30 Apr The Kettlebell Swing for Rapid Fat Loss
The kettlebell swing may be the most effective exercise for shedding body fat fast.
When combined with good nutrition, the swing may be the king for fat loss for most people.
While it’s hard to crown any exercise the absolute “best” because there’s so many variables, I’d say it’s definitely one of the most essential exercises we have available for the goal of fat loss – and for many other strength and performance benefits, of course.
Now, that’s not saying there aren’t other great exercises for fat loss. There certainly are, but the swing is unique.
As I’ve stated many times before, the key is to learn how to perform this powerful exercise – correctly.
Proper technique is key for training effectiveness.
I want to repeat that because it’s so important, proper technique is key for training effectiveness.
The Russian style swing is brutally effective when it’s done right.
For your understanding, the Russian swing projects the kettlebell horizontally to approximately shoulder level.
This “can be” all that’s needed for a high level of cardiovascular conditioning and elevated metabolism for fat burning benefits.
Here’s proof and a powerful case study.
Meet Tracy Reifkind.
Tracy experienced a dramatic body transformation by incorporating the kettlebell swing into her weight loss program.
She lost 120 pounds by focusing on – and mastering – this exercise.
Her secret was NOT monster “cardio” sessions.
Instead, she focused on the kettlebell swing twice per week for an average of 15-2o minutes.
The two-handed (or one-handed) kettlebell swing has been called “a fat-burning athlete builder” by Dan John, which may very well be the best description of the exercise I’ve ever heard.
My experience has demonstrated over and over again how powerful and effective the kettlebell swing is for fat loss.
And, for improved overall strength and conditioning performance.
When I want to accelerate fat loss, I simply increase the kettlebell swing volume and intensity for brief periods.
There are many variables, of course. It also comes down to great programming.
There is no other exercise that combines the cardiovascular benefit and resistance training advantage like the kettlebell swing, in my opinion.
Possibly the kettlebell snatch, but the challenge is that the snatch is not as widely available for everyone to perform – it’s the next level of the swing.
The swing is the foundation of kettlebell training and virtually anyone can learn how to perform it with proper coaching.
Here’s a simple 3-step plan to get started with the swing the right way:
STEP #1 – LEARN FIRST.
This is the critical first step.
Learn about the swing and how to properly perform a two-handed kettlebell swing.
What’s the BEST way to do that?
The best way to learn how to swing safely and effectively is from a certified instructor. This is ideal.
Live-in-person training is always best, but certainly remote coaching is reasonable and available these days.
Please use caution with YouTube videos, as many DO NOT teach the swing with a proper hip hinge.
The best way is to find a qualified, certified instructor.
There are also many solid books and training resources available.
If you’re new, I’d highly suggest starting with Simple and Sinister by Pavel Tsatsouline.
This will give you the fundamental understanding of the Russian style (or hardstyle) kettlebell swing.
Even if you’re experienced, if you haven’t read this book, I strongly encourage adding this to your reading list as soon as possible.
I guarantee that you will gain valuable insights.
STEP #2 – GET THE RIGHT SIZE KETTLEBELL (FROM A RESPECTED BRAND).
Use an appropriate size kettlebell.
Average strength males typically use a 16kg to 24 kg and average strength ladies use an 8 kg – 12 kg kettlebell. This may vary depending on current strength levels, general conditioning, and more (sedentary vs. active, lean vs. overweight, young vs. old).
My preferred kettlebell brand is produced by Rogue Fitness and can be found here.
STEP #3 – START SWINGING.
A good sessions could be 10-12 reps every minute for 10-12 minutes.
Of course, this entirely depends on current conditioning levels, so this is just a general beginner’s guideline and can be adjusted as necessary.
Again, the key to this is to learn how to swing properly.
I can’t say this enough.
If you learn how to perform a proper swing with good technique, you will get results.
It’s a complete exercise and a *’two-for-one’ strength and conditioning exercise that’s very unique and effective (*’two-for-one’ meaning that you get the strength AND conditioning benefits with one exercise).
Learn to swing – and experience the benefits.
HOW MANY SWINGS SHOULD YOU DO?
Tim Ferriss noted in his book, The 4 Hour Body, that he performed 75 reps of kettlebell swings just twice per week (Mondays and Fridays) and in 6 weeks he dropped to his lowest body fat percentage in years.
It should be noted that he did this after a light, protein rich breakfast.
Nutrition, obviously, has a tremendous amount to do with fat loss so let’s not discard that fact.
Beginners should start with sets of 10 and build up volume progressively.
I’ve found that anywhere from 50-100 reps total is typically effective, but this will “depend”on many other things.
If you’re more experienced, the opposite end of the spectrum is Dan John’s legendary 10,000 Swing Challenge.
Not only in this a 4 week crash course in body recomposition, but it’s a test of mental toughness and grit.
So, how many reps per session?
50 to 100 seems to be the “sweet spot” for most people.
It’s a wonderful exercise that has a role in any program, from novice to advanced and from recreational exerciser to competitive athlete.
One thing is certain.
For fat loss, it’s very hard to beat.