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

TedDK

Level 5 Valued Member
IMHO majority of the people even the ones that are regularly exercising will benefit from a brisk 30 minutes daily walk.

It is efficient and injury free. Especially someone like me, who has cardio issues, don’t need anything else.
No one says that walking wouldnt have MANY benefits. But it still dont cardio just because of this.
 

Steve Freides

Staff
Elite Certified Instructor
I dont know your HRmax but if it is 160-170. Then a HR at around 90 is under z1. So it wont do much if you Call it cardio.
You and I are not going to agree on the meaning of the word cardio.

My measured max is 179. Zone 1-2 border is 107, zone 2-3 border is 127.

In that instance I’d say it’ll have a positive effect on his resting heart rate in addition the the all-important “does it make you feel better?”

My worry is that it's constant overtraining for him.

-S-
 

TedDK

Level 5 Valued Member
You and I are not going to agree on the meaning of the word cardio.

My measured max is 179. Zone 1-2 border is 107, zone 2-3 border is 127.



My worry is that it's constant overtraining for him.

-S-
Its also ok.
But if you believe your walk at around 90HR is doing anything for your conditioning, when your min and max is as you write…. Well.

I rest my case.
 

North Coast Miller

Level 8 Valued Member
You and I are not going to agree on the meaning of the word cardio.

My measured max is 179. Zone 1-2 border is 107, zone 2-3 border is 127.



My worry is that it's constant overtraining for him.

-S-
If walking is overtraining then I got nothing…
A heart rate monitor might be in order, his baseline might be well into your zone 2. But you have to start somewhere, anything less taxing than walking is going to trigger approx zero adaptive response.
 

Torin

Level 4 Valued Member

I found this to be of interest for using kettlebells for cardio.
I thought that looked really interesting too!

I can't see going without my exercise bike as my primary form of cardio, but I would really like to add a session of snatch-walking each week just to test it out.
 

Halfakneecap

Level 6 Valued Member
Regular swings of S&S definitely increased my “fitness”, however you want to describe it. I do not love swings, but they are “easy” conditioning ( if you’re not an athlete ). I mean easy as in fairly easy to learn technique, particularly compared to the snatch. And no hour long sessions required, unless you want to.

I’m introducing them again this year purely because they are great conditioning, and I would like to increase mine.
 

watchnerd

Level 8 Valued Member
If I don't get enough walking in, I get all sorts of bad effects on mobility and tightness.

But...

Even walking around my moderately hilly neighborhood for 30 minutes, I can't get to a sustained Zone 2 (111 - 126 bpm).

So in terms of meeting my desired number of Zone 2 minutes per week, it doesn't meet the criteria.
 
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Boris Bachmann

Level 7 Valued Member
Whatever. I'm not saying he's wrong, but I don't think he's 100% right either. As with anything, "It depends".

Tonight my main "set" was:
SQ w. Chains: 225lb x 20sec (3, 3, 3, 3, 4)
40 sec rest
KB Snatch: 16kg x 10mins (switch hands on the minute, cadence = 10rpm, 6rpm, 6-8rpm, 10rpm, 12-20rpm)
1min rest
X 5

Total time for this session, including warm-up: 1hr20mins, Max HR: 183, Avg HR: 149, Cal: 876
Screen Shot 2023-01-15 at 9.41.57 PM.png
 

Whosonfirst

Level 7 Valued Member
No one is suggesting that you should try to "duplicate" here. What @wespom9 is saying that at least some people in the scientific/medical/expert community are OK with my assessment, namely that the stimulus is less but doing it for longer might yield benefit worth taking note of. I think this is one of those "your feelings don't matter" kind of things - it certainly doesn't feel the same to walk as to run.

If we'll all forgive yet another personal observation, allow me to put kettlebell swings into the mix and tell you what's happened with my own walking over a period of years. I began by walking very little, and gradually over time got up to the point where I was comfortable walking a mile or mile-and-a-half most days, and my heart rate was, on average, at or near the top of Zone 1. And I wasn't swinging a kettlebell regularly, but once I put a few months of kettlebell swings in there, it turbo-charged my walking somehow - don't ask me how - and I noticed my walking pace and distance moved for the first time in a long time. My walking is still relaxed, but my heart rate is higher by about 10-15 bpm, now into Zone 2 rather than at or near the top of Zone 1, and I am able to walk further without feeling overly tired by the experience. Swings are again not in my program now, but they were a great change of pace and plateau-buster for me.

-S-
Steve, didn't one of the early RKC's train for a marathon or half-marathon, by just doing KB swings and/or Snatches? I remember him posting his routine and how the event went in comparison to times he trained only by running. I vaguely remember him saying it was mostly favorable, with little drop off. I thought he may have done 3 short runs a week, so his running muscles still were conditioned.
(edit:) I'm remembering it may have been Rob Lawrence?)
 
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Whosonfirst

Level 7 Valued Member
Yeah…

By the time I was 80 lbs, my parents weren’t carrying me anywhere.

When I didn’t want to get out of bed, they’d rip the blankets off me and open the window to let in the cold air and let me hear the cows crying to be milked
Haha, what we called good parenting, or maybe tough love.
 

Marino

Level 6 Valued Member
I have not found that kettlebell work alone will provide great cardio results. It might give results for heavy sustained manual labor but that is not the same as sprinting through an airport to catch a plane or running a decent 5km park run. Zone 2 traditional cardio (e.g. run walk run) has provided results. However, protocols like Quick and Dead or the Strongfirst Kettlebells single LCCJ program might deliver on the manual labor and running fronts. For some cardio variety I now use the LCCJ program to get my heart rate into zone 2 and keep it there for say 40 minutes, or mix up running, rowing, LCCJs into a cardio session. I aim to get 2 to 3 hours a week of zone 2 with a few zone 5 long intervals thrown in to sessions across the week. This plus some pure KB strength work is delivering for me.
 

Steve Freides

Staff
Elite Certified Instructor
Steve, didn't one of the early RKC's train for a marathon or half-marathon, by just doing KB swings and/or Snatches? I remember him posting his routine and how the event went in comparison to times he trained only by running. I vaguely remember him saying it was mostly favorable, with little drop off. I thought he may have done 3 short runs a week, so his running muscles still were conditioned.
(edit:) I'm remembering it may have been Rob Lawrence?)
If memory serves, his name was Steve Knapstein and he was, as was Rob, from Philly.

-S-
 

Ege

Level 6 Valued Member
If I don't get enough walking in, I get all sorts of bad effects on mobility and tightness.

But...

Even walking around my moderately hilly neighborhood for 30 minutes, I can't get to a sustained Zone 2 (111 - 126 bpm).

So in terms of meeting my desired number of Zone 2 minutes per week, it doesn't meet the criteria.
How do you determine your goals for Zone 1 or Zone 2 or both? With walking with my dog, I can only do Zone 1. With a KB in hand, walking on sand (have a near by sand track field!) I can hit zone 2 with minimal possible impact on my joints but I don’t have any idea on how to decide which is better or from which one I need to do how much?
 
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