How to Train with Kettlebells - My Kettlebell Training Philosophy

Author Nikolai Puchlov
Assorted Pro Kettlebells

Hey everyone - Nikolai Puchlov of Pro Kettlebell here.

We've been wrapping up the first online version of our trainer program, which has been a great experience and an opportunity to take my methods and kettlebell training philosophy out of my head and on to paper (or screen).  


So, what is my fitness philosophy when it comes to kettlebells?

Kettlebell Training Philosophy #1: The Road Less Stupid

Numerous exercises may appear impressive on video but are ultimately futile or, worse, hazardous. Avoid engaging in risky behavior. A significant number of hospital visits begin with the ill-fated phrase "Hey, watch this." Nothing derails your fitness aspirations faster than an injury.


What's "risky" when it comes to kettlebells? 

  • not getting coaching to learn technique first
  • using a kettlebell that's too heavy
  • swinging, throwing, or catching the kettlebell too far away from your body before understanding and learning how to counterbalance 
  • following fads without regard to programming principles (like i.e. the 10,000 swing challenge)

Just to name a few.

Less is More. Make Faster Progress with Lighter Weight

I also follow the principle of the 10,000 repetition rule, which suggests that approximately 10,000 repetitions are needed to achieve mastery. That's why my kettlebell training philosophy includes advocating for approaches that emphasize using lighter weights with higher volume.


Let's consider this: Would you reach 10,000 reps faster with a 16kg kettlebell or a 32kg kettlebell? The answer is clear – the 16kg kettlebell.


Not only will using a 32kg kettlebell take years longer to work up to, but training daily with a heavy weight like this increases the risk of injury and demotivation, potentially impeding your progress. By using the 16kg for more repetitions you're not only getting just as strong but also getting more conditioning and durability benefits.


Don't believe me that it can make you just as strong? Ask Mikhail Marshak, who trained for his Master of Sport in 32kg by using two 16kg kettlebells, because that is all he had access to leading up to the competition.


While you may see fitness influencers performing incredible feats of strength on social media, I assure you they don't spend the majority of their training time on those specific things or always using such heavy weight. They have attained those incredible skills through consistent effort and incremental progress over time.

The Closer You are to Your Max Weight, the Closer You Are to Injury

You see where I'm going here. My kettlebell training philosophy is to elicit the desired adaptations in the body while spending the minimum amount of time necessary in the "danger zone" (close to the maximum weight). This reduces the risk of injuries and achieves consistent progress.

Fun Workouts Get Better Results

I also strongly believe that the most effective workout is the one that you enjoy and will consistently do. Therefore, when designing training programs, it is crucial to incorporate a variety and enjoyable elements to keep individuals engaged and motivated. 

In a program like our 21-Day Kettlebell Strength challenge, you'll stay engaged performing new exercises every day while also making remarkable and obvious progress on your basic movements, like squats and presses.

The Kettlebell is An Entire Gym in One Compact Tool

I firmly believe that kettlebells are the ultimate all-around fitness tool. 


If I had to choose only one piece of fitness equipment to have while being confined to my home for a year, it would undoubtedly be a kettlebell. 


With this versatile tool, you can enhance your strength, power, cardiovascular endurance, mobility and overall health, making the journey to mastery worth every bit as much as the destination.


Thanks for reading until the end and learning more about my kettlebell training philosophy. If you'd like to really get into the weeds on this with me, check out our Neu-Iron 100-Hour Professional Kettlebell Trainer Program.


Otherwise, ready to get these results for yourself? It's quick and easy to start one of our online kettlebell programs today.  


Best Regards,


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