Kettlebell Workouts Versus HIIT

For those of you who are unaware, the acronym “HIIT” stands for High Intensity Interval Training.  Simply put, this is a method where you alternate back and forth between a high and low intensity while you work out.

Over the course of time, this training style has gained popularity with all age groups and demographics for its effects on the body and for the fact that it burns more fat than any other workout.

Not only does it cause a high caloric expenditure, but it also cranks up your resting metabolic rate, and boosts your body’s natural production of human growth hormone and testosterone.  This translates to a leaner, more defined body with a low amount of body fat.

It’s hard to argue that this is one of the best ways to get fit and lose unwanted weight fast.  When you compare kettlebell workouts to HIIT, they can actually go hand in hand.  This really depends on how you structure your training.

Since the kettlebell is very versatile and can be moved easily, you have the option of doing an entire HIIT workout with it.  For example, you can do 30 seconds of swings, rest for 30 seconds, then repeat for 30 minutes.  That’s a standard 1-to-1ratio of high to low intensity.

You have multiple combinations to work with too.  In the end, it really all depends on how trained you currently are or how trained you become.  Following a 2-to-1 work to rest ratio, for example, is going to be quite challenging at first.  But over time, and after you have gotten into better shape, it might be the sweet spot for you.

On the other side of the coin, the kettlebell can be used just as resistance to build strength.  An example of this would be doing 5 sets of 5 reps of double presses with 60 seconds or more of rest between each set.

The HIIT model does not have to include kettlebells either.  People who like to run races often perform intervals in their training to boost their anaerobic capacity.  This comes in handy while running up hills or trying to outsprint someone at the finish line.

Instead of going with complete rest, like you would with kettlebells, they just lower their intensity between sprints, such as jogging lightly or walking briskly.  Then they speed back up to the point they are trying to reach.

Kettlebells can also be fused into a circuit-style HIIT program that involves multiple exercises, including running.  The high intensity point would be achieved during each exercise and the rest interval can be short or longer, depending on how fit you are or what you are looking to achieve.

For example, you can do swings, burpees, rope jumping, combat ropes, snatches and running in a workout.
Each one of the exercises can be performed for 30 to 60 seconds and the rest breaks can be the same as the work intervals or shorter.

There is also an option to interval between an intense movement that targets one part of the body and a movement that targets a completely different area.  If you go back to the circuit example, you could do a set of kettlebell presses, then immediately jump rope for 30 seconds and then do a set of kettlebell squats followed immediately by medicine ball slams on the floor.

Your heart rate will still be up, but while one part of your body is spent, another part is not.  It takes practice and mental strength to get proficient at this type of training.

Applying the rules of HIIT to your workouts is not really that complicated, regardless if they are with kettlebells or not.  Just pick a batch of exercises you want to do, determine your work to rest ratios and have at it.

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