Kettlebell Kings Blog

Functional BodyBuilding - Awaken Training Series 

Posted by Kettlebell Kings on Jan 17, 2018 4:53:35 PM

Kettlebell Kings is excited to have Marcus Filly contribute a four part series for our followers about functional bodybuilding with a focus on kettlebells. Marcus has competed at the CrossFit Games six times, three times as an individual (2016 12th fittest) and three times as a team member (2012 6th fittest team). Marcus can be found at his website here: and social media @marcusfilly and @functional.bodybuilding

We believe kettlebells are under utilized by most in the Crossfit community and are only used for swings when a WOD calls for it. As we have seen with some of our other pieces we have published regarding power lifting and other movements common in Crossfit workouts, kettlebells can and should actually be used to help improve your abilities in movements like deadlift, power clean and bench press. Additionally, as we have seen in some of collaborations with Mind Pump Media, kettlebells are an excellent tool for aesthetic training as well. If you find the information you see here helpful and want more, make sure to subscribe to our free posts through any of the links below or here.

By Marcus Filly:

In partnership with Kettlebell Kings, we have taken 4 workouts from the Awaken Training Series programs and are bringing them to you in a series. Kettlebells play a huge role in the athletic development of our athletes through Awaken Training Series. They are commonly used implements in our training program and we love finding new applications for them. For this particular content we have made some subtle changes to the exercise selection and loading implements to highlight the kettlebell even further. Wherever possible in the following workouts that you will see, we have used kettlebells.

Give the training a try. We have accompanying notes along with sets and reps to ensure you understand the why behind what you are doing here.  

Warm Up

4 Sets  of 6-8 reps Half Kneeling Bottom Up KB Press per arm, then rest 30 seconds 


12 Goblet Loaded Lateral Band Walks then rest 30 seconds



12 Scapular Push Ups on Kettlebells then rest 60sec



*Our warm ups are specifically designed for each training session to warm up the movement patterns and joints that are getting trained in the session to follow. In general we like to think about targeting musculature that supports the larger compound exercise that are to follow in our strength and conditioning sets. In today’s warm ups we are focusing on getting the scapular to turn on and start firing for the upper push and pull dominant session to follow. 

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A1. Kettlebell Incline Bench Press; 30X1; 6-8reps; rest 60sec x 3



A2. Incline Dual Kettlebell Prone Row; 2111; 6-8reps; rest 60sec x 3 sets



*In a classic upper horizontal push and pull superset, we are using slow tempos and higher time under tension along with moderate rest periods to focus a bit more on muscle endurance and motor control. (Tempo prescriptions start with the eccentric count, so the bench press would be down for 3 seconds, do not pause at the bottom, explode up, then pause 1 second before the next rep.)



B1. Single Arm Ring Row; 2020 Tempo; Max Reps on each arm at the prescribed tempo; rest 60sec x 3


B2. Feet Elevated Kettlebell Plank; 45-60sec unbroken; rest 60sec x 3



*In this second superset we are moving from two open chain exercises to two closed chain exercises coupled together. By moving to closed chain push and pull exercises we are training the muscle and brain in a slightly different way while still get in additional volume in the same movement pattern. 

Get automatic updates when we publish Part 2 with Marcus by filling out the sign up for to the right on desktops or below on mobile devices or here: 

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Topics: body building, aesthetic training, Marcus Fily

Teams USA Competes At IUKL World Championships!

Posted by Kettlebell Kings on Jan 11, 2018 2:06:26 PM

Team USA recently competeted at the IUKL World Championships in South Korea and had a lot of great success! We are proud to sponsor Team USA and be a part of the worldwide growing sport of Kettlebell Sport. Team USA is represented by a lot of great athletes and people and is put together by The American Kettlebell Alliance. Each year members of Team USA are determined at the USA National Championships. Below is a recap of some of the athletes and their success! You can contact the American Kettlebell Alliance or for more information on how to become involved in Team USA Kettlebell Lifting.

If you would like to learn more about Kettlebell Sport, we have published extensively on this topic and you can read more about getting started here and progress through the training.

