Kettlebells: Why You Need Them! -
Written by Funk Robetts

Think building muscle is also about heavy dumbbells and barbells? Think again. If you’re looking for serious bodybuilding-style hypertrophy, let me introduce you to kettlebells—one of the most effective tools for building and improving full-body muscle growth, strength, and functionality.

If you’ve never thought about using a kettlebell for building muscle, you’re not alone. The way most people use kettlebells—swings, snatches, cleans—it’s no surprise. They’re super versatile and function, but they’re not exactly the heavy weight we’re accustomed to for building maximum muscle.

They can make you break a serious sweat, but can they make you build serious muscle? The answer: yes, ten times over. Kettlebells can be a major ally in our question for maximum muscle growth, so if you’ve always been one to stick to dumbbells, barbells, and machines, it’s time to switch up our hypertrophy game.

How To Train for Hypertrophy With Kettlebells

While conventional strength programs tend to be very precise in everything they do, there’s a fair bit of wiggle room with hypertrophy training. This is especially true with kettlebells, which means there’s plenty of room for fun—and it happens to come with a hefty side of muscle growth.

If you’re sold on the promise of gaining massive amounts of strength and power, looking better, and being overall more resilient, it’s time to get your hands onto some kettlebells

Why Kettlebells Work

There’s a lot to say about the benefits of kettlebells. From improving grip strength, building muscle, and training balance and coordination to reducing muscle imbalances, improving technique, and boosting fat loss. There’s really no end to the benefits you’ll see with these, but rather than dive into the true benefits of kettlebells, I want you to understand why kettlebells are so effective and why they can’t be equally, if not more, effective for building muscle.

When used correctly and movements are performed with perfect technique, kettlebells can give you results faster than almost any other equipment. However, if you’re performing movements with lousy form, whether you’re using dumbbells, barbells, or machines, you’re never going to get the results you want.

Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that just incorporating kettlebells into your workouts will result in a massive transformation—you need to put in the work and be consistent. You can’t cheat results.

Yet when we look at kettlebells compared to other training styles, there are several reasons why they’re more effective for achieving muscle growth and fat loss:

  1. Dynamic loading and neurologically demanding
  2. Challenges core control and stability
  3. Improves anatomical alignment
  4. Greater muscle recruitment and activation with compound exercises
  5. Increase energy expenditure
  6. Improves coordination and control
  7. Challenges shoulder stability

Although dumbbells and barbells can hit on some of these points, they don’t hit them all, which is where kettlebells rank superior. One of the other reasons kettlebells are great for transforming your physique is because you’re stressing your muscles and giving them very little rest between movements.

When you’re constantly applying progressive overload and mechanical tension with heavier weights and more challenging movements, you’re firing up your muscles and cardiorespiratory system in such a way that dumbbells and barbells can’t, which is why results are next-level.

Simply put, they’re some of the best tools for performing isolation and compound movements for full-body conditioning. This is why functional training is gold for whipping you into shape and carving out your dream body.

Most people will stay away from kettlebells for muscle building because they’re under the impression that they’re only good for power, explosiveness, balance, and stability—but they’re equally as effective and functional for building muscle as any other piece of equipment.

Think about this: when you’re gripping a kettlebell, the grip isn’t straightforward, and it’s not the same as a dumbbell. Without starting a movement, you’re already challenging all the muscles in your forearms and hands to hold the kettlebell.

They bring a completely different type of resistance and tension to training that you can’t get with other equipment; you’re getting different ranges of motion that you can’t do with dumbbells or machines, which ultimately results in more mechanical tension, more muscle damage, and more metabolic stress. The result? More muscle growth.

It’s as simple as that. If you don’t believe that kettlebells can build insane muscle, give this workout try:

Kettlebell Total Body Muscle Building Workout

Perform each exercise for the prescribed reps before moving onto the next exercise. Rest 60-90 seconds between exercises

  1. Single KB Suitcase Reverse Lunges - 3 sets per side 10, 10, 8 reps
  2. Single Kettlebell Bench Press – 3 sets per side 10, 8, 6 reps
  3. Single Bent Over Kettlebell Rows – 3 sets per side 10, 10, 8 reps
  4. Single Kettlebell Biceps Curls – 3 sets per side 10, 8, 4 reps
  5. Triceps Kettlebell Extensions – 3 sets of 10 reps
  6. Single Kettlebell Shoulder Press - 3 sets of 6 reps

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