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Stronglifts/Kettlebells for Cardio

Hi, new guy with a new guy question:

Over the last couple of years, I’ve lost about 90 lbs. I plan on losing about 30 more lbs over the next few months, and I have started the Stronglifts program in the hope of keeping, and hopefully gaining, some muscle as I shed the last of my excess fat.

I have been doing a little bit of research along the way and have read in several places that kettlebells are superior to cardio as a calorie burner/conditioning program. The problem is that most of the programs I have found tend to be standalone programs, or seem to be recommended for different lifting plans than what I am doing. Can anyone recommend a decent kettlebell routine that I could do alongside Stronglifts (off days or after my main lifts) that would A) be a good core workout B) be a good calorie burning program and C) be Stronglifts friendly?

I typically do martial arts training on the days I’m not doing Stronglifts, and I figure that the addition of a core focused kettlebell program would be a good compliment to the martial arts and weight training.

Thanks for the help.

Cardio basically means= keeping your heart-rate somewhere between 130-150 (IIRC) for a prolonged period of time. The method you use merely changes the muscles that are stressed and how they are stressed.

In that regard, cardio with kettlebells aren’t much different from cardio with running.

Just do kettlebell swings on off-days. Fight through the DOMS on the following day, because DOMS is irrelevant for the most part and should be ignored anyhow.

from what I’ve read (may be right, may not be… it’s the internet. I found a couple of the articles on T-Nation though) cardio kettlebell complexes are more effective, from a calories/fat burned perspective, than just running. Whereas your body adapts to the running, this negating the fat burning effect of that form of exercise, with kettlebells, you should just be able to switch to a heavier one, allowing the workload to increase and keeping the calorie/fat burning effects at a maximum. If I understand everything correctly.

So, something like the 10,000 kettlebell challenge (maybe using a lighter than recommended kettlebell) would work, or would the sheer volume of that workout cause my main lifts to suffer?

You could try Dan John’s 10,000 Swing routine - it would probably suit your goals well. Or do what the above poster said and just do swings on your off-days. There isn’t a set routine that fits your goals that I’m aware of, but it’s not complicated - you could either pick a total number of swings (say 500) and try and cut down the time you take to do them each session or you could just try and do more swings each time.

EDIT: Sorry I didn’t see your second post OP. The volume in 10,000 swings would be fine, I’d recommend it (I’m half way through it myself atm).

[quote]furo wrote:
You could try Dan John’s 10,000 Swing routine - it would probably suit your goals well.[/quote]

Nope. NOT as an add-on to another program.

[quote]nighthawkz wrote:

[quote]furo wrote:
You could try Dan John’s 10,000 Swing routine - it would probably suit your goals well.[/quote]

Nope. NOT as an add-on to another program.[/quote]

I meant he could try it as an alternative to Stronglifts, sorry if I didn’t make that clear. I agree there is no way that doing the two together would work: I just thought 10,000 swings would be a better overall choice as it encompasses both strength and conditioning and seems tailor-made for someone in the OP’s situation.

[quote]furo wrote:

[quote]nighthawkz wrote:

[quote]furo wrote:
You could try Dan John’s 10,000 Swing routine - it would probably suit your goals well.[/quote]

Nope. NOT as an add-on to another program.[/quote]

I meant he could try it as an alternative to Stronglifts[/quote]

I’d rather find something that I could add as an addition to the program I’m currently on. Would a set interval workout be better in my situation? something like as many swings as I can for X minutes, with x seconds rest, for an overall time?

[quote]southernsontn wrote:
from what I’ve read (may be right, may not be… it’s the internet. I found a couple of the articles on T-Nation though) cardio kettlebell complexes are more effective, from a calories/fat burned perspective, than just running. Whereas your body adapts to the running, this negating the fat burning effect of that form of exercise, with kettlebells, you should just be able to switch to a heavier one, allowing the workload to increase and keeping the calorie/fat burning effects at a maximum. If I understand everything correctly.[/quote]

You could always just run faster or with an incline.

Granted, kettlebells are easier to manipulate the load/intensity.

I consider most things like that to be just marketing though. T-Nation writers are as susceptible to marketing as anyone else. Look at Christian Thib. (I cannot for the life of me spell his last name) pushing goods sold from this site in every one of his articles. The same seems to be true of Wendler nowadays too.

Yes, it’s true that you body adapts, and things that you’re body has adapted to will be easier and thus burn less calories. But it takes longer than you would think for your body to adapt to things, and it’s not like you’re going to go and run a mile at a 6 min pace the first time you do it…

Just find something that challenges you and that’ll work well enough as cardio/conditioning.

I think 10k will wreck you, cause SL 5x5 is hard and the 10k program, as written, seems to wreck you as well.

Just do a hundred or so with a really light load. For most people, just doing hip hinges a hundred times will be a good cardio session.

[quote]southernsontn wrote:

[quote]furo wrote:

[quote]nighthawkz wrote:

[quote]furo wrote:
You could try Dan John’s 10,000 Swing routine - it would probably suit your goals well.[/quote]

Nope. NOT as an add-on to another program.[/quote]

I meant he could try it as an alternative to Stronglifts[/quote]

I’d rather find something that I could add as an addition to the program I’m currently on. Would a set interval workout be better in my situation? something like as many swings as I can for X minutes, with x seconds rest, for an overall time?
[/quote]

In that case I’d recommend the other option I said before - on your off days from SL do 500 swings with a light kettlebell (16kg would be good) with as many breaks as you need and work on reducing the total time taken. This will work out similar to interval training because you’ll be doing, for example, 50 swings then resting a short time then going again. I prefer it to interval training the way you describe for 2 main reasons:

  1. Trying to increase the number of swings you do in a short interval will mean that you’ll have to do your swings faster and faster each time and this isn’t the right way to swing. The swing is a technical movement and every rep should be explosive and precise - by trying to cram more swings into the the same amount of time you’ll be forced to make compromises on technique and power. You’d be much better off progressing by either increasing the total volume or decreasing the rest intervals.

  2. You don’t have the hassle of timing every individual interval, so you have less to think about, which I find actually really affects my performance.

EDIT: I realise my post may be a bit confusing. What I’m basically trying to say is progress by reducing rest periods (using good form) NOT by rushing your swings (which will encourage bad form).