Six Killer Kettlebell Workouts to Lose Fat and Build Muscle

Six Killer Kettlebell Workouts to Lose Fat and Build Muscle

Try out these six kettlebell workouts to lose fat and build muscle. They’re fun, fast, and effective.

What are Kettlebell Complexes?

They are a series of kettlebell exercises done non-stop without rest and without setting the kettlebells down.

What’s so Great About Complexes?

EVERYTHING.

They are fun, fast (time efficient), and extremely effective for burning fat, building strength, building muscle, and building an insane amount of conditioning and work capacity. What more could you ask for? Not to mention that you don’t need much equipment. You only need one or two kettlebells. Basically, they deliver big in terms of investment.

The only downside: it takes skill.

Kettlebell training is highly technical, so before even starting, we suggest you learn the techniques first and become proficient with the One-Arm Swing, the Clean, the Press, the Front Squat, the High-Pull, the Snatch and the Jerk. Otherwise, you will struggle and won’t get the results you are looking for. Hire a certified StrongFirst kettlebell instructor near you to teach you these. Check out www.strongfirst.com.

The following are some programs that I built using some program design tools I learned from Geoff Neupert (former Master SFG and author of Kettlebell Strong) and Pavel Tsatsouline (Chairman of StrongFirst, creator of Plan Strong Methodology and author of Kettlebell Simple and Sinister).

Keep in mind that each of these workouts/programs can be done with a single kettlebell, however, we recommend you use two. Why? Because two is better than one when it comes to delivering the results you want.

Have fun with these programs and get back to me if you have any questions! louka@hardstylekettlebell.ca

The ‘Fast & Strong’ Complex

Directions: Use kettlebells that you can Press for 8-10 reps for the Complex. Use this Complex as a “finisher” or on its own. Train 3 x per week taking 1-2 days off in between sessions. Every successive training session add one rep to all other exercise besides the target. Work/ rest ratio: 1/1.5. Complete five rounds in total.

Week One

Round 1 2 3 4 5
Swing 5 1 1 1 1
High-Pull 1 5 1 1 1
Snatch 1 1 5 1 1
Press 1 1 1 5 1
Squat 1 1 1 1 5

Week Two

Round 1 2 3 4 5
Swing 5 2 2 2 2
High-Pull 2 5 2 2 2
Snatch 2 2 5 2 2
Press 2 2 2 5 2
Squat 2 2 2 2 5

WEEK 3: add 1 rep to all the 2s…

WEEK 4: add 1 rep to all the 3s…

WEEK 5 :add 1 rep to all the 4s…

The Olympian

Directions: use kettlebells that you can Press for 6-8 reps for the Complex. Use this Complex as a “finisher” or on its own. Train 3 x per week taking 1-2 days off in between sessions. Work/ rest ratio: ½. Complete 3 rounds in total. Follow the progression week to week.

Day One

Week/

Exercises

1 2 3 4 5 6
Snatch 5,3,2 5,3,3 5,4,3 5,4,4 5.5.4 5.5.5
Clean & Press 1,1,1 2,1,1 2,2,1 2,2,2 3,2,2 3,3,2
Clean & Jerk 3,2,1 3,2,2 3,3,2 3,3,3 4,3,3 4,4,3
Front Squat 5,3,2 5,4,4 6,5,5 7,6,6 8,7,7 9,8,8

 

Day Two

Week/

Exercises

1 2 3 4 5 6
Snatch 1,1,1 2,1,1 2,2,1 2,2,2 3,2,2 3,3,2
Clean & Press 3,2,1 3,2,2 3,3,2 3,3,3 4,3,3 4,4,3
Clean & Jerk 5,3,2 5,3,3 5,4,3 5,4,4 5.5.4 5.5.5
Front Squat 5,3,3 5,5,4 6,6,5 7,7,6 8,8,7 9,9,8

 

Day Three

Week/

Exercises

1 2 3 4 5 6
Clean & Press 5,3,2 5,3,3 5,4,3 5,4,4 5.5.4 5.5.5
Snatch 3,2,1 3,2,2 3,3,2 3,3,3 4,3,3 4,4,3
Clean & Jerk 1,1,1 2,1,1 2,2,1 2,2,2 3,2,2 3,3,2
Front Squat 5,4,3 5,5,5 6,6,6 7,7,7 8,8,8 9,9,9

 

Six Point Carry Kettlebell Complex

Directions: use kettlebells that you can Press for 6-8 reps for the Complex. Use this Complex as a “finisher” or on its own. Complete as many ladders of (1,2,3) within 20 minutes. An EVIL option: You may plug in some kettlebell Swings between rounds.

  • Clean x 1 – walk 10 steps forward (with kettlebells in the rack)
  • Clean x 1 – walk 10 steps backwards (with kettlebells in the rack)
  • Snatch the bells overhead.
  • Press x 1 – walk 10 steps forward (with kettlebells overhead)
  • Press x 1 – walk 10 steps backwards (with kettlebells overhead)
  • Pull the bells into the rack.
  • Squat x 1- walk 10 steps forward (with kettlebells in the rack)
  • Squat x 1- walk 10 steps backwards (with kettlebells in the rack)
  • Bring the kettlebells back down safely.
  • Suitcase Deadlift both kettlebells x 1- Farmer walk 10 steps forward
  • Suitcase Deadlift both kettlebells x 1- Farmer walk 10 steps backwards

End of Round 1. Next round do 2 reps of each exercises in bold, then the round after do 3 reps. That’s one Ladder of (1,2,3). Do as many Ladders in 15- 25 minutes. Progressively work your way up to (1,2,3,4,5) in the upcoming weeks. Change the time from workout to workout.

