When it comes to choosing a new workout routine, there are a number of important factors that people consider.
Is it any different to previous routines I have tried? Is it designed by someone who knows what they are doing?
How much time will I need to dedicate to it in order to achieve results?
One routine that claims to be able to tick all of these boxes is the Aubrey Marcus Kettlebell Workout.
Designed by a respected member of the fitness community, it revolves around exercises using an often overlooked piece of fitness equipment, the kettlebell, and takes just 20 minutes to complete.
However, as anyone who has been training for any length of time will know, there are plenty of workout routines out there that tout their ability to produce impressive results, without actually being able to back up their claims.
So, is the Aubrey Marcus Kettlebell Workout really able to offer all of the benefits it claims?
Well, if you check out our in depth review of the routine, you will soon be able to decide for yourself.
Who Is Aubrey Marcus?
Aubrey Marcus is successful and well-known fitness professional, who is best known for his use of kettlebells.
His programs are designed to build both strength and muscle, while also helping you to lose weight, with many relying on the utilisation of high intensity interval training (HIIT) protocols.
Aubrey is also the founder of a company called Onnit, for whom he currently serves as the CEO of.
Onnit focuses on developing advanced nutrition formulas in order to create supplements designed to help people achieve even greater results from their workouts.
In addition to supplements, Onnit also produces a range of branded fitness equipment.
This has allowed Aubrey to turn his personal brand into a one stop shop for all of your fitness needs, as you can get your routines, equipment, and nutrition from a single, reputable source.
This one stop shop approach even goes hand in hand with one of the primary approaches Aubrey focuses on during his training routine, which is to pack as much into as little time as you possibly can.
His more popular routines see users working out for just 20 minutes, which is significantly less than conventional workout routines.
It also makes his company and workout routines perfect for people who are short on time.
What Is A Kettlebell?
Originally designed in Russia in the 18th century to weigh crops, a kettlebell is a weighted item usually made from cast iron or steel.
It features a single, usually spherical, weighted section, with a long, continuous handle, curved in a semi-circle across the top of the weight.
Able to be used with either one or two hands, as a piece of fitness equipment the kettlebell can operate as somewhat of a middle ground between barbells and dumbbells.
A kettlebell is primarily designed for use in ballistic styles of training, which focus on using explosive movements to improve power.
However, it can also be used to improve flexibility, strength, and cardiovascular conditioning, as well to help people to lose weight and enhance body composition.
What Type Of Kettlebell Should I Use To Complete The Aubrey Marcus Kettlebell Workout?
The great thing about the Aubrey Marcus Kettlebell Workout is that it can be completed with virtually any standard kettlebell that you find in a gym.
The only thing you must make sure is that the handle is large enough for you to comfortably hold it with both hands.
You also want to select a kettlebell with a weight that you can complete the entire routine with, instead of switching weights from one exercise to the next.
A particularly great choice for anyone looking to purchase their own kettlebell and complete the workout at home is the Bowflex Adjustable Kettlebell.
With its large, comfortable handle, sleek design, durable build, and the ability to increase the weight over time, it is the perfect option for those looking to make the most of kettlebell training in this and any of their other workouts moving forward.
Are Kettlebell Workouts Effective?
While kettlebells haven’t been used as extensively as barbells or dumbbells in the fitness community, there are numerous studies which have looked at just how effective the use of kettlebells in workouts are, as well as workouts designed solely around them.
One study found that kettlebell exercises make an excellent alternative to conventional training methods, especially for those who want to focus on enhancing the power, strength, and explosiveness of their muscles.
The same study also reported that individuals participating in regular kettlebell workouts noticed significant improvements in their aerobic power as well.
Kettlebell 10 Weeks Program
This program contains our famous Kettlebell 1.0 and 2.0 programs. It will take you on a journey from beginner to intermediate or advanced in a period of 10 weeks, using only one or two kettlebells.
