Kettlebells vs. Cardio Based Training

Why Kettlebell Training is the best choice for fat loss!
By: Nicholas James Schodtler
Dec. 18, 2009 - PRLog -- So, why am I so adamant about Kettlebell Training as the best choice for fat loss?

Kettlebell Strength training increases lean tissue, which is metabolically active. That means that it burns calories, even at rest. For fat loss, kettlebells surpass even supersets or circuit training. Why? Although supersets and circuit training require a lot of work with little rest the circuits typically involve traditional single-plane static exercises and require sitting positions and false stabilization, (bench seats, back support, false leverage, muscle isolation, etc.) –The unique dynamic of kettlebell training typically requires free-standing free-flowing motion creating an ideal environment for fat loss by engaging over 600 muscles simultaneously –forcing the Nervous Systems, Cardiovascular System, Muscular System and Skeletal System to work together synergistically ...This means burning a LOT of calories in a short period of time while encouraging lean muscle tissue retention and development. 

Kettlebell Training exceeds High Intensity Interval Training.  Taking this into consideration A 1994 study indicated that alternating periods of very hard effort with periods of easy effort resulted in NINE times more fat being burned than in steady-state endurance training (cardio based exercise; i.e. -aerobics). The interval group was tested over 15 weeks compared to 20 weeks for the steady state (cardio) group. So, in conclusion proper kettlebell training exemplifies and exceeds High Intensity Interval Training burning nine times the fat in three quarters of the time.

EPOC. This is short for "Excess Post-exercise Oxygen Consumption" and it comes as a result of hard resistance training that creates a metabolic disturbance, elevating the metabolic rate for hours after the exercise session is over. This is related to the resistance training nature of kettlebell training and the intervals that subsequently follow each 10-minute flight. It is a synergistic effect that revs up the metabolism, causing greater calorie burn even at rest. 
What this means is that if your kettlebell training ends at 7:00pm on Monday –you will likely still be burning calories in excess from Monday’s kettlebell session on Wednesday at 7:00am!!!

Maximum Results, Minimum Time

You hit every muscle in the body in most of the kettlebell moves – either a 10-minute flight of Longcycle, Jerks or Snatches or even string a few targeted exercises together in a circuit (or even in one super exercise) you leave no muscle un-worked. This is the unique aspect of kettlebell training when it comes to maximum fat loss - working as much of the body as you can from a resistance standpoint incurring an elevated heart rate –which kettlebell training concisely delivers. The antiquated bodybuilding style of hitting one muscle at a time is very outdated when it comes to fat loss in less time - of course bodybuilders have very little fat and plenty of muscle, but it takes hours and years of painstaking dedication and repetitive work to get there. Kettlebells deliver double the results in half the time - a no-brainer in our busy world.

Kettlebell Training Boosts Metabolism - So You Burn Fat All Day Long!

Muscle burns calories at rest -the equivalent weight of fat does not, and muscle also takes up ¼ the space per pound by comparison. So if you are composed of more muscle and less fat, you take up less space and can eat more calories just to maintain your dense lean weight! A double whammy, that is the result of the fact that muscle is more metabolically active. Kettlebells enable you to create long, lean muscles that are burning more calories while you do nothing at all. Kettlebells literally make your body a fat burning furnace!
Through kettlebell training focusing on more muscle in relation to fat, it is fact that you actually burn more calories ALL DAY after a kettlebell session. Now by comparison when you burn say 300 calories on a cross trainer or treadmill or some other cardio-based method of training, your metabolism returns to baseline (normal) within 30-minutes post training. With intense kettlebell training, you not only burn more in a session, but you also continue burning calories for 24 - 48 hours later (known as post-exercise oxygen consumption, EPOC) as mentioned earlier your muscle cells consume more sub-maximal oxygen in order to recover the oxygen debt incurred as well as the metabolic effect of repairing tiny micro-tears in the muscle fiber incurred through the resistance aspect of kettlebell training.

Kettlebells Make Your Life Easier!

Increasing the strength and tone of your muscles means you will not only look incredible, but you will function better too. Whether you are carrying shopping bags or children, or playing your favorite sport, being strong means you can perform better in every area of your life. If you are used to throwing around a heavy kettlebell in your training sessions, a bunch of shopping bags, suitcases or backpacks seems easy in comparison. Since kettlebell training utilizes “Functional Cardiovascular Conditioning,” previously hard activities like walking or running up the stairs, will also seem easy. You can get more done in your day when you are fitter and feel better doing it!

Kettlebells are superior to traditional weight training as you perform movements that compliment the challenges of daily life, and the uneven stresses that are imposed on the body. In addition, the kettlebell is held differently, and has an offset center of gravity, meaning your small; stabilizing and balance muscles have to work harder to support the dynamic asymmetrical load. This adds a core challenge to every exercise (for great lumbo-pelvic hip development) as well as preventing injury by strengthening all 29-muscles that comprise your core.

In terms of fat loss, this is an added bonus - if you are easily injured you are likely not going to train –this leads back down the path of gaining weight due to inactivity. Training yourself to be strong and injury-free means you can keep yourself in tip-top shape at all times.

In conclusion –Cardio based exercise programs engage only one major body system –the cardiovascular system –no strength is developed –no agility is encouraged.  Not to mention that less calories are burned –yet more time is invested.  And Cardio-Only based exercise encourages muscle loss –which in turn lowers your resting metabolic rate in the long term requiring you eat less –which usually leads to reciprocal weight gain.
KettleBell Training is focused on Multi-Planar (all 3-planes of motion) and Circular Training (momentum) -Using what is called MetCon Training (Metabolic Conditioning).  MetCon Training works all four major body systems, Nervous System, Cardio-Vascular, Muscular and Skeletal -Simultaneously!  …Burning up to nine times the fat in three quarters of the time. 

NOTHING is more valuable than time –once it is gone –it is gone forever –use it wisely …Train with kettlebells.

Nicholas James Schodtler
Master Personal Trainer
Sports Enhancement Training
National Academy of Sports Medicine, C.P.T., P.E.S.
MetCon Training / Reality Fitness / Nutrition / Supplementation

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I train individuals that truly seek self-discovery.
For some of these individuals, like myself, being a Cancer Survivor ...Fitness means Life. My objective is genuine fitness, not the "appearance" of fitness. Training only for aesthetics is not the goal but instead the by-product of the prevailing task at hand ...Genuine Hard Work. The Methods I use are based on centuries old ideas, new research, creativity, anecdotal evidence and my own extreme practices. My training emphasizes relative strength, power endurance, reactive stability and agility -because in these areas I am expert.

I am dedicated to the Art of Suffering for the greater good of my Body and Spirit.
Those, which I train, will push harder and risk more in the company of a true expert …And in return are rewarded unparalleled conditioning optimal fitness and genuine confidence.


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Page Updated Last on: Dec 19, 2009

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