Program Review: Full-Body Kettlebell Workout by Steve Cotter (modified)

12 min readMar 15, 2021
The gym got a bit frosty during this one.

In case you haven’t heard, I’m a kettlebell guy now. A girevik. This started with Dan John’s 10,000 Kettlebell Swing Workout and really took over with Pavel Tsatsouline’s Rite of Passage. This time I’m here with Steve Cotter’s Full-Body Kettlebell Workout, though to be honest I modified it pretty heavily and I’ll get into the how and the why below.

While John and Pavel are very close to each other in terms of kettlebell schools of thought, Cotter broke off from this tree and started his own certification body for kettlebells (IKFF). His workout here is less focused on the simple, minimalist aspect of kettlebell training and gets to a lot of different movements and requires many kettlebells per workout rather than just one. It’s a good program for someone like me who has done the basics and is ready to learn about a lot more movements available for the kettlebell.

How did it treat me? Well, here are the measurements:

  • Body weight: 187 lbs -> 186 lbs
  • Arms: ~15 inches -> ~15.75 inches
  • Legs: ~25 inches -> ~25 inches

I have nothing to complain about. A near inch of growth in my arms in six weeks is incredible. Now I can’t thank Cotter too much for that, more Mike Rose, as I added an extra day just for arms to this program based on a Rose routine. See below for more details. But, that arm day didn’t exist in a vacuum, putting an arm day on Cotter’s design = major success.

Mentally, this program beat me down a bit. Though, to be fair, I modified it, including practically doubling the weight and adding that extra day of work. So, I can’t say it will be quite as much of a beat down if you run it exactly as written. All the same, where I felt most worn down was my shoulders and that’s because there is a lot of presses in this thing.

What is Full-Body Kettlebell Workout?

Straight from designer Steve Cotter:

The program we’ve provided here will have you training four days a week for six weeks, with one workout for Mondays and Thursdays and another for Tuesdays and Fridays. Swings are one of two movements that you’ll do every day of the program.


Hi. I make movies and lift weights. I write about the latter here.