Team USA Results from IUKL World Championship 2017 at Seoul, South Korea

by: The American Kettlebell Alliance

Veterans Rank 2nd and Adults Rank 8th in the World Overall Team USA Wins 26 Medals

Team USA Veterans took one of the top places (2nd place) at the International Union of Kettlebell Lifters (IUKL) World Kettlebell Championships 2017 held November 15-18 at Olympic Park in Seoul Korea. Overall, Team USA members, Lynn Bonnemere, Laura Brown, Camargo, Jennifer Casey, Irvin Charleston, Dana Curcio, Sarah Fornero, Kimberly Fox, Tim Fullmer, Vyacheslav Gurevich, William Hass, Barbara Hutchinson, Andrey Kleyner, Marlena Klimkiewicz, Nick Kotwica, Svitlana Krechyk, Richard Morton, Valerie Pawlowski, Douglas Seamans, Mike Sherman, David Steele, Jon Vitolo, Dale Wall, Jamie Wolcott, Joann Worden, Tina Yerkes, placed 8th of the 33 countries competing.

Along with the “classic” competition lifts, this year’s World Competition also featured the “trial” woman’s two arm long cycle. Countries represented in the Women’s Two-Arm Long Cycle competition were from Canada, England, Finland, Ireland, Netherlands, Norway, Scotland, and USA. Our own Kimberly Fox won first place lifting two 24kg’s with 64 reps and Sarah Fornero took 3rd doing 89 reps lifting 16’s. Overall There were 453 competitors from around the world registered for the event that was held in the historic handball arena.

Read the breakdown of medalists below and more information below!

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Topics: Team USA

Build Power With The Kettlebell Spiked Swing

Posted by Kettlebell Kings on Jan 10, 2018 9:20:54 PM

John Odden of Empowered Strength breaks down part of his power training series by explaining and demonstrating a kettlebell spiked swing in this post. The beauty of the Spiked Swing is that it helps you generate more power because of downward pressure on the bell. Normally when trying to build your power you need to use a heavy kettlebell you can swing 4-5 times. The Spiked Swing allows you to use a lighter weight because downward pressure and momentum on the bell makes it act like a heavier weight for you. 

Getting started:

  • try being barefoot or minimalist shoe
  • be as powerful as possible while being safe
  • have a solid understanding of kettlebell movements & foundations
  • work with a partner who is versed in kettlebell movement as well

Do not attempt this movement unless you have built a solid foundation of kettlebell movements and  know how to perform a proper kettlebell swing as well as having a healthy lower back. Your partner will apply the appropriate tension you need on the swing.

Set up to perform a kettlebell swing with your partner standing in a position to apply downward pressure on the kettlebell when it reaches the top of your swing ( demo at 1:20)

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Topics: Kettlebell Spiked Swing

Ironing Out The Pain: Use Kettlebells To Relieve Neck & Shoulder Pain

Posted by Kettlebell Kings on Dec 27, 2017 1:11:26 PM

By John Parker: 

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Topics: Ironing Out The Pain

Kettlebell Foundations:  Overhead Press

Posted by Kettlebell Kings on Dec 13, 2017 3:51:41 PM

By Doug Fioranelli

Let’s shift gears in our Hardstyle Kettlebell Series pivoting from our dynamic kettlebell swing back to a more traditional strength training movement; the Overhead or Military Press.  Much like we went over in the deadliftand squat, the overhead press is a great movement to build strength and it complements well with the kettlebell.    

Traditionally the overhead press is done with a barbell or dumbbells; however, the kettlebell can provide a different, and even advantageous, way to get the most benefit out of the exercise. 

Proper Set Up and Patterning:

Most overhead pressing variations with the kettlebell start from the rack position which we discussed in our hardstyle squat series.  Though the rack position does make the weight sit lower on the body, thus making the overhead pressing range of motion more than that with a barbell or dumbbell, it also makes for a safer starting platform where you can rest the weight if necessary.  Traditionally with the barbell or dumbbells, it is difficult to rest the weight at the bottom near the body because of the positioning of the weight itself.  The kettlebells can be supported neatly and close to the body making it much more comfortable to rest in the rack position.

Kettlebell overhead pressing may also be a potentially safer form of overhead pressing due to the nature of how the weight sits in-connection against the lifter’s forearm and the ability to make small, safer adjustments while pressing overhead.  With the barbell, where the hands and arms are fixed, it is nearly impossible to slightly adjust the path of the weight overhead to compensate for shoulder mobility limitations.  Although dumbbells allow for independent movement of the shoulders during the lifts, with weight distribution of bells being up high and on either side, the adjustments could send the weight in an unfavorable direction and cause an injury in an extreme case.

For pressing success it’s important to start with a good rack position and ground connection.  Both of which are essential for stability and strength production during this lift.  Here are the steps to perform a proper Hardstyle Overhead Kettlebell Press:

Read more below and watch the full demonstration below!

