T Nation

Kettlebell Question


I guess beginners is the right spot for this.

So, time line breakdown.

Living with parents until the end of July.
Will continue to go to my current gym until then.
Have a powerlifting meet the last weekend of July, after that, wanted to focus on fat loss.
Week after the meet, moving to San Francisco to prepare for school which starts that month.

Looked at the university gym, free, but weight room has limited hours, minimal equipment, maximum rules, no platforms, rubber plates, nothing. Looked at gyms in the city, only found a couple that were any good, all were at least fifty bucks a month, and I'll be living on a fixed budget.

So, what I was thinking, bring my kettlebell pairs with me to SF (26, 35, 53, and 79 pound pairs) and my sandbags and using those and my own bodyweight for a few months. Focus on losing the fat, saving that 50 bucks a month and than reevaluating if I want to spend the money on the gym.

My question is, anybody got any good programs or books they'd recommend with a program? Did a search, found lots of individual complexes, but no full programs. So yeah, any suggestions?


Being very much a beginner there is no way that i would seek to advise but i have looked at the whole problem of gym cost vs home workout kit.

I made a mistake in buying cheap ‘home’ barbell and plates which just a few months in get no use because they are simply not heavy enough and to be of any use would need at least an oly bar/plates and a squat rack.

However i have just invested in some kbs and a pull up bar as i can see the value of being able to do a home routine especially when time is short.

Just starting to work up a home programme based on the kbs myself so i will watch this one.


I would advise against blowing whatever strength gains you made switching to a KB/BW only routine while on a fat loss diet.

If the college weight room has a barbell, plates, and a rack, you don’t need much else. If they tell you not to deadlift, do it anyway until you get kicked out. Chances are they will get to know you and not say anything.

If that fails, pony up and join a gym. If you look around and talk to some people, you’ll end up finding a well equipped gym with good student rates.

If you’re thinking about quitting strength training altogether in lieu of kettlebells and bodyweight only stuff, think again, as barbell training is essential and complementary to any and all physical activity. If you just want to get lean and look good naked, go for it, but you will have to come to grips with sucking ass in other fundamental areas of strength and conditioning.

As to a KB/BW program, google around and find one. There are sites that cater to that demographic. I’d choose one with some barbell progressions or add the core lifts in to maintain what you have built so far though.

I don’t mean to sound like an asshole, but I’m not really understanding your motivation to stop lifting weights. Also, you’re fairly cheap by not paying for a gym after dropping $$ on 4 pairs of kettlebells.


I think there is nothing wrong with your plan. The is NO way your are going to “blow” your strength gains. You wont lose that much strength if your meso cycle is around the 3 month mark. If fact when you go back to pure power training again it may actually help you significantly. You obviously have some understanding of KB’s if you have that many of them.

And if your interim goal is fat loss go for it. If you lose fat you can complete in a lighter class.

I did a similar switch like that not long ago. I was on deployment for 3 months and all I had was KB’s and a TRX. I was one arm swinging the 77lb KB and cleaning + Press it. When I went back to a regular gym and lifting schedule, I did hang cleans my first workout I blew away my old PR’s. I didn’t lose any strength in my deadlift and with in 3 weeks of going back to heavy lifting I finally broke the 400 mark for 6 reps in deadlift. Double KB drills are hard as hell when you start swinging around the 77lb.

Mikemahler.com has some good stuff and of course dragondoor.com