Do kettlebells build muscle?

Kettlebells Don’t Build Muscle—Or can they induce Hypertrophy?

“Someone once said that Kettlebell lifting doesn’t build muscles”

Well, maybe they wanted to say Not only does Kettlebell lifting build muscle, but it also creates:

  • power
  • strength
  • flexibility
  • stamina
  • accuracy
  • and endurance

 

Markov Ivan Kettlebell Lifting

5 years ago I started to do weight lifting. I weighed 88 kilograms and now my weight is 101 kilograms. In my training, I include utility exercises with kettlebells and various complexes with kettlebells. Kettlebells very well develop the muscles of the legs, back, and arms. I really like that my muscles are not huge, they are moderately inflated, and most importantly, my muscles are working. When exercising with weights, it’s easy for me to live, and do everyday work.

—Markov Ivan

Markov Ivan Kettlebell Lifting

15.10.1995
Absolute world champion 2017. 2018 (IUKL)
Jerk 32×2 176 reps in Latvia 2018
Snatch 32 kg 225 reps in Latvia 2018
Snatch 36 kg 203 reps on my training
Snatch 40 kg 98 reps only left hand on my training
Snatch 32 kg 243 reps on my training

 


Hypertrophy: growth and increase of the size of muscle cells.
Kettlebell Lifting: the sport of jerk, snatch, and long cycle (clean and jerk) with kettlebells
Kettlebell Training: any exercise with kettlebells

 

Not only do I hear “Kettlebell Lifting Does Not Cause Hypertrophy?” but “Kettlebell Training Does Not Cause Hypertrophy?”

I’m addressing those that think the above statement is correct.

Scenario A: take two people of the same size. Both can’t jerk (kettlebell lifting) 50kg overhead, they train for two months, and after those two months they can get 50kg overhead, one does this with kettlebells and the other with a barbell. The one that used kettlebells will show no muscle growth at all? Or will neither show any muscle growth?

Scenario B: take two people the same size. Both can’t squat (kettlebell training) 50kg, they train for two months, and after those two months they can squat 50kg, one does this with kettlebells and the other with a barbell. The one that used kettlebells will show no muscle growth at all? Or will neither show any muscle growth?

If you say the one with kettlebells won’t show any muscle growth, then I say to you, a weight is a weight. If you say both will show no muscle growth, then I say to you, seriously, please explain?

I think most people are simply confused and want to say “Kettlebell lifting/training is not the most optimal form of training to induce the most possible hypertrophy”. With that statement, I can say, yes, there is a higher learning curve when it comes to utilizing kettlebells, but saying that kettlebell lifting/training does not induce hypertrophy at all, to me, that’s impossible.

—Taco Fleur


If you’re after strength workouts or programs, then check out:

 

So, next time you hear someone say:

“kettlebells don’t build muscle”

You ask them what the difference is between a 48kg dumbbell and a 48kg kettlebell? If the light still does not go on, ask them if you can build muscle with any form of resistance if that resistance is heavier than conditioned for and using the progressive overload method?

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