The 5 Week Holiday Kettlebell Program: How To Burn Fat & Get Strong While Doing Practically Nothing, Eating Pies & Playing Games This Holiday Season

5 Week Holiday Kettlebell Program Challenge for Gamers Heroes of Fitness

The 5 Week Holiday Kettlebell Program: How To Burn Fat & Get Strong While Doing Practically Nothing, Eating Pies & Playing Games This Holiday Season

760 360 Tim Spencer

Ahhhh the holidays.

You’ll never find a more festive time of fun and gluttony. Or was it a wretched hive of scum and villainy? Certainly one of the two, depending on who you ask.

You go from wearing an awesome costume around to parties to consuming a massive, gravy-soaked, turkey-carbo-load, and then before you know it you’ll be swapping gifts with people and hoping not to get the short end of the stick at the white elephant gift exchange (“artwork from a thrift shop, how did you know?”)

It can be hard to consistently eat well as you laze about the house again like old times, spend time with the fam, chase the little ones, pet the domesticated animals, and then you pretty much sit around and eat for hours while the big meals get prepared… You know. So you can eat those too.

And you enjoy it!

You get that smile on your face, one part self-amusement, one part guilty pleasure as you sit down with your plate(s), half of what you bring to the table is meat, the other half is every single side dish piled high.

Then, after everyone finishes, you hear someone say the unthinkable .

Maybe it even comes out of YOUR mouth:

“No dessert for me, thanks.”

Let me ask you a question…

What kind of world do we live in, where someone doesn’t eat a tasty treat on a feast holiday?

I mean can you imagine a Viking warrior sitting down to a feast with the men and women he just fought side by side with saying to some quivering servant, “Oh, no. Excuse me? No pie. I need to keep my shredded six pack to look cute in our next battle. I like the way the spattered blood of my enemies trickles between my shredded abdominals. And by the way, I asked for botulism-water, not mead. k thx”

In your own life, have you ever tried to say no to Aunt Ruth’s homemade-from-scratch, slaved-all-day-in-a-kitchen, hot apple pie that’s dripping with a sugary sweet cinnamon glop melded with two scoops of vanilla ice cream?

Do you know the utter surprise that will come across her face as the word “no” plummets from your mouth and thuds onto the floor like a brick?

You monster….

TRAITOR!

You make me sick.

(I picture everyone suddenly drawing weapons and insulting you like from an Elder Scrolls game — “Auntie Ruth nooo!!” ).

Well let me tell you…I’ve been that monster.

And I DO NOT want that for you.

It is NO FUN trying to diet during the holidays.

I can already hear the simultaneous beratement coming from all sides by all of your extended family saying, “why aren’t you eating it? It’s delicious!”

“Oh you’re doing some weird diet…”

“Are you sure that’s healthy?”

“A little bit won’t KILL you.”

“You N’wah! That’s the last mistake you’ll ever make!” (okay just checking if you’re really reading).

This year, I want you to enjoy those holiday meals, so go all out!

And if you are trying to reign in your nutrition, this is your cheat day, so why wouldn’t you take advantage of all that delicious goodness?

But the real question at hand is: how do you get through the holidays — while enjoying the meals — without putting on the standard holiday weight gain?

And let’s be honest, the holiday weight gain is what sustains the evil fitness industry, attempting to capitalize on you wanting to have an awesome time. The spice must flow. Our need to “get back into shape” after the holidays is what will nourish fitness facilities until bikini season comes. But screw the fitness industry.

You don’t need them.

It’s so well known that it has been a joke forever; everyone floods the gyms for 2 entire weeks. And after those 2 weeks everybody stops going, because they realize that going to a gym sucks.

But this is precisely why we’re not going to get out of shape in the first place.

We’re going to stay in shape without a gym.

We’re going to eat and drink what we please.

And goddammit we are going to be merry!

Nobody ever quits going to the gym because they hate results, they quit going because having to go to the gym every day sucks. And if you miss a day it’s like you’re losing the money and the habit.

