What is Kettlebell conditioning?
You might have heard of strength and conditioning (S&C) training before which was originally devised and used to get athletes to improve their performance in a short length of time ready for the season ahead. In recent times strength and conditioning training has been brought into mainstream fitness as a highly effective tool to improve fitness performance, movement, stability and function.
We have taken the S&C movements and principles and mixed them with kettlebells. Using the original Russian style kettlebell push, pull and hinge movements we can achieve a highly effective and intense workout, coupled with using heavy weights and low numbers of repetitions we stay true to the principles of strength training.
So, what does a class look like?
A kettlebell conditioning session is a short sharp workout, only thirty minutes long (including warm-up and cooldown). The warm-up focuses on preparing the body and mind for the session and includes all the movements that will be completed in the class taking the limbs through various ranges of motion. We then move into the body of the lesson, which comprises of a complex or grind.
A complex or grind is a number of exercises that are followed through start to finish without putting the bell down (unless you have finished or are changing weight for an exercise) moving through presses, rows, squat and deadlift variations to achieve a full-body workout. Each main exercise is then followed by any variation of kettlebell swing which adds the cardio element of the conditioning.
As I have said the weights are heavy and you will want to be looking at just being able to finish the number of required repetitions of the movement you find hardest, and a good swing weight. Apart from going heavy the most important part of the class is the form; all exercises have to be carried out in good form for maximal effectiveness and injury reduction. Each complex or grind is started with swings then an exercise (usually between 5 and 10 swings and between 3-8 reps) until the routine is completed then the kettlebell can be put down, then 1 to 3 minutes rest is taken to allow the body to recharge for the next round. The number of rounds can vary from 3 to 5 rounds. You should finish feeling like you can’t do any more and need the rest! In this class, you really have to give it you're all!
Now we know what the class looks like, what will it do for you?
The explosive nature of strength training means we use huge amounts of energy in producing the force to move the most weight we can using the proper form for a small number of times. Which in turn creates a huge demand on your body’s metabolism to provide the necessary energy to recharge the muscles in the recovery period. This means it is a great way to burn calories and get strong. Due to the energy refill requirement, it also means after you have finished the body is still burning calories for hours afterwards making it a double bonus. Because we are using strength training principles your overall body strength and tone of muscle will improve in a relatively short period of time.
The short duration of the class although having a high intensity in the recruitment and power required actually produces only a small amount of stress hormones lessening the chances of stopping your gains and lessening the chances of injury. The added bonus is the number of endorphins and anabolic by-products (naturally occurring hormones) will leave you feeling the rush and high of a great session and in a reduced time the fitness goals you want to achieve
“K-Con” (kettlebell conditioning) will leave you feeling like “King Kong” ready to take on the world, so give it a go and hopefully I will see you in a class soon.
Kettlebell conditioning classes are Tuesdays from 6.15pm to 6.45pm and Fridays from 3.30pm – 4.00pm.