Fatigue Cycling Kettlebell Complex A.K.A. Simple and Strong

Directions: use kettlebells that you can Press for 6-8 reps for the Complex. Train 3 x per week taking 1-2 days off in between sessions. Finish your training with 10 x 10 Swings or Snatches.

Work: Rest 1:2 1:2 1:2 1:1.5 1:1.5 1:1.5
Day 1 Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4 Week 5 Week 6
Press 5,5,5 5,5,5,5 5,5,5,5,5 5,5,5 5,5,5,5 5,5,5,5,5
Squat 3,3,3 3,3,3,3 3,3,3,3,3 3,3,3 3,3,3,3 3,3,3,3,3
Clean 2,2,2 2,2,2,2 2,2,2,2,2 2,2,2 2,2,2,2 2,2,2,2,2
Day 2
Squat 5,5,5 5,5,5,5 5,5,5,5,5 5,5,5 5,5,5,5 5,5,5,5,5
Clean 3,3,3 3,3,3,3 3,3,3,3,3 3,3,3 3,3,3,3 3,3,3,3,3
Press 2,2,2 2,2,2,2 2,2,2,2,2 2,2,2 2,2,2,2 2,2,2,2,2
Day 3
Clean 5,5,5 5,5,5,5 5,5,5,5,5 5,5,5 5,5,5,5 5,5,5,5,5
Press 3,3,3 3,3,3,3 3,3,3,3,3 3,3,3 3,3,3,3 3,3,3,3,3
Squat 2,2,2 2,2,2,2 2,2,2,2,2 2,2,2 2,2,2,2 2,2,2,2,2

The ‘Rite of Passage’ Kettlebell Complex

Directions: use kettlebells that you can Press for 6-8 reps for the Complex. Train 3 x per week taking 1-2 days off in between sessions. As an option, you may add Renegade Rows right after Clean and Presses. Match the reps on each side.

Day 1 Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4 Week 5 Week 6
Clean & Press 1,1,1 1,1,1,1 1,1,1,1,1 (1,2) x 3 (1,2) x 4 (1,2) x 5
*Renegade Rows (optional) 1,1,1 1,1,1,1 1,1,1,1,1 (1,2) x 3 (1,2) x 4 (1,2) x 5
Squat 1,1,1 1,1,1,1 1,1,1,1,1 (1,2) x 3 (1,2) x 4 (1,2) x 5
*Snatch 1,1,1 1,1,1,1 1,1,1,1,1 (1,2) x 3 (1,2) x 4 (1,2) x 5
Day 2
Clean & Press (1,2) x 3 (1,2) x 4 (1,2) x 4 (1,2,3) x 3 (1,2,3) x 4 (1,2,3) x 5
*Renegade Rows (optional) (1,2) x 3 (1,2) x 4 (1,2) x 4 (1,2,3) x 3 (1,2,3) x 4 (1,2,3) x 5
Squat (1,2) x 3 (1,2) x 4 (1,2) x 4 (1,2,3) x 3 (1,2,3) x 4 (1,2,3) x 5
Swing (1,2) x 3 (1,2) x 4 (1,2) x 4 (1,2,3) x 3 (1,2,3) x 4 (1,2,3) x 5
Day 3
Clean & Press (1,2,3) x 3 (1,2,3) x 4 (1,2,3) x 5 (1,2,3,4) x 3 (1,2,3,4) x 4 (1,2,3,4) x 5
*Renegade Rows (optional) (1,2,3) x 3 (1,2,3) x 4 (1,2,3) x 5 (1,2,3,4) x 3 (1,2,3,4) x 4 (1,2,3,4) x 5
Squat (1,2,3) x 3 (1,2,3) x 4 (1,2,3) x 5 (1,2,3,4) x 3 (1,2,3,4) x 4 (1,2,3,4) x 5
Swing (1,2,3) x 3 (1,2,3) x 4 (1,2,3) x 5 (1,2,3,4) x 3 (1,2,3,4) x 4 (1,2,3,4) x 5

The Deep Six Kettlebell Complex/Chain

Complex

Round One

Swing x 3 – rest

Snatch x 3 – rest

Clean & Press x 3 – rest

Long Push Press x 3 – rest

(Get the bells overhead) Get Down to kneeling and back up x 1 – rest

Round Two

SW x 3 – SNT x 3 – rest

CL & PR x 3 – rest

LPP x 3 – GD to Kneeling and back up x 1 – rest

Round Three

Final round (full complex)

SW x 3 – SNT x 3 – CL & PR x 3 – LPP x 3 – GD to Kneeling and back up x 1 – rest

Chain

What’s a chain? It’s an EVIL complex.

Do each exercise one time back-to-back, that’s one rep.

So two reps would look like this:

SW – SNT – CL & PR – LPP – GD to Kneeling and back up- SW – SNT – CL & PR – LPP – GD to Kneeling and back up.

Get the idea?

Directions: use kettlebells that you can Press for 8-10 reps for the Complex. Keep the Work: rest ratio 1:1. Over the next few weeks, progressively work up to five rounds.

Round One

(SW – SNT – CL & PR – LPP – GD to Kneeling and back up) x 1 rep

Round Two

(SW – SNT – CL & PR – LPP – GD to Kneeling and back up) x 2 reps

Round Three

(SW – SNT – CL & PR – LPP – GD to Kneeling and back up) x 3 reps

Trackback from your site.

Leave a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.