2

votes

Running and/or kettlebells and/or ?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created May 10, 2011 at 1:53 PM

I like to run. Don't hold it against me -- I'm not a masochist or a "running high addict" or anything, I just like to run. It's a convenient and interesting way for me to get a workout.

Admittedly I'm not really built for it (41 y.o., 6' 220#, shooting for < 200#), but that might work to my advantage since I get a good workout carrying my fat rear end on a short run :-).

As a sole form of exercise it is somewhat limited though, and I am constantly worried about injury (had a minor soft tissue injury a couple of years ago that sidelined me for about 6-8 weeks). I also find it hard to get a good run without eating carbs before and/or after, and I don't really like carbs.

I've been doing about 3.0-3.5 miles 3-4x per week, and really I don't have any interest in doing a lot more than that. Partly due to time constraints, and partly because it just gets boring after ~30 minutes, and partly due to concerns of injury.

So I have started on the kettlebells, both to get some strength training in, and to take care of my joints (hard to imagine how you might hurt yourself with a kettlebell unless you hit yourself in the head with it). I LOVE it, great full body workout and definitely gets the heart rate up, lots of variety and different body parts involved, and easy to do any time of the day.

So I am wondering, should I drop the running completely and replace it with kettlebells? I'd hate to lose the cardio fitness I've built up, I am not sure how effective kettlebells are for cardio. Or, alternate, one day running, and one day kettlebells? Will the two forms of exercise complement or cancel each other? Introduce something else? I am not a gym person so it would have to be something I can do at home, with minimal equipment. Anyone have any suggestions?

My fitness goal is to stay healthy and lose some fat (shooting for 20 lbs), not concerned about overall weight, don't want to bulk up but some more muscle would not be bad.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on October 23, 2011
at 10:36 PM

If you using a heavy weight Kettle bell you can pop it in a backpack and take it on a walk to a park, due your workout, and walk home. Get a good leg work out if you are using a 60#'er and live somewhere hilly!!

9a5e2da94ad63ea3186dfa494e16a8d1

(15833)

on June 15, 2011
at 02:14 PM

Thank you everyone for all of the comments. Since my question, I did cut back on running. I started doing kettlebells 3x/week, then started incorporating Burpees. I cut running down to once every couple of weeks. The result is that I have a LOT more energy when running -- much stronger legs, much better cardio, much more distance. I ran an extra 0.5 mile yesterday and did not even feel it. For those that are regular runners, I HIGHLY recommend mixing in intense / strength based exercises in your routine.

98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

(24286)

on May 18, 2011
at 01:19 PM

Kettlebell is a sport that requires specific equipment. A kettlebell is not just some weirdly shaped dumbbell but required equipment for a particular sport. My bells were money well spent.

535633b57c4a4940d1e913e7a12ee791

(1013)

on May 10, 2011
at 09:01 PM

Turkish getups are an incredible core exercise and great for increasing shoulder mobility. Highly recommended!

535633b57c4a4940d1e913e7a12ee791

(1013)

on May 10, 2011
at 08:58 PM

Do what you love! If you are a runner add some core work, especially lower back. A little upper body weight training would not hurt. Chins and pushups would do the trick. By the way Kettle-bells are great for cardio and all around body strength. Try Kettle-bells, you may like it more than running!

9a5e2da94ad63ea3186dfa494e16a8d1

(15833)

on May 10, 2011
at 06:53 PM

Kettlebells cost less than running shoes. Just sayin' :-).

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on May 10, 2011
at 04:44 PM

Oh no Thomas! We disagree. Boo. I love all the stuff you mention too, but I totally dig my kettlebells. I like having the ability to do different stuff. I get bored easy!

D10ca8d11301c2f4993ac2279ce4b930

(5242)

on May 10, 2011
at 04:39 PM

I love my kettlebells thank you very much. It's like the combination of sprinting and weight lifting.

