The “Fast 5” Metabolic Kettlebell Workout

The Fast 5 Metabolic Kettlebell Workout from  Scott Iardella, Level II RKC and CK-FMS

I’m off to Europe for for a little vacation this week … in fact, as you read this article, I’ll probably be somewhere about 30,000 feet over the Atlantic …

BUT – not to worry – I’ve still got a great new kettlebell basics workout coming your way!  My friend and fellow RKC Scott Idarella of has contributed a guest kettlebell workout post to hold you over … enjoy!

– Forest


The Fast 5 Metabolic Kettlebell Workout

by Scott Iardella, RKC, Level II and CK-FMS

When I started training with kettlebells, I was blown away with the effectivness of just one simple training tool.  And, I’m still blown away by the sheer power.

That was the hook for me, just one kettlebell and you get a complete, total body strengthening and conditioning program. Who knew it could be this simple?

I said simple. I did not say easy.

In this workout, I’ll share 5 exercises that are outstanding for a complete total body workout in minimal time.

Essentially, this is a powerful, full body program that combines cardiovascular fitness and resistance exercise. You do NOT need to do additional cardio with this program because you are addressing it in the protocol, as you’ll discover.

The way it’s laid out is building up from one exericse to the next and then taking things “down” just a bit (from a cardio standpoint) to finish with the kettlebell press.

Your goal is to perform a few rounds of this program, which is all you’ll need.

You’ll need to know how to perform kettlebell swings, high pulls, snatches, cleans, and presses with good technique before having a go at this program, so please make sure you’ve got a good handle on them.

Choose a kettlebell that you can very comfortably press for 5 reps. That’s the weight you’ll use in this workout.

Before you start, spend 5-10 minutes doing joint mobility or a dymamic warmup. An example would be:

  • kettlebell HALO, 5 each direction.
  • kettlebell arm bar, approximately 1 minute hold each side.
  • ‘mad cats’ for thoracic mobility, 5-10 each direction.
  • bodyweight squats, 20 reps.
  • jumping jacks, 30 reps.

Here’s the workout sequence:

  • double hand kettlebell swings x 20
  • kettlebell high pulls x 10 each
  • kettlebell snatches x 10 each
  • kettlebell cleans x 10 each
  • kettlebell presses x 5 each

How much rest between the exercises? Not much.

Take brief rest periods between the exercises, moving through the round in a circuit-like fashion.

“Shake things out” and keep moving if you need to set the kettelbell down between each exercise. But…keep moving!

This is a metabolic workout, so you’ll be feeling the heart pumping, cardiovascular benefits soon after you begin.

Keep rest time about 1 1/2 to 3 minutes max between rounds.

Perform 3 rounds, and up to 5 if you’re up for it.

Perform all exercises with good form. If you’re technique starts to really deteriorate, it’s time to rest or call it quits.

Time estimate per round is about 5 minutes, if you move through at a “quick” pace, hence the name, the “Fast 5″ Metabolic workout.

This is a short, simple, physically demanding workout.

Remember, you’ve got your kettlebell fundamentals down. Have a good foundation with these exercises before you try it.

Don’t underestimate the power of this workout, it’s a great strengthening and conditioning workout that will leave feeling strong and powerful.

Go to it and enjoy!


This article and program was written by Scott Iardella, RKC, Level II and CK-FMS.

Scott is a long time fitness expert with 30 years of training experience. He’s a former Physical Therapist with experience in orthopedics and sports medicine. He is also a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS), Certified Sports Nutritionist (CISSN), and Functional Movement Specialist (CK-FMS).

He writes on topics in kettlebells and nutrition for fat loss, muscle building, and performance. You can learn more at his website,, where he also hosts the “StealthBody Podcast” in iTunes.

To get more great articles, instructional videos, audio content, and 2 Free Reports, go to right now to find out more. Top 7 Kettlebell Videos

I’ve posted a total of almost 100 kettlebell videos here on over the last couple of years … and it’s hard to beat video as a learning tool, especially when it comes to something as technique-intensive as kettlebell training.

I just finished up a site review and thought I’d post up seven of MY personal favs … they cover technique basics in the swing, TGU, clean, press, and snatch, as well as a few complete workouts to help you put these moves together into some logical order.

