In the fitness world we are currently riding the hump of the bell curve for kettle bell workouts. These workout programs got hot about 3 years ago and stayed hot. Inevitably, the race to capitalize on a popular craze leads to either copycats, or variation advancements.
Kettle bells lend themselves very well to copy cats but not so well to variations. A kettle bell is a block weight with a handle grip. Dress it up how you want, but that's about all it is. Most programs are designed to engage the large muscle groups in the thighs, buttocks, core (lower back, mid-section, hips). The great thing about the product is it doesn't take much to get those muscles working. Think the principles of heavy lifting on a construction site or farm brought to controlled structured workout.
I have worked with the adjustable Weider kettle bell for a few months and the level of total body work I get in 15 to 20 minutes is no joke. I experimented at one point with the idea of the workout being my regular routine. There are inherent time efficiency advantages that are hard to deny along with the super workout. You won't get the level of calorie burn, strength increase, and body sculpting from a running or conventional weight workout done for the same amount of time. So kettle bell is definitely a vital member in the rotation. However, it is not the base workout I turn to regularly.
Despite all the positives, there are five realities of the kettle bell that keep it from being my go to workout.
1. Variety is key. For any program to be the repeated daily workout, it must keep me from getting bored. There are only so many moves you can do with kettle bells. They are really effective though.
2. The workout works best as a random stimulator of the major muscle groups. I found that I plateaued if I did it every day. Plateauing is bad because you start to get decreasing benefits for your time worked.
3. I felt a need to try and add weight because it seemed like it was getting too easy doing the program every day. Adding weight because it is getting easy is the last exit before quitting outright. I don't want you to let your kettle bell collect dust. It is too effective.
4. It's a great workout, but I worried about the constant daily stress on my back especially. It never seemed like it got better or necessarily stronger. However when I used the kettle bell as a change of pace for a day or two a week, I felt reinvigorated rather than fatigued. I highly recommend you find ways to bring this equipment into your cardio routines instead. Weider kettle bell for instance has multiple suggestions for workouts in a companion dvd. You tube has more suggestions than you ever do.