Building Muscle with Kettlebells–The KMA (Kick My Ass) Workout

Building Muscle with Kettlebells Kristi Joy Wilkins

What’s the best way to be building muscle with kettlebells? Double kettlebells! Why doubles and not single kettlebell work? Simply because more load builds more strength and more muscle. Using two 12kg kettlebells is heavier and demands more strength and metabolic demand (read fat burning), than one 16kg ‘bell–and you know if you keep up this strength training stuff you will be lifting 2, 16kg (or more)!

Yes, you can go about building muscle with the ever popular single kettlebell swing, single kettlebell squats, cleans, and presses and single leg deadlifts with one ‘bell. But at some point you are probably going to start getting diminishing returns for building muscle, and gaining strength even as you move up in weight with your kettlebells.

Building Muscle with Kettlebells for Beginners

If you are a beginner with kettlebells, start single kettlebell work with kettlebell deadlifts, and kettlebell swings.

And to see what kettlebells I recommend, check out stuff I use.

Building Muscle with Kettlebells –Advanced

Enter the KMA (Kick My Ass) Workout.

This is a kettlebell chain exercise. You will be doing each specific exercise one after the other with no rest. Then you will repeat for your desired number of reps before resting. Make your rest time double the time it took you to do the chain. Reduce your rest time as you progress.

The focus will be more on strength if you do this with lower reps/higher weights, and more onĀ  building muscle/metabolic conditioning with a somewhat lighter (not light!) weights/higher reps.

Make sure your single kettlebell work is up to par and you at least have some practice with double kettlebell cleans, squats and presses.

And of course, always warm up first!

(And enjoy the little tribute to my ballet background :) )

  • Place your kettlebells in an upside down V.
  • From a tall standing position, jump back to push up position.
  • Renegade row. (make sure you press the opposite arm and kettlebell into the ground as you pull. Notice I have a bit of trouble with my left side).
  • Jump up to the kettlebells.
  • Clean, squat (make sure you keep your knees tracking out/externally rotate those thighs. You’ll notice I have a little trouble on this with my right knee), overhead press.
  • Repeat 3-5x. Do 3 sets total.

DONE! (and you will be done!) This workout is very effective for building muscle, strength, and burning fat. The KMA workout hits all major movements you need in very short period of time. It includes pulling, targeted core work, an explosive/power move, a knee dominant level change, and an overhead pushing movement.

If you’re looking for more great muscle building and fat burning workouts that use double kettlebells see my post best workouts for weight loss.

The KMA is quick and dirty for times when you have very limited time and need to get your training in. Do it and let me know what you think!

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