Whether you’re just getting started with your kettlebell training or you’ve been at it for some time, I’m confident you’ll learn from this video series.  Enjoy!

How to do a Kettlebell Swing

How to do a Turkish Get Up

How to Fix Your Kettlebell Clean

Kettlebell Snatch Technique Tips

Body Weight and Kettlebell 300 Workout

Kettlebell Basics Combo #1

Burpee + Kettlebell Swing Combo

BONUS – NEW FVT Boot Camp Video (check out what we do at my Sacramento, CA kettlebell gym)

Thanks for reading, and talk soon –

Forest Vance, RKC II

PS – Signed up for the newsletter yet?  You’ll get TWO free gifts – my Beginner’s Guide to Kettlebell Training (manual) and Kettlebell Rx: Three Common Training Mistakes and How to Fix Them (video) when you do – just drop your best email into the box at the upper right of the page now!

3 Tips to Beat Forearm, Elbow and Wrist Pain from Kettlebells

Unfortunately, it’s a very common problem among kettlebell enthusiasts.

They get a great start with their kettlebell training. They get so excited about the power of their newly discovered training tool that they pick up and train with a KB almost every day!

And then the forearm, elbow, and/or wrist pain hits. It’s debilitating. They actually have to stop training with kettlebells completely for a time. And the excitement of these newly discovered training tools quickly turns to frustration …

**The tips I’m about to share with you are from Rick Kaselj and Jedd Johnson’s Fixing Elbow Pain program … and you can get a special deal on it when you order through me for the next two days.  For more info and to take advantage of this special limited-time offer, click here: === >> Fix Elbow Pain**

Kettlebell lifting is something that can without a doubt cause elbow pain. But the good news is that it can be prevented, reduced and even eliminated with a routine of simple exercises and life habits.

(FYI, these tips have and will help anyone who uses their hands and forearms with a high frequency – whether you lift KB’s, do intense body weight training, engage in other strength training activities, play tennis, golf , etc., etc.)

3 Tips to Beat Forearm, Elbow and Wrist Pain From Kettlebells

1. Warm up before kettlebell training

A warm up is an easy thing to skip. But – ESPECIALLY if you have elbow pain – DON’T DO IT! Get in your mind that you will take a preventive approach.

An example of a specific warm up drill you could perform for elbow pain is the elbow circumduction drill.

For this exercise, the upper arm will remain at the sides and then the hands will travel in large circles, pivoting at the elbow. It is a good idea to do these slow to keep tension on the muscles and connective tissues and to eliminate momentum.

Another example is manual resistance of the hands and fingers. You simply push down with your opposite hand on the other hand’s wrists and fingers to warm them up and stretch them out.

** Don’t forget to check out the complete Fixing Elbow Pain program for more specific exercise instructions, picture and video demonstration, and much more. **

2. Take preventive measures during kettlebell training

An example here is to use something like elbow sleves during KB lifting. This is great for keeping warm and keeping the blood flow going during exercise to the effected area.

Another example of a preventive measure would be modifing your grip accordingly and in a specific way during activity to keep elbow pain down and to keep from futher aggrivating it.

3. Take care of your elbows after kettlebell training

After your KB workouts – and even in between, on your off days, etc. – it’s very important that you take care of your elbows, forearms, and wrists.

Stretching after exercise is a simple tip that will help you beat your elbow pain.

Try the torso-to-hand stretch:

With a wall or other sturdy object, you can perform a stretch that will get everything from your finger tips all the way up to you torso, especially your chest. Also if you turn your head away from the hand being stretched, you will feel it somewhat in the neck muscles as well.

Contrast bathing and band traction are two other examples of things one could do to take care of your elbows and forearms after exercise.

To sum up, elbow, forearm, and/or wrist pain SUCKS. It’s an all-to-common ailment that can stop you in your kettlebell training tracks. But the tips in this article are a GREAT starting point to help you beat it!

