April 12th, 2010

A recent study came out of Truman State University and looked at the metabolic effect of kettlebell training (thanks to Adam Bornstein for forwarding)

The subjects were asked to swing a kettlebell as many times as they could in a 12 minute period (sets, reps and rest period it seems were freestyled – the subjects rested whenever they wanted)

The researchers found that the subjects completed between 198 and 333 swings in the time frame (265 swings average ) and worked at an average heart rate of 86% of max and at 65% of their previously measured oxygen consumption [VO2max]. They concluded that

“Continuous kettlebell swings can impart a metabolic challenge of sufficient intensity to increase Vo2max. Heart rate was substantially higher than Vo2 during kettlebell swings. Kettlebells provide a useful tool with which coaches may improve the cardiorespiratory fitness of their athletes.”

This validates what several of you training yourself, training clients or who just hate doing traditional cardio have probably known for a while… We don’t have to do traditional cardiovascular training (running, cycling etc) to get a cardiovascular training effect. 12 mins of kettlebell swings can be used as a great cardio tool, as can bodyweight circuits, sleds, sandbags etc.

Taking that a step further, we can see that it may actually be a better choice of cardio training for some clients.

12 mins of running  as a comparison obviously involves a lot more repetitions through the joints than an average of 265 reps of kettlebell swings.  So for some clients/trainees, we can get a similar metabolic effect, heart rate, oxygen consumption (and therefore calories burned) while reducing the total reps and joint stress in deconditioned clients.

The bottom line is that we can use non-traditional metabolic training such as this, to provide cardiovascular training benefits.

Try the following at the end of your next workout:

Start the stopwatch.

Do 10-12 swings at the top of each minute, and rest for the remainder of the minute.

Repeat for 10-12 mins.

A great article from Alwyn Cosgrove

Get Strong! Stay Strong!

Chris

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Comments
  1. shell says:

    Hey Chris–yes, I’m still checking in on your writings!!!!
    I’ll try it!!!!
    Hope your doing great!!!!!
    Tell the girls hello.
    Shell

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