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Can Kettlebells Replace Cardio

A dull workout or one that a client doesn’t enjoy quickly diminishes motivation and progress. And cardio often falls into that category of boring and disliked workouts.

author
Elaine Sutton
• Saturday, 12 December, 2020
• 8 min read
kettlebell workout cardio replace exercise physics
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How fun can it be for a client to walk or run on a treadmill for 30 minutes straight? As a personal trainer, getting creative in these situations can help client retention.

When performing a set of bench presses, you can only do so many reps before hitting muscular fatigue. With a full-body approach in performing kettle bell exercises, you can expect an increase in cardio.

Your client will burn more calories and likely experience greater fat loss. Now, let's look at how the kettle bell contributes to a high intensity training environment.

The positioning allows a client to keep good form while continuing to increase their heart rate. Jump squats are another great way to increase cardiovascular intensity.

This mimics high intensity interval training or cardio on a treadmill. Cardio on a treadmill, bike, or elliptical is generally assigned for a length of time, right?

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This will help steady-state cardio and improve a client’s metabolic rate. Clients experience more calorie burn because of lifting with a kettle bell.

As a personal trainer, you know building muscle mass is vital to improve fitness levels. The functional movement kettle bells promote allows for activation of more muscle groups.

The legs plus the entire body work together as one through a kettle bell clean or dead lift. If you compare exercises like these to a biceps curl, you will notice that one produces more muscle action.

Have your client stand with their feet hip-width apart holding a kettle bell in between their quadriceps. Their legs will remain straight while the hips shoot back.

The explosiveness and force development it requires leads to an increased heart rate. Holding the kettle bell in a goblet position, ensure your client’s feet are shoulder-width apart.

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A lateral lunge to a goblet squat combines two compound movements. The exertion a client needs to produce will be greater than a treadmill cardio session.

With the elbows remaining close to the body, squat down to parallel and drive through the heels to stand back up. As the client approaches the starting position cue them to press the kettle bell over their head.

For each exercise set a goal rep range of 10 reps. Have them perform as many rounds as possible in eight minutes. You can perform this at a lesser intensity if your client needs to mimic steady-state cardio.

If you need to create a HIIT environment, then have your client complete a full round before resting and moving on. This makes it more enjoyable for clients while they work on improving their fitness.

You can change the time intervals depending on the client's fitness level. If the cardio you prescribe a client is HIIT, then this is a good technique to use.

cardio kettlebell
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If your client prefers using rep ranges instead of time counting, then use this technique. Increasing the rep ranges for clients creates a longer set.

It helps improve creativity within each workout and keeps clients excited. It produces optimal weight loss results, muscle mass building, and flexibility improvements.

You’ll learn how to design a program customized according to a client's unique health and fitness needs. This article will discuss running and kettle bell swings as a means of weight loss for beginners which is the most common scenario.

Generally the question Can kettle bell swings replace cardio has to be answered with no as there is a lack of context. Kettle bell swings are often discussed as an alternative to the ever so dreaded running or jogging.

Quantify them, break them down over months and have a look at how much time you are willing and able to invest to reach these goals. After getting random nose bleeds from high blood pressure once to twice a week my wife said she would leave me if I did not do anything about my health and fat body.

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I wanted to stay strong while running and got two 14 kg kettle bells from my wife for my birthday in October 2013. I and kettle bells parted ways from 2014 to 2017 when I picked them up again as a warm up to my Juggernaut method training.

The most common context for beginners is that they are searching for the best way to keep fit with the least amount of hassle, money and time invested. This leads to a bit of a belly and being out of breath when chasing the kids around the playground on the weekend.

In addition, you might even want to look a bit more attractive for your spouse or potential partners you meet at social gatherings. Kettle bells leave less room for excuses based on weather, not having the right gear or having to go to the gym.

To ensure good form and execution read Simple and Sinister from Pavel Tsatsoulin and get yourself assessed by a Strong first certified professional. On the other hand, if you are an outdoor person and like to socialize the better route for you to travel is to join a local running club.

Based on my experience bringing someone who is not on your level, is your spouse or worse, both, will lead to unnecessary tension at home. These are the two main indicators to perform well in long distance running events.

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Others might want to cut some minutes and seconds of their established long distance times. In my personal case I found that strength training decreased my risk of injury when I ran.

Running itself is the one exercise which led me to lose the most weight on my way to a fitter self. If you eat 5 Mars bars a day, drink one bottle of Coca-Cola and smoke a packet of cigarettes and then go out for a walk around the block and pat yourself on the back you are misguided.

Of course, getting out at all is better than doing nothing but with this kind of intake you have to work ten times harder to get results as someone who does not shoot himself/herself in the foot on a daily basis. After a month of half the intake cut out one of the three (I recommend the cigarettes, my mother died of lung cancer aged 52.

After another month cut out the next thing (I recommend replacing Coca-Cola with water). I cut out all of my alcohol intakes in 2013 in preparation for the marathon after living in a bachelor pad where Guinness was always readily available from the fridge.

No surprise, that this experience is not pleasant and you say “F*** this, can I do kettle bell swings instead or glue some electrodes to my body while I watch the Superbowl”. Once reached continue running at a slower pace which lets you recover and repeat the process.

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Kettle bell swings are another method to lose unwanted pounds and stay fit. As long as you do not want to build your resume as a marathon runner or triathlon competitor kettle bells can replace running and might even be the better overall exercise for weight loss for beginners with limited time.

I think treadmills are as useless an invention as wireless cables (which have actually been sold on eBay...) or alcohol-free beer. If you want to dig deeper into why I think that for the target group who usually poses the question Can kettle bell swings replace cardio it does not really matter which of the two is picked read the book the first twenty minutes.

It provides good insight on why it matters that you do something for twenty minutes in terms of exercise (but not what) and that the return on investment quickly diminishes outside this window for average Joe's/Jane's. The technical debate among professionals mainly circles around two studies which have been conducted in 2010 and 2013 lead by exercise scientist John Forward of the University of Wisconsin-La Cross.

Here kettle bell swings were used with inexperienced subjects who gained in strength as well as cardiovascular capabilities which were unexpected. Most online articles will reference one or both of these studies to support the cardiovascular benefits of kettle bell swings when compared to running.

This tendency is strong enough that Steve Cotter — a well-known kettle bell instructor — attempted to curb the urge in one of his DVD sets. This topic was addressed recently in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research.

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Rate of perceived exertion (RPE) is one important factor because it modulates the actual likelihood of performing an exercise. In this study, the researchers compared thirty minutes of kettle bell work (specifically, they combined swings and dead lifts) to treadmill walking at a slight incline.

They looked at how each workout affected respiration, heart rate, calories burned, and RPE. The researchers concluded that kettle bell exercise shows promise as a method for developing cardio.

This means we have no idea if the treadmill cardio was altered by the kettle bell work in an important way. The researchers altered the treadmill speed so that the participants would have the same VO2 max that they had for the kettle bell cardio, making the results the same.

Traditional means of cardio tend to give the greatest benefit relative to how hard they feel, especially running. If you’d love to do low-intensity kettle bell work for thirty minutes straight, you can rest assured that you’ll get at least a modest cardio benefit.

Sources
1 www.issaonline.com - https://www.issaonline.com/blog/index.cfm/2020/kettlebells-for-cardio-an-effective-alternative
2 www.marathon-crossfit.com - http://www.marathon-crossfit.com/blog/can-kettlebell-swings-replace-cardio-article
3 breakingmuscle.com - https://breakingmuscle.com/fitness/kettlebells-as-a-cardio-tool-yay-or-nay