Joe Rogan loves his kettlebells. But why?
How might BJJ players benefit from Joe Rogan’s kettlebell workout?
In this article, I’ll break down why Joe Rogan prefers kettlebells for strength training, his kettlebell workout routine, the specific equipment he uses, and the benefits of kettlebell training for jiu-jitsu.
Let’s dive in.
Joe Rogan Kettlebell Workout Routine (Example)
Joe Rogan’s kettlebell routine is based on Pavel Tsatsouline’s 5×5 training philosophy.
3-5 sets of 3-5 reps using 3-5 exercises. You do this 3-5 days a week, and you rest 3-5 minutes between exercises.
Below are 5 kettlebell exercises that Joe does frequently as seen on his Instagram page.
1. Kettlebell Swings (100 Swings)
The Kettlebell swing is one of the most beneficial exercises you can do for BJJ. It improves your cardio, hip thrusting power, grip strength, and back strength — without hurting your knees.
Start in a deadlift position with the kettlebell between your feet, directly below you. Lunge down to pick up the kettlebell with your back straight. Squeeze your arms together and lift the kettlebell off the ground.
Start swinging the kettlebell up to about your chest level. Focus on hinging at the kips, and pushing your hips back. Thrust forward to swing the kettlebell, squeezing your glutes.
Do 100 reps of the kettlebell swing to kick off your workout. You should feel it in your glutes, hamstring, and core.
2. Turkish Get Up (5 Sets of 5 Reps)
“The Turkish Get Up is one of my favorite kettlebell exercises. It’s not glamorous and it’s an awkward series of movements but it’s awesome for developing real usable strength, especially for balancing things. I like to do slow and controlled sets of 5 or less reps with a few minutes of rest in between.” – Joe Rogan
The Turkish get-up is a complex kettlebell exercise — but it has an incredible carryover to jiu-jitsu.
To do this exercise, lay down on your back while holding a kettlebell with one of your arms. Then, raise your shoulders up to a seated position. Keep the kettlebell above your head the whole time.
Raise your hips and take your opposite leg back to a lunge position. Then, push yourself up to a standing position.
Reverse these steps until you’re laid out on your back again. Do this for 5 reps for a total of 5 sets.
3. Kettlebell Cleans (5 Sets of 5 Reps)
Cleans are a dynamic exercise that involves many different muscle groups. With this exercise, you’re training your coordination and explosive power.
To do a kettlebell clean, pick up the kettlebell with one arm. Swing it around your hand up to shoulder level. Then, rotate your arm down to bring the kettlebell in between your leg.
Repeat this for 5 reps. Then, do 5 sets.
4. Goblet Squat (5 Sets of 5 Reps)
Squats are one of the best strength training exercises for jiu-jitsu. They develop most muscles in your body: primarily your legs, core, hips, and lower back.
To do the kettlebell goblet squat, pick the kettlebell off the ground and bring it in front of your body.
With your feet shoulder-width apart and toes slightly pointed out, squat down to parallel or slightly below it.
Squeeze your glutes and thrust your hips forward to return to the starting position.
Repeat this for 5 reps. Do 5 sets of this exercise.
5. Single Leg Deadlift (5 Sets of 5 Reps)
Kettlebell single-leg deadlifts require a lot of precision and concentration. You’ll expend a lot of energy to complete the motion without falling over. It trains your balance, making it an excellent exercise to improve your BJJ.
Pick up the kettlebell with one hand. Keep your other hand on your hip. Hinge forward on one leg, touching the ground with your kettlebell, while keeping your other leg raised until your torso is parallel to the ground. Then, return to the starting position.
The kettlebell deadlift uses the exact same motion you’d use in a regular bar deadlift. The only difference is that one of the legs will be up in the air as you grab the kettlebell from the ground. Focus on keeping your back straight, and hinging at the hips.
Do 5 reps of this exercise. Then, repeat it for 5 sets in total.
Joe Rogan Kettlebell Equipment
For his kettlebell workouts, Joe Rogan uses Onnit kettlebells.
Specifically, he uses the:
The Onnit kettlebells look cool, but you can get generic kettlebells from Amazon. Other than their heaviness, they’re functionally the same.
If you’re new to kettlebells and you’re wondering which weight to get, it’s highly dependent on your age, gender, and strength levels.
However, here’s a rough buying guide if you’re completely new to kettlebell training:
- Men: 24-35 lbs
- Women: 13-18 lbs
Arm yourself with some home BJJ mats and you’ll have your own home gym!
Why Use A Kettlebell For BJJ?
“The kettlebell is an ancient Russian weapon against weakness.” – Pavel Tsatsouline, Kettlebell Simple & Sinister
The kettlebell is a versatile piece of fitness training equipment. Unlike other forms of exercise equipment, kettlebells incorporate dynamic and functional movement patterns.
In order to do kettlebell exercises, you’ll make great use of your hips, glutes, hinging, and thrusting — all of which are central to the movements you do in BJJ. They enable to you become stronger and more mobile at the same time.
For example, one of the most important movements in jiu-jitsu is being able to stand up. The Turkish Getup mimics this movement, where you get up from the ground while holding a kettlebell in one hand.
Kettlebells are also more portable than other pieces of equipment. You can work out your entire body from the comfort of your home.
Joe Rogan inspired me to look into kettlebells for BJJ and strength training.
And from my research, I’ve learned that they are an excellent piece of equipment for your home gym.
You can work out your entire body with them. You can work out at home. And they have amazing carryover to BJJ.
What are your favorite kettlebell exercises? How do YOU use them to benefit your game?
Leave a comment in the section below and let me know.
Happy rolling. 🤙
BJJ Equipment, an assistant BJJ instructor at InFighting, and a BJJ blue belt. He's a passionate hobbyist and BJJ gear/equipment aficionado. He launched BJJ Equipment in 2022 to make it easy for grapplers to find the best BJJ gear so they look, feel, and perform at their best on the mats.