I don’t know about you, but I hate getting into and out of my car. (I also don’t like driving unless it’s a road trip. I either want to drive across the country or not drive at all. I mean come on, one minute you’re driving along fine and then the next minute you’re… you’re having to slow down, you’re having to obey traffic laws, I mean it’s ridiculous!)

I’m six and a half feet tall. Do you know what a tremendous pain in the ass it is to contort my personage into the average vehicle, especially in the winter? Imagine a large black peacoat stuffed with a hoodie and other layers, a long haired human, some jeans and boots draggling about underneath trying to heap itself sideways into a carseat. All in the snow and freezing cold.

All of this only to drive to a gym to change out of all of that shit and work out.

Nay good sir. Nay.

That’s why I train at home.

It’s annoying enough that I have to drive somewhere to go for walks or run sprints. Plus, with a gym membership, it’s impractical to go there just to do one set and leave — like we could easily do during a gaming/tv break at home.

What if instead of going off the deep end in either direction (ie. not doing jack squat or paying for the gym right out the gate), we work to maintain our weight and increase our fitness in throughout the holiday season easily, practically, and without much effort?

Here’s what you can actually do:

The 5 Week Bare-Bones, One-Kettlebell-Only, Thanksgiving to New Year’s Eve Challenge

For this 5 week program, you will only need one kettlebell.

(note: see which kettlebell size to use below) 

A kettlebell is a gym in your hand. I stand by kettlebells for any and all people who can learn the proper form as a way to min-max the fuck out of exercising.

Having one kettlebell by your computer and a bit of clear, comfortable floor space is more valuable than a gym membership — and the kb you only have to pay for one time.

Kettlebells are the ultimate strength and conditioning tool for a reason. With one piece of equipment (read one single kettlebell ) you can do power training, strength training, strength endurance training, and cardiovascular training. You can shred fat and be working out your muscles with a SINGLE activity.

The demands of moving a kettlebell involve your proprioception and your brain more than basic fitness activities. This translates to being more efficient and better for fatloss (oh, and not boring!).

Unlike sitting on a bike or going for a run, every time you do cardio with a kettlebell you are simultaneously putting a training effect on your posture muscles as well as your posterior chain (glutes and hams). This is the polar opposite of biking or running which, if you sit a lot, further tighten you up and exaggerate bad posture.

While others are training only their cardiovascular system, you are doing MORE with a kettlebell without…

…having to go outside

….needing a treadmill or other machine

…and without even straying far from whatever else you’re doing in your day.

And this is great for someone like me because I think cardio is a lame use of time.

Using kettlebells also strengthens your grip and wrists, two things that people who use computers a lot can benefit from.

Consistently doing full body exercises with a kettlebell helps to increase your flexibility and mobility (even without additional stretching) while increasing your ability to generate tension with your body. This is going to enable you move like a predatory cat, supple and explosive, instead of a lumbering oaf. Just going to the gym to pump up your chest and arms could not give you the same feeling of full body power in a thousand years.

The 5 Week Holiday Kettlebell Program

Starting on Thanksgiving Day (starting later? No worries, just jump in!) and ending on New Year’s Eve Day, this program is designed to keep you strong and get your heart rate up while doing the minimal amount of exercise.

See videos here on how to do all the exercises correctly (from the HOF Gamer’s Guide): deadlifts, swings, goblet squats, lunges, rows, get-up situp.

Overview of the program:

1. You will do 3 workouts per week.

  • For the workouts you will do 5 reps per exercise if using a medium-heavy to heavy kettlebell. If using a light to medium kettlebell you will do 10 reps.

2. Every day you will do Kettlebell Swings (or Deadlifts). Do deadlifts if you are not as experienced or have poor swing form.

  • The first 3 WEEKS you will set a timer for 5 MINUTES and do your deadlifts or swings.
  • The last 2 WEEKS you will spend 10 MINUTES doing deadlifts or swings.

Examples and options of how to do this:

20 reps at the start of each minute followed by a rest until the start of the next minute.

