Learn about kettlebell workout routines and their benefits, especially for physical fitness and preparedness.
How to Use the Kettlebell for Fitness and Preparedness
What is a kettlebell? It is a fitness instrument made from either cast steel or cast iron. It is also used in different forms of exercise for flexibility, cardiovascular, and strength training.
Physical Preparedness Training
You see, when it comes to preparedness, there is a long list of gear and skills you need to learn and put in place. On that note, try using a kettlebell for optimal preparedness training for a change.
The more skills we become proficient in, the less gear we need. Getting prepared can be overwhelming at times, so a few things tend to slip by the wayside.
One facet of preparedness you cannot overlook is physical preparedness. Yet, it remains the most ignored aspect of emergency preparedness.
I can completely understand the dilemma most survivalists face when it comes to their physical fitness. Most think they need to give up a couple of hours of their day to head to the gym. And it doesn't even include the commute!
With full-time jobs, children, other responsibilities, and even budget concerns, who the heck has time for PT? Let’s not forget the daily due diligence of working on our other preparedness needs.
Let’s get real for a minute here. We both realize we may need to move out on foot when a crisis arises. After all, it is why we spend so much of our time tweaking our go-bags.
We want to prepare and increase our chance of surviving through any SHTF scenario. But if we do not have the physical ability to get to our destination, how can we then hope to do our mission?
Benefits of Physical Preparedness
Even if the situation dictates we hunker in or move out via our vehicles, our health will play a big role in our chances of boding well through the crisis. The more our physical shape lacks, the more of a liability we become to ourselves as well as our loved ones.
The fitter we are, the greater the amount of work we can perform regardless of the situation. Our fitness readiness even has a direct correlation to our motivation level.
If your body is not at its peak, your mind will also be misfiring when you need it the most. You must realize your physical fitness level is not only a luxury. It’s a must in any emergency situation, indeed.
But, you still have time constraints from your busy life to deal with. It is nearly impossible for most to devote an hour to PT. Even a few times per week. I realize you cannot fit any more hours into a single day, But…
What If There Is a Way to Train Smarter, Not Harder?
About a decade ago, I finally decided to get off my ass and get back into proper shape. I was one of those guilty of being a gear collector.
Basically, I would forego anything that had to do with my physical fitness and throw money at new, shiny gear as a form of compensation. As a former active-duty infantry Marine, I knew better.
But after experiencing a serious injury in the Corps, let’s say I was a bit hesitant to reveal my physical limitations after being part of the elite.
- 55 lbs. high-quality solid cast iron Kettlebell: built to last - constructed of solid cast iron with no welds, weak spots, or seams. Great for...
- Black paint finish: painted to prevent corrosion and increase durability & give you better grip strength with no slipping in your hand like a glossy...
- Wide textured handle: slightly textured handle to provide a comfortable & secure grip for high reps, makes chalk unnecessary for both men & women
Kettlebell Workout Benefits
One day, I was searching the Internet and came across a couple of fellow disabled veterans performing impressive physical feats. It was a reality check because even as an active duty U.S. Marine in my 20s, I couldn’t move the way they were moving in these videos.
The injuries they suffered were also much worse than mine. At this point, I had no excuse but to delve further and figure out what their secret was.
It wasn’t long before I came across this strange-looking tool they were using. It basically looked like a cannonball with a handle on it. This awkward-looking tool was called a kettlebell.
As I delved further, I learned the kettlebell was not only a great corrective exercise tool that restores the body but it also considerably shortened the time needed for an effective workout.
There was plenty of science to back up these claims but watching these fellow vets move the way they were, that’s what really sold me. I bought DVDs, books, and digital downloads and invested in a good kettlebell coach.
In virtually no time, my body began to change.
I Was Once Again Feeling Like One of the Elite!
Unlike Olympic free weights, the kettlebell has a displaced center of gravity. To properly move with the kettlebell, various muscle groups need to be utilized. Your core has to be continually activated while the kettlebell is in play.
So, even shorter workouts have better results than longer bouts of conventional training. The efficiency this brings to our PT makes it ideal for those who focus on preparedness.
Kettlebell for Beginners Training Styles
There are various ways and even styles of training when it comes to the kettlebell. There are also countless protocols to plug into your workouts depending on what your goal is.
Some use the kettlebell for strength training, while others use it to maximize their “cardio & V02” levels. So you basically have a whole gym's worth of options by having access to one kettlebell.
One of my favorite go-to exercises for conditioning is the kettlebell swing. When put into a proper protocol, it has helped my NTC Members lose weight, tone muscle, and reach peak health levels.