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Topics: Kettlebell Foundations

Cerakote Painted Kettlebells

Posted by Kettlebell Kings on Nov 20, 2017 8:49:49 PM

We are really excited to announce and introduce our new Cerakote Kettlebell options! We have always tried to innovate and create as many new awesome kettlebell options as possible, this has led to past releases like our Adjustable Competition Kettlebells and Steel Standard Kettlebells. Our new Cerakote Kettlebells meet all of our criteria for what we try to create with our kettlebells. They innovate and they are functional. These will be available Wednesday, November 22 2017.

Our new Cerakote Kettlebells allow for virtually unlimited creativity in how your kettlebell looks and is personalized for you, but are also painted with the most durable paint available on the market today and are actually functional to use.  We do not lose sight of the form and shape of our kettlebells that has helped us grow as a company and sponsor the biggest kettlebell competitions in the world as well as work with some of the top lifters in the world. Cerakote is more durable then Powder Coat, E-Coat and any Matte paint on kettlebells anywhere today. 

What is Cerakote?

Cerakote is a Polymer-Ceramic Composite coating that can be applied to metals, plastics, polymers and wood. The unique formulation used for Cerakote ceramic coating enhances a number of physical performance properties including abrasion/wear resistance, corrosion resistance, chemical resistance, impact strength, and hardness. Each of these properties is rigorously tested to guarantee that Cerakote products remain at the forefront of the ceramic coatings market. Cerakote ceramic coatings utilize state-of-the-art technology to out-perform any competitive coating in both laboratory settings and real world applications. - from

  • Original - There are no other bells like this available today, you can choose from one of our designs or create your own!
  • Durable - Cerakote is more durable than powder, e-coat and matte paint
  • Functional - Do not sacrifice form and comfort for the look of the bell, you can choose from any of our popular models and add the cerakote finish

 Sign Up For Our Free Weekly Workout Lists to be notified when these are available!

View All The Cerakote Options!

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Topics: Cerakote Kettlebells

Two Potent Ways To BioHack Fat Loss This Holiday Season

Posted by Kettlebell Kings on Nov 15, 2017 3:23:12 PM

By Ben Greenfield:

As the holiday season approaches, I’ve been on a new fat burning quest - a quest that basically consists of choosing exercises that get me the most bang for my calorie burning buck. In this article, you’re going to learn the two best methods I’ve been using to biohack fat loss – and you’re specifically going to discover how I achieve just that with my little friend called the kettlebell.

How to Biohack Fat Loss With a Kettlebell Swing

So what does the term “biohack fat loss” actually mean?

In short, biohacking is simply finding ways to accelerate the speed and efficiency of making your body or brain (that is, your biology) work better. Biohacking fat loss might include strategies such as skipping breakfast and drinking buttered coffee instead, spending all day long on a standing or treadmill workstation, or using only exercises that burn the most calories or give you the greatest boost of fitness in the shortest period of time.

And one of the best ways to achieve bang for the buck is to throw around a kettlebell. As a matter of fact, a recent study that just appeared in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research showed that the acute hormonal response to the kettlebell swing exercise consisted of an extremely significant rise in growth hormone and testosterone, two potent fat-burning hormones in both men and women.

This is just one reason why I shot this video about how to do high intensity interval training with a mighty kettlebell. It burns as many calories as an all-out running sprint, and boosts your metabolism for hours after you’re finishing exercising. For example, one very simple beginner workout that takes advantage of these metabolic properties goes as follows:

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Topics: Ben Greenfield

Protect Your Wrist & Forearm When Kettlebell Lifting

Posted by Kettlebell Kings on Oct 26, 2017 1:18:56 PM

This has to be one of the most frequently asked questions we get when we publish or talk to people in casual conversation, "How do I not destroy my wrist and forearm when lifting kettlebells?" Luckily, Kettlebell Kings works with expert and world champions to bring you answers to questions like this.

Brittany Van Schravendijk goes over the answer to this frequently asked question for us in the video below. There are three factors:

  • grip
  • size of arch
  • timing


How you grip the kettlebell is important regardless of the style of kettlebell you use. In this demonstration, Brittany uses her competition kettlebell.  Do not give the bell at 'death grip', this has to be one of the most common errors people make by grasping their whole hand around the handle of the bell and thinking they need to hang on for dear life!  What you want to use is a 'hook grip'.  The kettebell should be between your first knuckle and your fingers (shown 1:11), with your thumb locked over which allows your wrist to be straight, but is loose enough to allow you to transition to different positions easily while still controlling the kettlebell. 


