broad shoulders with just a hint of pecs, back muscles standing out in bold relief, wiry arms, rugged forearms, a cut-up midsection, and strong legs w

Chrisdavisjr

Level 6 Valued Member
@Jamesjones Yeah, something like that. I definitely noticed the most change on my back but I 'filled out' a little all over. I didn't really gain any weight but I clearly lost some fat and gained some muscle. I'm no Franco Columbu, of course.

It probably helped that I'm quite small (I weighed around 64kg/140lbs when I started) so by the time I'd gotten comfortable with the 32kg bell I was playing around with a 1/2 bodyweight bell.
 

watchnerd

Level 6 Valued Member
It probably helped that I'm quite small (I weighed around 64kg/140lbs when I started) so by the time I'd gotten comfortable with the 32kg bell I was playing around with a 1/2 bodyweight bell.
+1

I'm 102 kg. Kettlebells give my legs and butt a nice "pump", but the vast majority of my leg hypertrophy has come from barbells.

There comes a point where kettlebell::body size ratio becomes a limiting factor, at least for the lower body.
 

watchnerd

Level 6 Valued Member
Hello has anyone achieved this classic physique with kettlebells I know most people have got into great shape but has anyone solely achieved this with just kettlebells

What's your stories ?
Strong legs only from kettlebells?

No, not really, in terms of absolute strength. They're just not heavy enough. You're not going to be able to compete with barbell squats.

You can get "strong enough" legs and well conditioned legs.
 

Jamesjones

Level 4 Valued Member
I agree heavy squats and deadlifts will build powerful legs but I think a mixture of both is most beneficial
 

watchnerd

Level 6 Valued Member
I agree heavy squats and deadlifts will build powerful legs but I think a mixture of both is most beneficial
Oh, I concur.

How far you can go with in terms of strength and hypertrophy with "kettlebells only" depends a lot on which part of the body you're talking about, your general frame size, and training age.

Ultimately what you're asking, though, has little to do with any specific tool, like a kettlebell.

You're basically asking a bodybuilding question, which is a lot more about diet and programming than it is about specific implements.
 

Kettlebelephant

Level 7 Valued Member
It's not about the tool, but what you do with it.
Barbell squats are supposed to be THE thing for quads.
In the gym I see guys doing barbell (half) squats with 40Kg...
Compare that to someone repping out multiple sets of 8-12 of lunges, step-ups or BSSs with double 40Kg KBs. Who's going to have bigger, stronger legs?
You can achieve physique you describe with any tool.

Just hypothesizing a combination of 3 days Q&D (swings + pushups; including DLs - Q&D + Minimalist Deadlifts | StrongFirst) + 2 days Tactical Barbell Fighter or PTTP 2.0 using barbell front squats and (weighted) pullups will probably get you close to what you're looking for without needing a specialized bodybuilding plan.
 
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Slatersan

Level 5 Valued Member
I look more like how you describe since switching to mostly kettlebells. I started with bodybuilding then powerlifting and my physique looks much better now with kettlebells. I have more of a hardened look over a bigger and bulky look.
 

NormanOsborn

Level 5 Valued Member
Strong legs only from kettlebells?

No, not really, in terms of absolute strength. They're just not heavy enough. You're not going to be able to compete with barbell squats.

You can get "strong enough" legs and well conditioned legs.
+ 1 on this. Goblet Squats etc are great for warming up, but for maximal strength gains, you need to squat and deadlift with a barbell.
 

watchnerd

Level 6 Valued Member
Compare that to someone repping out multiple sets of 8-12 of lunges, step-ups or BSSs with double 40Kg KBs. Who's going to have bigger, stronger legs?
Well, when I do double KB (2x32) leg work (alternating split squats for split jerk practice), my rack gets tired way before my legs do.

Which is interesting in and of itself, because my "medium day" BB front squat workout is 3x8@110kg.

But racking on the delts is different.
 

North Coast Miller

Level 7 Valued Member
Well, when I do double KB (2x32) leg work (alternating split squats for split jerk practice), my rack gets tired way before my legs do.