- Skill level: Beginner and Intermediate
- Format: PDF
- 10-week program: 3 workouts each week for the first 4 weeks, then 4 workouts each week for the last 6 weeks
- Workouts vary in length from 25-60 minutes
- Requires at least one kettlebell in the range of 15lb to 25lb. It can be helpful to have two kettlebells, one lighter and one heavier for different exercises. A yoga or exercise mat is also recommended
- Free Bonus: Intro to Nutrition and Healthy Eating
- Links to video explanations for individual exercises.
- Mobile and Desktop versions available
- Printable PDF workout calendar
In another study, participants followed an exercise routine consisting solely of kettlebell exercises for a period of eight weeks.
The results showed that there was a significant improvement in the strength of a user’s muscles at the end of the eight week study period.
Body composition was also noted to have improved among the participants, while results also showed that the exercises are beneficial for elderly individuals.
The Aubrey Marcus Kettlebell Workout
The Aubrey Marcus Kettlebell Workout focuses on three exercises used in short bursts.
The routine only lasts for around 20 minutes, yet it is capable of providing a complete workout that is able to effectively and efficiently improve strength, power, stamina, muscle tone, and body composition.
The Aubrey Marcus Kettlebell Workout uses just three specific types of kettlebell exercises, performed in various patterns, to form the entire 20 minute routine.
The three exercises utilised are the halo, swing, and thruster.
A kettlebell halo is performed from a standing position, with feet planted slightly apart, directly in line with the hips.
The user then takes a kettlebell and holds it by the edges of the handle against their chest in an inverted position, with the weight as the highest point.
While keeping the hips and torso stationary, the user will then proceed to circle their head with the kettlebell.
As you circle your head with the weight, you will gradually rotate the kettlebell, so that by the time it reaches the centre of your back, the weight is now its lowest point.
Once this position is reached, continue your circular rotation in the same direction, until you have achieved a complete rotation and the kettlebell is back in its original position, at your chest with the weight at the top.
A full rotation constitutes one complete repetition.
You should then continue, without pausing, until you have achieved the desired number of repetitions or length of time exercising.
The swing is perhaps the most common exercise for people to perform with a kettlebell.
This is due largely to the fact that kettlebell swings are an explosive exercise that can work almost all of the muscles in a person’s body.
To begin, you will stand with your legs just a little wider than shoulder width apart and hold a kettlebell in front of you, with both hands on the top of the handle, arms fully extended down in front of your waist, and the weighted section at the bottom.
Slowly lower yourself into a squatted position, with your knees leaning slightly forward, shoulders in a low position, and the back in a straight alignment, so that the weight hangs between your legs.
Now contract your glutes and shoulders and explode upwards, thrusting your hips forwards and upwards, while keeping your arms completely straight and extended.
When you reach a completely vertical position, with the weight held directly out in front of you at shoulder height, immediately lower the weight back down, keeping your arms and back straight the entire time, and return to the starting position.
As soon as you have returned to the starting position, you have completed a single repetition and are ready to immediately repeat the process until you complete the desired number of repetitions or exercise duration.
The thruster is another standing exercise that begins with almost the same setup as the halo, with your feet planted slightly apart, directly in line with the hips.
The kettlebell is again held by the edges of the handle against their chest, only this time it will be upright, with the weight at the bottom.
Push your buttocks backwards and lower them towards the ground, while bending the knees forward, to create a squatted position. Make sure the torso is kept in a straight, upright position.
From here, use your heels to drive yourself back into a standing position, with the kettlebell kept at the chest.
During the upward movement, as you approach a fully upright position, drive the kettlebell straight upwards into to an overhead position, until your arms are full extended.
Upon reaching full extension of the arms, immediately lower the weight back to your chest and return to a squatted position to complete the repetition.
Without pausing, repeat the movement to complete the desired number of repetitions or length of working time.
The thruster can also be performed while holding two individual kettlebells, with one in either hand.
This variation is more challenging, so is best reserved only for those with more experience training with kettlebells.
The Aubrey Marcus Kettlebell Workout utilises a popular form of high intensity interval training known as Tabata.
Tabata is a style of training originating in Japan that is based on the equation 20/10 x 8 = 4.
