This is a tricky question to answer! How long your workout should be all depends on what type of kettlebell training you are doing and what your goals are. In general, if you are doing a kettlebell-only workout with the goal of increasing your strength or building muscle, then your kettlebell workout should not be longer than 30 minutes.
Why Only 30 Minutes?
Once you pass the half hour mark, your body becomes increasing drained of fuel and energy. This occurs at an exponential rate once 30 minutes are up. Of course there will be variations in this but for the most part, 30 minutes is the cut off point for an effective workout.
After half an hour of serious training you should be sufficiently exhausted, and at the point where you can no longer perform at your best. If you still feel like you have gas in the tank and can go on lifting that kettlebell after 30 minutes, then I would suggest you haven’t been working hard enough!
After 30 minutes your body is running on empty. If you continue working out, your stress levels begin to rise, which increases your body’s cortisone levels. This can cause your body to start cannibalising your muscles in order to fuel the workout. This is when muscle loss occurs and is not what we want at all!
While the 30 minute limit is a general rule of thumb, it is the best yardstick we have for the casual trainer. If you are working out at home with just a couple of kettlebells you aren’t going to have access to the testing facilities that professional athletes do. Using such equipment allows them to find out exactly when they go into the red zone and leave the optimal working out range. Without this testing, we have to use general guidelines and figure out for ourselves when it is time to stop training.
When Can My Kettlebell Workouts Be Longer Than Half an Hour?
The above 30 minute rule applies to resistance training, where strength and muscle gains are the main goal. If you are doing a cardio kettlebell workout at home, with the aim of burning calories and fat, or improving your fitness levels then you could go longer than 30 minutes. A gentle, steady state cardio workout with a kettlebell could go on for up to an hour without negative consequences and is a good way to burn fat, especially if done on an empty stomach, first thing in the morning.
The keywords here though are: gentle, slowly and steady. Doing hardcore high intensity interval kettlebell training in a fasted state isn’t going to do you any favours at all, and will most likely result in muscle loss and severe fatigue.
You can achieve pretty much any fitness goals at home with just a kettlebell or two, which is great news for anyone who wants to start their body transformation from the comfort of their home without the need to join a gym. Improving your fitness levels, gaining muscle or even getting a six pack from a kettlebell workout, are all possible goals. When it comes to working out, with whatever goals you have in mind, diet is a massive factor and is just as important as what exercises you do and when.
This article attempts to answer the question of how long your kettlebell workouts should be. The basic, rule of thumb answer for any weight training workout is around 30 minutes. This can be affected by things like how much food you have eaten before you start the exercise session, how long since your last meal and exactly what you ate.
To get the most out of your home kettlebell workouts, it is recommended that you complete a 30 minute kettlebell workout, three times a week. Use those 30 minutes effectively and push yourself to the limit and you will be well on the way to a great physique, without ever having to set foot in a gym.
When it comes to choosing a kettlebell there are lots on the market so it can be a confusing task. This article from the Home Workout Ideas site looks at the best kettlebells on sale right now and which ones are best for achieving certain goals. Have a look if you are yet to find the right kettlebell for you.