How in the world could ANYBODY have credibility when it comes to telling you what the best workout or workout device is? For goodness sakes it sometimes seems as if tv commercials are 50% geared around some 6-pack shaping device or weight loss pill. Watching all those skinny and ripped models it’s enough to make one want to watch tv fully clothed with the shades drawn tight!
Even so, most of us long for a body that turns the heads at the beach, (or maybe even our own significant other from time to time…) but the question always remains…”What the heck really works when it comes to losing fat and getting in shape?”
Well, all BS aside, there are definitely some things that work and will ALWAYS work to help you burn calories and lose weight. Running for instance or better yet sprinting is pretty much king when it comes to a form of exercise that will cause fat to come pouring off your body very quickly. But there is something else…something that has been around for a LONG time, though it may be fairly new to you, and it’s called the KETTLEBELL.
Kettlebells are basically round weight with handles. Try to picture a large cannonball with a handle and you are pretty much picturing a kettlebell. These things actually originated in Russia hundreds of years ago but it has only been in the last 7-8 years or so that they have really started to make a splash in the West. All kinds of certifications are popping up, different styles of kettlebells are hitting the market, and of course there are a quite a few dvd programs featuring the funny looking piece of fitness equipment for sale as well. But, is this just a fad, or can real fat loss success be achieved with this handled ball of weight? Let’s take a look at 5 reasons you absolutely HAVE to work ut with kettlebells to discover the answer…
1. Kettlebells are inexpensive-Now, right off the bat, anyone who has ever purchased a kettlebell will probably disagree with this statement, but when compared to expensive gym memberships or personal trainer sessions, kettlebells still come in pretty cheap over the long haul. You can pick up a 40 pound kettlebell (a good starting weight for men, women should opt for one a little lighter) for about $65 give or take. That one purchase can take you through a good 6 months of training with a kettlebell and help you lose fat while building muscle. Joining a gym, paying for a personal trainer, or buying many other types of fitness equipment is surely gonna run you quite a bit more.
2. Kettlebells are compact-Kettlebells, while they can be pretty heavy, are still fairly compact. Compare one to a treadmill or an elliptical and the kettlebell wins every time. Just keep it behind your bed, in your closet, wherever. They are small enough to store out of the way when you aren’t using them.
3. Kettlebells burn fat-Ok, now let’s get down to the nitty gritty. The real reason you should want to use ANY piece of equipment is because of how effective it can be with helping you lose fat. In the case of kettlebells, they do pretty darn well. As I said before, sprinting is one of the best all around exercises to help you burn fat but one that ranks up there even higher is cross country skiing…UPHILL. But, because most of us don’t cross country ski, and those that do don’t often do it UPHILL, it doesn’t usually make a list of fat burning exercises. The kettlebell, as it turns out, rank up there as well for burning calories and thusly fat. A 2010 study conducted by the American Council on Exercise (one of the nation’s most respected authorities on health and fitness) concluded that performing snatches with a kettlebell with equal to someone running at a 6 minute per mile pace or cross country skiing uphill at a fast pace. That, ladies and gentlemen, is INTENSITY. If you only have a little bit of time and want to experience maximum results, the kettlebell can help get you there.
4. Kettlebells build muscle-Unlike most forms of cardio work that is designed to burn fat, using a kettlebell actually helps you build muscle at the same time. You are lifting a weight after all and this weight is transferred to your muscles requiring them to do extra work for each movement. When working with kettlebells on a regular basis once can expect to see larger, firmer muscles as a result. Even if you only perform the swing, the most basic of kettlebell movements, you can expect to build muscles in your legs, back, shoulders, arms and even your midsection. Hey, running is great but I am NOT trying to build a physique like a marathon runner, are you? I would rather flash a little muscle when I pull of the t-shirt this summer…
5. Kettlebells are FUN-One thing that can ensure your workout will be effective is if you enjoy doing it. I don’t know about you, but running just ain’t my thing. Sure, getting outside and being in nature is nice and all that, but about 10 minutes into it, I am pretty darn bored. Running, for the sake of running is not fun! I am not going anywhere except back to where I started so needless to say, for most of my life, running just wasn’t something I did much of. But kettlebells represent a whole different kind of activity and many people (like me) think swinging these handled weights is a BLAST! It is a totally different type of feeling when you are swinging a kettlebell through the air. It gets your whole body involved and it does require a little coordination as your mind works to move your body correctly and your muscles begin to fire throughout the movement. It is so much more exciting than mindlessly lifting a dumbbell then putting it back down. With kettlebells, you are really engaged in the exercise the entire time and as you begin to make progress you start to learn that there are ENDLESS variations of what you can do with these things. No question about it if you find something fun you are likely to do it more often and in the case of exercise that is as effective as kettlebells are, this can lead to TREMENDOUS fat loss and getting you in better shape than you have ever been before.
So, there you go. 5 reasons you absolutely have to workout with kettlebells. If you haven’t tried them before, the list may seem a little too good to be true…if you have already tried them, then the list is probably not long enough. These things work…go ahead and grab a bell and swing away and you may just end up getting into the best shape of your life.