The best beginning kettlebell workout
- Start with a 35lb kettlebell
- Hold it with two hands in front of you.
- Stand with your feet wider than your shoulders.
- Tighten your glutes and swing it from between your legs up into the air.
Tim Ferriss cites in The 4-Hour Body that Tracy Reifkind lost more than 100 pounds (45 pounds of fat in the first 12 weeks) using a simple kettlebell workout and a slow-carb diet. Tracy’s husband Mark Reifkind is a former powerlifting national team coach and Olympic gymnast. He introduced Tracy to the Russian kettlebell swing, the basis of Tim Ferriss kettlebell workout.
Tracy says “Every woman wants Michelle Obama’s arms. The truth is that you can have them, and a new body, in four weeks. The two-handed swing is the jewel. If you could only do one movement for the rest of your life, do the kettlebell swing.”
Tim Ferriss’ kettlebell workout is twice a week for an average of 15-20 minutes. He uses one 53-pound kettlebell. 75 swings one hour after a light protein-rich breakfast – twice a week. Start with whatever weight you can swing comfortably for 20 repetitions. He worked up doing multiple sets until you can complete 75 repetitions in one set.
After six weeks, Ferriss claims he was at his lowest body fat percentage in years. He also used 10-20 minute ice baths. 3 days a week (overlapping on the same day as the kettlebells). But, he says the two-arm kettlebell swing “is all you need for dramatic changes.”
Tim Ferriss Kettlebell Workout
- According to Tim, most women should start with a 35lb (16kg) or 44lb (20kg) kettlebell and most men should start with 44lb (20kg) or 53lb (24kg) kettlebell.
- Stand with your feet 6-12 inches wider than your shoulders, each foot pointed outward. Toes pointed at 30 degrees – 10:00 (left foot) and 2:00 (right foot).
- Keep your shoulders pulled back and down to avoid rounding your back.
- The downward movement (backswing) is sitting back, not a squatting-down motion.
- Do not let your shoulders go in front of your knees.
- Forcefully and fully contract (tighten) your glutes at the top of the swing.
Are Kettlebells for Weight Loss? Well, the form of exercise is great for fat loss and metabolic health, but here’s the kicker. Kettlebells aren’t the enemy, they’re your friend! They are the only exercise you need to exercise regularly for great results. Seriously, the best way to lose fat and maintain lean muscle is to work out 3 to 5 times a week with full body movement.
For more, see my diet and workout tips, see my 4-Hour Body Cheat Sheet.
Photo by Jay Whitmire