A SUPER SIMPLE 20 MINUTE KETTLEBELL WORKOUT

The fitness game is often lost because most people lack the consistency and longevity that it takes to see results.

5 workouts one week, 2 the next, back to 3 the following week, and then 1 the week after that just isn’t going to cut it.

If you find it difficult to create time for your well-being and struggle to make yourself a priority than today’s post is for you. You’ll learn some tips that will help you hold yourself accountable.

Plus, you’ll get a super simple 20 minute kettlebell workout that you can do when pressed for time.

Note: Download your free PDF copy of this workout routine.

HOW TO USE THIS GUIDE

This guide has all the tips, tricks, and resources you will need on your mission to live a healthy life.

I’ve provided you with all the resources that you need to succeed but it’s up to you to implement them.

Simply reading through the guides isn’t going to help you achieve your goal weight, the six-pack you desire, a faster mile time, more strength, or whatever your fitness quest might be.

  • You have to do the work
  • You have to start making you health and wellness a priority
  • You have to accept responsibility for yourself and understand that you CAN do this if you stay with it.      

It will be hard, you will get frustrated, and you may question if you can actually do this. If you need some support, motivation, or a kick in the pants please do not hesitate to get in-touch with me.

STEP 1: PICK A DAY ANY DAY

Take a look at your schedule and decide which 4 days of the week will be the best days for you to exercise. The days you pick should have the fewest commitments and variability in them.

You don’t need to block out an hour or even 30 minutes. I’d like for you to schedule in a 20 minute appointment with yourself. This is an appointment that cannot be broken. 

If you really cannot spare this much time block out at least 10 minutes 4 days per week. This should be enough time to get an excellent workout in at home using the kettlebell workout featured at the end of this article.

STEP 2: PICK A TIME ANY TIME

Decide exactly what time of day – down to the hour you will be exercising.

  • 5AM?
  • Lunch Break at noon?
  • After work 6PM?
  • Midnight?

It’s best if you can commit to the same time each of the 4 days every week as this will help your body and mind build the habit (before you know it your workout clothes will be on and you’ll be ready to roll without even thinking about it).

If you have to mix up the times a bit that’s fine. Pick times that will leave you with the fewest excuses or opportunities to cancel these appointments with yourself.

Even if you’re not a morning person I highly suggest making fitness a part of your morning routine as it usually will have the fewest disruptions.

  • No chance of being kept late at work
  • An emergency with the kids
  • Being exhausted and just wanting to get home
  • A night out with the boys or girls #beer #wine #illneverdrinkagain

HOW TO DO AN AMRAP WORKOUT

What the heck does AMRAP stand for anyway?

As many rounds/reps as possible. 

This means that you are to do as many rounds and reps as possible of the exercises listed for that workout in the specified amount of time.

AMRAP workouts are one of the best ways for time-crunched people to get in a workout that produces results. 

Here are some general instructions about how to do an AMRAP workout:

  • Select one or more exercises for your workout. If you chose more than one, create a small circuit with a fixed order and number of reps per exercise.
  • Set a fixed amount of time using your phone, stopwatch, or another timer.
  • Perform As Many Reps/Rounds As Possible in this time period with good form.
  • Rest as needed during the workout. But the idea is to push yourself.

For example a 20-minute ARMAP of the following exercises would be completed as follows.

  • 10 push-ups
  • 10 sit-ups
  • 10 squats
  • 10 box jumps

You will start a timer (or set one for 20 minutes) and do 10 push-ups. You will then immediately do 10 sit-ups. Followed by 10 squats and finally 10 box jumps. That is equal to 1 round (or 40 total reps).

You would keep this up for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes your workout is done. Record your results in your log and live to fight another day.

A FITNESS PHILOSOPHY

I’ve been very fortunate to study under some of the greatest and most well-respected minds in the health and wellness industry. This combined with my 18+ years of working with clients, trial and error with my training, and continuing education. I have formulated what I believe is the most effective method for developing healthy exercise habits. That also promote lean muscle gain, fat burning, while at the same time not taking over your life.

Health and wellness should complement your lifestyle and not take it over.

WHY RESISTANCE TRAIN?

