T Nation

Kettlebells for Conditioning


Are any of you using kettlebells as an alternative to standard cardio as a way to improve your conditioning or as a supplement to you power lifting? For me heavy kettlebell swings have been a great way to improve conditioning while still strength training.


I can't seem to master the clean without breaking my forearm, . I've tried it. It was great for stripping fat in the summer, but being that I already run a lot, along with working out and playing basketball I found it can leave me fatigued and ready for injury. If I didn't take something else out.


The clean is an awesome work out, especially when doing doubles. If had trouble hitting your forearms it was probably a combo of over gripping and letting your elbow come off the body.


I do swings and snatches.


I've dabbled


Pat- I have seen your videos! I think you really need to work on your intensity :wink:


I've used them but don't think they are a great alternative to cardio. I love them for supplementing my lifting program though. People seem into them for cardio, however not for me.


Not arguing with you but curious why you feel they are not suited for cardio. A properly can programed session can be made into cardio, strength or both.


+1 for high rep swings and snatches. I get my heart rate 190 plus when I do those. Hill/incline treadmill sprints and when i'm home I push the prowler once a week. Cosgrove posted an article not too long ago where you do 15 swings followed by 15 squat thrusts and then 14 swings and 14 squat thrusts....do that all they way down 'til your doing one of each. It's truly a ballbuster for me to do it without stopping.


I probably phrased it wrong. I feel there are better ways to do cardio and strength training than a KB. You can achieve both with it, but I think there are better ways. They are a great supplementary tool but I would rather do some interval training on the run or on a bike than with a KB. Personally I get more out of those sessions. And with lifting, I would rather stick to the basics like WSFSB program to increase strength.

I use KB's occassionally and have a set from 8 - 40kg in my personal gym and use them when I am in the mood for something different.


It all the depends on what you are working for. There is no right or wrong tool, just improper implementation and bad coaching - whether you are self coached or rely on an exogenous source ...

For metcon work - I have found the kettlebell to be an incredibly versatile tool. Try this complex on your next conditioning day - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qeGPuHkM0J4&feature=channel_video_title


Kettlebell Swings, cleans, snatches, renegade row and figure of 8 are mostly part of my conditioning routine.


I'm training for a kettlebell sport competition in 6 weeks time.

In the first half of the year I was using kettlebells in conjuction with my 'regular' strength training. For the last 6 weeks or so I've been focused solely on the competition lifts (jerks and snatch) and heavy swings and one armed jerks for assistance.

I'll be competing with the 20 kg bells at 85 kg, in what will be my first competition.


N.D.U Were is the comp held at.

cheers spook


KB swing tabatas can be quite humbling.....still not as tough as squat tabtas though.


I don't use them as an alternative, I use them in addition to other forms of cardio/conditioning work.


Competition is at Cohesion in Melbourne...


Exactly they are a great tool but just one tool I use along with ropes, sleds and many other things for my conditioning work.