessions of running, cycling, x-training, walking, swimming...) without lifting any weights, You will lose muscle – meaning despite a drop in weight on the scales, you’ll still be holding onto body fat, and you’ll also get weaker! Just look at long distance runners...

So to summarize, Kettlebell training will build strength, burn a lot more calories than traditional gym programs, improve balance, stability and co-ordination, and make boring cardio training redundant.

If you want to learn how to use Kettlebells properly (as with any exercise, if you don’t do it properly you risk injury and impaired results), you can visit my website and sign up for the next Kettlebell Workshop, where you can come and learn 15 of the basic, most effective Kettlebell exercises, and how to put them into a training program that’ll increase your fitness dramatically in a few short weeks.