If you’re like me and you strongly dislike the more ‘traditional’ cardio methods – like the eliptical or the recumbent bike – kettlebells can be the perfect tool for an extreme cardio workout. Let’s first define what cardio is, how you can get a great cardio workout using kettlebells, and then talk about what a cardio workout done with kettlebells would look like.
‘Cardio’, otherwise known as ‘aerobic exercise’, is defined by Wikipedia as follows:
“Aerobic exercise is physical exercise that intends to improve the efficiency of the cardiovascular system in absorbing and transporting oxygen.
 Aerobic means “with oxygen”, and refers to the use of oxygen in the body’s metabolic or energy-generating process.
Many types of exercise are aerobic, and by definition are performed at moderate levels of intensity for extended periods of time.”
So … can we use kettlebells to get a cardio workout? Absolutely! High rep swings, squats and sntaches get your heart rate up very quickly, and if you take minimal rest breaks, can keep it up for as long as you want.
So how would you structure a kettlebell cardio workout? Those of you that have been training with kettlebells for any length of time can attest to the fact that almost every kb session tends to have a strong cardio element – but here are a couple of sample ‘cardio with kettlebells’ routines to really get your heart pumping:
1. Run and Swing
Those of you coming from a fighting background have surely done ‘road work’ at some point in time – here’s how to incorporate your kb:
1. run 400m/ 1 lap around a standard track or 1/4 mile fast
2. do 50 kettlebell swings
repeat this 4 times as fast as possible
Note: you can break up the swings if you can’t do 50 non-stop – but that’s the eventual goal
2. Kettlebell and Bodyweight 15’s
15 kb swings
15 kb clean and presses
15 sit ups
15 kb squats
15 push ups
15 kb snatches
repeat circuit 2x as fast as possible without rest
So there you have two kettlebell workouts you can do when it’s time for your next cardio session. Both of these are short by traditional cardio standards, but many times more effective with regards to building true cardio fitness.
Now, if you want to take your cardio fitness to the next level, I highly recommend picking up a copy of Viking Warrior Conditioning by Master RKC Kenneth Jay. I can tell you first hand, this program is not for the faint of heart – but if you can make it thru, you’ll be in the best shape of your life. Click below for more details and to grab a copy for yourself:
And if you still need to master the basics of kettlebell training – which is required before taking on a program like Viking Warrior Conditioning – check out the KettlebellBasics.net Quick Start Guide by clicking HERE.
Enjoy these workouts and keep training hard!