Can You Complete This 32-Rep Kettlebell Flow?
Try this kettlebell complex for a full-body conditioning workout
If you’re feeling a little bored with your usual sets and reps workout routine, break the mold and throw a complex into your training. A complex involves performing a series of movements back to back, without rest, using the same piece of equipment.
A complex is a type of conditioning workout and, because it mixes high-rep schemes with resistance exercises, it’s also an example of concurrent training, which is great for building muscle and burning fat.
You can do a barbell complex, a dumbbell complex or, as in the example below, a kettlebell complex. The session was put together by Andrew Bustos of Bustos Training, who has more than 10 years of experience in the fitness industry and is both NASM and ACE certified.
Watch Bustos Training’s workout video where he demonstrates the complex.
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Rest for one minute after you’ve completed the complex, then repeat until you’ve completed five rounds in total. Bustos recommends that beginners use a kettlebell weight between 8kg and 12kg, although he demonstrates the routine using a 24kg kettlebell. Aim to pick a weight that will challenge you enough throughout the workout, but not so much that you aren’t able to finish or that it will negatively affect your form.
With technically difficult exercises like the kettlebell snatch rounding off the routine, you may wish to head to the gym and look for competition kettlebells, because with their wide, uniform handles and well-balanced weight, they’re a little easier to wield. You may even feel confident to mimic Bustos’s toss and catch transitions.
Make sure you prepare your body for the work it’s about to do, because the kettlebell exercises Bustos uses are challenging, dynamic, whole-body moves. Beginning the workout cold increases your chances of injury, especially in your back. Follow this warm-up routine to mobilize your muscles and joints, and raise your heart rate gradually.
If you haven’t been taught the snatch, it may be worth trying a different kettlebell workout until you’ve had a PT explain the correct technique. This beginner kettlebell workout purposely steers clear of snatches and cleans for that very reason. Or try this snatch-free 100-rep kettlebell challenge.
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Lois Mackenzie is a fitness writer working on news, features, reviews and buying guides for Coach and sister site Fit&Well. Lois is a hill walker and avid runner who is training for her first marathon. Before joining Coach, Lois worked as a senior SEO reporter at Newsquest Media Group.