In a fitness sense, the 20 in the equation is seconds of working time, the 10 is seconds of resting time, the 8 is the number of times you will perform the resting and working parts, and the 4 is the number of minutes it will take you to complete the entire routine.
Therefore, for each exercise in the Aubrey Marcus Kettlebell Workout, you will perform it continuously for 20 seconds, then take a 10 second break, before completing the cycle a total of eight times.
After completing 8 full cycles, which will take four minutes, you will then rest for an additional 2 minutes, before moving on to the next exercise. This means the entire routine can be completed in just 18 minutes, or 16 if you consider yourself finished after the final working section.
The exercises can be performed in any order you wish, although each must be completed in its entirety before moving on to the next.
You should also select a weight that you are capable of completing all three exercises with and don’t increase it until necessary for the entire routine.
Are Aubrey Marcus’s Kettlebell Workout Safe?
The Aubrey Marcus Kettlebell Workout uses relatively common and straightforward exercises.
This means that, when performed with the correct form, listening to all of the provided instructions, and taking proper care while setting up, then yes, the workout will be safe for the majority of people.
However, it is important to bear in mind that any pre-existing injuries or health conditions could put you at increased risk from some of the exercises.
As a result, anyone with any concerns should avoid doing the workout until they have spoken with a medical professional.
Beginners and those who have not exercised for an extended period should also be especially careful, as pushing your body too far with the workout right away can result in serious injuries.
In both instances, and for most people in general, warmups can help to make the workout much safer.
Aubrey Marcus Kettlebell Workout Reviews
The Aubrey Marcus Kettlebell Workout has been almost universally praised for its simplicity and versatility, as well as its ability to produce fantastic results in a number of areas.
It has even been lauded by celebrities and has been promoted extensively by the Joe Rogan Experience podcast.
The only negative reviews seem to stem from its ability to produce muscle strength or mass.
However, people looking to prioritise these two areas would be better suited with a traditional weightlifting routine, so a program like this is never going to be your best option in that instance.
Pros & Cons Of The Aubrey Marcus Kettlebell Workout
Before we wrap up our in depth review of the Aubrey Marcus Kettlebell Workout, let’s quickly summarise a few of the pros and cons of the routine.
That way, we will have everything fresh in our minds and find it much easier to come to a conclusion.
What We Like
- The routine can be completed in a very short space of time
- It can be used to build power and strength, improve cardiovascular conditioning and flexibility, and help you to burn fat and enhance your body composition
- Very little equipment is required to complete the workout
- You can perform the routine virtually anywhere
- Only safe, straightforward exercises are utilised in the routine
- It is designed by a trusted exercise professional
What We Don’t Like
- The benefits to strength and muscle building are limited compared to a more well-rounded routine
- Meeting the target times can be problematic for beginners or those with poor cardiovascular conditioning
The Aubrey Marcus Kettlebell Workout is a great routine for those looking to improve their power, strength, flexibility, cardiovascular conditioning, and body composition.
It is also a prime choice for those with limited time or who want to train from home but don’t have much space to spare.
While it admittedly has limitations in terms of the amount of muscle mass it will allow you to build, as well as the strength of individual muscles that you are likely to obtain, no workout routines are without their flaws, and this one more than offers enough rewards to make up for these few issues.
So, if you are looking for a quick, simple, and effective workout routine, that you can complete any time, anywhere, and with very little space or gear, to train your entire body, the Aubrey Marcus Kettlebell Workout is a great choice and there is no reason not to give it a try for yourself today.
For anyone who likes the idea of kettlebell training but thinks they may need something a little more advanced or specific, you could also have a look at some of the best online kettlebell courses.
These will help you to better understand the design and uses of the kettlebell, so you can skip looking for workout routines and design your own, that is perfectly suited to your own wants and needs.
Dr. Ahmed Zayed holds a bachelor’s degree in medicine from Alexandria university and is a practicing plastic surgeon. He’s our expert on all things nutrition, medicine, rehabilitation, and flexibility. Dr.Ahmed has been a medical content writer for more than 11 years and his work reached top publications such as the HuffingtonPost