One of the more practical benefits of swinging a kettlebell is it builds endurance. In fact, I have seen members go from falling out of a hike on mile 1, to completing 30-mile treks over a weekend!
I personally used the kettlebell swing as my main conditioning tool when training for marathons. It saved me precious time. It also saved my feet and legs from the extra countless mile and enabled me to achieve my goal!
A Kettlebell Will Prepare You for the Worst
Hopefully, you are starting to see why I feel the kettlebell is the ultimate physical preparedness tool. It is basically catered to those focused on preparedness.
Another benefit is, that training with a kettlebell requires very little space. You can find a small corner in any room or even bring your kettlebell outdoors which works perfectly with our lifestyles.
There is no need to spend money on an expensive gym membership. Why be confined to a box and restrained by the hours that the gym is open, right?
Just like any tool I choose to add to my preparedness plan, I prefer those that serve more than one purpose. Kettlebells come in various shapes, sizes, and even construction.
I have never met a kettlebell I didn’t like, but I am partial to the ones made of solid cast iron. Not only will they last a lifetime, but they also offer me diversified purposes when it comes to my emergency preparedness.
5 Reasons Why the Kettlebell Is Ideal for Preparedness
I would like to go ahead and share my top five reasons that make the kettlebell an ideal conditioning tool for the preparedness community.
1. Endurance & Strength
I mentioned time is a big factor when it comes to people forgoing their physical preparedness. When you install proper protocols “workouts” with the kettlebell, you can work on your strength and endurance at the same time.
This directly correlates to being able to move on foot for great distances with heavy rucks. The kettlebell is not a replacement for getting your “legs” by hiking for distance, though, but you can cut down the time devoted to long hikes by adding kettlebell workouts to your PT.
2. Multi-Purpose Tool
Since most of my kettlebells are 100% solid cast iron, I can use them to do various tasks. We mentioned the PT aspect, but you can also use it as an anchor, hammer, tie-down, trap, and snare tool.
You can also use it as a counterbalance, nutcracker, weapon, and whatever else your mind can conjure up in an SHTF situation.
3. You Can Cook on It
Yes, since some of our kettlebells are made of 100% solid cast iron with no coating, this makes the kettlebell a perfect platform to cook on in a pinch.
If you like Dutch oven cooking or cooking on hot stones, then give the kettlebell a try.
- 30 LBS HIGH-QUALITY SOLID CAST IRON KETTLEBELL: Built to last - constructed of solid cast iron with no welds, weak spots, or seams. Great for training...
- BLACK PAINT FINISH: Painted to prevent corrosion and increase durability & give you better grip strength with no slipping in your hand like a glossy...
- WIDE, SMOOTH HANDLE: Smooth, slightly textured handle to provide a comfortable & secure grip for high reps, makes chalk unnecessary for both men &...
4. Durable & Portable
The kettlebell will most likely outlast us due to its solid construction. You can drop it, throw it, burn it, and even yell at it with very little damage being done.
For someone who is preparedness-minded, knowing your tool is always at the ready makes it a keeper! Whether you are moving out via your vehicle or hunkering in, the kettlebell can remain a part of your plan since it takes up little space.
You will have the ideal PT tool at your side ensuring you maintain your health and fitness levels.
5. Develop Combatives Attributes
My initial kettlebell teachers would always remind me certain kettlebell exercises are the closest we will ever get to a combative situation without throwing a strike. Well, years later… I still agree with the statement.
This idea rings true for survivalists because self-defense is a critical part of being prepared. I even named my kettlebell training method… Kettlebell Combatives.
The kettlebell can mimic movements a training partner would deploy. The good thing about the kettlebell is it becomes your ideal training partner as well.
- It always wins as you can only hope to move with it, as opposed to defeating it.
- It doesn’t give you a false sense of security while training.
- It never gets sick and it always shows up for training.
- It doesn’t lose motivation.
There are many great training methods to get your physical preparedness where it needs to be. So your job is to find one, put it in place, and stick to it!
The kettlebell has worked wonders on my preparedness as well as countless members I have personally coached. In 10 years, I have seen people’s physical and even mental lives change — all because of the kettlebell.
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Just like any skill, you need to remain safe when first learning the various exercises and drills, indeed. The kettlebell can be your best friend, but it can also hurt you.
Want to try a kettlebell workout? Check out this video from Coach Helder:
Be smart and be sure to get proper instructions before attempting any form of PT, let alone kettlebell training. If you are serious about taking your physical preparedness to the next level, take a very close look at kettlebell training. You, too, may consider it the ultimate conditioning tool.
Do you have any workout experience with the kettlebell? Tell us all about your kettlebell workout experience in the comments section below!
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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on June 4, 2017, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.