Which is interesting in and of itself, because my "medium day" BB front squat workout is 3x8@110kg.

But racking on the delts is different.
I started to phase out kbs when I reliably hit 15 reps on front squat with double 32. I couldn't bring myself to spend the $ on heavier bells just for leg work.
 

Kettlebelephant

Level 7 Valued Member
Well, when I do double KB (2x32) leg work (alternating split squats for split jerk practice), my rack gets tired way before my legs do.

Which is interesting in and of itself, because my "medium day" BB front squat workout is 3x8@110kg.

But racking on the delts is different.
Well, as an oly lifter you're also doing heavy barbell squats, so your legs are strong. ;)

My post was to showcase that you don't need a certain tool for your goals.
Of course barbells are better than KBs for leg strength, but you need to put in the work.
Someone working hard and progressively with KBs will have better legs than someone who occasionally trains barbell squats with some weak a** weights.
 

Simply strong

Level 4 Valued Member
I started to phase out kbs when I reliably hit 15 reps on front squat with double 32. I couldn't bring myself to spend the $ on heavier bells just for leg work.
I think that’s the point to start focusing on pistols. Working back up to double 32’s on the weighted pistol would get your legs very strong indeed.
 

pet'

Level 8 Valued Member
Hello,

There were this thread, more or less "similar" about the S&S physique and also results & transformations


I achieved my best physique (Madame's point of view) and level of performance (GPP in my case) when using ROP.

I think that’s the point to start focusing on pistols. Working back up to double 32’s on the weighted pistol would get your legs very strong indeed.
I agree. I do not have barbell, so as far as squat exercise goes, I use weighted pistol. But, the human body is extremely resilient and learns fast (which is good). Very soon we are obliged to load them to keep getting stronger.

Up to a point, I think there is a less favorable risk-to-reward ratio. Too much load may be tough for the knees on the long haul (I think).

If maximal strength is the goal, it will be difficult to beat DL, squat and OVH press.

However, I noticed that, regardless body composition, that bodyweight training transfer very well to weight training, assuming we have been training to learn plenty of patterns. Basically, the more we learn, the "even more" we are able to run. This is at least my experience.

Kind regards,

Pet'
 
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North Coast Miller

Level 7 Valued Member
I think that’s the point to start focusing on pistols. Working back up to double 32’s on the weighted pistol would get your legs very strong indeed.

Pistols are more of a balance/skill move than a functional one, and they don't particularly make my knees feel so good. This gets to my philosophy of using the tool that best aligns with the goal, rather than becoming attached to a particular tool.
 

pet'

Level 8 Valued Member
Hello,

@North Coast Miller
As far as pistol goes, maybe escalating density can be an alternative.

Indeed, we are supposed to hit more reps in the same time frame. So you get more work done (TUT) in the same amount of time...then we can consider we get stronger that way. Plus, in general, we only perform this during 5-7 minutes so eventually, there is not "that much" reps (but the HR may rise a little).

EDT is something which works well even with bodyweight only training to build muscle (at least for me). Did you already try ?

Kind regards,

Pet'
 

North Coast Miller

Level 7 Valued Member
Hello,

@North Coast Miller
As far as pistol goes, maybe escalating density can be an alternative.

Indeed, we are supposed to hit more reps in the same time frame. So you get more work done (TUT) in the same amount of time...then we can consider we get stronger that way. Plus, in general, we only perform this during 5-7 minutes so eventually, there is not "that much" reps (but the HR may rise a little).

EDT is something which works well even with bodyweight only training to build muscle (at least for me). Did you already try ?

Kind regards,

Pet'
I haven't. The closest would probably be Clusters with target number of reps to achieve, and with constrained rest intervals it would seem to be similar.
But most of my variety has come in the form of set extenders or varying the RPE per set.

Looking back through my notes, once I maxed out on front squat I went to skater and Zercher with sandbag, and Bulgarian Split Squats (which I never really liked). Bounced around a lot till I settled on single leg squat form a crate, which I still use. It takes the issue of lumbar flexion right out of the equation, has a smaller balance component than skaters, and eliminates any contribution from the non working leg.
 
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