The American Council on Exercise reports that kettlebell training can produce twice the benefits in half the time of traditional weightlifting. Unlike workouts with barbells and dumbbells, kettlebell training uses dynamic movements that require stability and core control and combine several different muscle groups in one exercise. The variations of kettlebell training are effective for full and total-body workouts that you can do two to six times a week, but they can also complement any existing cardiovascular or weight-training program.
As a new user, the number of times you exercise matters less than mastering the techniques. The off-centered handle of a kettlebell and the fluid movements that require focus and coordination challenge beginners, who must perfect their form before increasing the kettlebell weight and performing combination techniques. Two to three workouts a week allows for more recovery time since soreness can be expected, particularly with each new movement you learn. Start with an introductory class from a certified kettlebell instructor. Kettlebell training incorporates movements that many fitness enthusiasts, even avid weightlifters, don't regularly use. Safety should always come first when you start with unfamiliar exercises or adjust your workout plan.
Most people who work out with kettlebells want to build strength and get a full-body workout. Intermediate kettlebell users develop a tolerance for post-workout soreness. Technically, you can work out with kettlebells daily, especially if you alternate major muscle groups. However, because kettlebells use many big compound movements, such as a clean and push press, that activate several major muscle groups, it's best to schedule at least one but preferably two days off a week for recovery time.
Experienced kettlebell users understand form, movements and combinations. This enables them to incorporate a greater variety of exercises into their workouts. At this level, the kettlebell gets heavier and the combinations become more advanced, such as a roll back to a press. Even at this stage, quality workouts yield better results than quantity. The frequency of workouts may stay the same as your body still requires recovery time.
Kettlebell Weight Selection
The appropriate kettlebell weight varies with fitness levels and gender. Typically, men begin with a 35-pound kettlebell or really fit males might use a 53-pound kettlebell. Women generally begin with an 18-pound bell, though really fit women may opt for 26 pounds. Do not increase the kettlebell weight before you become fully proficient with the kettlebell exercises.