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Five reasons this tool shreds fat fast
Kettlebells have been around for well over a century. Whether someone is subscribing to an online workout programme, a fitness class in their local gym or working out with a PT, the kettlebell will probably feature in their workout at some point.
Most people use kettlebells to achieve an improvement in strength. But as most fitness professionals know, the kettlebell is also a great tool for weight loss. Tommy Matthews (Escape’s Head of Education and Programming) looks at the issue for us…
Time to get with the bell
Kettlebells have always managed to maintain some form of popularity, with their versatility and ‘bang for buck’ appeal making them a go-to product for fitness professionals around the world. But most products tend to go round in cycles (one year they’re trendy, the next they’re not) and I see kettlebells being used less in clubs nowadays. That could be due to the sheer variety of equipment available to people, but the kettlebell still has a huge role to play.
The kettlebell’s success for weight loss has been documented in many case studies and workout programmes. There is perhaps a lack of solid research, but that might be because with a topic like this it’s hard to design a solid study, due to there being so many variables.
Back in 2004/05 myself and my then business partner, Bernard Rule, knew that kettlebells were awesome. So much so in fact, that we invested a lot of money in them and into research behind them. I’ll be using some of those original pilot studies to set out my ‘five reasons you should be using kettlebells for weight loss’ below.
Weight loss is a popular term, and means something to the average Joe. So before we go further, let’s clarify what we’re referring to. Body fat reduction is the key element here, not weight loss. That’s because with the right programming an individual will gain lean muscle mass, achieving also a much better body shape.
Our original pilot studies were done on cardiovascular response during interval training with the kettlebell two arm swing. The results showed that when an individual had the ability to perform the exercise with good technique, they could maintain heart rate (HR) levels above 80% max HR.
With various interval protocols used, we were able to show results similar to what you’d expect to see if you did running intervals on the track. One thing that really stood out was the time that the person could sustain that intensity for.
Amazingly, because of the dynamic nature of the movement, the dominant use of tissue elasticity and the eccentric phase rather than concentric muscular contraction, users could swing for up to five minutes at the same tempo and intensity. That’s unique!
So how does this relate to reduction of body fat? Let’s look now at the ‘five reasons’ that this article is all about:
Reason one: stress on energy systems
As our studies showed, working at high heart rate levels for set intervals or extended periods of time placed demands on the energy systems (the creatine phosphate, lactate and aerobic systems). This creates a post exercise oxygen deficit and the requirement for recovery processes to kick into action. An elevated metabolic rate at rest means more calories burnt.
Reason two: muscular development
Working with submaximal loads like the kettlebell places stress on our energy systems AND challenges our muscles. Therefore, protein synthesis and the repair of muscle tissue takes place post-workout. Again, this process elevates the metabolic rate.
Reason three: train multiple times per week
With the right programming, a kettlebell can be used seven days a week. This means a client with good technique can push their body more times per week and get the extra calorie burn needed to burn more body fat.
Also, the versatility of the kettlebell means it can be used in lower body, upper body, total body and core exercises. This allows the client to balance their workouts across the week.
Reason four: complex exercises for more muscle groups
If we want to burn more calories during and after the workout, we need to maximise the time under load. Getting more muscles working in each rep means more demands are placed on our systems. The kettlebell is the perfect tool for multi-joint movements in all planes, giving us the flexibility to make every workout as effective as possible.
Reason five: work it all - strength, cardio and muscular endurance
To design an effective body fat reduction programme you need more than just one element. Including multiple areas of fitness in the workout ensures you place the demands on the body required to get ripped quick! It means the client can work at elevated levels of intensity across the week by focussing on different bio-motor abilities at any one time.
Explore the magic of the kettlebell
There’s no doubt that kettlebells have so much to offer for every club, PT and member. There’s true magic in the bell for weight loss and so much more. So what are you waiting for? Revisit the kettlebell and embed it into everyone’s training schedule.
Are you sorted with quality kettlebells?
Check out Escape’s range of kettlebells on our website. Alternatively, talk to our sales team – email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call on:
UK: +44 (0)1733 313 535
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