Ballistic Training & Kettlebell Exercises

One of the most common dilemmas I come across is people wanting to burn fat and add strength at the same time. After all, if there is one thing we know about human nature it is that we don’t like waiting for anything. The bulking and cutting cycles are proven to give results but it can take years to get to the size and shape you want. So inevitably people are always looking to find alternative methods. 

Essentially it comes down to finding the balance between cardio and resistance training. Cardio allows you to burn calories while resistance training means you can focus on building muscle. Ballistic training, particularly kettlebell exercise, allows us to use exercises that incorporate both of these elements.

Ballistic training is all about three elements:

  • Lift
  • Acceleration
  • Release

This makes it different to most forms of strength training that focuses more on slower controlled movements. The lack of control associated with power training is one of the major criticisms. But control isn’t what it looks to focus on. The idea is to be as explosive as possible to generate maximum power.

Kettlebell exercises are one of the most common forms of ballistic training and they are becoming more and more popular. It isn’t difficult to see why, they have a number of positive aspects:

  • Swing movements provide a cardio aspect, while the weight acts as resistance
  • Varied weights allow a logical progression in difficulty level
  • Targets flexibility by incorporating a great deal of movement

Just to be clear, what I’m not saying is that you can abandon all other training methods and just focus solely on this. The best way to get to the size you want (and staying there) is by cycling effectively. This means that you need to bulk and cut in the right way. So when you are bulking make sure you focus on getting plenty of carbs and healthy fats. Then when you feel like it is time to cut try and reduce the amounts of both again.

These type of exercises still have an important role to play though. The great thing about kettlebell exercises is that there are so many variations. You can vary weight, intensity, speed, and that’s just a few. For example, you can use them primarily as a cardio workout by implementing high intensity interval swings or you can focus more on strength by slowing it down and changing the weights that you use.

Quick fixes don’t exist, at least not in health and fitness. You might see limited results in the short term, but that is because you have subjected your body to change. It makes sense that if you change the way you train that your results will change.

Designing yourself a workout plan is not easy but getting it right can be the difference to meeting your goals and missing them. You need to incorporate the exercises that suit you and that you enjoy. So don’t be afraid to add in new ideas. It might seem like trial and error but to a certain extent that is how you will find out what works best for you.


Ollie Lawrence
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