I’m not sure if you know this, but the kettlebell swing could be THE most time efficient and effective exercise for fat loss.
In a study published by the American Council on Exercise and conducted by exercise scientists at the University of Wisconsin, researchers found that participants burned an average of 20 calories per minute doing a standard kettlebell snatch (which is an exercise whose foundation is the kettlebell swing).
That’s 400 calories over a 20 minute period.
That’s equivalent to running a 6-minute-mile pace over a 20 minute period.
These researchers found that both the male & female subjects increased their strength, power and athleticism in addition to their cardio capacity.
BUT, The most mind-boggling result of the study was that the participants increased their abdominal core strength by a whopping 70%!!!
They didn’t do crunches, they didn’t do sit ups, they didn’t even do planks.
All they did was snatch a kettlebell – a full body movement that works every muscle in your body.
BUT, there’s a bit of an issue with the way most people approach their kettlebell training that could be hindering their results.
In today’s article, my friend and certified kettlebell instructor, Chris Lopez, explains how you should alter your kettlebell swing to maximize fat burning … that actually involves you DOING LESS!
Swing Less to Burn More
by: Chris Lopez, CTT, SFGII
author, Kettlebell Evolution
My wife has decided that she wants to train to get her Level 1 SFG Kettlebell Certification.
That involves her snatching a 12kg kettlebell 100 times within 5 minutes…among other things.
Having gone through the process before, I know what it takes, but it’s not so much about grit and determination as much as it’s about MASTERY and PRACTICE.
We’ve tweaked her program a little and I’m really focusing on helping her dial in her form now…and since she lives with a pretty good instructor (that’d be me, folks), she’s intent on listening.
One morning during her regular training session she was going through a set of kettlebell swings when I stopped her to make one really IMPORTANT change to her technique (and her mentality to when she approaches her swing training).
You see, she was chasing reps.
(“Chasing reps” means just going, regardless of form with no respect for what you’re doing, just to get to “that number”. Bad news, because that’s when people usually end up getting hurt.)
It was obvious because she was huffing & puffing, her shoulder was disconnected with the rest of her body and her kettlebell – which provides incredible feed back – was wobbly on the finish.
After further investigation, it was because she was following what seemed like a logical progression, but she wasn’t at that level yet.
Confused? Here’s what I mean…
Her program required her to do 10 x 1-arm swings per side at the top of every minute. So every time the clock hit :00, she would start her set. Then when she was done, she would rest for the remainder of the minute. Her protocol was to do that for 10 minutes.
But, like I said, she was chasing reps.
So I had her cut down to 8 swings per side and changed grip and her shoulder started to look more packed and her swing got stronger.
But still, it wasn’t right.
So we dropped it down to 6 per side and I asked her to focus on breathing “through her abs” on her finish giving a powerful “tsssshup” as the kettlebell and her arm reached parallel to the ground.
On the finish, she focused on rooting by locking her knees out, squeezing her butt, bracing her abs and dropping her shoulders down and back.
And then I asked her to fire her lat and throw the kettlebell through her knees on the back swing.
Guess what happened?
A more powerful and fluid swing with VISIBLE moments of tension & relaxation – just like a wave.
What she also noticed was that even though I cut her volume by 40% (remember she went from 10 per side to 6 per side), she felt like her cardiovascular system was more challenged than when she was doing 10.
Read that again please…
We cut her training volume by 40%, but the INTENSITY increased.
Why? Because we focused more on being connected with the kettlebell.
And even though she felt more cardiovascularly challenged, she was doing less and therefore had MORE TIME to rest between sets.
This resulted in high intensity sets EVERY TIME she performed the swings.
So now, she can build her cardiovascular system with more intense swings. She’s at 6 now, but in a few weeks she’ll be back at 10 but with a more intense, powerful swing.
So let’s sum up the lessons here…
1. Don’t chase reps. If you focus on your form, you can get that intensity you want AND become more powerful and stronger in the process.
2. Treat the kettlebell like an extension of your body. It’s not external resistance like a dumbbell.
3. Be patient. Progress logically, but don’t be afraid to take a step back to dial things in properly. Remember, PRACTICE, don’t “workout”
Great stuff, Chris.
No wonder when people start training with kettlebells properly they not only seem to lose a ton of fat, but they get stronger and more powerful too.
PRACTICE, don’t “work out”, folks!
– Forest Vance, MS, RKC II
PS – Don’t forget that Chris’s BRAND NEW Kettlebell Evolution Advanced Fat Loss Program is on sale only for YOU, a loyal FVT fan, at the ridiculously low price of $37 (it’s going to be $97 regular price).
Pick it up BEFORE it expires on Friday please.
PPS – I am so excited about this program, I am going to throw in a copy of my PreHab warm up video series and special report, when you grab a copy this week during Chris’s special sale.
This video series is a great compliment to Chris’s program. When you’re in need of an extended warm-up, when you’re extra sore from your last workout, when you have specific problem areas that need work, this will provide you with the perfect solution. It details and walks you through the research-backed and field-tested best way to prep for your workouts.
This video series and report isn’t currently available by itself anywhere else at ANY price. But, I am going to give it to you – FREE – when you grab a copy of the new Kettlebell Evolution program on my recommendation.
Simply forward your Clickbank purchase receipt to fvtraininfo (at) gmail.com, and we’ll send you a copy of my PreHab Warm Up program, ASAP!!