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10 Week Training Cycle Using Kettlebells and Dumbbells

I’ve recently talked about planning your workouts and discussed periodization and planning your success. Today I’m going to show the training regimen I’ve planned for myself over the next ten weeks. My hope is that I can convey how important it is to plan not just the act of working out, but also the body parts and exercises to work on during each workout.

There are several reasons why you would want to specifically plan the details of your workouts into a training cycle over several weeks as opposed to just showing up and going through a list of body parts that you want to work on and throwing in a little cardio. Let’s go over some reasons to plan your workouts thoroughly:

1.  It ensures that everything gets worked. Working everything ensures all around general fitness and is essential in getting really fit! Plus, addressing any imbalances in your system is a good way to prevent injury, particularly if you participate in a sport that utilizes one set of muscles over another. You’ll find that overall performance will actually increase when you work everything as opposed to certain areas you feel are the “most important”.

2.  It keeps things interesting. Having a variety of workouts is essential in preventing boredom and maintaining a fit lifestyle. You can ensure that there is variety in your program just by giving it a little thought ahead of time. Of course, if you are still developing your knowledge base of exercises and are still working on making this a lifestyle, a personal trainer or a fitness website like JohnnyFit can really help you. Even seasoned vets and trainers need training and new information!

3.  It lets you measure increases, gains, and areas to focus on. Not only will you be able to better gauge your general fitness, but you will also be able to see results as increases occur in reps and weight. Keep notes of everything in order to monitor your progress. Also, make sure to note how long your breaks are and your levels of intensity, e.g., in weight training, kettlebells, cardio, HIIT.

One more thing to note is that even though this is a ten-week cycle, not all of my cycles are planned exactly like this. Some might be planned for twelve to fifteen weeks or even up to six months at a time, and they include different workouts and types of exercises. This cycle is designed to address things that I currently want to work on.

Also, I’m not suggesting that you should use this cycle for yourself, unless you want to, but hopefully this will give you some ideas. I’ll explain some of the nuances at the end.

Weeks 1, 3, 6, 8

Day 1 – Lower Body Dumbbell and Abs

  • Alternating ab moves between leg moves

Day 2 – Upper Body Dumbbell

Day 3 – HIIT or Cardio and Abs

  • I prefer calisthenic-style exercises as opposed to running, but either is fine. The main idea is to get your heart rate up on this day.

Day 4 – Arms

Day 5 – Yoga (any style or method)

Day 6 – Kettlebells (note: I generally consider kettlebell day both a resistance and a cardio workout)

Day 7 – Rest

Weeks 2, 4, 7, 9

Day 1 – Lower Body Dumbbell and Abs

  • Alternating ab moves between leg moves

Day 2 – Upper Body Dumbbell

Day 3 – HIIT or Cardio

Day 4 – Kettlebells

Day 5 – Yoga

Day 6 – Kettlebells

Day 7 – Rest

Weeks 5, 10 – Core and Active Recovery

Day 1 – Yoga

Day 2 – Cardio

Day 3 – Rest

Day 4 – Medicine Ball or Kettlebell Cardio

  • My FREE Kettlebell Core Cardio workout would be perfect to do on this day. Sign up to my newsletter now and download it for FREE!

Day 5 – Yoga

Day 6 – Yoga or Light Cardio

Day 7 – Rest

Notes:

  1. Leg day is generally my least favorite day (if you enjoy leg day then you’re not working them hard enough). I place this day first to get it out of the way.
  2. I only have abs listed 2 days per week because you don’t really need to work them more than this. Plus, a lot of my workouts are core-centric, meaning that your core and abs get worked as a byproduct anyway. Many kettlebell and yoga moves are fantastic for core and abs.
  3. If you really like kettlebells you could replace the arms day with kettlebells like I have done in weeks 2, 4, 7, and 9. But I really like working my arms and wanted some days that specifically focus on those.
  4. On kettlebell days, feel free to focus on specific areas such as upper body, lower body, or cardio if there is something you want to work on.
  5. Do any kind of yoga that you want – just do it. It’s important for balance,alignment, and recovery from intense workouts. I prefer power yoga because it’s a great workout, and it is a method that places less focus on new-age mysticism and things “divine,” which hold minimal interest to me.
  6. Feel free to throw plenty of body-weight exercises such as pull-ups and push-ups into the dumbbell exercise days.
  7. I feel that you can be a really fit person by only working out four days per week. I do six because I’m JohnnyFit! If four days is your thing, I would suggest something like this:
    • Day 1 – Total Body Dumbbell, Day 2 – HIIT, Day 3 – Kettlebells, Day 4 – Yoga, with 3 rest days dispersed wherever you need them throughout the week. The sooner in the week that you do your workouts, the less chance you have of skipping them!

Most Importantly

Be consistent, show up, be mindful of your nutrition, and you WILL get results regardless of what your goals are!

8 thoughts on “10 Week Training Cycle Using Kettlebells and Dumbbells”

    1. Hi Jenny, I use weights and bodyweight for leg exercises. It’s usually a mix of squats, lunges, calf raises, step-ups, and jumps. Since I generally workout at home and don’t have the luxory of a squat rack, I use the dumbbells that I have and go for maximum reps. The same thing goes for bodyweight, go for higher reps. Almost any exercise that you do for the lower legs with weights can be done without weights using just bodyweight. The trick is to compensate the lack of weight with more reps. Just like any resistance workout, you want to really feel that burn before you stop!

      Working the legs is important (besides the fact that everyone wants nice looking legs). There are a lot of muscles in your legs, so when you work them you really burn a lot of calories.They usually get worked pretty good in a kettlebell workout too. Various squats, lunges, and swings all definitely work the legs.

    1. Hi Jenny, I use weights and body-weight for leg exercises. It’s usually a mix of squats, lunges, calf raises, step-ups, and jumps. Since I generally workout at home and don’t have the luxury of a squat rack, I use the dumbbells that I have and go for maximum reps. The same thing goes for body-weight, go for higher reps. Almost any exercise that you do for the lower legs with weights can be done without weights using just body-weight. The trick is to compensate the lack of weight with more reps. Just like any resistance workout, you want to really feel that burn before you stop!Working the legs is important (besides the fact that everyone wants nice looking legs). There are a lot of muscles in your legs, so when you work them you really burn a lot of calories.They usually get worked pretty good in a kettlebell workout too. Various squats, lunges, and swings all definitely work the legs.

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