5 Kettlebell Challenges to Test Your Mettle

5 Kettlebell Challenges to Test Your Mettle

If you’ve been training for a while chances are that you’re feeling pretty tough. Well, it’s time for a gut check. Take on these 5 kettlebell challenges and see how you measure up.

The kettlebell is a unique piece of training equipment. It’s basically a gym all by itself if you know how to use it. It’s also an excellent way to test every aspect of your fitness capabilities. That’s what we’re going to do with these 5 tests. See how you measure up against our goals for each one.

WARNING: These are advanced kettlebell tests, weights, and techniques. If you are unfamiliar with the exercises or are new to kettlebell training, refer to a professional kettlebell instructor prior to attempting them.

Test #1: Can You Press It?

Kettlebell Challenges: Bottoms Up Press

The Kettlebell Strict Press and Kettlebell Front Press are excellent upper body kettlebell drills. The standard way to do them involves resting the kettlebell on the back of your forearm, but this isn’t the only way to press! Your kettlebell challenge will involve holding the kettlebell in the bottoms-up position as you press. This requires a lot of grip strength and even more body control to ensure that it doesn’t fall. Here are the terms of the test:

Description Weight Goal
Press a kettlebell in the bottoms-up position for 10 reps without dropping the weight. When first attempting, don’t use any more than 50% of your PR for the standard kettlebell press. For men, press at least 24kg on each arm. For women, press at least 16kg.

Test #2: Kettlebell Push Up to Dip Test

Kettlebell Push Up to Dip Test

The kettlebell is often touted for its ability to make people sweat. This quick kettlebell challenge will show you just how quickly it can do that.

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The kettlebell has an ideal height for ground drills. This height basically turns two of them placed side by side into a a pair of parallettes. You’ll basically be performing a push up on the handles, then jumping through the space in between them and then performing a dip. Simple! Just make sure you don’t kick the kettlebells as you jump through.

Description Weight Goal
Perform a kettlebell push up, jump through the kettlebells, and then perform a dip. Do as many as you can in 3 minutes. You won’t be lifting weight for this kettlebell test. However, we do recommend using ketltebells that weigh at least 24kg so they don’t fall over when you perform the test.

Your goal is to perform at least 100 reps in 3 minutes or less.

NOTE: We originally had this at 2 minutes, but people thought we were nuts. If you can do it in under 2 minutes and show it on a vid, we’ll give you a free 3lb bag of protein (and probably sponsor you).

Test #3: The Classic Kettlebell Snatch Test

Kettlebell Snatch Test

The Kettlebell 5 minute Snatch Test has been used by the RKC organization to test and certify trainers for over a decade. It is often called the “Secret Service Snatch Test,” although I’m sure that many in the Secret Service have never heard of it. Basically, you perform Kettlebell Snatches for 10 minutes straight without putting down the weight and only transferring the kettlebell from hand to hand once. For our test, you can switch hands as many times as you want, but you can’t put down the weight.

Description Weight Goal
Perform Kettlebell Snatches for 10 minutes without putting down the weight. You can change hands as much as you like. When first attempting, use a lighter weight than you usually do. The main goal is to do as many as you can without setting down the weight. When you’re ready to test, men use 24kg and women use 12kg. The goal is to perform at least 200 reps within 10 minutes.

Test #4: Beast Swing

The Swing Test

The Kettlebell Swing is a vital part of any true kettlebell training program. Problem is, most people limit it to high rep conditioning sets. This test will test your conditioning to, but it will also require gobs of grip strength and muscular endurance. Get ready to swing the beast.

Description Weight Goal
Perform 100 reps of Kettlebell Swings using the Beast (48kg) kettlebell without stopping. Your goal is to use a 48kg kettlebell for 100 swings non-stop (women can use 32kg).  Perform all 100 reps with the beast kettlebell without stopping at any point.

Test #5: Walk It

Any fan of Dan John knows the value of weighted carries. With this kettlebell test, you get to put all that farmer walking to work. This test is extremely functional in the sense that at some point in your life, you may have to pick up someone else and walk. No man wants to fail when the opportunity to save someone presents itself. Make sure you can take it to the limit by completing this test.

Description Weight Goal
Pick up 2 kettlebells and walk for 100 meters without setting them down. When first attempting, don’t use any more than 75% of your bodyweight to gauge what it takes. When ready, grab 2 kettlebells that weigh as much as your body does. Your goal is to carry your bodyweight for 100 meters without stopping or setting down the weight.

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