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Please rate and tell me if im doing something wrong or not efficient.

I have a full time job and a child so my time is VERY limited. I also have next to no money to buy weights or gym membership. I also like the idea of doing bodyweight training.

The only things I own are a chin up bar, a 8kg kettlebell and a 16kg kettlebell.

What I was going to do was a full body work out before work every morning on Monday, Wednesday & Friday.

My pre workout snack would be a glass of water and a banana with peanut butter on wholegrain toast.

My workout will consist of building up to 6 sets of 8 chin ups, press ups, sit ups and squats.

When I can finish 6 full sets of these excercises I will add my 8kg weight to each excercises and build up to that again then add my 16kg and so on.

Let me know what you think.

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2 Answers 2

up vote 7 down vote accepted

Given your time constraints and available equipment, this looks like a good start.

Good things

  • You're interested in full-body workouts
  • You've scheduled a rest day between each workout, with 2 at the end of the week
  • You're including nutrition in your plan (although what you eat right before the workout is much less important than how you eat throughout the day and on your rest days... your muscles grow when they're resting, not when you're working out)

Some points for improvement...

If you're interested in strength gains, work in the 3 sets of 5 reps range. However that will be hard to do with the kettlebells available to you.

For chins, just do 3 sets, each until failure. So, one workout might look like: 5 reps, 4 reps, 3 reps. The next workout, you will hopefully be able to do more: 6 reps, 4 reps, 4 reps... etc. This is a good progression until you are doing more than 15 reps. Then you should find a way to do weighted chin-ups. This advice is based on material from Mark Rippetoe's Starting Strength program.

As for how to best use kettlebells for a good full-body workout, I'll leave that to somebody else to answer, but you'll likely want do something similar to the squat, overhead press, and bench press.

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You have a kettlebell. For god's sake, swing it!

Some people call the kettlebell swing the king of exercises, and not without reason. When it comes to packing a good training for almost your whole posterior chain (interested in a strong back and buttocks of steel?) and some high-intensity cardio into a short time-frame, the kettlebell swing is without equal. Since your current workout kind of neglects your posterior chain, swings would make an excellent addition.

A word of caution: The kettlbell swing, as most free weight exercises, requires proper form to be safe. Specifically, you need to keep your back straight. You can't strengthen the back without, well, without using it. While incorrectly performed swings could hurt your back, the benefits of proper swings for the back far outweigh the risks. Also, with just 16Kg you have some margin for error. You're not deadlifting 400 pounds.

Instructions are abundant on youtube. http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=kettlebell+swing


Other points: Other kettlebell exercises for the minimalist who is short on time are the clean&press, snatches and turkish get-ups. This combination was introduced by Pavel in his book Enter the Kettlebell (ETK). Particularly the clean&press is an excellent full body workout. Snatches and get-ups require a little more time to learn, but are well worth it if you want to make good use of your kettlebells.

If you combine press-ups and overhead presses in the same workout, you will have to reduce intensity, as there is quite a bit of overlap in the muscles they use. You could do them on different days.

As for getting ripped, that requires you to get your body-fat pretty low, and that is mostly down to nutrition. Your pre-workout snack isn't really a great start, although you might get away with it if you have good genes.

You don't need that much muscle to be ripped, if you push yourself a little (but not too much) the described workout should easily cover that.

If you compress rest periods between exercises, you can some pretty intense cardio out of a workout like this. The other technique is to first do everything else, and then finish a workout with a few minutes kettlebell-swings (or snatches), as these are done at a relatively hign number of repetitions and are really good cardio on their own.

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