OR

As many sets of 5 reps (or 10, or 15, or 20) as possible. You can increase the number of reps per set each week OR just increase the number of sets you perform. Use very focused breathing between sets. Attempt to breathe through your nose during rests and continue until you are ONLY breathing through your nose in a non-forced manner. If you are mouth-breathing when you start a set you are working out too hard.

WEEK 1 (11/26 – 12/2):

–> 5 mins of Deadlifts/Swings every day this week <—

Workout 1 (Thursday – THANKSGIVING):

  • Goblet Squats and Military Presses, 2 sets each
  • Russian Twists, 2 sets

Workout 2 (Sunday):

  • Lunges and Rows, 2 sets each
  • Get-Up Sit-Up, 2 sets

Workout 3 (Tuesday):

  • Squats and Presses, 2 sets each
  • Russian Twists, 2 sets

WEEK 2 (12/3 – 12/9):

–> 5 mins of Deadlifts/Swings every day this week <—

Workout 1 (Thursday):

  • Lunges and Rows, 2 sets each
  • Get-Up Sit-Up, 2 sets

Workout 2 (Sunday):

  • Squats and Presses, 2 sets each
  • Russian Twists, 2 sets

Workout 3 (Tuesday):

  • Lunges and Rows, 2 sets each
  • Get-Up Sit-Up, 2 sets

WEEK 3 (12/10 – 12/16):

–> 5 mins of Deadlifts/Swings every day this week <—

Workout 1 (Thursday):

  • Squats and Presses, 3 sets each
  • Russian Twists, 3 sets

Workout 2 (Sunday):

  • Lunges and Rows, 3 sets each
  • Get-Up Sit-Up, 3 sets

Workout 3 (Tuesday):

  • Squats and Presses, 3 sets each
  • Russian Twists, 3 sets

WEEK 4 (12/17 – 12/23):

–> 5 mins of Deadlifts/Swings every day this week <—

Workout 1 (Thursday):

  • Lunges and Rows, 3 sets each
  • Get-Up Sit-Up, 3 sets

Workout 2 (Sunday):

  • Squats and Presses, 3 sets each
  • Russian Twists, 3 sets

Workout 3 (Tuesday):

  • Lunges and Rows, 3 sets each
  • Get-Up Sit-Up, 3 sets

WEEK 5 (12/24 – 12/30):

–> 10 mins of Deadlifts/Swings every day this week <—

Workout 1 (Thursday):

  • Squats and Presses, 3 sets each
  • Russian Twists, 3 sets

Workout 2 (Sunday):

  • Lunges and Rows, 3 sets each
  • Get-Up Sit-Up, 3 sets

Workout 3 (Tuesday):

  • Squats and Presses, 2 sets each
  • Lunges and Rows, 2 sets each
  • Get-Up Sit-Up and Russian Twists, 2 sets each

FINAL BOSS WORKOUT (12/31 Thursday – NEW YEAR’S EVE):

  • 5 Mins of Deadlifts/Swings
  • Squats and Presses, 2 sets each
  • Lunges and Rows, 2 sets each
  • Get-Up Sit-Up and Russian Twists, 2 sets each
  • 5 Mins Deadlifts/Swings

We have the days above listed as Tuesday, Thursday, Sunday because we’ll be doing them during our live stream on Twitch. But you can do them on any 3 days of the week that work best for your schedule.

 Are you joining in this holiday season? Let us know how it’s going in the comments below!

*NOTES ON WHAT KETTELEBELL SIZE TO USE:

When selecting a kettlebell to buy for this challenge, I recommend that men start with a 16kg (35lb) kettlebell and ladies start with a 12kg (26lb) kettlebell. If this weight feels light in your hands, you will be doing the program with 10 rep sets. If it feels heavy you will be doing it with 5 rep sets. Simple as that. If it feels heavy for presses or get-up sit-ups just do 1-3 rep sets or find something lighter for that exercise. These are each great starter kettlebells and you can further expand your collection based on our suggestions on our Resources page.

Also, Dragon Door is having a 25% off ALL kettlebells for Black Friday (use promo code BFSALE) so now would be an excellent time to grab one and save!

 

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