Top 20 Reasons to Lift Kettlebells

From aerobics to zumba, Americans can get pretty creative in their never-ending strive for the perfect body. If you're reading this article, chances are you've experienced quite a few. And while it may be true that any exercise is better than nothing at all, wouldn't it make more sense to find a system that is safe, efficient, and actually delivers on its promises?

After training with thousands, I have got a pretty good idea of what most people expect from their workouts. Health or wellness, work capacity, strength, weight loss, muscle tone, endurance or energy, flexibility or mobility top the list.

The trouble is, most Americans are looking for that immediate quick fix. There might not any easy way to achieve the body of your dreams, but the Fedorenko Method gets the job done.

  1. Promotes Fat Loss: Studies show that sustained exercise in the aerobic or fat-burning zone, where heart rate is about 60 to 85 percent of its maximum, is the best way the train for fat loss. The idea is to train as hard as possible, but at a pace that's sustainable. Kettlebell lifting is all about staying in the set, and the fitness program allows for brief pauses that make overall long duration training practical.
  2. Improves Cardiovascular Health: The heart becomes a more efficient pump with exercise that places a large demand on oxygen uptake. Stroke volume, or the amount of blood that is pumped with each heartbeat increases, thus reducing blood pressure and resting heart rate.
  3. Tones and Tightens Muscle: From extensive personal experience with dozens of students, I've seen people physically transform before my eyes. While kettlebell lifting won't hypertrophate muscles to an extreme level, muscle mass and definition are a definite immediate benefit of lifting kettlebells.
  4. Strengthens Joints and Connective Tissue: Although a slower process than muscle building, the strengthening of tendons and ligaments happens over time, and is vital to the kettlebell lifters general progress. Strong joints that don't lag behind muscle development helps maintain a healthy, good feeling body, promoting overall functionality and longevity.
  5. Builds a High Level of Practical Strength: The core movements of kettlebell fitness build strength for real life situations. My experience with firefighters, and firefighter testing has allowed me to witness this repeatedly, first hand. I've also seen an extreme increase in one rep max strength, even though no heavy weight is ever lifted. After three months of training with a 35 pound bell, I personally was able to increase my one rep max in press from 70 to 88 pounds with relative ease.
  6. Builds Extreme Endurance: Anyone who's witnessed a high rep timed set would never doubt the level of endurance necessary to achieve this. What makes kettlebell lifting so different is the quantifiable logical progression that's part of this ingenious system, allowing people from at all levels to rise to new heights.
  7. Hones Central Nervous System: Learning any new skill requires perfect timing, coordination, balance... stuff of the central nervous system (CNS). High rep kettlebell training develops sophistication of movement, and a better neuromuscular connection. 
  8. Develops Metabolic Conditioning: Or Met-Con, is all about burning more calories while standing still, also known as your Basal Metabolic Rate. Training kettlebells will build muscle (not size, but density) and up your daily caloric requirement. As an added bonus, work capacity increases and allow you to perform more work (burn more calories) in less time.
  9. Inherently Safe: Exercise can be intense, sometimes even hard on the body. Routinely, weight lifters and runners will, over time, develop overuse injuries. It's actually an accepted part of the process. Not so with the kettlebells. The gradual rise in intensity, with high repetitions, enables the kettlebell lifter to fine tune every training session and gradually acclimate.  
  10. Promotes Overall Flexibility: Tight hips and hamstrings, stiff shoulders and backs, sore knees, are all accepted parts of weight training. Again, not so with kettlebells. With AKC / Fedorenko methodology, range of motion, and movement patterns, flexibility of the hips, back, and shoulders, is substantially increased.
  11. Improves Sport and Work Performance: Whether training for a continuous 10-minute firefighter physical or to improve your ability to run up and down the basketball court, timed high-rep kettlebell sets can be a viable way to reach your goal. I've had much success in both work and sport performance enhancement for all of my students that train using the WKC fitness protocol.
  12. Works with a Busy Schedule: At it's highest levels (level 20), the WKC Fitness Protocol is a 22 minute routine. Even with an additional five minute warm up and cool down, the kettlebell lifter is in and out of the gym in just over 30 minutes.
  13. Logical Progression That's Simple to Follow: The WKC Fitness Program takes the guesswork out of workout progression. This ingenious protocol developed by Valery Fedorenko brings the lifter through 20 levels, manipulating length of sets, rest, and reps per minute in a zigzag line from level 1 through level 20.
  14. Challenging Programs Promotes Long Term Adherence: American's get bored easily. We start a program with over-the-top enthusiasm, and usually lose interest in a month or two. The step-by-step challenges and variety that are built into the all the AKC Protocols keep the lifter engaged, coming back for more.
  15. Develops Mental Fortitude and Discipline: While this is not a conscious goal of everyone starting a fitness plan, it's something many of us need. For firefighters and athletes the connection is obvious, staying with the set that lasts minutes instead of seconds creates a disciplined athlete or rescue worker. After kettlebells, everything else is just easy.
  16. Builds Practical Work Capacity: In a country where fitness is defined by fab abs, this may be another hard sell, but true work capacity, the ability to shovel out your driveway, fight fires, last 10 rounds, is really what matter most when defining a fit individual.
  17. Program Adapts to Your Goals: When first approaching kettlebell lifting, your goals, or what you expect from a fitness program, will define your progression and / or exercise selection. The kettlebell lifter is always in control of what direction he or she is going in relation to results.
  18. Can Be Integrated Into Other Workouts: My students have a variety of backgrounds and goals within their individual training -- Olympic lifters, runners, wrestlers, firefighters, hockey players and golfers to name a few. While training with kettlebells only is a viable option, kettlebell workouts can be part of a bigger picture that incorporates other resistance, flexibility, and endurance training.
  19. Decades Old System: Tremendous anecdotal evidence exists to support high rep timed set training. Russian super fit champions are routinely in their late forties without no evidence of injury or slowing down. Typical shoulder, back, knee issues DO NOT EXIST. The gradual climb upward never ends. I witnessed a 68 year old man do almost 200 snatches with 24kgs. 
  20. Living Nearby an AKC Fitness Gymnasium or AKC Coach: Okay, a blatant plug! But if you do happen to live near AKC Fitness LI, there's no better reason to get started. We offer top level coaching and kettlebell training featuring the Fedorenko Method at really reasonable rates. We have members from 15 to 70, all getting results. We are located on Long Island's Merrick Road, 2 blocks west of the Seaford Oyster Bay Expressway. Convenience, another awesome reason to start.  
To get started on a Kettlebell Fitness Program, or to become a Licensed WKC Fitness Trainer, contact me at: or visit our website at: AKC Fitness LI