Kickass Kettlebell Series Day 4: Kettlebell Cardio

Kickass Kettlebell Series Day 4: Kettlebell Cardio is the 4th workout in Caroline Girvin‘s kettlebell workout series. The subtitle says this is a cardio workout but it isn’t really. It is the most cardio-intensive workout in her kettlebell series I have done so far (and I have now done 4 of the 5 workouts) but there is plenty of strength training in this workout, too. This workout is done superset fashion. Each strength exercise is superset with a kettlebell swing variation. The kettlebell swing is your cardio move so this is a cardio + strength workout. Each exercise is done for one minute; since you are super-setting you do 2 solid minutes of work (one strength exercise + a kettlebell swing variation) then you get 20 seconds of rest. 20 seconds isn’t a long time so your heart rate remains elevated throughout this entire workout.

Because of the superset format I generally used the same kettlebell for the swing that I did for the strength exercise except for one superset (#5 & 6)–a 35 pound kettlebell is too heavy for me to swing, so I quickly swapped kettlebells. In retrospect, when I return to this workout in the future, I will do that with other exercises, too. I ended up swinging with the 15 pound kettlebell a lot near the end because it is the weight I needed for the strength exercise preceding the swing. But I definitely could have gotten a higher calorie burn if I had quickly changed to a 20 pound kettlebell for the swings. This is not a total body workout. If you would like to work total body and, like me, workout for an hour every morning, Caroline has the perfect kettlebell finisher to add onto the end of this workout. That is what I did this morning. I finished this workout off with her 15 Minute Full Body Kettlebell Workout. Between the two workouts I got a 59 minute total body metabolic cardio + strength workout and burned 417 calories.

Kickass Kettlebell Series Day 4: Kettlebell Cardio is 36:23 minutes; 1:30 minute intro, no warm up and 2:30 minute stretch. I did Caroline’s 5 minute full body warm up before starting this workout. Equipment: kettlebell(s) and fitness mat. Caroline is using a 12kg/26 pound and a 16kg/35 pound kettlebell. The weights listed below are what I used. There is a timer in the upper right hand corner of the the screen counting down your intervals and recoveries. During the recovery or the last 10 seconds of an exercise if there is no recovery, the next exercise is previewed in a small video in the upper left hand corner of the screen. There is also a little bar at the bottom of the screen that counts down the entire workout time as a percentage. 

  1. Goblet squat (holding KB by bell) (25# KB) 
  2. Double hand kettlebell swing (25# KB)
  3. 20 second rest
  4. Repeat #1-3
  5. 1.5 rep sumo squats (legs wide, toes turned out, hold KB in both hands between legs, pulse once at bottom of sumo squat) (35# KB)
  6. Squat to swing (traditional kettlebell swing alternated with a squat swing) (20# KB)
  7. 20 second rest
  8. Repeat #5-7
  9. Clean (swing KB from between legs to racked at shoulder) + Uneven squat (squat with KB still racked at shoulder) (15# KB)
  10. Alternating single arm kettlebell swing (15# KB)
  11. 20 second rest
  12. Repeat #9 on other side of body
  13. Repeat #10
  14. 20 second rest
  15. Push press (start with KB racked at shoulder and do a single arm overhead press, pushing from the legs) (15# KB)
  16. Single arm kettlebell swing (same arm as #15) (15# KB)
  17. 20 second rest
  18. Repeat # 15 & 16 on other side of body
  19. 20 second rest
  20. RDL to staggered squat (single leg deadlift + with legs still in split stance from RDL, swing to rack KB at shoulder and do a squat) (15# KB)
  21. Staggered kettlebell swing (single arm kettlebell swing, wide stance with one leg in front of the other–same leg that was forward when in split stance for #18) (15# KB)
  22. 20 second rest
  23. Repeat #20 & 21 on other side of body
  24. 20 second rest
  25. Squat 2x + push press 2x (15# KB)
  26. Burpee (push up + clean + squat to press–one hand is holding the KB throughout) (15# KB)
  27. 20 second rest
  28. Repeat #25 & 26 on other side of body
  29. 20 second rest

Finisher: 3 minutes of alternating single arm kettlebell swings (20# KB)

For more info on Caroline Girvan’s workouts and other (free) streaming workouts I’ve sampled and reviewed, check out my Streaming page.

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