Although weight training is not usually associated with weight loss, kettlebells are uniquely capable of boosting your aerobic capacity and helping you lose weight. More importantly, kettlebell workouts engage the whole body during movement, particularly the large muscle groups throughout your back, core, and legs. As a result, this workout is super effective at burning calories, which is the key to losing weight.
However, to take advantage of this workout device, you must be willing to spend some time with the kettlebells. But, how often should you do kettlebell workouts to lose weight? Well, Let’s start from there!
Setting the Right Kettlebell Workout Schedule
Kettlebell workouts provide one of the highest rates of calorie burn per 20-min session of any workout routine, provided you maintain the intensity throughout the exercise. For that reason, it’s recommended you aim to perform this workout 3 times a week. This will help you burn about 1200 calories.
So, if you intend to burn 3500 calories per week through exercise, doing kettlebell workouts will leave you with about 2300 calories to burn each week. You can easily use up these remaining calories through daily physical activities like treadmill training, walking/ cycling instead of driving, cycling, using the stairs instead of the elevator, and so on.
However, it’s difficult to determine how quickly you’ll lose fat and weight with kettlebell workouts. That’s because how quickly you can lose fat with kettlebells depends on various factors such as your diet, workout intensity, how often you exercise, etc. Generally speaking, if you eat a deficit and train hard, kettlebell workouts can help you consistently lose 1.5 – 2 pounds every week.
How Many Calories Can You Burn with Kettlebell Training?
During a 20-minute kettlebell workout, you can burn as many as 400 calories, which is equivalent to running at a pace of 6-minute miles. Besides, standard strength training burns about 150 calories and running burns around 250 calories within the same duration.
According to a study published in ACE Fitness matters, 10 men and women aged between 29 and 46 years performed kettlebell workouts for 20 minutes. The outcome of this research showed that the participants burned an average of 400 calories in 20 minutes, which is equivalent to 20 calories per minute.
In terms of diet, if you want to lose weight, you have to burn more calories than you consume. According to the CDC, healthy weight loss should involve making continuous lifestyle changes that you can sustain in the long run. In that regard, experts agree that a deficit of about 3500 calories is equivalent to 1 pound of fat. Also, they claim that a safe weight loss target should be around 1 – 2 pounds per week. So, on average, you should be burning 500 – 1000 more calories, per day, than you’re eating over a sustained period to lose weight.
Daily jogging is a great way to make gradual progress on your fat loss journey. But, as already mentioned, kettlebell training can burn a massive number of calories in a short period.
Benefits of Using Kettlebell Workouts for Weight Loss
1. The kettlebell develops more muscles and increases metabolism
Kettlebell workouts involve compound exercises that move you through several planes of movement. As a result, you’ll be engaging several muscle groups simultaneously. Plus, kettlebell workouts are usually more intense and explosive than traditional weightlifting. Therefore, they will increase your anaerobic and aerobic capacity, giving you both muscle-building and fat-loss effects.
Generally, performing more intense movements and engaging multiple muscles helps you burn more calories. In that regard, kettlebell workouts are said to engage up to 600 muscles in one movement, which is more than any other workout equipment. So, instead of training the triceps or biceps, you can simply perform full-body exercises like kettlebell clean & press, kettlebell swing, and goblet squat among others. That way, you’ll be using more muscles and energy with each workout, thus burning more calories in a shorter period.
Moreover, since kettlebells are a weight, they tone and strengthen muscles to allow you to perform better for the next exercise. That is because active muscles require constant energy supplies to maintain their performance and size, which increases demand on the metabolic system.
To sum up, kettlebell training will add tonicity to almost every muscle in your body at once, which in turn increases your metabolic system. Consequently, this will help you burn more calories throughout the day & night.
2. Kettlebell training burns fat while maintaining muscle mass
Moving on, kettlebell training allows you to burn fat without losing muscle. Besides, kettlebell fat loss workouts combine both anaerobic and aerobic training. Furthermore, having more muscles will help you burn more calories, making kettlebells a great option for your weight loss goals.
At the same time, kettlebell training increases your metabolic rate, which is one of the key things to fat loss. For instance, if your metabolic rate is quicker and more demanding, you’ll burn more calories every day, even when you’re sleeping.
3. Continues to burn calories after the workout
One of the key things about workout and fat loss is that you don’t want to just burn calories while exercising. Otherwise, you would have to exercise all the time to burn calories.
Interestingly, when done correctly, kettlebell workouts create a large homeostasis imbalance throughout the body. As a result, your body has to work very hard once the exercise is over to restore balance, which uses even more calories or energy. This condition is usually referred to as the kettlebell workout Afterburn effect or Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption. In short, this means that you’ll be burning calories for as much as 24 to 30 hours after your kettlebell workout session. Some treadmill running apps allow you to track the amount of calories burning during various workouts.
4. Kettlebell workouts increase cardio and muscle mass
Another thing that makes kettlebell workouts great for fat loss is that they improve both your cardio and muscle mass.
To be precise, most kettlebell exercises require pushes, pulls, and swings using explosive and dynamic movements. Moving a kettlebell through all these positions will take a great deal of energy and muscle activation. Also, the exercise will be put together in flowing-based circuits since you move from one workout to the next without putting your kettlebell down. As a result, the workouts will challenge your cardio and keep your heart rate up, hence burning even more calories during each workout.
5. Kettlebell training is fun, addictive & convenient
Lastly, kettlebell workouts require a small amount of space, which allows you to perform various exercises at home. Besides, you can perform most of these workouts with just one kettlebell, meaning it’s a relatively inexpensive workout option too.
Best of all, kettlebell training is a fun and addictive workout. This makes it a great exercise for weight loss since it’s relatively easy to maintain for long periods. All in all, kettlebell training takes skill and practice to master the movements.
Like any other workout routine, the number of calories you burn during kettlebell training will depend on various factors like workout duration and intensity, body weight, etc. Unfortunately, you’re unlikely to maintain the work rate for a long period with kettlebell training since it’s a very intense workout. For that reason, the duration of your kettlebell workout should be short, about 20 minutes.
All in all, doing kettlebell training 2-3 times per week is a faster way to burn calories compared to other training methods. However, you have to maintain a high-intensity level throughout the entire 20-minute period, meaning you have to take shorter rest breaks and put in maximum effort.