Getting and Staying Lean

A Lean skeleton
How lean should you be?. Getty images

If a lean body is what you're after, kettlebell training is a fantastic tool for helping to facilitate that goal.

You can even say that a kettlebell is a fat-burning machine. Some have even claimed that kettlebells “melt fat”.

Now hold on a minute!

Before we go off on another “secret” body-shaping plan, let’s have some real talk.

What Does Being Lean Mean to You?

Is it a reflection of body-fat? Or does if have anything to do with lifestyle?

When talking about meat, whether a slab of beef or a slab of human, a “lean cut” refers to tissue that doesn’t have a lot of fat OR muscle. A lean cut is a thin cut. 

So do you want to be thin? Or do you want to be fit and healthy? It may be that being thinner will make one healthier, but that entirely depends on the body. Some individuals need less mass on their frame and others need to put on more mass. A balanced body, not too much or too little, is a healthy, sustainable body. 

Aside from the body characteristic, what else does it mean to be lean?

In economics, being “lean” is generally associated with having or spending little. 

Is there a lifestyle connection between being economically lean and being physically lean?

Well, historically, yes.

The word “obese” originally meant to “over” and “eat”, to overeat. 

Prior to the 20th Century, obesity was associated only with the wealthy, who could afford plenty of food and had more idle time.

More food + less activity = weight gain, in the form of body fat. This formula still applies today, however, a major difference is that now there is an abundance of “eatables” for all, rich and poor alike. Considering the mainstream American food industry, I hasten to use the word “food” at all, because the cheapest, most accessible items being sold as food, are often rife with chemicals and the lowest quality materials being packaged and sold as "food".

Regrettably, the food laws that are supposed to be in place to protect citizens from harmful agents, are the same laws that permit such deplorable food crimes to perpetrate in the forms of pesticides, steroids and other artificial hormones and other unscrupulous industry practices. The only defense against this diseased “food” culture is education about real food, nutrition, and digestion. 

Getting and Staying Lean

Let’s get back to the discussion about getting and staying lean. There is no magic formula. We have known for a long time now that to gain weight, we have to consume (eat) more than we burn (activities) and to reduce weight, we have to burn more (be more active) than we consume. If we follow that formula, for the most part, the body will adjust accordingly and you will gain or lose weight, respectively. In individuals in which caloric reduction and/or increase in physical activity does not result in reduced body fat, it is usually either due to an underestimation of the caloric intake (eating more than being recorded), or there may be some hormonal imbalances that require medical intervention in order to correct.


The connection between lifestyle and being lean is important. To be lean in body, one must also be lean in consumption. Being conservative, not overeating is the real “secret” to achieving and maintaining a lean body. 

Strength training is the “secret” to making and sustaining muscular development. So collectively, eating conservatively and intelligently, and being consistent with strength training is the long-term formula for developing the lean muscular body that you want and deserve. 

So there you have it, the Secret, which really is not a secret at all. A little bit of education can go a very long way. 

You see, as great as kettlebells are for developing a fit and muscular body, your training has to be paired first and foremost with a smart eating lifestyle that makes you lean and keeps you lean. 

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