Wednesday, February 22, 2017

8 Minute Killer Kettlebell Workout

Even when you're short on time, there's no excuse to get in a killer workout and we've got three 8 Minute Killer Kettlebell Workouts that will do just the thing to get you in and out of the gym fast without feeling you've wasted the trip in.

To keep these short training routines effective you'll have to keep three things in mind:

Choose a Kettlebell Weight that is Challenging - if you choose to conservatively you'll feel cheated.  Too aggressive, you'll be spent before the time runs out.  The routines we've put together can all be done with a single weight so there's no need to have more than one kettlebell at the ready.

It's Only 8 Minutes - If you've chosen the right weight, at around the 6 minute mark you'll wish you were done.  That's good.  But because the time is relatively short, make every effort to work through all of the movements without unscheduled rest breaks.

Quality of Movement - It's far better to spend an extra few seconds per round to make your movements cover the complete range of motion.  Cutting the thruster short either with a shallow squat or an incomplete extension at the top of the movement just won't yield you the benefit.  Quality wins over speed every time.  With consistent quality movement, speed will follow.


As with any training routine, before you dig in deep, spend 5-10 minutes with some type of warmup. It's especially important to get your shoulders, hips and knees loose as they'll be taking the brunt of the punishment.

With these three 8 Minute Kettlebell Routines we'll also introduce three different timing techniques that you can use on a variety of different training routines.  Here's a quick explanation of how they work:

The EMOM [Every Minute On the Minute] - With this timing sequence you'll set your countdown timer to 8:00 then hit the start button.  During that 1st minute complete all of the exercises in the even minute schedule.  Whatever time is left before the timer reaches 7:00 is yours to rest.  When the timer reaches 7:00 begin the movements in the odd minute schedule.  Rest for any time remaining before the timer reaches 6:00 then start again with the even minute schedule.  When the timer reaches 0:00 you're done.  Typically, the EMOM timing sequence allows for around 15 seconds or so of rest at the end of each minute and as such is used for strength movements.  You should look to grab a heavier kettlebell than usual for this timing technique.


The AMRAP [As Many Rounds As Possible] - Also known as the lung burner, it's this routine that has you racing against the clock.  Keep track of rounds completed with pennies, poker chips or the like and look to repeat workouts like these once or twice a month to see your progress.  Ideally, you'll want to choose a weight that allows you to keep moving throughout the entire 8 minutes.  The only rest you'll earn during this timing sequence is when the timer reads 0:00.

The LADDER - Lots of folks refer to this timing sequence as "Death By....." as reps increase each round and eventually you won't be able to continue.  In our variation, we start with a modest three reps per exercise and although you'll add one rep to each exercise at the completion of the round we've shown you some mercy by capping the workout at 8 minutes.  For this workout you will want to choose a moderately challenging weight and do your best to keep moving throughout the entire 8 minutes.  Record how far you reached, i.e. 12 Goblet Squats, then try to beat your score by repeating this one about three weeks later.


The 8 Minute Kettlebell EMOM
Every minute on the minute perform:
EVEN Minutes:
4 - Left Hand Thruster
4 - Right Hand Thruster
8 - Kettlebell Swings
ODD Minutes:
5 - Left Hand Overhead Squat
5 - Right Hand Overhead Squat
8 - Goblet Squat

The 8 Minute AMRAP
Repeat As Many Rounds as Possible of:
5 - Left Hand Push Press
5 - Right Hand Push Press
10 - Goblet Squat
10 - Push Ups
10 - Tuck Jumps

The 8 Minute Ladder Challenge
Complete As Many Rounds as Possible in 8 Minutes
After each Completed Round add 1 to the total number of reps of each exercise
3 - Kettlebell Swing
3 - Goblet Squat
3 - Turkish Get Up
3 - Push Ups

We're huge fans of multiple use equipment like the kettlebell.  It's one of those pieces that never breaks, needs little to no maintenance and because you can use it so many ways, it will keep your training varied and fun.

Not sure what size is best for you?  Read our Blog on How To Choose the Right Sized Kettlebell.