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Kettlebell Can you actually JUST use KB’s as a primary cardio?

Brandon Trahan

Level 5 Valued Member
Whether I’m going neuperts snatch or giant protocols or Brett Jones IC (iron cardio, pun intended), for cardio i don’t do anything at all. I’m sure there are other threads on this and sorry if there are.

I walk all day at work. Sometimes 3-6 miles a day, sometimes more or less. Would you count this as getting some form of cardio? I dont Mean to sound silly but I’m just really curious on what can be sufficient for getting your cardio with bells without having to actually do regular cardio.
 

BJJ Shawn

Level 6 Valued Member
From a newsletter some time back:

"The following protocol is perfect for strength athletes who hate endurance work, yet choose to be prepared, should life insist.

Speaks Fabio Zonin, StrongFirst Certified Master Instructor:

“I perform heavy swings twice a week.”

“Heavy” is relative. When reading the following numbers keep in mind that Fabio deadlifts 600 pounds and adjust your kettlebell weights accordingly.

“Usually, 6-10 sets of 5 reps with 68-80kg for two-hand swings, or 6-10 sets (3-5 per side) of 5 reps with 48-56kg for one-hand swings.”

“Rest intervals between sets are around 2min, more if I feel that I need it. And even though I don’t do any kind of “high intensity interval training,” when it comes to challenging myself with a task that requires endurance, I see that I can still keep up very well with those who do it all the time.” "
 

Adachi

Level 6 Valued Member
Whether I’m going neuperts snatch or giant protocols or Brett Jones IC (iron cardio, pun intended), for cardio i don’t do anything at all. I’m sure there are other threads on this and sorry if there are.

I walk all day at work. Sometimes 3-6 miles a day, sometimes more or less. Would you count this as getting some form of cardio? I dont Mean to sound silly but I’m just really curious on what can be sufficient for getting your cardio with bells without having to actually do regular cardio.

I found this to be of interest for using kettlebells for cardio.
with young kids that can't be left alone yet, I am jealous of ways to do cardio that don't entail me traipsing across the neighborhood for minutes at a time.
I usually need to keep them within earshot.
This snatch-walking protocol is of interest to me.
 

TedDK

Level 5 Valued Member
Whether I’m going neuperts snatch or giant protocols or Brett Jones IC (iron cardio, pun intended), for cardio i don’t do anything at all. I’m sure there are other threads on this and sorry if there are.

I walk all day at work. Sometimes 3-6 miles a day, sometimes more or less. Would you count this as getting some form of cardio? I dont Mean to sound silly but I’m just really curious on what can be sufficient for getting your cardio with bells without having to actually do regular cardio.
EAADA714-BE04-4F99-99E9-CA252508A0D9.png
 

Brett Jones

StrongFirst Director of Education
Master Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
Beast Tamer
Brandon,

You are getting your metabolic conditioning with the KB programs and "cardio" and the walking that you do at work likely fills the "daily activity"/zone 2 area.
 

John K

Level 7 Valued Member
Certified Instructor
Whether I’m going neuperts snatch or giant protocols or Brett Jones IC (iron cardio, pun intended), for cardio i don’t do anything at all. I’m sure there are other threads on this and sorry if there are.

I walk all day at work. Sometimes 3-6 miles a day, sometimes more or less. Would you count this as getting some form of cardio? I dont Mean to sound silly but I’m just really curious on what can be sufficient for getting your cardio with bells without having to actually do regular cardio.
I think there's a difference between "can" and "should." What your goal is makes a huge difference as well - what are you goals? what would you be looking to get out of doing cardio? Would you be ready/willing/able to add in cardio consistently, or is this just a thought experiment/looking for confirmation you're doing "enough" ? What is your threshold of benefit before you felt the need to add cardio?

These questions don't necessarily need to be answered in the thread, but answering them will help guide you as you go through things like this and other related questions - "Should I add sled work? I hear it is really good." "Should I do A&A snatches? I hear they're really good." "Should I do single leg work? I hear it is really good." "Should I do getups? I hear they're really good." Etc. Etc. Etc.
 

Brandon Trahan

Level 5 Valued Member
Brandon,

You are getting your metabolic conditioning with the KB programs and "cardio" and the walking that you do at work likely fills the "daily activity"/zone 2 area.
Thanks @Brett Jones. I tend To overthink and wonder “I’m taxing the anaerobic system but is it truly cardio too?”. I get stuck in the conventional wisdom thought of i need To do more to feel more in shape.
 

Brandon Trahan

Level 5 Valued Member
I think there's a difference between "can" and "should." What your goal is makes a huge difference as well - what are you goals? what would you be looking to get out of doing cardio? Would you be ready/willing/able to add in cardio consistently, or is this just a thought experiment/looking for confirmation you're doing "enough" ? What is your threshold of benefit before you felt the need to add cardio?

