Friday, February 25, 2011

Josh Hillis - Kettlebell Cardio and The Men's Health Spartacus Workout

Excellent weights-based cardio workout, which is the best way to burn fat and keep muscle. This requires much lighter weights because your are doing one minute intervals - not easy. Give it a try and you'll never go back to walking on the treadmill.

Kettlebell Cardio and The Men's Health Spartacus Workout

Spartacus is my new favorite TV show by far. The first season, Spartacus: Blood and Sand was awesome. The prequel season (which is going currently), Spartacus: Gods of the Arena, is ridonkulous awesome.

It's kind of like 300, but actually with a way more dramatic story and character development. Or, on the flipside, it's like Gladiator, but with ten times more sex and way more ridiculous fight scenes. Either way you look at it, it's all kinds of awesomeness.

Here is the workout that Men's Health put together for the Spartacus: Blood and Sand crew:

60 seconds work / 15 seconds rest

  1. Goblet Squat
  2. Mountain Climber
  3. One Arm Dumbbell Swing
  4. T-Pushup
  5. Jump Lunges
  6. Dumbbell Bent Over Row
  7. Dumbbell Side Lunge and Touch
  8. Dumbbell Renegade Row
  9. Dumbbell Lunge with Rotation
  10. Dumbbell Push Press

Total circuit time: 12:30. Then rest 2 minutes, and do it again. Total workout time = 27:00

It's essentially a full body cardio circuit. And it's quite the ass kicking at that.

The instructions say to use this as your cardio 3 days per week, and continue to do your regular (read: Heavy) weight training.

Lots of really solid moves are borrowed from RKC kettlebell training: Goblet squats are an RKC staple movement, brought to the world by Senior RKC Dan John. Dumbbell Push Presses aren't owned by kettlbell world, but kettlebell training was the first time I ever saw them. Renegade Rows were made popular by former RKC John "The Renegade" Davies, and then later more popular by former Senior RKC Mike Mahler.

Mountain climbers, jump lunges, and T-Pushups are all great "bodyweight-cardio-strength-training" movements, and that's why every bootcamp fitness class in the world uses them.

In fact, if you could look at the whole collection - they're the perfect selection of movements to send your heart rate through the roof.

If you watch the video, you notice that they are using 36lb kettlebells, and somewhere in the 20lb range for dumbbells. Pretty light for dudes, especially dudes that big. But if you've ever done 60 second intervals with 15 seconds rest, you know it's gotta be fairly light if you're planning to go the distance.

One other thing I have to point out - the swings they are doing in the video are way too slow. Speeding up that hip snap would make the swings much safer.

This is just a case of what happens when a trainer has an ok-to-good idea about basic body mechanics, but doesn't know kettlebells. It's also a really common side effect of using a kettlebell that's too light.

That being said, at least their backs are flat, and they're doing about half of the work with their hips. It sucks... but I'm so jaded by recent events that this looks fantabulous.

What I'm saying is: Those aren't good kettlebell swings, but compared to Jillian Micheals and Bob Harper, it looks absolutely stunningly awesome.

Assuming you know how to do an awesome kettlebell swing, this workout is textbook awesome cardio. In fact, in the Josh Hillis Platinum Coaching Club workouts (which will someday be The Stubborn Seven Pounds 2.0), this is exactly the style of cardio we did.

Big ups to Rachel Cosgrove for designing this for the Spartacus crew. Rachel Cosgrove and Alwyn Cosgrove are known in the industry as fat loss geniuses.

If you're still running on a treadmill for cardio, you'll find this to be a really awesome, really fun, really intense fat loss cardio workout. Enjoy.


P.S. I'm putting together a video series that's pretty much the coolest thing I've ever done. It's the difference between getting results for six weeks, and getting results for six years. And in about two weeks I'm going to give it away. The rest is top secret.

By Josh Hillis, RKC2, CPT, PES, ZMIS
author, The 21 Day Kettlebell Swing Challenge
quoted by USA Today, The Denver Post, and The Los Angeles Times

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