D10ca8d11301c2f4993ac2279ce4b930

(5242)

on May 10, 2011
at 04:28 PM

I've found dumbell based works outs ala Metabolic Effect (http://www.metaboliceffect.com/category/9-downloadable-workouts.aspx) to be very helpful. Quick, fun and transportable.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on May 10, 2011
at 02:58 PM

Thanks Tom! I love body weight exercises! So easy... yet SO HARD.

98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

(24286)

on May 10, 2011
at 02:32 PM

As usual Melissa hits the nail on the head. Do what you love first and foremost. Supplement that if need be. Kettlebell is amazing and hopefully you will come to love it as much as you love running.

9a5e2da94ad63ea3186dfa494e16a8d1

(15833)

on May 10, 2011
at 02:16 PM

Yeah I "impulse bought" my first kettlebell at a local Sports Authority, it ran me $50! Seems ridiculous for what is basically a cannonball with a handle. I should look for them used... I'm sure people buy them and then never use them.

Frontpage book

Get FREE instant access to our Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!

6 Answers

5
7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

on May 10, 2011
at 02:10 PM

You should do what you like or it's hard to stay motivated. Keep the running!

I would probably alternate one week with 2 days running, 1 day kettlebells and the next with 2 days kettlebells and 1 day running.

You can hurt yourself with kettlebells without proper form, so if you can find a local kettlebell class and go once or twice it would probably really help you. If not, there are a million youtube videos.

If you have a local used sporting good store, I would look there for kettlebells. I saw a bunch the last time I was at mine.

Pavel Tsatsouline is the King of Kettlebells. His book is here: http://www.amazon.com/Kettlebell-Strength-Secret-Soviet-Supermen/dp/0938045695/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1305036516&sr=8-1

Buy it! It's an entertaining read too!

98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

(24286)

on May 10, 2011
at 02:32 PM

As usual Melissa hits the nail on the head. Do what you love first and foremost. Supplement that if need be. Kettlebell is amazing and hopefully you will come to love it as much as you love running.

9a5e2da94ad63ea3186dfa494e16a8d1

(15833)

on May 10, 2011
at 02:16 PM

Yeah I "impulse bought" my first kettlebell at a local Sports Authority, it ran me $50! Seems ridiculous for what is basically a cannonball with a handle. I should look for them used... I'm sure people buy them and then never use them.

535633b57c4a4940d1e913e7a12ee791

(1013)

on May 10, 2011
at 08:58 PM

Do what you love! If you are a runner add some core work, especially lower back. A little upper body weight training would not hurt. Chins and pushups would do the trick. By the way Kettle-bells are great for cardio and all around body strength. Try Kettle-bells, you may like it more than running!

3
F6ea948ab43dc51d72509c0989e670fe

(1639)

on May 10, 2011
at 05:51 PM

Well, to be honest, my workouts consist completely of kettlebell swings and turkish getups. I've lost over 10 inches and 30 pounds with just that and paleo.

So first of all, I would recommend Pavel's book 'enter the kettlebell' @ http://www.dragondoor.com/dvs011/

I would also recommend going to dragon door and looking up and training with an rkc trainer in your area. I can not stress this enough! You run a high risk of injuring yourself, from tendonitis, pulling a muscle, or ruining your shoulders with improper form. It's worth the couple hundred of dollars...I know that I can actually move correctly now, and understand the way to breath. I do at least 2-3 sessions a year, and each time I learn something new and valuable to bring to my training.

There is a ton of stuff about kettlebells being a killer cardio workout if you do a couple google searches. I'd say do the program minimum from 'enter the kettlebell', but that's just me (combo of swings + jogging / turkish getups). Or a swing day alternating with running. I just pay attention to what my body is saying and do what I need to do. Lots of swings, bodyweight workouts, or just a lot of strength work with really heavy bells.

