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  1. #1
    Registered User JamSumo's Avatar
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    Gym shut down - Will I lose muscle with kettle bells only?

    Well I am sure everyone is in the same situation, this past monday my gym shutdown and I was making fantastic progress, lost 35 lbs in body fat and building muslcle at 50 years old.

    I scrambled to find weights and the only thing I found were one 25 lb kettlebell, two 45 lbs, and two 70 lbs kettle bells.

    My routine was with barbells and dumbbells and it was an A/B routine rotating A and B days tuesday thursday and saturday.
    A DAY was
    5 x 5 Barbell Chest
    5 x 5 DB Rows
    3 x 5 Shoulder presses
    3 sets push ups
    3 set pull ups

    B DAY-
    Zercher squats 3 x 5
    Deadlifts 3 x 5
    Kettle bell swings 3 x 10
    kettle bell squats 3 x 10

    Now I am going to convert the above to all kettlebells the best I can try to simulate the same routine above without pull ups. It won't be the same in poundage as far as chest and zerchers but I managed to find a pair of 70 lb kettlebells and maybe stick with that for a few months until this coronavirus situation blows over.

    Any opinions? Many people say you won't get muscle only toned with kettlebells but I am not going to do CrossFit, gonna follow a bodybuilding routine, could not find any bodybuilders who do this and understandable so because the poundage is lighter and this is uncharted waters for me.

    Any input appreciated!! Thank you, maybe I am being paranoid but it took me a while to get to this point in time in the gym and I don't want to throw out all my progress, and if I can just maintain I will be super happy!

    I am sure there are many people out there in the same situation. I was lucky to find the kettlebells as things are selling out quickly.

    thank you and stay safe everyone!
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  2. #2
    Weak and foolish OldFartTom's Avatar
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    If you learn how to effectively train with kettlebells you might even gain
    Faith in Jesus first and faith in squats second.
    Then other details will start to slot themselves into place.
    Diet restarted, target 69.x Kg, progress poor so far :(
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  3. #3
    Gen X·er keyboardworkout's Avatar
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    Mike Mahler had some good kb routines years back. Look for them.
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  4. #4
    I love my power hour MrCarrot's Avatar
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    Anything will be better than nothing.

    I'm thinking of filling a back pack with bricks and doing squats and push ups. I have literally no equipment.

    We're all in the same boat at the moment, I dunno what we're all going to do (unless you have a home gym)
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    Registered User JamSumo's Avatar
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    ok thank you for the replies everyone! will check out Mike Mahler.
    This guy made me paranoid....

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XOqASnycup0

    that is why I posted here to ask for other opinions. Also any ideas for chest with kettlebells, could not find much except limited range of motion floor presses.
    Last edited by JamSumo; 03-19-2020 at 05:26 PM.
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  6. #6
    This too shall pass dazlittle's Avatar
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    My 3 gyms are currently still open (for the time being anyway), Hopefully they stay that way!
    Instagram - @dazlittle123
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    I love my power hour MrCarrot's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by dazlittle View Post
    My 3 gyms are currently still open (for the time being anyway), Hopefully they stay that way!
    I'm hoping, everyone at my gym is wiping down religiously, and I've started wearing gloves.

    Also, I just found a park not far from me with outdoor gym equipment. Most of it will be of no use but they have a pull up bar and dip bars. I might use that with a rucksack filled with bricks. Legs is going to be a challenge though.

    I looked on Argos and their selection of dumbbells and barbells is hopeless.
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    Registered User tblodg15's Avatar
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    I think you will be fine to at least maintain. For those with limited equipment a phase of higher reps is probably not a bad thing and could even prepare you for some strong gains when going back to regular training. I have done some weeks with light weights and 30-50 reps but usually only did that for one week. I will say it is harder than it sounds!

    Even though I think you guys will be fine to maintain as long as you do some full body or light weight stuff I am glad I have my home gym in my basement.
    Bodybuilding is much more than an hour in the gym a few days a week---it's a lifestyle that changes all your perceptions about how to live, eat, and rest. It feeds the mind as much (and sometimes more so) than the body.
    ~Originally posted by ironwill2008
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  9. #9
    I love my power hour MrCarrot's Avatar
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    Well that's it, all gyms in the UK closing tonight...
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  10. #10
    Registered User JamSumo's Avatar
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    Thank you for the encouraging words about not losing muscle and the worst that can happen is that we maintain (which I will take given the situation we are in with limited equipment). I am sure this thread will help many. Hopefully, many heavy lifters with decades of experience will chime in here as many people will have questions...

    So to better understand, sticking with the same weight for let's say 3 months will not give us progressive overload but at least will just maintain us without muscle loss until this nightmare is over, correct?

    Thank you in advance for your time!
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  11. #11
    Rebelling in my psychosis thegymbum's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by MrCarrot View Post
    Anything will be better than nothing.

    I'm thinking of filling a back pack with bricks and doing squats and push ups. I have literally no equipment.

    We're all in the same boat at the moment, I dunno what we're all going to do (unless you have a home gym)
    Agreed! I was going to suggest something similar- making some sort of “male shift” workout equipment. The back park sounds like a good idea! Really you can get a lot done with different heavy objects (obviously be safe with this, ha, nothing fragile or injurious... common sense!).

    Resistance exercise and body weight exercise is shot down in the lifting community, but I’ve made a lot of progress with body weight stuff- if you can find a way to make something harder, do it. One leg squats vs double leg with a weighted bar; one armed chin ups/pushups/tricep dips.


