OK- so this “KETTLEBELL” thing is starting to take off both across the country and locally here in Nashville and down the road in Cool Springs. This makes me happy because for years I was the only Certified RKC instructor in town and when I started teaching in 2003, no one here even knew what a kettlebell was.

Since then there have been lots of folks jumping on the bandwagon of the “hottest new thing” in fitness, making wild claims about how many calories per hour you can burn with kettlebell training.

Recently ACE (The American Council on Exercise) decided to do a study on the calorie burn of kettlebell training. The article on the results is HERE.

ACE is one of the oldest and most respected fitness research and certifying bodies in the United Sates. They aren’t about fads or gimmicks. They want proof. My buddy Josh Hillis says “They’re kind of like a fitness Consumer Reports.”  They are all about the facts and figures when thy do a study and the FTC frequently uses ACE studies to know who to prosecute for fraud.

Their study on the calorie burn of RKC style kettlebell training yielded some interesting results. In the article they describe the protocol used for the study. It is the same interval format used for Master RKC Kenneth Jay’s Viking Warrior Conditioning.

Dr. John Porcari, who led the study, said this. “So they were burning at least 20.2 calories per minute, which is off the charts. That’s equivalent to running a 6-minute mile pace. The only other thing I could find that burns that many calories is cross country skiing up hill at a fast pace.”

20.2 Calories per minute. 600 calories in a half an hour.
And that doesn’t even include the post exercises effect of the EPOC (Excess Post-exercise Oxygen Consumption) effect that we call the “afterburn”.

The article goes on to say:Researchers credit the brisk calorie burning to the fact that the kettlebell snatch workout is a total-body movement that is also done very quickly due to the interval-training format. “We knew it would be extremely intense,” says Schnettler. “It’s a quick workout, and you do get a big bang for your buck in a very short amount of time.”