I love simplicity and this workout doesn’t disappoint on that front.
When I am not training to build raw strength, I love work capacity style training sessions to improve cardiovascular performance, maintain my strength and probably best of all… stay lean. I don’t have to sacrifice muscle with work capacity training sessions that use resistance-based exercises. This is important to me as my goal is to keep bodyfat low, not lose muscle mass.
Keeping muscle mass is the reason that most people stay lean in the first place, it is a calorie consuming tissue. It takes more calories to sustain muscle than it does to sustain fat. Keep trying to build more muscle at all costs.
I will never deny that work capacity training is unreal for people who seek fat loss or those who have already lost fat and just want basic maintenance training. I hold the opinion that we can organize these work capacity workouts to be just as effective without all of the risk of injury. Choose exercises and the variables wisely (rest periods, work periods, load, etc)
That is an idea worth pursuing in my humble opinion. Keep people safe and while getting rid of fatty tissue at a rapid rate.
You get the vibe.
Let’s get into the workout.
So here is what you’ll need on hand for this workout:
– Small space (8x8ft or so)
– Jump Rope
– Kettlebell that you can swing 20 times with no problems (lighter than your best)
– Interval Timer or any other timing device
Here is how the workout will be structured:
1) You’ll be working in 2 minute segments, alternating between the following drills w/o rest in between:
- 1 minute of jump rope
- 15 Kettlebell Swings
2) After your last rep of kettlebell swings, rest for the remainder of the 2 minute block.
3) Catch your breath, towel off, grab a drink and set up for jumping rope once again.
4) Once the clock reaches the 2 minute mark, you’ll begin jumping rope for 1 minute followed immediately by 15 kettlebell swings.
*** There is NO REST between the transition from jumping rope and kettlebell swings.
***Just so I can make sure that you understand the structure of the rounds, you’ll begin the next set of jumping rope (after 20min) at: 18min, 16min, 14min, 12min, 10min…etc. Does this make sense?
Why do I love workouts like this?
Because I can get the cardio training effect that I want while staying vertical and using a movement like kettlebell swings to elicit a near total body muscular contraction. Kettlebell swings are notorious for being a great method for decreasing body fat, and jumping rope is a skill that everyone could stand to get better at. Vertical cardio work like this is highly functional if I do say so myself, especially when you compare it to other forms of cardio that involve fixed machines like elipticals, treadmills and recumbent bikes.
Staying on your feet while working through fatigue has great carryover to the demands of life.
I value this aspect of a workout like this.
Holding posture during the later rounds of the jump rope will be challenging, but it’s important to control your breathing patterns as you fatigue. It’s not as bad as you think it is, so relax, stay vertical and let the air flow in and out. Focus hard on technique with the kettlebell swing. If it gets sloppy, stop the set and rest until the next bout of jumping rope arrives.
If you’re a beginner, you can scale the workout back a bit to better suit your abilities. Try jumping for 30-45 seconds and swinging for 8-10 reps. You could even knock off a few rounds, and work through say 8 rounds instead of 10. It’s up to you how you want to work it out.
If you want to ramp it up beyond the original workout listed above, your best bet is to add a few rounds or increase the weight of the kettlebell. I have done as many as 15 x 2 minute rounds (30 minutes total work) which got a little long I must admit.
This is a great workout that can truly breathe fresh air into your currently training schedule. If you are sick of boring ass cardio, give this a shot. A workout like this will have a far greater impact than jogging or biking for the same about of time. It’s important to know that you have alternatives to traditional cardio training.
Trade the treadmill for a kettlebell and a jump rope. Then get to work.
Simple training tools, simple exercises and simple workout structure… Enjoy!
Cheers to swings and jumps!