A 16kg Kettlebell Workout for Men
Most kettlebell experts will say men should be using a 24kg (53lb) kettlebell; however, if you haven’t mastered all the movements with a 16kg first, you have no business with a 24kg kettlebell.
once again, throw the ego aside gents
Men and women are so very different. You tell a woman she needs to begin with an 8kg kettlebell, and she’ll say that’s too heavy, even though she’s been working out consistently for 10 years. Tell a man he needs to start with a 16kg, and he’ll say it’s too light, even though he hasn’t lifted weights in 10 years.
We don’t need to dive deep into the physiological stress of resistance training to help you, the reader, understand this a bit better. Tissues, joints, and bones all need time to adapt to a new stimulus. It’s why the marathon runner doesn’t just up and run 26.2 miles on day 1. They take a long, calculated approach to work up towards that type of running volume. The same goes for resistance (strength) training. If you put too much stress on your body too fast, you’ll end up injured, incredibly sore, and you’ll most likely end up quitting.
This may sound simple, but men, listen to me closely, it’s not where you start, it’s where you finish.
I’ve personally been training exclusively with kettlebells (with the exception of sprinting in the warm months, and a pull-up bar) for nearly 5 years, and before that, I’ve been strength training for 25 years. I started when I was 12 years old. I’m definitely not the strongest guy in the world, but I’m probably in the 90th percentile. I don’t say that to brag, just to bring some perspective. Additionally, I’ve literally training hundreds of people ranging from professional athletes, geriatric folks, high school athletes, and young kids. This broad experience gives me a lot to draw from. If a grown man can learn to handle a 16kg kettlebell, he’s well on his way to be much stronger and fit than 80% of his peers. So when I prescribe to you that you should begin with a 16kg kettlebell sir, not the 24kg, your response should be, “yes coach.”
What you should be able to do with a 16kg
Just like there are standards of strength to shoot for with barbell training, there are standards you should aim for with kettlebell training as well. When working with a barbell, a good first goal is to be able to bench your bodyweight. You should also aim to be able to back squat at least 1.5 times your bodyweight. Additionally, you should be able to deadlift 1.5 times your bodyweight as well as a basic measure of strength. Another one is to be able to perform a standing military press .75 times your bodyweight. Remember, these are standards, and not setting the bar high.
So it goes with kettlebell training, just a little different obviously because you’re training with a different implement and on that is more unstable. So, here’s some feats of basic strength you should be able to do before you consider moving onto heavier kettlebells, which don’t get me wrong, you should do at the right time.
- Turkish Get-Ups x 5 consecutive per side
- 100 Kettlebell Swings in under 3 minutes
- 100 Kettlebell Snatches in under 5 minutes
- Strict Press x 15 consecutive reps
- Bent Press x 5 consecutive per side
- Goblet Squat x 30 consecutive reps
- Floor Press x 25 consecutive reps
- Front Squat x 15 consecutive reps
- Double Thrusters x 15 consecutive reps
- Renegade Rows x 10 consecutive reps
Here’s a humbling double 16kg workout
I did this workout recently as I was filming another workout program for Well Built Kettlebells called “Double Trouble.” I used two 12kg (26lb) kettlebells because it was my second workout of the day and I thought it would be easy enough.
I got humbled pretty quick. I still finished every rep and in good time, but I was amazed at how hard I was working with just the 12kgs. Good luck with the 16kgs!
Format: 5 Rounds
KB Front Squat
½ Kneeling Strict Press
X 15s ea
KB OH Sit-Ups
How long did it take?