Regardless of your age, gender, or level of shape that you’re currently in; resistance training (with free weights or your own body weight) should be prioritized in your exercise routine. I’m sure that most of you are already familiar with the benefits but just in case you are not, here is what a well-programed resistance training routine can do for you. (*Courtesy of Charles Poliquin)

  • Weights Change Your Body Composition For the Better
  • Weight Training Will Help You Lose Fat
  • Lifting Preferentially Builds Fast-Twitch Muscles That Raise Metabolism
  • Weights Enhance The Nervous System & Gene Pathways
  • Strength Training Increases Endurance In Athletes & Regular Folks
  • Strength Training Decreases Blood Pressure & Improves Heart Function
  • Strength Training Improves Sleep & Reduces Chronic Pain
  • Strength Training Prevents Disease, Particularly Cancer & Diabetes
  • Strength Training Improves Hormone Levels & Reproductive Function
  • Lifting Heavy Builds Bone

If you need any more reasons to start a resistance-training program check this out.

Big tip: Your resting energy expenditure (REE) or resting metabolic rate (RMR) – the calories while you burn at rest, is the biggest energy expenditure for all of us each day. The best way to increase your REE is by building as much lean muscle as possible (ladies, this does not mean you will get bulky. I’ve written an entire article about that here.) Each kilogram of muscle uses at least 10 kcal per day.

Another big reason resistance training is prioritized in these programs is because of the “after-burn” affect that it provides. Research has shown that intense resistance training programs raise your metabolism and increase calorie burning for a longer time after you workout.

WHAT IS THIS KETTLEBELL ROUTINE LIKE?

kettlebell

I want you to get the most bang for your buck. That means you will be performing exercises that use the most muscle, burn the most calories and fat, and use the entire body.

There will be no curls for the girls, calf raises, or wrist curls (those are for Popeye). The fittest people in the world are competitive athletes and that’s exactly how you will be training because essentially that’s what you are now. So congrats to you, you are now officially an athlete!

I don’t want you to look fit I want you to actually be fit. I want you to be more confident in your life, enthusiastic about trying new things, able to lift heavier weights, establish healthy eating habits, lose body fat, be faster, and essentially become the best version of yourself.

“To bridge that gap between what you are capable of and what you currently do.”

I also want you to be able to beat your kids in a basketball game, to not throw your back out moving a couch, have fun out in your garden without being exhausted or sore the next day. It’s what I like to think of as real world health and fitness.

When lifting weights or using your own body weight to build lean muscle and burn fat you are stressing your muscles (good stress) and breaking them down. They respond by rebuilding themselves and getting stronger. In order to do this they need rest. All of the workouts in this guide are scheduled for Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday with Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday’s for rest days, play, or light recovery work (more on this in a bit).

Q: Do I have to workout on the days? What if my schedule doesn’t allow for it?

A: I realize you may have a schedule that will not allow for you to workout on the days I suggest. That’s ok; remember how I had you take a look at your schedule to see what days and times would be best for you to exercise? Use the days that work best for you. So if you have to workout on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday that’s totally cool! The important thing is that you are getting it in consistently.

The only thing that I ask of you is to avoid performing the routines for more than 3 days in a row. Unless you are more of an advanced trainee it can get difficult to recover properly.

WHAT EXERCISES WILL I BE DOING?

Remember how I said I want you to get the most bang for you buck? Well, that means you will be performing exercises that use multiple muscles, joints, and require full body movement.

This guide is designed to improve general health and fitness with reduction in body fat and the building of lean muscle. My goal was to use movements, weights, and exercises that could be done just about anywhere by any person. The exercises are kept simple and I have omitted many technical exercises that are very useful but often not convenient for the beginner or even intermediate trainee. However, I do have demo videos of them so that you can design your own workouts once you have completed this program.

Note: You can view all exercise demonstrations here.

A FEW NOTES BEFORE STARTING THE WORKOUT

Breathing: A common mistake I see is holding the breath while performing an exercise. Inhale as you lower the weight and exhale as you raise it and the same goes for when performing bodyweight movements. For example, when you lower the bar to your chest on the bench press you are inhaling and as you press it back up over yourself you would be exhaling.

Lets look at your Kettlebell AMRAP as an example:

WORKOUT A:

Complete as many rounds and reps as possible in 20 minutes of the following.

