Kettlebell Exercises For Maximum Efficiency

I hate wasting time, especially when working out. That’s why I prefer kettlebell exercises. It always amazes me to see the typical person concerned with fat loss, wasting their life away on a treadmill or elliptical for 45 minutes to an hour, especially when it isn’t even very effective!

Or, there is the male, obsessed with muscle, version: 4 days per week, 2-3 body parts per day, 45-90 minutes of weights and twice a week, 30 minutes of “cardio” (same boring, inefficient elliptical or treadmill).

Well, I’ve never really focused on looks, just performance, so my conditioning wouldn’t be the limiting factor in a combat environment. Along the way, I discovered not only some very efficient ways to build strength, endurance, and cardio (anaerobic and aerobic fitness), I found out how to do it all at once! I also learned ways of burning up to 6 times the fat of traditional cardio methods also in less time.

The key lies in working out in either an interval or circuit fashion and increasing the intensity with very short rest periods. The classic approach used by Dr. Tabata, who developed the Tabata Protocol, involved 8 sets of sprints on an exercise bike. The sets were 20 seconds at 100{ab94462a053a2ab588073f1ce95eb9eb90ee27f61c6d82493022c3820c6de4c9} effort, followed by 10 seconds of rest.

The entire workout portion was only 4 minutes long, but in his research he found that compared to the control group riding at a steady pace for an hour, those using his protocol increased their VO2 max by more than the control group and their anaerobic capacity was much improved. (The control group didn’t improve an aerobically at all, never tapping into this system). More surprising, the aerobic (traditional cardiovascular) capacity of the 4 minute group increased by a higher percentage as well!

A researcher by the name of Tremblay conducted a study of high intensity interval training similar to Tabata, but he measured fat burning. He found the interval group burned fewer calories than the traditional cardio group during the workout…but due to having an elevated metabolism for 4-6 hours later because of the high intensity, the end result is they burned up to 6 times the fat as the long, slow, distance cardio group.

If you take these concepts (intervals with high intensity and short rest periods) and combine them with weights, you have a way of increasing your strength, strength-endurance, cardio and anaerobic capacity along with superior fat burning all in one 15-45 minute (max) workout!

While you can do this with anything (or nothing, just bodyweight), kettlebells and kettlebell exercises lend themselves to this style of training perfectly. They are heavy, compact weights made to be swung around for medium to high reps. They tax your grip, build raw strength and strength endurance…and will have you gasping for breath in short order taxing your anaerobic system.

So; get some kettlebells (or just one) and try out some interval or circuit style training with them. Once you see (and feel!) the results, you will be hooked.

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