And don’t forget – the “beat elbow pain” sale is going on for only two more days. Click the link below to check it out:

=== >> Fix Elbow Pain Now

Thanks for reading, and talk soon –

Forest Vance

Kettlebell Challenge! (August 2012 FVT Challenge Workout)

Every month at my Sacramento, CA kettlebell gym/training studio, we do a challenge workout.  These workouts are high intensity, strength-endurance style sessions that are scored in some way.  We repeat each Challenge several times throughout the year so you can see how your fitness level is improving over time.

I’ve put together a package of cool workouts for you if you’re interested in a complete program based around the challenge workout concept – and I’m making it available again for a limited time!  Check out what you’ll get with this special deal by clicking here: === >> 2012 FVT Challenge Workout Special

I thought I’d post up a video of this month’s challenge for you to check out – first, watch the video below – then read the recap below it:

Here’s a quick recap of the workout shown in the video above:

Kettlebell Challenge (August 2012 FVT Challenge Workout)

  • power jacks
  • push ups
  • reverse lunges
  • knee-to-elbow mountain climbers
  • KB swings

Do 20 reps of each exercise. Perform the workout circuit-style, moving from one exercise to the next with as little rest as possible. Do five rounds of the circuit for time.

Hope you enjoyed this kettlebell challenge – and talk soon!

Forest Vance, RKC II

PS – Ready to start your own 30 day challenge?  Click the link below now:

=== >> FVT Challenge Workout Special

Planning Your Kettlebell Workouts – The Basics

Locating a good KB workout online.  Fighting kettlebell routine boredom.  Not knowing what exercises to do on what days/how to put everything together/etc. …

These are all common issues/problems/frustrations folks have in their kettlebell training efforts.  So in today’s post, I’m going to address these issues and lay out a complete foundation for planning your kettlebell workouts!

Planning Your Kettlebell Workouts – The Basics

First and foremost, you do need to change your kettlebell workouts frequently. This is necessary to, among other things, 1) prevent boredom and 2) keep from adapting/plateauing/etc.

HOWEVER – if you change your workouts TOO much – then you never give yourself a chance to improve. You can’t see if you’re getting better at specific exercises (because you’re doing different ones all the time) and you can’t see if your weights/reps are going up (again, because your exercise choice is so varied, you’ll never really know how you’re improving day-to-day or week-to-week).

And this is a big problem – because we’ve ALL been guilty of switching things up just for variety’s sake just a little too often …

So – here’s the three step KB workout planning approach that’s worked for me and now thousands of my personal training clients:

1) Define exactly what your goals are.

Muscle gain? Fat Loss? Improved performance? Before you pick a program to follow, you have to know exactly where you’re going and your ultimate kettlebell training goal(s).

2) Find a program to follow.

There are lots of decent free kettlebell programs around – a great starting point is here, right on this blog. Search the archives, or just take a look at this page to get started:   Free Kettlebell Routines on

**You could also go the paid route and invest in a resource like I have listed on this page:  Forest’s kettlebell programs and products.  Main difference being that my paid programs are much more complete than the free ones … explanation/video of individual exercises, theory behind how the workouts are designed, how everything fits together, etc.  

The choice of which solution fits best for your specific situation/available research time/etc. is yours … main point being to pick a solid program and STICK WITH IT!!**

3) Follow the program ’till it stops working – THEN switch it up.

Follow the routine you’ve picked for your specific goals ’till it stops working and you hit a plateau.  For most folks, this ends up being about four to six weeks – a reasonable time frame to improve at specific exercises, bump up your weights and reps, etc.

Then you re-asses, set some new goals, rinse and repeat! 🙂

In conclusion, planning your kettlebell workouts is something a lot of folks have a tough time with.  Not knowing exactly how to put things together, getting bored with the same exercises, and a host of other issues make planning your kettlebell workouts tough.  So, when it comes time to plan your next kettlebell workout routine, just follow the three step process outlined in this post, and you’ll be well on your way to reaching your ultimate kettlebell fitness goals!

That’s it for today –

Forest Vance, RKC II

PS – Getting the newsletter? You’ll get two free gifts – my Kettlebell Rx video and my Beginners Guide to Kettlebell Training – as my way of saying thanks when you sign up.  Just drop your name and best email address into the box at the upper right of the page to do so now!