How to do this specific workout:

  • Step 1: Start a timer for 20 minutes
  • Step 2: Complete 20 goblet squats
  • Step 3: Complete 15 push-ups
  • Step 4: Complete 20 kettlebell swings (or Russian kettlebell swings)
  • Step 5: Complete 15 speed burpees
  • Step 6: Complete 20 sit-ups
  • Step 7: Complete a 15-second forearm plank

Once you’ve completed all 5 exercises in a row this is 1 round. Immediately begin your second round starting with 20 goblet squats. Repeat this process for the entire 20 minutes.

Once 20 minutes is up you will record the number or rounds and reps that you completed in your workout log.

Example: 5 complete rounds and 35 reps (20 goblet squats + 15 push-ups)

What should each rep, set, and all that stuff feel like?

This depends on your level of fitness. If you are just starting out really focus on the movement and the feel of each muscle.

Don’t worry about being able to do all of the reps in a row. It may take some time to build up to that level of fitness. Rest as much as you need while doing the workouts. As you get better you’ll be able to move faster.

There are exercise substitutions at the bottom of each workout page just in case you need to make any modification because of equipment, skill level, or knowledge.

All right! Enough chatter. On with the fitness!

THE SUPER SIMPLE KETTLEBELL 20-MINUTE AMRAP

Note: Download your free PDF copy of this workout routine.

AMRAP: As many rounds/reps as possible in a specified amount of time.

Kettlebell Only AMRAP has two different workouts (A and B). These workouts can be done at home or in a gym. You will alternate each workout and include one day of rest in between each workout.

A sample schedule may look like this.

  • Monday: Workout A
  • Tuesday: Aerobic restoration*, movement session, or rest
  • Wednesday: Workout B
  • Thursdays: Aerobic restoration*, movement session, or rest
  • Friday: Workout A
  • Saturday: Aerobic restoration*, movement session, or rest
  • Sunday: Workout B
  • Monday: Aerobic restoration*, movement session, or rest
  • Tuesday: Workout A
  • Repeat this schedule

This is only a sample schedule. Make adjustments based on your schedule and needs.

Note: Aerobic restoration and movement sessions are active recoveries. I highly recommend that you do these in-between workouts to help with recovery but to also help you establish the habit of being active daily.

  • 15-45 minute Walk
  • Jog/Run
  • Hike
  • Yoga
  • Fun fitness like sports, dance, etc…

What you’ll need:

  • A kettlebell
  • Your body

WORKOUT A:

Complete as many rounds and reps as possible in 20 minutes of the following.

  1. 20 goblet squats
  2. 15 push-ups
  3. 20 kettlebell swings (or Russian kettlebell swings*)
  4. 15 Speed burpees
  5. 20 Sit-ups
  6. 15-second forearm plank

If You Need To Modify This Workout

If the workout feels too difficult to try the following:

  1. Shorten the AMRAP time. Instead of 20 minutes try 15, 12, 10, etc…
  2. Cut the reps. Do fewer reps of any of the exercises (ex: 10 push-ups)
  3. Move at a pace your comfortable with. Rest as needed.
  4. Use exercise modifications (see below)

Exercise Modifications

WORKOUT B:

Complete as many rounds and reps as possible in 20 minutes of the following:

  1. 10 kettlebell clean and press (left arm)
  2. 10 kettlebell one arm rows (left arm)
  3. 10 kettlebell clean and press (right arm)
  4. 10 kettlebell one arm rows (right arm)
  5. 20 Lunge jumps (or squat jumps)
  6. 20 floor wipers (or leg raises)
  7. Optional: 100-meter run (if you have room outside)

BONUS WORK

If you have some extra time or are just feeling frisky, choose one of the options below for some extra training.

  • Box jumps or broad jumps: As many as you can do in 30 seconds. Rest 30 seconds. Repeat for 5 to 10 sets
  • Jump rope: As many as you can do in 30 seconds. Rest 30 seconds. Repeat for 5 to 10 sets
  • Stair runs: Use the stairs in your home to run up and down for 1 minute. Rest 1 minute. Repeat for 5 sets

Do you have any questions about this workout? 

Would you like to see more kettlebell only workouts on the site? 

Let me know in the comments below.

Chat soon,

Justin

PS: Here’s the link to download the PDF the 20-Minute Kettlebell Workout featured in today’s article

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