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Kettlebell Cardio: A Top Notch Cardio Workout For Serious MMA Conditioning!

Kettlebell Cardio: A Top Notch Cardio Workout For Serious MMA Conditioning!

It is no secret that in order to compete in the world of MMA you’ve got to have mad cardiovascular conditioning. This physical trait is absolutely essential being that many fights are won based on which guy can hang on, grit his teeth, and go longer and harder than the other. This is why you’ve got to have your entire program structured to achieve a sound level of cardio whether you are specifically working on “conditioning” or specifically “strength.”  The key is that you should be achieving a sound level of cardio no matter which aspect of your training you are focusing on at the time! Whether you are a competing MMA fighter or not this should be the focus of your training.

Kettlebell Cardio/ Strength For MMA…

This is why I am always stressing the element of “cardio/strength.” This is because you can achieve an especially high level of cardiovascular conditioning along with the times you are working on your “conditioning/conditioning.”  No, I did not make a mistake with those last words. Within the scope of your training you are always conditioning yourself. This may seem like the obvious, but most people don’t think of it in this way.  This is why I love kettlebells so much because this tool can provide you with both elements to accelerate your cardiovascular conditioning to the point that you can be MORE than competitive in your sport or hobby of MMA!


If you are interested in trying a little experiment with this then I want to give you a little test.  First of all, you will need a kettlebell of moderate to moderately heavy resistance.  I want to assume that your kettlebell lifting technique is fairly sound, but if its not then feel free to access my videos on the matter. With your kettlebell we are going to work on your strength and cardiovascular endurance at the same time. To do this I like to implement a strategy that is referred to as ladders.

To implement ladders you start at the base with one repetition. For the sake of this demonstration we are going to be implementing the single arm kettlebell swing. Start with the bell in your right arm to perform a single swing rep. As soon as you do this make an immediate transition to the left hand with the bell to perform a single repetition swing. After this immediately transfer the bell back to the right arm to perform 2 swing reps and then transfer to the left to execute 2 swings. You will continue this pattern with 3 and 3 and then 4 and 4 and so on.  The objective is to continue climbing the ladder of reps all the way up to the designated ceiling before you start to come right back down. So if your ceiling was at 5 then you go up to 5 and 5 and then immediately start working your way back down to 4 and 4 and down until you reach the beginning at one.

Once you attempt this for the first time you will quickly understand the concept of cardio/strength! The amount of effort it takes to keep moving the kettlebell smoothly through the repetitions will exert you unlike anything you have ever tried. The beauty of this is that this same strategy can be applied towards other strength and endurance related drills in your training. You can apply the same thing to your push ups, pull ups, and presses.  This simple little structure will pay you back tenfold with amazing cardio and strength benefits.

Kettlebell training is wonderful for your cardio/strength, but the great thing is that you can apply the same strategies across the board to the rest of your strength and conditioning program. If you are serious about results then feel free to sign up to join my emailing list for more hard hitting tactics like this one. It is absolutely FREE to join and you will receive my FREE newsletter, FREE training tips, and my FREE downloadable training guide the 10 Step Method To Strength: Mastering The One Arm One Legged Push Up! Remember that most any fighter can train hard, but only the champions train smart my friend.



I'm a Certified Strength And Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) and author. I have had over 17 years experience in MMA fitness, strength and conditoning, and athletic performance for most every sport. As an author and specialist I've written close to a million words on fitness and strength. I'm also a Muay Thai practictioner and enjoy helping others to reach their peak potential through fitness and performance.

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