Tonight a new lockdown was announced for The Netherlands, which means the gyms close, unfortunately. So instead of 2-3 barbell-centered workouts a week I will have to make-do with what I have at home: a single 24kg kettlebell. The bell is a bit heavy for me at the moment, I hope that after five weeks that would be no longer the case.

I have been thinking about how I would build a workout around this implement and how I would program it.

This is what I came up with:

Workout A Workout B
Swings x100 Goblet squats x100
Goblet squats x100 Swings x100
Clean and jerk One or two arm Floor presses
Push-up and KB crossover One arm KB rows
Suitcase carries Double hand overhead press
Sprints Overhead carries

I would do workouts A and B back to back and then take a rest day. So there are two workouts every three days.

I hope to progress in volume, explosiveness and density.

I am sure this is not an optimal routine. What would you guys recommend?

  • 2
    Why not look at a pre-constructed program, like Simple and Sinister?
    – Dark Hippo
    Dec 15, 2020 at 8:54
  • "The bell is a bit heavy for me at the moment" – could you be more specific? Dec 15, 2020 at 11:21
  • @DarkHippo I have looked for it, but couldn't find a program that suited me. Dec 15, 2020 at 14:58
  • 1
    @DaveLiepmann I did my first workout today. I couldn't do more than 25 swings in a set or my grip gave out. I also couldn't do more than 15 goblet squats in a set or my back and legs gave out. Dec 15, 2020 at 15:00
  • That's helpful information – and pretty normal for starting out with prior training. Dec 15, 2020 at 15:19

1 Answer 1


A kettlebell program that doesn't include Turkish get-ups is a criminal offense. Similarly, exercises like windmills are well-suited for the kettlebell, and can develop attributes that are tough to mimic with a barbell program. It's a good idea to get out of the sagittal plane.

For swings, it can be helpful to use different rep schemes: sets of X reps for a certain volume, then increase total volume, then shoot for the same total volume with shorter rest periods, then sets of X+Y to get to the new, higher volume, and repeat the process. Another approach is to set a total number of reps within a given time, like 100 swings in 5 minutes. Yet another is to accumulate volume with sub-maximal sets (e.g. only 10 reps) using an on-the-minute style.

Complexes and flows, such as "swing/clean/squat/press/push-press/jerk/repeat on the other side" are a fun way to use a 'bell. While they aren't the best at developing any one physical attribute, they do okay at developing several simultaneously.

Don't look past non-kettlebell calisthenics (e.g. pull-ups, push-ups) just because you have the tool.

  • 1
    To be honest, I have never really understood the TGU. But I guess now would be a good time to step out of my comfort zone. Hell, kettlebell training already is. I'll replace pushups and floor presses with TGU's, so I do them both workouts. I also wanted to include pull-ups, but I just really don't have the means at home. I do have a calisthenics park close by, so I add a calisthenics workout every other day where I do a circuit of push-ups, pull-ups, inverted rows and dips. Dec 18, 2020 at 7:13

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.