I don't really have an issue with the other bells, I simply worry about poor manufacturing and as such you might get some weird callouses, or issues/injury when cleaning/pressing/snatching a poorly manufactured bell overhead. I have several different dragon door bells, but with each running about a 100 bucks, it might be out of your price range. The recommendation is to start with the 32lb bell, but I have no idea what you have right now. Perhaps an upgrade is in order?

Oh, and this is what can happen when someone doesn't understand proper form...lol

http://conditioningresearch.blogspot.com/2011/04/careful-with-that-kettlebell.html

535633b57c4a4940d1e913e7a12ee791

(1013)

on May 10, 2011
at 09:01 PM

Turkish getups are an incredible core exercise and great for increasing shoulder mobility. Highly recommended!

2
072fd69647b0e765bb4b11532569f16d

(3717)

on May 10, 2011
at 02:52 PM

Melissa hit the nail on the head: do what keeps you going. For your runs, consider some interval work. For other exercises, you can go a long way with your fitness with pushups, situps, planks, handstand holds against a wall, bodyweight squats. Anything that works your core will be good for you in the long run.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on May 10, 2011
at 02:58 PM

Thanks Tom! I love body weight exercises! So easy... yet SO HARD.

1
4847bfcc9d2c3579ed2fd10da64ced38

on May 18, 2011
at 11:36 AM

I would always advocate kettlebell training over and above running for your purposes (health, losing some weight, getting stronger without the bulk). So much can be achieved in such an effieicnt way, if done correctly. Running takes time, and is a long term issue for joint wear and mobility issues if not adequately strengthened by some form of resistance training, which KBs can provide.

Aerobic forms of exercise like running and cycling and swimming have their place, but more so for a mental, rather than physical boost. I cycle, because it gives me time to reflect on things, whilst moving. A good combination that works for me, maybe not others. I don't cycle necessarily for want of some physical gains I cannot get from KB training 3 or 4 times per week.

Stick with swings, cleans, snatches, deadlifts and turkish getups, and increase volume as you gain strength. Combine with bodyweight exercises in minute drills or tabata format circuits for all the conditioning you'll need, far and above what running gives. Plus you will look like you are performing, instead of looking like a desperate gazelle escaping from a predator.

0
C8b4068fa3bb4055c91904fec4b920e7

on May 18, 2011
at 12:56 PM

I think the combo of some heavy lifting (squat/dead) kbell snatch and swing is all you need.

Maybe squat , k bells alternated with deads and kbells 3x per week, say 5 sets with the bar then about 20 sets of kbells on the minute.

Chins and dips if you have the energy, maybe an ab wheel?

0
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on May 10, 2011
at 04:05 PM

If you like to run, then why don't you sprint, which is anabolic? Honestly I don't understand why you people waste your money on kettlebells. They're expensive when you think that you will need to add weight progressively. If you don't want to do regular weight training, then bodyweight exercises are indeed a good way to go. Hard to beat pull-ups, handstand push-ups, bridges, leg lifts, etc. I am not a big fan of those high-rep bodyweight squats though and one is hard-pressed to beat deadlifts and cleans with bodyweight exercises.

7e746be2f0e550a8cd7df881322ae705

(18701)

on May 10, 2011
at 04:44 PM

Oh no Thomas! We disagree. Boo. I love all the stuff you mention too, but I totally dig my kettlebells. I like having the ability to do different stuff. I get bored easy!

D10ca8d11301c2f4993ac2279ce4b930

(5242)

on May 10, 2011
at 04:39 PM

I love my kettlebells thank you very much. It's like the combination of sprinting and weight lifting.

9a5e2da94ad63ea3186dfa494e16a8d1

(15833)

on May 10, 2011
at 06:53 PM

Kettlebells cost less than running shoes. Just sayin' :-).

98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

(24286)

on May 18, 2011
at 01:19 PM

Kettlebell is a sport that requires specific equipment. A kettlebell is not just some weirdly shaped dumbbell but required equipment for a particular sport. My bells were money well spent.

Answer Question


Get FREE instant access to our
Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!