How to Use Kettlebells to Build Muscle, Build Strength & Mental Toughness


I'm here in Louisville, and on the way out here I stopped through Ohio to meet some friends of the iron game, took a trip through Westside Barbell club & recorded 15 minutes of it for Underground Strength Academy members.

jim wendler harley davidson

Above, the custom Harley Davidson of Jim Wendler

I Spent a few hours in the Elite FTS Compound with Jim Wendler and AJ Roberts. Jim showed me his new Harley, and we talked training and life. 

We got to talking training and how Jim is evolving from his powerlifting days and using his program called 531 on how to get stronger, bigger, faster, develop mental toughness, how to optimally train athletes, how to train as you get older, avoiding injuries and tons more was spoken and exchanged, it was AWESOME.

You KNOW I LIVE for the iron game and talking iron is Golden to me!

westside barbell kettlebells

Above, just SOME of the Kettlebells from Westside Barbell Club

Seeing Westside Barbell was awesome but it was around lunch and no one was training, so it was empty. I took a took and recorded the tour, posted inside The Underground Strength Academy. One Kettlebell was oversized and specially made, shaped like a small stone.

The powerlifters, MMA fighters and Football players there ALL use the Kettlebells for the following:

- prehab / rehab

- strength

- speed & power development

- grip strength

- mental toughness

- improving conditioning and fitness levels

It was great to see the strongest gym in the world staying on the cutting edge by using OLD pieces of "equipment" such as the Kettlebell.

I began using Kettlebells in 2003. They challenged me unlike any other training tool I ever used, and they also kicked my ass! It was a battle of will, not just physical challenges.

The Kettlebells REALLY did push my mental toughness to a new level, and  with regards to "functional" strength, they have been KING.

underground kettlebells backPerforming several movements back to back as I recently did with my athletes, or, performing sets for time, 4, 5, 6 minutes non stop without putting the kettlebells down is also a  serious test of mental toughness yet at the same time develops strength endurance, power endurance and also increases muscle size....

especially in the shoulders, back, traps, hamstring areas.

I call this Hybrid Training, where you mix various movements of kettlebells

Mixed with bodyweight work, it is highly effective for the development of

brute strength, fat loss, speed development and improving conditioning.

The constant swinging of the kettlebell through your legs,

pulling & pushing the kettlebell overhead....

It packs on muscle and helps develop brute strength unlike any other training tool I have ever used.

Plus, you can take them anywhere, as I often do when I want to get away and train in seclusion, I carry them into the trails of the large park near by and perform my training amidst Mother Nature.

Kettlebell Bodyweight Hybrid Course

Hybrid Kettlebell Training Workouts

A recent Hybrid Kettlebell Workout my athletes performed, mixing kettlebells, bodyweight training and sled training pushed their mental toughness and physical conditioning to a whole new level.

Try adding this Hybrid into a workout:

1A) 1 arm Kettlebell snatch 3 x 5 reps

1B) mixed grip pull ups 3 x 5 reps

1C) ring push ups 3 x 5 reps

2A) 1 arm Kettlebell clean & press 3 x 5 reps

2B) mixed grip pull ups 3 x 5 reps

2C) ring push ups 3 x 5 reps

** THE Punisher **

Perform 1 set of # 3, Below, aka "THE Punisher"

3A) 1 arm snatch x 5 + 1 arm clean & press x 5 reps (perform both exercises before switching hands)

3B) mixed grip pull ups x 10

3C) ring push ups x 10

The above is just some of the ways I perform Kettlebell Hybrid Training.

These WILL build brute strength and mental toughness beyond what you ever had before.

Try it and make it happen!

Live The Code 365,

--Coach Z--

See the Endless Kettlebell Videos & Kettlebell Training Courses inside The Underground Strength Academy

9 Responses

  1. Pingback: Fitness Blogger » Blog Archive » Why Use Kettlebells to Build Muscle, Build Strength & Mental Toughness
  2. dude perfect timing for this post. I just pulled out the KBs that Mike Mahler sent me a couple years ago and was looking for some killer KB workouts.

    I’m gonna try this one!

    Rock on!


  3. Jason pegg says:

    I’m starting to use them more in my training. hopefully it goes well. You should have posted the pic of you on the bike!

  4. Hi Zach,
    today I did your Kettlebell & Bodyweight workout above! It’s brilliant!
    I just replaced the “punisher” with your strength & condition combination, which you
    showed some posts before. It’s also on your you tube channel.
    This workout rocks big time – awesome! Need more stuff like this!

    Greetz from switzerland

  5. Yo Z,

    Totally agree with you on the KBs building brute strength and packing on the muscle…. I been hitting them hard and had a run of 8 Weeks Straight recently (b4 a 5 day vacation)and almost all of that was with the Bells

    The results?…. 4 inches of the waste.. AND… about 15lbs of muscle dude… I was floored… here I was thinkin I had lost weight lol…

    So yeah… the K Bells are freakin sick for packin on the muscle..

    I’ll let you know how the Punisher goes dude


  6. Coach Z,

    Awesome post Br’ah! I think over the course of my posts I have 4 consistent things that I love to incorporate in my training:

    a)Functional Body Weight Warm-upb)“Fundamental 5” (pull-ups / push-ups / dips / squats / deadlifts) c)Olympic Lifts (Power Clean / Snatch / Jerk) and building lifts for Olympic Lifts (Power Shrug / Power Pulls / Front Squats / Hang Cleans) d) & Kettlebells (Swing / Clean / Long Cycle / Snatch)

    The combination of any or all of these styles – “HYBRID KETTLEBELL TRAINING” is totally kick a$$ and I agree whole heartedly that it makes for one hell of a hard day in the gym and packs on pure SHREDDEDPRIMAL POWER.

    From my own experience I have just recently completed a 30 day cleanse where I lost a net of 15#’s on the scale but my body composition shifted totally from a pudgie & soft 26% to a solid 18%. I am by no means satisfied and am about to kick it into overtime with a volume progression but it is amazing what can be done with this tool and a proper compliment of hormone boosting supplemental exercises! SICK!!!



  7. Very nice! I did this yesterday after warming up with TGU’s for about 5 minutes. Punisher didn’t look too bad on paper but it wasn’t pretty. Followed up with alternating Swings and front squats in a descending ladder 10,9,8…1 with no rest. Kicked my ass and the whole thing tool around a half hour. Still feeling it today!

  8. Hi Coach I followed you hardcore when I lived in western NY I’ve moved to Maui and slacked down to pure pencil neck geek but I just bought a 40Lb KB and I’m psyched to get back to underground cool again. thanx you awsome motivator! Mahalo!

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