The Kettlebell is one of the best implements out there when we are talking about gaining strength, building muscle, getting lean and attaining superhuman endurance. No matter what your goal is, you can benefit from kettlebell training big time. Besides, this tool is the least space consuming option (after your bodyweight, of course). You can even use kettlebells as part of your room decor.
As you probably know, the heavier kettlebell you use, the more benefits you will reap. A heavier kettlebell = more strength, more muscle, more fat loss. So you need to aim to lift more challenging bells with time. If your weight is 80 kg (180 lbs) and more, then you will need a pair of 40 kg (88s), 44 kg (97s) and maybe even 48 kg (105s). For example, a Double Front Squat with a pair of 32 kg (70s) kettlebells became ridiculously easy for me very quickly at the weight of 180 lbs. Heck, squatting with 40 kg kettlebells is not a problem anymore.
However, there’s one nuance with kettlebells…They are quite expensive. You probably won’t be able to afford a new pair of kettlebells every time you hit PRs. No problem. Kettlebells offer different kinds of progressions to master the weight. If the Military Press becomes too easy, try a Seated Press. If the Seated Press also becomes too easy, try the Sots Press. In fact, you can vary not only the exercises, but you can also cut rest periods between sets (which is also great for fat loss), shift the lifting tempo, do high rep sets, add sets etc. But what if all that becomes too easy ? You need to buy a new pair.
Here’s the thing. For example, your 32 kg kettlebells became as light as air after moving through all those progressions I mentioned above. You don’t need to buy 36 kg kettlebells. You can skip them and purchase 40s. But what to do if you can’t lift 40 kgs right away? Take your time. Don’t rush things. We have now reached the main topic of this article.
The Rough Strength Solution for Making Your Kettlebells Heavier
At first, a disclaimer. The technique that I’m going to reveal is dangerous if done improperly. Try it at your own risk. I’m not responsible in any manner whatsoever for any injury which may occur through reading and following the instructions herein.
Additionally, I highly recommend not using this stuff for ballistic exercises especially the Double Snatch. You can use it for conventional movements like Presses, Rows, Squats and Deadlifts for added resistance.
Here’s the fun part. So you have a kettlebell and desire to make it heavier. There are several options:
1. Kettlebell, dumbbell and rope
All you need are a kettlebell, a dumbbell and some rope. You can attach the dumbbell to the kettlebell’s handle with a knot and rope it to the other side of the handle. Finish it with a double knot under the dumbbell. Look at the photos below.
Here is a 32 kg kettlebell and a 4 kg dumbbell attached to it. A 36 kg kettlebell is now ready. You need a good rope for this. Check all the knots before training. They should hold the dumbbell very tightly. The setup may seem a bit time consuming, but who cares? You need results, right?
2. Kettlebell and Chains
The second option is to attach chains to your kettlebell. This method is less useful in my opinion because chains take up a lot of space for their weight. In other words, there will be less space for your hand on the handle. Nevertheless, chains can offer you added resistance, which is great.
UPDATE: Kettlebell and Dumbbells – Part 2
I picked up this awesome method from my fellow countryman and kettlebell brother Yahont. Check out his livejournal here. Learn russian, comrades!
It’s simple and effective.
You can use practically everything you want for added resistance. But remember:
1. Check all the attachments before training.
2. Don’t use this technique for ballistic moves.
This technique has it’s own flaws, but I have used it with success in my training. Of course, you will miss out on some fun from not doing ballistic exercises with these kettlebells, but dumbbells, ropes and chains cost way less than a new pair of kettlebells.
Stay tuned for more on rough training.
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