KB Cardio Extreme

CALYPSO Kettlebell Cardio Extreme

Are you looking for a kettlebell cardio extreme workout that you can complete from home with one kettlebell? Are you looking for a kettlebell workout that you can adjust to suit you? Are you looking for a workout that you can repeat for a while and get some serious cardiovascular results?

Look no further, what you need is right here! CALYPSO is an extreme kettlebell cardio workout designed by Cavemantraining for the private and exclusive online group that currently has access to over 170 full-blown kettlebell workout videos.

On-page links:

In this post, I will explain the concept behind the programming for this awesome kettlebell cardio workout which can be adjusted from medium to extreme cardio.  First, let’s dive into the kettlebell workout itself:

Task 1

Kettlebell combo:

  1. Swing
  2. Snatch half
  3. Squat

Switch sides for each set.

Complete 48 reps of the combo.
Complete max CrossFit burpees within the time left.

10 minutes work


Task 2

5 minutes for rest, stretching, and active recovery.


Task 3

Repeat task 1.


The full set of combos needs to be completed in task 3 for the burpees from task 1 to count. This means, for example, if in task 1 you complete the set of 48 reps within 8 minutes and 10 seconds, you have 1 minute and 50 seconds left to do as many burpees as possible and complete 30 burpees, they only count if you complete the 48 reps when task 1 is repeated. If you fail to make the 48 reps within the timeframe then the burpees from task 1 also don’t count. The switch does not count as one swing.



Your scoring is the total number of burpees from tasks 1 and 3. For example, if you complete 30 burpees in task 1 and 20 in task 3, then your total scoring is 50.


Post Yours!

Post your scoring online and let us know how you did. Find us on any of these social networks and tag us. Feel to ask any questions you may have about the workout.



Kettlebell Cardio Workout Programming Explained

CALYPSO is a super intense cardio workout that starts with a steady-state cardio portion. The 48 reps of the combo when performed at the right pace can all be completed in one go without putting the kettlebell down. There are 3 exercises performed on one side, the switching of sides after each rep of the combo helps keep muscular fatigue at bay. The right pacing combined with the right weight will allow for this steady-state cardio portion of the workout to be completed unbroken, at least for the first time through this task (the task will be repeated).

Style and Pacing

The style for the swing or snatch is not dictated, hence, any style can be implemented for the swing or snatch. A Hardstyle swing and snatch will reduce the time to complete the set of 48 reps but will drastically raise the heart rate. A Sportstyle approach will keep the heart rate down and increase the chance of completing the set unbroken.


As you complete this workout more than once, you will improve the speed at which you complete the 48 reps of the combo and pump out more burpees for higher scoring. As you reach the top results for this workout after having repeated this workout many times, your pacing will be fast and everything completed unbroken. This is the time to either up your weight and start again or increase the reps and work time. Instead of completing the workout with 16kg/35.2lbs, use 20kg/44.0lbs. Instead of 48 reps, complete 54 reps with a 12-minute working time.


The alternatives and adjustments that can be made for this workout are the number of reps, instead of 48, do 42 and leave the time the same, or lower the reps and also the total time worked, as long as you leave enough time that allows for scoring to be set with the burpees. Of course, the weight is also adjustable, a recommended weight is 16kg for males and 12kg for females, but you can go lower or higher depending on your condition. The snatch can be replaced with a clean and push press. The rest can also be increased. As you adjust the workout to suit you, make sure that you keep track and work toward completing the workout as it was intended over a period of time.


The intent of the workout programming was to tax the cardiovascular system and require the athlete to push themselves to complete the set as fast as possible while learning how to pace. The faster the set of 48 is completed the more time is available to set a higher rep count for the burpees, which is the part of this workout that determines your scoring. But going too fast will leave nothing in the tank to complete the burpees. The task is extreme because for approx 80% of the duration you work at an intense level and then have 20% of the time left to perform an even more intense part of the task, the only part that counts toward your scoring.


To create this workout I grabbed a kettlebell and a stopwatch to perform several reps of the combo at a slower pace. This information showed me that it takes about 8 seconds to complete one rep of the combo. I added 2 seconds to that to take into account any fatigue (slowing or putting down the kettlebell), which makes a total of 10 seconds per combo. That allows for 6 reps of the combo per minute, as I wanted the steady-state cardio to take around 8 minutes to complete, so that leaves 2 minutes for the scoring part of the task, I would use 8 × 6 = 48. This is how I arrived at 48 reps of the combo. I was after a workout that would take more than just 10 minutes, so I added 5 minutes of rest and active recovery. Someone less conditioned would need the full 5 minutes, whereas someone more conditioned could take about 1 minute to recover and then 3 minutes for active recovery, leaving 1 minute to get ready for the repeat of task 1. All in all, a 25-minute workout with 20 minutes of that intense work and approx. 4 minutes of extremely intense work.

There is so much more that can be said about the programming, but that’s why we created How to Program for Kettlebell Training, and/or have a private online group where people get to experience our kettlebell workouts with super detailed videos, technique, common mistakes, programming, alternatives, progressions, warm-ups, cooldowns, and follow-along workout videos. There is also the option of personalized coaching (form assessment) that’s included in the membership.


Are kettlebells good for cardio?

Kettlebells are indeed extremely good for cardio but they’re not just for cardio. Kettlebells are a form of resistance training and that means they can be used for strength, hypertrophy, cardio, flexibility, power, and so much more. It just comes down to how you program them, which means the weight you use, the exercise selection, pacing, duration, rest, sets, rounds, etc. Check out How to Program for Kettlebell Training if you’re interested in learning more about this topic.


Is kettlebell considered HIIT?

As mentioned above, kettlebell training can be anything as long as it’s programmed for that, meaning, you can program kettlebells for HIIT, steady-state cardio, strength, and so on. There is unfortunately a misconception that kettlebells are only suitable for cardio or high–intensity work. This is because the main kettlebell exercises that magazines popularize are ballistic exercises like kettlebell swings and snatches, but kettlebell training is so much more than just HIIT or other forms of cardio. Kettlebell training can be strength, hypertrophy, endurance, flexibility, and so much more through kettlebell combos, kettlebell flows, or even juggling.


Workout PDF

At Cavemantraining we have many workout PDFs (kettlebell workout ebooks) available from our online shop, and also on Kindle or paperback. Check out Kettlebell Workouts and Challenges 1, 2, and 3 for some of the world’s best kettlebell workouts that can be downloaded in PDF format and shared across your devices.


Kettlebell Combo

I won’t post a video of this combo as it would not be fair to the members that pay $21 a week to get access to the over 170 full-length follow-along kettlebell workout library. I will post a video of 8 awesome kettlebell combos that you can and should check out as well plus a video on how to single-arm swing. Don’t forget, if you want to become kettlebell certified online, enroll today to become the best you can be at kettlebell training.


How to Single-Arm Swing

How to Double-Arm Swing


If you enjoy crazy, intense, and extreme kettlebell workouts like this, then check out the CTCF100 and WKBC100. The CTCF100 is posted below which is a 24kg dead snatch and CrossFit burpee for 100 reps. The WKBC is the World’s Best Kettlebell Combo performed for 100 reps. The WKBC is a double kettlebell half snatch into a squat thruster.

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