Lisa Balash, the “Kettlebell Bombshell” shares with us how we can use kettlebell training to develop longer, leaner muscle tone, improve mobility, and work in cardio to our workout routines.
Lisa Balash has been a top Pilates and Kettlebell trainer in Las Vegas, NV since 2003. Lisa’s undisputed and original training method, combines Kettlebells and Pilates.
Lisa is certified in nutrition and weight loss and has worked with a variety of clients from NFL Quarterback Tyler Palko, Sister Wives reality television star Janelle Brown, 4 time Mr. Olympia Champion, Jay Cutler, UFC fighter Matthew Riddle, NFL Wide Receiver Larry Fitzgerald, and Cirque Du Soleil performers.
What makes the kettlebell unique or different from traditional weight training?
When you’re doing strength training at the gym you’re basically isolating the muscle groups, and you’re doing a concentric contraction. The muscles do get shorter and rounder. But with kettlebell training, it’s more of an elongation. This is the result I have gotten with my body.
In weight lifting you have to have strict form which is proper. But with kettlebell you want to create momentum. So they’re so different. There’s not one thing similar with them.
***Lisa Balash is the owner of Elite Physiques Kettlebell and Pilates training studio ,in Las Vegas NV. Here’s a sample training video from her Youtube channel.***
This post was created from the interview we did on the Dirobi Health Show, listen in here!
What’s the best kettlebell exercise and why?
Learn traditional kettlebell exercises like cleans, snatches, push presses, jerks. You’ll get the benefits of it because you’re moving the bell, your body is reacting to it in a specific way, your nervous system actually responds to it because that handle in your hand is almost like an extension of your extremity. You’re also doing more exercises that mimic activities in real life.
In my opinion, clean and jerk and snatch exercises work the best for fatloss and for getting in shape really quickly.
If you’re really using the kettlebell properly it should look effortless, it should feel very smooth. If anything feels painful, you’re doing it wrong. You’re either holding the handle too tight, you’re squeezing it, or you’re just not allowing momentum and you’re trying to control it with your arms. The harder you squeeze it and hold on to it, the worst it’s gonna hurt you. You have to get comfortable with losing your hands and letting it slide around instead of you gripping and squeezing it.
People don’t know these things because it’s not common knowledge. It really is important for people to learn the right way to use kettlebell.
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How did you get into Kettlebell Competition?
When I came back just last year, I did the Olympia competing for kettlebell sports, and I saw Jay Cutler who I’ve trained, he was Mr. Olympia four times, and he said to me, “My gosh you’re so ripped”. He asked what I was doing and I said I was competing for kettlebell sports. Jay kept saying I was ripped, and I said OK that’s kind of cool. And then I ran into someone I know who trains girls for a figure show for 8 weeks. I decided to do the masters and the open. I stopped doing the kettlebells and went back to just weights because I was too skinny and needed to put on a little. I ate more and trained with weights and didn’t do kettlebell lifts for just 6 weeks. I ended up winning the masters and the open. What did I do? I decided to stop doing kettlebells and just did weight training. Then I did the national level in July which was my last show, but I didn’t place that well. The difference was for this show I didn’t do kettlebells. My point is for my body I need the kettlebells because it elongates me.
When I just weight train, I look wider, even on my waist. But when I do kettlebells, I feel like it lengthens me out and I look leaner that way.
How quickly do you see results with kettlebells?
Pretty fast. With my style of training, if I’m training somebody brand new, if they do 3 sessions per week, by week 3 they get comments like ‘what are you doing, you look good”. And that’s not a lot of time invested, provided that they listen to me. They do stuff they see me do. They do cardio when I’m not with them. Three days a week they are with me, three or four days a week I have them do cardio, 30-40 minutes, nothing crazy, and then having them watch and clean up their diet.
More than anything, if they really apply themselves and they consistently do it, they look really good quickly. It doesn’t take that much time. It just takes consistency.
Kettlebells are magical tools when they’re used right.
Avoiding injury with Kettlebell training
One way to avoid injuries with the kettlebell is to make sure if you work with somebody, that they actually know how to use them. A lot of trainers out there when they grab kettlebells, they start having their clients use them. I’ve seen it and it’s dangerous to watch. From somebody who knows as much as I know about the tool to watch an uneducated person teaching an innocent client. Of course, when the trainer ask them to do something, they assume the trainer is educated that’s why they hire them. Just be real careful.
Even how you hold the handle can affect your shoulder. Where the handle sits in your hand will definitely affect your forearm, your extensors, and shoulders. You could actually hurt yourself if the handle is even in the wrong spot in your hand over head.
Best simple nutritional advice:
1. Cook your own food.
Avoid eating out even if it seems like a healthy choice. That way you know exactly what’s in it, then you have full control of what you’re putting in.
2. Avoid processed foods.
Just cause something says it’s gluten free, or vegan, or high protein that doesn’t mean it’s not full of other bad ingredients. A lot of people get misled by marketing of the companies.
Learn to read your food labels.