5 Ways to Increase Intensity With 1 Kettlebell

So, you did it.
You bought a kettlebell, picked a program, and stuck to it the entire time.
You made progress, a ton of it. You look better, feel better, you sleep better, the whole shebang.

Then one day, you pick up your kettlebell and…it was too easy.
Your first thought is, “I’ll buy a heavier kettlebell”. But…after that car repair, unexpected call to the plumber, and your student loan payment, maybe now isn’t the best time.

Now what?


Add reps
Add more reps to the sets you already do.
For example, you usually do 5 sets of 5 squats.
Bump it up to 5 sets of 8 squats. I guarantee you’ll be feeling it the next day.
Your total number of squats just went from 25 to 40.

Add sets
Ok, maybe 8 reps per set is a jump, and 5 reps/set feels just right.
Try adding more sets.
Do 6 sets of 5 squats, or more if you’re feelin it.

Add density
When you’re working on those squats, I’d guess usually rest about 90 seconds between sets.
Try setting a timer for 5 minutes and hitting 5 squats every minute, on the minute (EMOM).

Add frequency
Maybe your workout split looks something like this:
Monday – Chest
Tuesday – Legs
Wednesday – Rest
Thursday – Shoulders
Friday – Legs

Try switching it up and trying to hit muscle groups multiple times a week.
Monday – Chest/Shoulders
Tuesday -Legs/Back
Wednesday – Rest
Thursday – Shoulders/Chest
Friday – Back/Legs

Or, do small, frequent sets of an exercise throughout the day.
Set your kettlebell down somewhere in your home that you frequently pass.
Everytime you pass it, do 3 squats. By the end of the day you’ll have accumulated more squats that you would have during your normal workout. This method is called “grease the groove”.

Time
Pretty self-explanatory
If your workouts are more time-based, just add more time.
Maybe you usually set a time for 10 min and swing.
Try setting it for 12 or 13 minutes next time to get more volume in.

The ideas I mentioned are for a single kettlebell, but they can be used for almost any implement. With things such as pushups, or bodyweight movements, you can also increases intensity by changing the leverage to make it more difficult.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s