These questions don't necessarily need to be answered in the thread, but answering them will help guide you as you go through things like this and other related questions - "Should I add sled work? I hear it is really good." "Should I do A&A snatches? I hear they're really good." "Should I do single leg work? I hear it is really good." "Should I do getups? I hear they're really good." Etc. Etc. Etc.
Well said. I’m a big SOB. 310 lbs. good amount of muscle. Very stocky. I’m just tired of my heart slamming in my chest when I walk at work and getting somewhat winded. Majority has to do with my weight of course. With that said maybe I’m answering my own question here but Brett Jones makes a great point with getting good cardio with the programming I’m doing. It’s really a lot to walk all day at work, come home and do Jiu Jitsu or kettlebells. Pretty taxing.
 

silveraw

Level 7 Valued Member
Well said. I’m a big SOB. 310 lbs. good amount of muscle. Very stocky. I’m just tired of my heart slamming in my chest when I walk at work and getting somewhat winded. Majority has to do with my weight of course. With that said maybe I’m answering my own question here but Brett Jones makes a great point with getting good cardio with the programming I’m doing. It’s really a lot to walk all day at work, come home and do Jiu Jitsu or kettlebells. Pretty taxing.
When I was 270, walking certainly fit into zone 2 cardio... Heck tying my shoes was like HIIT. (I didn't have much muscle)
Its great, then you start losing weight, have to walk faster, then have to add weight in a pack, then it turns into a whole thing trying to keep the HR in the right zone.
 
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Eyetic

Level 5 Valued Member
Well said. I’m a big SOB. 310 lbs. good amount of muscle. Very stocky. I’m just tired of my heart slamming in my chest when I walk at work and getting somewhat winded. Majority has to do with my weight of course. With that said maybe I’m answering my own question here but Brett Jones makes a great point with getting good cardio with the programming I’m doing. It’s really a lot to walk all day at work, come home and do Jiu Jitsu or kettlebells. Pretty taxing.
You are already doing a lot under my honest opinion, what is stressing your system is your weight (I don't know your height but 310 lbs is pretty high anyway unless you are 7 feet high!).

I'd suggest to focus on loosing weight by dropping calories instead of adding more cardio (which will eventually lead to lowering weight for sure but with the amount of exercise you are currently doing its easier to drop some calories and obtain the same weight reduction)

Once your weight is down, you will feel lighter during your whole daily routine and the energy spenditure at your job will be less (less moving mass less energy needed) then you could consider adding some more Zone 2 training (it would be safer also for your joints also) and obtaining more benefits from that kind of training.
 

Brandon Trahan

Level 5 Valued Member
When I was 270, walking certainly fit into zone 2 cardio... Heck tying my shoes was like HIIT. (I didn't have much muscle)
Its great, then you start losing weight, have to walk faster, then have to add weight in a pack, then it turns into a whole thing trying to keep the HR in the right zone.
I feel You on the tying your shoes thing. It’s so miserable getting out of breath for something so simple haha
 

Brandon Trahan

Level 5 Valued Member
You are already doing a lot under my honest opinion, what is stressing your system is your weight (I don't know your height but 310 lbs is pretty high anyway unless you are 7 feet high!).

I'd suggest to focus on loosing weight by dropping calories instead of adding more cardio (which will eventually lead to lowering weight for sure but with the amount of exercise you are currently doing its easier to drop some calories and obtain the same weight reduction)

Once your weight is down, you will feel lighter during your whole daily routine and the energy spenditure at your job will be less (less moving mass less energy needed) then you could consider adding some more Zone 2 training (it would be safer also for your joints also) and obtaining more benefits from that kind of training.
I’m 5’11! So I’m a meatballoon lol. When I was training under @Brett Jones weight loss was def a goal we wanted me to have. I lose Weight then gain it back. Lose it then gain it back. My biggest struggle for sure.
 

Brandon Trahan

Level 5 Valued Member
You are already doing a lot under my honest opinion, what is stressing your system is your weight (I don't know your height but 310 lbs is pretty high anyway unless you are 7 feet high!).

I'd suggest to focus on loosing weight by dropping calories instead of adding more cardio (which will eventually lead to lowering weight for sure but with the amount of exercise you are currently doing its easier to drop some calories and obtain the same weight reduction)

Once your weight is down, you will feel lighter during your whole daily routine and the energy spenditure at your job will be less (less moving mass less energy needed) then you could consider adding some more Zone 2 training (it would be safer also for your joints also) and obtaining more benefits from that kind of training.
Another thing is is when I cut calories while I’m doing my iron cardio protocol my metabolism goes ape s*** and i want To eat everything in sight! Lol
 

Ege

Level 6 Valued Member
The best weight loss diet I believe is simple. Eat as much as you want and whenever you want. But only whole foods without the processed and condensed stuff. If you go to a supermarket, and only buy stuff that is in the outer perimeter of the shop, you will lose weight. If you go to the inner sections. Then you have to stay hungry to lose weight.

I do my diet when buying stuff not eating :))

Seriously I might have found the best diet formula :) go to a fast food restaurant eat as much as you want and then go to a market buy your weekly stuff and just eat them and repeat every week :)
 

GovernorSilver

Level 5 Valued Member
My last martial arts teacher got good results from a ketogenic diet. He had an active day job - lots of moving around and working with tools - then spent the rest of his spare time at the dojo he cofounded with close friends. I used to be scared to roll with him in BJJ because he was so much bigger than me. After implementing his diet plan and following it faithfully, I did notice a change. By the last time I saw him, he was still a a big guy, but not as much built-in padding.

So I guess the point I'm getting at is he wasn't sitting on his butt all day in the office - he led an active lifestyle all day and well into the evening, but didn't lose the bodyfat that he wanted until he took a serious look at his diet and did something about it. I should have asked him what tactics he employed to combat appetite or cravings that typically derail attempts to diet.

I don't have an opinion on the best diet. I think what was more important for him was that he be honest with himself about his eating habits, and have the self-discipline to stick to the plan once he decided to follow it.
 
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