Kettlebell Workout Goals

Kettlebell Workout Goals—Kettlebell training good or bad?

When it comes to kettlebell workout goals, here’s what people who completed an online survey said. They said that their goals were as follows in order of and being the main priority:

  1. Strength 17.74%
  2. Movement 13.43%
  3. Muscular endurance 13.10% 
  4. Power 11.28% 
  5. Mobility 11.11%
  6. Cardiovascular endurance 10.95% 
  7. Fun 10.78% 
  8. Hypertrophy (muscle growth) 6.47% 
  9. Flexibility 5.14% 

See a more detailed table further below.
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Kettlebell Workout Goals

The survey was sent to thousands of people that are training with kettlebells. When we asked them to prioritize each workout goal we received the following results.

GoalPriorityPercentage
FlexibilityNot a priority3.35%
Low priority13.87%
Medium priority38.66%
High priority44.12%
Hypertrophy (muscle growth)Not a priority2.99%
Low priority17.09%
Medium priority41.24%
High priority38.68%
StrengthNot a priority0%
Low priority4.76%
Medium priority31.58%
High priority63.66%
Cardiovascular enduranceNot a priority0.68%
Low priority7.26%
Medium priority28.58%
High priority63.48%
FunNot a priority4.53%
Low priority13.12%
Medium priority37.78%
High priority44.57%
MobilityNot a priority2.05%
Low priority7.29%
Medium priority33.94%
High priority56.72%
Muscular enduranceNot a priority0.93%
Low priority5.61%
Medium priority29.21%
High priority64.25%
PowerNot a priority0.91%
Low priority7.74%
Medium priority30.30%
High priority61.05%
MovementNot a priority1.64%
Low priority4.46%
Medium priority31.93%
High priority61.97%

3 Important Goals of Kettlebell Training

What are the 3 most important goals of kettlebell training? For me, if I could only pick 3 they would be, and in order of importance: fun, movement, and mobility. The only reason I am still training with kettlebells and enjoying them is that they are fun, they keep me moving, and they keep me mobile (moving with ease and without aches or pains).

The 3 most important goals of kettlebell training as reported by the people that completed the survey were: strength, movement, and muscular endurance. I was very pleased to see movement coming in at a second place.

When it came to the 3 top goals that people found the least important it was: fun, flexibility, and hypertrophy.

The following are some common questions that we see asked when it comes to kettlebell training.

Are kettlebell workouts bad for you?

One of the reasons this question is asked is because kettlebell training does come with a higher learning curve to avoid things like lower back pain, ripper hands, excessive calluses, forearm bruising, elbow tendonitis, and so on. This has nothing to do with the kettlebell workouts or kettlebell exercises and all to do with whether the subject invests time into learning kettlebell training properly. That involves performing drills, mastering basic bodyweight movements, learning about grips, and learning how to program for kettlebell training

So, the answer is, kettlebell workouts are not bad for you if you invest the time into learning the fundamentals. If this is not done, then just like with any other piece of exercise equipment, there is a certain risk of injury. However, one of the common things that people think is a risk is not, and that is dropping a kettlebell on your foot. In over two decades, I personally don’t know anyone or have seen anyone drop a kettlebell on their feet. Sure, it might happen out there, and that would usually be people that wear shoes, gloves, and forearm padding while training.

What are some disadvantages to using kettlebells?

As mentioned above, a disadvantage compared to other forms of resistance training is that the learning curve for kettlebell training is high. That is if you want to avoid injury and do things right. Some say that the ballistic nature of kettlebell training will put you at a higher risk, but this should be put into context and we should consider that only a small percentage of kettlebell training is ballistic.

If you work with a dumbbell or barbell, there is also a snatch, clean, but no swing. So, the additional exercise that is ballistic is the kettlebell swing. Then, let’s compare all kettlebell exercises to other exercise equipment, and you’ll see that there are more than are not ballistic and also more than what you can perform with other equipment.

If you really wanted to, you will find dangerous exercises in any form of training, take for example the squat snatch (an Olympic lift) and you are looking at an exercise that is super complex, ballistic, and has a lot of requirements like good thoracic, squat, and overhead shoulder flexibility. 

Should I train with kettlebells?

If you want to work with a piece of equipment that can provide fun, versatility, and work towards just about any known goal like strength, hypertrophy, power, endurance, and so on, then yes, you have a go at training with kettlebells. If you’re not interested in learning about the important fundamentals of kettlebell training, then you should look at something else that is easier to master so that you can avoid disappointment and injury.

To learn for yourself how to work toward all these different end goals of kettlebell training you need to learn how to program, how many reps, what weight, how many rounds, what format, rest, pacing, and more. We have a whole book on this topic in our shop.

If you prefer to get one or more kettlebell workout books and just pick what you need, then check out our Kettlebell Workout and Challenges series available from our store below.

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Survey data Copyright 2022 Cavemantraining. Permission to use the data is granted as long as the original news article (https://www.cavemantraining.com/kettlebell-workouts/kettlebell-workout-goals/) is linked with credits. If you work with kettlebells then you too can complete the survey here.

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