Kettlebell training has a large number of different advantages, and lets you train your body from different angles in a far more functional range of motion. But what’s really great about the kettlebell is versatile it is as a tool and how it allows you develop your fitness and health in numerous different ways.
If you want to build bodybuilder-type muscle, then you can do so by using single joint isolation movements and heavy resistance. This will create muscle fiber tears, flood your muscles with metabolites, and generally help you to encourage more growth. At the same time, you can also use a kettlebell to lose weight.
The great thing about the kettlebell is that it allows you to perform resistance cardio. This means you are using cardiovascular training that increases your heartrate and helps you to burn fat. You are also lifting weight, which protects your muscle from breakdown and increases the challenge, thereby increasing the amount of calories burned and the amount of effort involved.
Also useful, is that the kettlebell allows you to train in this manner on the spot and without a lot of tools. Unlike running, you can enjoy kettlebell training in any weather, and in a short space of time.
To get the very most out of your kettlebell training session, you can combine the kettlebell as a tool with the HIIT modality. HIIT is ‘high intensity interval training’ – a form of exercise that challenges you to alternate between brief bursts of high intensity exertion and shorter periods of relatively steady-state exercise. In this case, for example, you might perform the kettlebell swing for 1 minute, and then rest for 30 seconds before going again.
The kettlebell swing is an ideal movement for resistance cardio that involves swinging the kettlebell between your legs and then straight back up in the air using a slight hip thrust movement to provide the forward momentum.
We all know that building muscle is a great way to lay a strong foundation for a weight loss journey, but to actually lose weight, this training must be combined with proper nutrition.
I personally prefer a low-carb, high-fat diet which involves high levels of protein. This way of eating shifts the body's focus from burning stored sugars as a fuel, to burning stored fat, therefore accelerating weight loss and revealing toned muscle tissue much more quickly.
By consuming more protein, you are supporting more muscle growth while reducing fat storage. Combine this with 4 workouts a week, lasting about 20 minutes each, and you should start to see the results you’re looking for using just this one tool and one movement.
Remember though, weight loss is only achievable if you change your entire lifestyle and habits. It is not enough to simply add in an exercise and forget about it! Walk more, spend less time in front of the TV and reduce unhealthy snacks for optimal results.
In the last few years, the face of fitness has changed a great deal. We’ve seen a move away from very static, single-joint movements like the bicep curl and a move towards more adventurous and engaging forms of training. These include things like kettlebell training, TRX (suspension training), Indian club training, weighted stretching, squatting, dead-lifting and more.
These types of exercises effectively allow us to use our body in the way it was intended: by using all of our muscles together rather than in an isolated fashion. The result is that we produce more growth hormone and testosterone (triggering greater muscle growth) and that we build a more stable and functional body.
The problem is that this type of training often doesn’t extend to the home gym. It’s not easy to fit a squat rack in your front room… so what can you do?
Here are some items that will allow you to build an awesome, functional and unique home gym that might be a little different from the other gym bros…
The first thing you need to make your home workouts more functional is a kettlebell. This will immediately challenge you more by providing a more dynamic workout and by moving the center of gravity in unpredictable ways.
What’s more, is that kettlebell training allows you to perform movements like squats, dead-lifts and more that you couldn’t train on your own otherwise.
Here is a simple tool that everyone can use in order to train and that not enough people have in their home. Parallel bars usually cost about $40 and allow you to perform dips, hand stands, planche, inverted push ups, neutral grip pull ups and much more. They’re fun, easy to store and build incredibly dynamic strength.
Gymnastic rings can be used for many of the same exercises as parallel bars. The big difference is that you have to balance them and hold them steady while you train. They cost a lot less than TRX and have the added bonus of letting you perform dips too, so they are far superior in that sense.
Indian Clubs are the lesser-known little brothers of kettlebells. These let you train with similarly unconventional shapes and another uneven center of gravity, this time using a tool that looks a fair bit like a bowling pin! Grab onto the end and swing, push, lunge and generally sword fight an invisible opponent. That’s a fun way to build strength!
If you want to make any movement more challenging, more functional and more interesting then simply perform it while standing on a balance board. This will force you to balance while also moving the weight, which is much more challenging for your entire body.
