HIIT with kettlebell


Level 8 Valued Member
I'm wondering how to approach HIIT with only a Kettlebell, Swings in particular. I have 24 and 32 pairs and want to implement some HIIT into my training. What would be the best routine?
I was thinking about 2H Swings like in 10k program, but without strength exercises.
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North Coast Miller

Level 7 Valued Member
I'd do some tinkering around and find the lifts that elevate your HR fastest using the KBs you have.

It really helps to use a HR monitor to at least catalog your lifts - I was surprised a while back to discover the jumping backsquats I was doing only hit about 160 tops when I thought I was at 180+.

You could probably do this using only Swing, again you can run this with a monitor and see. In my world, HIIT = hitting approx 85-90% HR Max in 20 seconds (preferably less) for repeats with incomplete rest intervals. Almost anything that can accomplish this will work, as long as it is not too technically demanding or too heavily loaded.

Movements that have you changing levels also seem to work better for this. In my opinion, being primarily cardiovascular, HIIT shouldn't compete much with your other strength work for recovery resources, and it shouldn't feel like an off the rails version of a strength session.

If using it more for endurance metcons you have more leeway but I would still start with a target HR zone and build it around that.

Norville Barnes

Level 6 Valued Member
I concur w PM, read the linked article. HIIT makes you feel like you’ve done something, but may wear you down more than it builds you up if done to extremes.

HIRT emphasizes crisp, powerful reps without getting completely burned out.

Plenty of discussion here on A and A training, another application of the HIRT principles.

North Coast Miller

Level 7 Valued Member
This is an interesting article on HIIT by Mike Boyle. I link to it as it clears up some of the haze about what is and isn't HIIT, and gives guidelines for how it looks as he uses it and why.

I haven't taken it to the level he does with sliding recovery intervals based on HR because I seldom wear a monitor, but I probably should. I'm not convinced there are any resistance training implements that are truly appropriate for textbook HIIT (as opposed to some form of metcon, terms often and erroneously used interchangeably).

HIIT should not compete for muscular recovery resources with an ongoing strength or size program. HIIT as it has been researched to produce the best results =
maximum metabolic disturbance with minimal muscular disruption

Interval Training - HIIT or Miss? -Athletes Acceleration Sports Performance


Level 8 Valued Member

Even if this is not with the swings, unfortunately in this case, Viking Warrior Conditioning may also be interesting.

Kind regards,

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