    Or my recent favorite: If you happen to have a younger kid/kids, you can entertain them while they’re out of school and get in a good workout by doing exercises with them on your back/shoulders/hanging off whatever body part you’re trying to work, LOL. My kiddo is already bored home from school and she’s been having a blast with me toting her around in random ways during my workout for a laugh!
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  12. #12
    Humble Megalomaniac ElrondHubbard's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by thegymbum View Post
    Agreed! I was going to suggest something similar- making some sort of “male shift” workout equipment. The back park sounds like a good idea! Really you can get a lot done with different heavy objects (obviously be safe with this, ha, nothing fragile or injurious... common sense!).

    Resistance exercise and body weight exercise is shot down in the lifting community, but I’ve made a lot of progress with body weight stuff- if you can find a way to make something harder, do it. One leg squats vs double leg with a weighted bar; one armed chin ups/pushups/tricep dips.


    Or my recent favorite: If you happen to have a younger kid/kids, you can entertain them while they’re out of school and get in a good workout by doing exercises with them on your back/shoulders/hanging off whatever body part you’re trying to work, LOL. My kiddo is already bored home from school and she’s been having a blast with me toting her around in random ways during my workout for a laugh!
    Hmmm. I think if I tried to tote one of my daughters on my back while I was working out, they'd strangle me.

    I only hope their husbands would tell them to let go...
    I'm out, standing in my field.

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    I have been using kettlebells for a couple of months now and think they are amazing. I ordered a kettlebell for home since the gyms are closed.
    Carl
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    Registered User JamSumo's Avatar
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    I just started my new kettlebell routine this past week trying to copy my routine in the gym and here is the good, the bad, and the ugly:

    (I could only find one 25 lb kettlebell, two 45 lbs, and two 70 lbs online as everything else is pretty much sold out.)


    The good:
    Sumo deadlifts with the two 70 lbs were pretty good. Easier to do since the handles are higher than a barbell but I will take it. Also mixed it up and did one hand deadlifts and regular ones with the bells on my side, and Romanian deadlift, all felt great!

    Front squat with two 45 libs kettlebells in the rack position in each hand. There were pretty good, will get your heart pumping and feel challenging. I can Zercher squat 8 reps with 110 lbs or so, but with two kettlebells at 90 pounds front squatting I could only do 3-4 so they are more taxing which is great, I can milk these for a month or two until I get to 12 reps!

    Farmer carries - Excellent with kettlebells due to the handles! Also did a goblet carry and two hand front carry with 45 in each hand in the rack position, wow, very challenging.

    Rows - Did standing bent rows, no issues with kettlebells, did one arm at a time with the 25 lb, then two at the same time with 45 lbs in each hand.

    Overhead presses, no issues with kettlebells.


    The bad: CHEST!
    I tried to work chest and had to do floor presses with 1 hand with the 25 lbs kettle and switch to the other hand. did not feel anything on my right side except shoulder burning. When I pressed with the left I felt my left pec and my shoulder didn't burn.

    Your mileage may vary maybe my arms are structured differently on each side, dunno. But the range of motion is lacking, so I used two kettlebells to do sort of an incline pushup which were decent I guess, did 5 sets of pushups to take care of chest, better than nothing I guess? crossing my finger as I have made awesome progress with bench press and my chest size in the gym.

    The ugly:
    BICEP Curls! I could not curl with the palms facing upwards with my left hand and my right hand it was awkward felt weird. I switched to hammer curls and that felt weird as the handles and kettlebell weight are loaded forward felt like my forearm was gonna snap, didn't want to injure myself so I stopped.
    The only way to work bicep, for now, was to hold 1 bell like you hold it for a goblet squat and curl up. Arms are narrow but I guess it is ok for now


    Conclusion: you can get a great workout to keep things maintained but chest is a concern for now.

    Also, I ordered a bench so I will try the chest press with kettlebells on the bench, hopefully it will be better than from the floor.

    Stay safe everyone!
    Last edited by JamSumo; 03-22-2020 at 04:37 PM.
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    Registered User Garage Rat's Avatar
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    Kettlebells can help maintain and in some cases increase some muscle size depending on how you use the.
    They are unique with their off set center of gravity.
    Swings can be a great fat burner but 3x10 won't be very effective.
    You need 10 to 20 minutes of a HIIT type training where your breathing hard after a set brief rest 20-30 seconds and go again.
    You should be working up a sweat while you doing these.
    Make sure your swing technique is sound and your doing a "hard style swing",one where your getting the most out of each and every rep.
    For maintaining or building muscle you need to do as close to perfect reps as you possibly can.
    The Mike Mahler recommendation above is a good one but you use two KB's for everything and if your not strong enough to handle double 45's or 70's it won't work for you.
    There are many things you can do with one KB.
    If your trying to stimulate muscle you need extreme focus and concentration.
    Feel the muscle working each and every rep and try to get in a position where you feel the target muscle the best.
    One arm work i like are are standing press holding on to a support with free arm, bent rows the same hold on to something with the free arm,goblet squats,sumo style RDL's with one or two KB's,lunges holding a KB in a goblet squat position.
    There are many more.
    Be innovative ,do a search and put together your own program.
    This is a time you can experiment and learn whats best for you personally.
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    Registered User Vawn's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by JamSumo View Post
    So to better understand, sticking with the same weight for let's say 3 months will not give us progressive overload but at least will just maintain us without muscle loss until this nightmare is over, correct?
    If you can't increase weight, you can still work on increasing the number of reps you do at the same weight, which is another form of progressive overload.
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