A rope can be used for all manner of exercises. One of the simplest ways to train with it is to hang it over a pull up bar and then perform neutral grip pull ups with it. This will build grip strength as well as allowing you to train your biceps and lats. Otherwise, you can perform rows or even wrap it around your weights and pick them up that way!
I'm sure you’ve heard numerous health experts preach about going gluten free, but do you have the slightest idea what gluten is? Gluten is a protein found in wheat. You likely grew up with wheat products around your home, such as bread and pastries, flour and snacks, and grew up just fine, right? Well… let’s just say things could have been even better.
The fact is, going gluten free is beneficial to our health, and more people should put thought into adopting this lifestyle.
This also means adapting your cooking style to the new ingredients; however, before we delve into some great gluten-free meal ideas, let’s have a quick look at the dangers of gluten in our diet.
This is a serious disease resulting from the immune system responding to gluten as a foreign body. The result is a breakdown in the lining of the intestinal system, making for bloody stools, poor nutrient absorption and excruciating pain in the abdominal region.
This is also related to the immune system developing a response to gluten and causing inflammation of surrounding organs. This can predispose the individual to serious neurological conditions like epilepsy.
Again, related to sensitizing autoimmune system. The result is damage to the cells of the skin and inflammatory rashes.
The pattern developing is that most of the effects of gluten are related to having a sensitive immune reaction to its consumption. Though originally thought of as rare to encounter this sensitivity, it is now known that more than a third of all people are sensitive to gluten.
Removing gluten from the diet may be beneficial to anyone, as it is not considered an essential source protein.
Ready to make delicious gluten free meals? Try these out as soon as you can!
Almond Flour Pancakes
These pancakes are the go to substitute for standard pancakes, as they are extremely filling and completely gluten free. They are also low in carbs, perfect for losing weight of if following a low carb lifestyle. Best of all? They take just 20 minutes to make!
What you need:
1 cup almond flour
1/4 cup water
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 teaspoon coconut oil
A sprinkle of salt
How to make it:
1. Mix all ingredients except coconut oil in a medium-sized bowl, and whisk until fluffy and smooth.
2. Heat a skillet over medium heat, add the oil, then drop a large spoon of batter into the pan.
3. Let cook on each side for 3-5 minutes, being sure to flip once one side is browned.
4. Repeat for other pancakes, then enjoy!
Satisfying Egg And Cheese Breakfast Quiche
Quiches have been, and will always remain, a classic. This one is unique as it does not require any flour at all. It is a high protein, high fat breakfast choice that is extremely filling.
What you need:
3/4 cup chopped, cooked ham
5 ounces Swiss cheese
3 ounces Parmesan cheese
1 cup Half and Half
1/2 cup chopped onions
How to make it:
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
2. Mix dry ingredients and pour into a 9-inch pie dish.
3. Mix eggs and cream, then pour over the dry ingredients.
4. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes, then reduce heat to 350F and bake for another 35 minutes.
5. Enjoy for breakfast or a snack.
Avocado Chicken Salad
A filling, healthy lunch option that is quick to make and delicious to boot. Not all fats are bad for you, as evidenced by the benefits avocado has on health.
What you need:
8 ounces chicken breast
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
Half of an avocado, diced
1 medium tomato, chopped
1/2 small red onion, chopped
1 teaspoon chopped parsley
How to make it:
1. Rub one tablespoon of olive oil over the chicken breast and grill over medium heat until lightly browned.
2. Mix remaining ingredients, then chop chicken breast or strip and mix into salad.
3. Consume immediately.
This is a great recipe when running late for lunch, as it takes just 20 minutes from start to finish!
Goat Cheese And Turkey Patties
Incorporating the unique flavor of goat cheese and the leanness of ground turkey, this makes a perfect complement to sweet potatoes or on a bed of veggies.
What you need:
1 1/2 pounds ground turkey breast
2 tablespoons crumbled goat cheese
1 cup chopped spinach
How to make it:
1. Preheat a griddle or skillet to medium-high heat. If using a skillet, add a tablespoon of olive oil.
2. Combine all ingredients and form into 4 patties.
3. Cook on griddle for 15 minutes until golden brown or in skillet until done in the middle.
Gluten-free meal ideas are everywhere. The few outlines here are merely the tip of the iceberg. You can modify recipes you always make, by educating yourself to what foods contain gluten and excluding them.
Your health will thank you!