Kettlebell Workouts vs Kettlebell Programs

What’s the difference between a kettlebell workout and a kettlebell program?

There’s a BIG difference… and I think an important distinction needs to be made.

Anybody can write a kettlebell workout.

Indeed, anybody can write a kettlebell program too… I guess.

But the point is, workouts are stand-alone events generally with no context.

By contrast, a program is a collection of workouts with a singular purpose or goal.

An example of a goal would be “to press 1/3 of my bodyweight with 1-arm” (a common goal amongst the focused kettlebell people) or “to lose 10lbs of fat in 6 weeks”.

IMPORTANT: If fat loss is your goal, then understand that exercise alone CANNOT elicit an optimal fat loss response.

Therefore, when investing in a fat loss program, you must make sure that there are elements and guidelines that deal with BOTH nutrition and lifestyle IN ADDITION to training.

There is no such thing as a “fat loss program” that contains only “fat loss workouts”.

And thus, there is no such thing as a “fat loss workout” because without nutritional & lifestyle strategies backing it, you just have a workout to make you tired.

If you question this, try doing a bunch of random fat loss workouts, but eat junk food everyday and then see if you lose any fat.

In order to accomplish ANY goal, a program must be designed where progression, variance of load and RECOVERY is built into the program.

This allows for overload of the body coaxing it to become stronger OVER TIME.

“Over time”… That’s an important distinction in and of itself.

Where a random workout is a one-time occurrence, a kettlebell program happens over a phase of time (4 weeks, 6 weeks, 12 weeks, etc) where you have a bigger picture outlook on the goal at hand.

Another major distinction between workouts and programs is that kettlebell programs don’t necessarily care about your “feelings”…

  • The feeling that you worked out.
  • The feeling that you’re about to throw up.
  • The feeling that the session you just did was “killer”.

The only thing that a truly well planned and written kettlebell program cares about is THE SCIENCE.

Or more specifically…

The results produced by the scientific way that programs are written.

Some of the workouts within a kettlebell program will be “thrilling” – giving you a direct sense of accomplishment or achievement.

And some of them will be singularly mundane, almost like punching a time clock.

BOTH, however, are necessary simply because it is IMPOSSIBLE to push it to the max each and every workout.

You will either end up injured or burned out or both.

Which brings me to another point about Kettlebell Workouts vs Kettlebell Programs…

There is a HUGE difference between training and testing.

The issue with the fitness industry today and its “one more rep, bro”, “no days off” mentality is that we are taught to treat every workout we attempt as a TEST…

…to try to (set a Personal Record) every time we pick up a weight;

…or to try to beat our time from the previous workout.

Everything is supposed to be a test.

Training and testing are NOT the same thing.

Athletes train to get ready for a test (ie a competition). But each training session is NOT a competition.

If that methodology actually worked – where you get better and better every workout because you’re “testing” every time – then we’d all be pressing the Beast for multiple reps.

The problem is that the science has already proven that this linear progression does NOT work (at least not on a workout to workout basis) and especially if you’ve been exercising consistently for any length of time.

Instead of treating every workout as a TEST, we need to properly train.

And that means that we must take a strategic approach to how we achieve our goals…

  • using proper programming principles
  • waving loads
  • focusing on using correct technique and
  • making sure that recovery is built into our programming

Pick a program and pick the time frame you can allot to your workouts and then stick with that program until you reach the end.

If a program is designed well (***by the way, a bunch of random exercises thrown together is NOT a program***), then you can then look back over the program upon its completion and measure your results.

This is called progress, and progress produces results.

And it’s those results that we are after, not necessarily the “thrill” of a singular workout.

If you’re looking for a kettlebell program to achieve your goals, please check the Kettlebell Programs section of this website.

If you just want to workout, you can check out the Kettlebell Workouts section.

Chris Lopez Over 40 Kettlebell Training kettlebell programs vs kettlebell workouts

Have a comment or question? Let me know below…

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