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Topics: Protecting Wrist & Forearm

Learn Proper Breathing Techniques For Kettlebell Sport From a World Champion Part 2

Posted by Kettlebell Kings on Oct 25, 2017 2:53:33 PM

We are glad to have Kimberly Fox back to talk about Proper Breathing Technique Part 2! In case you missed it, here is Part 1. 

Kimberly Fox is a World Champion kettlebell lifter and member of Team USA. She will be representing Team USA at the IUKL World Championships in Seoul, South Korea this year which are the world championships for Kettlebell Sport in which the best lifters from all of the world compete.  We asked Kimberly if she would share some of her best advice and tips for Kettlebell Sport training with us leading up to the World Championships and she was very happy to help.

This is an exciting year for women in Kettlebell Sport because this is the first year women will be competing in Two Arm Long Cycle.  Kim competes with TWO 24 kilogram competition kettlebells and will be going for personal and world records in reps in South Korea. The top kettlebell athletes in the world will be competing in Seoul to represent their countries and Kim has some awesome goals we wanted to learn about.   


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Topics: kettlebell sport, Kettlebell Technique, Team USA, Kimberly Fox

Kettlebell Foundations: The Hardstyle Kettlebell Swing

Posted by Kettlebell Kings on Oct 17, 2017 12:09:18 PM

Our previous posts with Doug Fioranelli have been building towards the Kettlebell Swing. Even though the swing is one of the movements most people are familiar with, you actually should build up to it with the deadlift and the squat in order to prepare your body for the kettlebell swing, rather then going right into it. 

By Doug Fioranelli

As we continue this Hardstyle Kettlebell Series for Kettlebell Kings we have built up our strength and proper movement patterns by learning the deadlift  and then the squat; which are foundational for what we are covering now: The Kettlebell Swing. 

The kettlebell swing is truly the unique movement primarily associated with the kettlebell itself which cannot be optimally performed using any other equipment.  From top athletes to the new trainee, the kettlebell swing has numerous training benefits which include strength enhancement, power production and endurance.    

Kettlebell Swing: Proper Set Up and Patterning

Like the Hardstyle Deadlift, the kettlebell swing is a hinge pattern which primarily utilizes the muscles of the posterior chain (hamstrings and glutes).  It’s important to start with a good ground connection which is essential for stability and power production; a flat sole shoe or barefoot is preferred when performing swings.  After establishing a solid ground connection, here are the steps to take to perform a proper Hardstyle 2-Arm Kettlebell Swing:

  • Set up in an athletic stance with two hands on the kettlebell which is directly in front of your feet making a triangle position.
  • Tip the handle of the bell back towards you and lock your lats into place where the biceps are connected to the ribcage thus creating back tension; think shoulder blades in back pockets.
  • To start the backswing; hike the kettlebell through your legs by hinging your hips (not squatting).
  • When you feel your hamstrings stretch; squeeze your glutes and drive your feet into the ground to move the kettlebell upward through the legs.
  • Make sure the hips and knees always finish (get the hips fully underneath your body and lock your knees); this not only ensures proper technique but also saves your lower back from injury.  You want to properly propel the kettlebell upward (not forward) using your hips.
  • No leaning back; you want a tall body posture at the top of the movement with the arms extended and the kettlebell parallel to the floor.
  • When performing the backswing; wait for the kettlebell to almost hit you before you hinge.  The kettlebell should be above the knees and the biceps should connect to your sides just before you hinge.  Hinging too early will result in a lack of strength and may cause a sore lower back or an injury over time.

Some other details of the kettlebell swing include:

  • Have a good grip on the handle during the swing so the bell does not flop at the top or during the end of the backswing.  This excessive movement will make it difficult to keep your body stable.
  • A slight elbow bend in the arms is allowed during the swing, however do not actively bend your elbows and pull the bell in towards you to assist the bell up to the top of the swing.
  • Traditional hardstyle breathing is one breathing cycle per swing where you inhale through the nose or mouth during the backswing and then a tight exhale (don’t let all your air out) during the upward motion of the swing.

Once you feel comfortable with the 2-arm swing you can start practicing with some of the swing variations that will then help you build the foundation for other kettlebell movements like cleans and snatches.


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Topics: Kettlebell Movements, Kettlebell Foundations