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5 minutes kettlebell complex for serious strength conditioning

If you hate the idea of doing traditional cardio like running, and love to lift weights, and more specifically kettlebells, then this is the workout for you. Unlike complexes done with barbells and dumbbells, a kb complex can be done for longer periods of time since you can relax your grip and shoulders and go on for longer. Infact some complexes done with kb's go upto 10-20 minutes non stop before the bell is kept down.

Of course if you are new to kb training, then shorter complexes like 1-3 minutes might be better, and as you get better technically and become more comfortable with kettlebells, then try longer complexes. If you have been doing 2-3 minute complexes, then you are ready to try this 5 minute complex which will challenge you and improve your conditioning greatly. For the workout you will need to select a single kettlebell that you feel you will be able to work with for  the full 5 minutes. Now dont be too adventurous here, believe me, even a 35 pound bell can be challenging if you are new to this, and will become even more difficult as you approach your 2nd set and beyond.

In the complex each exercise is done for 30 seconds, and some are done 30 seconds for each side. Here is how it will go:

Hand to hand swings
One arm snatch
One arm snatch (opposite hand)
Goblet squat
One arm press
One arm press (opposite hand)
One arm swings
One arm swings (opposite hand)
Goblet squats
Two arm swings

Here is a video of one round of the complex:

You can do this as a standalone workout by itself. In that case do 3-5 rounds with 1-2 minutes break between rounds. Also I would suggest that you throw in some form of rowing for 2-3 sets before or after the complex to work all the muscles. You can also do this post heavy lifting as a great finisher/cardio too. In that case do 1-3 rounds with 1-2 minutes break in between rounds.

Start with an easy pace that you can sustain when you begin. So for eg if you can only do about 5-6 reps of snatches in 30 seconds at first, then its ok as long as you increase that over the course of future workouts. And once you can work at a fast pace for all the exercises, it is time to move to the next heavier kettlebell.

The key to do this complex is to learn to relax, relax, relax! Trying to go too hardcore and aiming to go too fast will tire you too quickly to last long enough, or will limit the weight that you can lift. Look at professional kettlbell lifters, and you will see how they lift reasonably heavy weights for long periods of time without getting too out of breath during the set. If you fail to relax and get badly out of breath in the first minute or so, then you can forget about lasting the full 5 minutes, or atleast last the full length beyond the first set. Once technique and relaxation is taken care of, complexes like these will be great fun to do, and also highly rewarding.

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