In the American Council on Exercise's Fitness Matters (Jan/Feb 2010), the lead article examined one of my favorite pieces of exercise equipment - the kettlebell. I incorporated kettlebells into my own fitness routine several years ago as well as made them a part of many of my clients' workouts. ACE's article, "Kettlebells: Twice the Results in Half the Time?" published the results of their study which examined the "energy cost and exercise intensity" of kettlebell workouts to see if the cardio/strength training combination from kettlebell use can save time as well as provide an excellent workout.
The test subjects were required to perform a 20 minute workout using one exercise (the snatch) in timed sequences that included short rest periods. The results were impressive to say the least. John Porcari, Ph.D, a lead researcher had this to say of the results:
"We estimated oxygen consumption and how many calories they were burning aerobically, and it was 13.6 calories per minute. But we also measured the blood lactate, so anaerobically they were burning another 6.6 calories per minute. 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."
Researchers conclude that the workout produced such high results due to the total body movement of the exercise done to a quick pace in an interval (timed) format. Including kettlebells can cleary help maximize your results in shorter periods of time - good news for those already looking for time-friendly workouts to fit into their busy schedules!