The 21-day kettlebell challenge was created by Pavel Tsatsouline. It’s purpose is to improve your strength and conditioning level while increasing your overall health and well being. You don’t have to do it all at once, but if you want to get stronger, you need to make progress each week. If you’re not used to doing any kind of exercise routine, then the 21-day kettlebell challenge might seem like too much work for you or even impossible. But don’t worry! I’m here to tell you that it isn’t as hard as it seems.
In this article, we’ll go over how to complete the 21-day kettlebell challenge. Also, we will share some tips on what to expect during the 21 days. After completing the 21-day kettlebell challenge, you won’t believe how much better your body feels and looks!
What Is The 21-Day Kettlebell Challenge?
The 21-day kettlebell challenge is a workout program designed to increase your strength and endurance levels. It consists of 3 workouts per week. Each workout includes 5 sets of 8 reps with 90 seconds rest between sets. The first two weeks of the program focus on one-handed kettlebell swings and the last two weeks focus on the kettlebell clean and press. The 21-day challenge is completely scalable for all fitness levels, from beginners to advanced.
The 21-day kettlebell challenge uses two types of kettlebells: a “heavy” one and a “medium” one. For women I suggest a 12kg kettlebell and for men a 16kg kettlebell. If these weights are too heavy, then start with an 8kg and a 12kg kettlebell.
You may find that you need to rearrange your daily routine so that you can fit in 3 or 4 workouts each week, depending on how long you rest between the workouts themselves (3 days) and how long you rest between the sets within the workouts (90 seconds). You can do the 21-day challenge in the comfort of your own home, and all you need is a set of kettlebells and space to move around.
Note: you may experience some muscle soreness shortly after the workout, but this should go away after a couple of days rest. Be sure to keep your diet as healthy as you can. Don’t eat too much or too little. Make sure you’re drinking plenty of water every day.
The 21-Day Kettlebell Challenge: Week 1, Day 1
The first week of the challenge focuses on practicing the correct swing movement with one-handed kettlebell swings. It’s not an exaggeration to say that mastering the kettlebell swing is THE most important aspect of this whole program. If you don’t learn and master the swing properly then it’s unlikely that you will be able to complete the rest of the program. That’s why the first week is all about practice!
For this first workout of the challenge, you will need to get the feel of a light kettlebell and practice the correct swing movement. Beginners normally have problems with keeping their backs straight, keeping their arms straight and not using their back muscles, just practicing the swing will help to rectify this. Once you feel that you’re ready to move on to heavier weights, move on to workout 1B.
1A) Kettlebell Swing: 2 sets of 15, 10, 8, 5, 5 (5 minutes rest)
The two sets of 15 are a very light warm-up to get you moving into the swing movement. Then the next three sets are going to increase in difficulty with the final set being the most challenging. Rest for 5 minutes and repeat this whole process once.
Once you finish this routine, you will have completed your first workout. Give yourself at least one full day of rest before you start the second workout, if not 2. This will allow your muscles time to repair and reduce the risk of injury.
The First Challenge: Patience!
The first challenge is simply to finish all 3 of the first week workouts without quitting. This is the hardest first week of the whole challenge, so persevere and don’t give up!
The 21-Day Kettlebell Challenge: Week 1, Day 2
You will notice that there is no more talk of sets and reps in these workouts from now on. This is because the rest of the program uses a mix of interval sets and circuits. The “volume” will come from you repeating the whole workout for the specified number of intervals or rounds. So once you learn the exercises, there’s no more counting of anything!
For this week’s workout, you will be using a circuit method which means that you will complete one exercise immediately followed by the next with no breaks in between. After you’ve completed all the exercises in the circuit, you will have completed 1 round. Repeat this process for the number of rounds stated at the beginning of the workout. Rest for 2 minutes before moving on to the next circuit.
Now that you know how many rounds to complete, let’s get into the exercises!
1A) Kettlebell Swings: 1 round of 30 reps
1B) Push-Ups: 1 round of 30 reps
1C) Air Squats: 1 round of 30 reps
This is a very simple and basic circuit. The only thing that might get complicated is the kettlebell swings. If you’re not sure how to do a kettlebell swing, then watch this first:
Don’t forget, the first week is all about practice. So if you need to, practice the exercises in between sets or even during your rest periods! The goal of the first week is to practice and familiarize yourself with the exercises. Don’t forget to breathe properly!
The First Challenge: 30 Straight Seconds!
This challenge is simple. For the first circuit, you will do 1 kettlebell swing, then move onto the push-ups, then go back to the kettlebell swings and so forth until you complete a round of all three exercises. Do not put the kettlebell down until you complete a full round of all three exercises.
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