The Definitive Guide to Kettlebells and Bodyweight Training For The Busy Professional

The Definitive Guide to Kettlebells and Bodyweight Training For The Busy Professional

by: Aleks “The Hebrew Hammer” Salkin

Scenario time…

You wanna get fit, get lean, look great naked, and essentially induce all manner of neck sprains as random passers-by rubber neck to see your slammin’, uncommonly hot lookin’ body as they wile away in envy at how good you look compared to pretty much every other human stomping around out there.

Oh, or you’re a husband/wife with a family to look after and can’t exactly afford to drive half an hour to a gym to work out for an hour and a half on every innie and outie machine there is, and drive a half an hour back even once a week, let alone three to five times.

Now, most Facebook “fitspirational” posts would either have you believe that…

  1. You can do it! Just be creative with your time!Or
  2. You’re a lazy piece of $#!+ and should be ashamed of yourself.

Either way, you’re only going to be staring at either a gorgeous, scantily clad model bouncing down a running path, or a bodybuilder with sweat-soaked gym clothes leg pressing insane poundages and visibly screaming.


In either instance what you won’t be staring at is a viable solution to your fitness problem… despite the bevvy of hashtags unhelpfully insisting that you have #noexcuses.

Allow me to light the path to a better way.

Fitness didn’t start with the advent of a gym. And guess what? It doesn’t stop there, either.

Fitness didn’t start with the advent of a gym. And guess what? It doesn’t stop there, either.

-Aleks “The Hebrew Hammer” Salkin

Better yet, gym-free fitness goes light years beyond simply shuffling meekly down a sidewalk (more colloquially known as “jogging”).

There is a whole world of strength and fitness options available to the busy professional that does not involve driving to the middle of nowhere or flaccidly fleeing at a low rate of speed.

Enter the kettlebell…and your own bodyweight.

By now, you are no doubt familiar with what a kettlebell is. Maybe you’ve even used one :-).

And if you’ve ever attended a mandatory school gym class, you are definitely familiar with classic bodyweight exercises such as pushups, pullups, squats, and so on.

But maybe you still don’t know exactly how these things are any good for building better fitness – particularly if you were raised to think machines were the ideal way to work out.

Not exactly something to look forward to.

Kettlebells are renowned for being “the gym in one hand” – a one-stop shop for strength, fat loss, conditioning, flexibility, mental toughness, and true grit.

And bodyweight training is renowned for its simplicity, ease of use, and the natural ability to be used anytime, anywhere.

The minimal space and equipment requirements demanded of both exercises make them a natural choice for the busy professional, but combined together they are a match made in heaven.

So what exercises from each category will you get the most out of?

For my money, you can’t do much better than kettlebell swings, Turkish Get Ups, and crawling.

Yes crawling.

Swings build an iron grip, a race horse heart and set of lungs, a resilient and healthy back, rock-hard abs and butt, legs that never quit, and will burn fat to boot.


Turkish Get Ups will bestow upon you some superior shoulder strength, flexibility, and stability, and a stronger, better connected body, not to mention a punch-proof midsection and some goofy wrestler-type strength (fun fact: the Turkish Get Up originally found popularity amongst Turkish grapplers for its all-around strength and conditioning benefits)

And crawling will stimulate your vestibular system (balance system) and fill in a number of gaps that you’ve been slowly opening ever since you started sitting for 8+ hours a day – namely tying you together from top to bottom in the cross-lateral patterns we are naturally heir to and only give up when we trade our movement for a sedentary lifestyle.

Crawling as an exercise will build up superior “in-between” strength”, builds eye-hand coordination naturally without esoteric voodoo-type exercises, and will condition your heart and lungs while greatly improving your core strength and stability.IMG_5951

One foot- and hand – in front of the other. Make sure you use the opposite arm and leg!

Notice a pattern? Every one of these moves – when done properly – gives you…

  • Upper body strength
  • Lower body strength
  • Core strength
  • Better movement and day-to-day function
  • Requires a bare minimum of equipment

And as a bonus category, you can get a record amount of work done with each of them in next to no time flat.

So, how do you do these moves and incorporate them into a program that you can be done with in half an hour or less?

Step 1 – Hire a StrongFirst certified trainer to learn the ins and outs of the swing and Turkish Get Up.


Yes, you can practice them on your own, but it’s best to do so once you are actually practicing with purpose.

Much like using a trial-and-error approach of learning to drive a car by teaching yourself by watching the chase scenes in The Fast & the Furious on repeat, learning the swing and Turkish Get Up from YouTube University invites a roughly equal amount of disaster (except, of course, if you subscribe to our channel HERE).

This will be about the only sacrifice to your train-alone program, but it is a crucial one to make sure you are staying safe.

As for crawling, that takes significantly less technique, since it’s essentially already wired within you to do it.

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Step 2: 

Follow this program…

8 minutes of Turkish Get Ups – switching hands each rep

15 minutes of swings with crawls mixed in between sets


5 minutes of Turkish Get Ups – switching hands each rep

10 minutes of swings with crawls mixed in between sets


10 minutes of Turkish Get Ups – switching hands each rep

20 minutes of swings with crawls mixed in between sets.
In all cases, rest as little as possible, but as much as necessary to preserve good form.

Repeat for 6-8 weeks.

To step forward, try to add a few more swings to as many sets as you can on each day.

Do the opposite with Turkish Get Ups and crawls – try to see how SLOWLY you can perform them with good form as the weeks progress.

No complexity, no frills, and in no time flat you’ll start noticing big differences in your strength, staying power, energy levels, and body composition.

You may even give your kids a run for their money on the basketball court or while rough housing!

If you’re used to needless complexity, rubber bands and bosu balls, and cutting edge “research” that magically and mystically seems to support every new well-marketed fitness fad out there, this may seem too simple to work.

But if you’re willing to follow the rabbit hole and see how far it will take you, take a leap of faith and leave the rubber-clad doodads and $20,000 glorified pulleys known as fitness machines behind you and take a step back to take a leap forward.

In two weeks your eyes will be opened.

In four weeks the change will become visible.

And in 6-8 weeks, the transformation will become undeniable.

You can take the proverbial blue pill and go back to your local sweat factory and do whatever you’d like to do.

Or you can take the “red pill” and follow me and thousands of others around the world who have abandoned the popular approach of wheel-spinning known as today’s modern fitness scene and start building the body you were meant to have – one free of weakness and limitation that is every bit as strong as it is supple.

The choice is yours.



Aleks Salkin, SFG, SFB - Jerusalem, ISRAEL

Aleks Salkin is an StrongFirst-certified kettlebell instructor (SFG), StrongFirst-certified bodyweight Instructor (SFB), and Primal Move Fundamentals Instructor. He grew up scrawny, unathletic, weak, and goofy, until he was exposed to kettlebells and the teachings and methodology of Pavel in his early 20s. He is currently based out of Jerusalem, Israel and spends his time spreading the word of StrongFirst and calisthenics, and regularly writes about strength and health both on his website and as a guest author on other websites. Find him online at

1 Comment

  • Reply August 20, 2015


    Hi I never had good balance and now I know why. I never crawled I bottom shuffled. I’m 57 now and whilst I used to make excuses not to formally exercise in any form I love the simplicity and almost instant strength gains (not physically noticeable yet) I’ve felt with kettlebells. Plus I’ve noticed many improvements in my spinal problems including increased mobility in my right hip, previously fused for many years. Tx for your detailed guides to correct form and technique. Pamela

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