The answer is no, kettlebells are not just for cardio and some of the main reasons many people associate them only with cardio are that:
- the kettlebell swing is cardio and one of the most popular exercises
- most people only have one or two kettlebells
- the myth keeps getting spread by magazines with no real kettlebell knowledge
Are Swings Only Good For Cardio?
It’s not true that kettlebell swings are only for cardio, you can also work with heavy weight and low reps for power which can tax the cardiovascular system but is not true cardio when programmed for pure power. There is no other piece of equipment that allows you to swing a weight as a kettlebell does, hence, it’s an exercise that has become popular because of that, but the kettlebell swing is in reality just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the number of kettlebell exercises you can perform with a kettlebell.
Kettlebells For Strength And Hypertrophy
In the end, a kettlebell is a weight and weight provides resistance, as long as you have the right selection of weights and work with progressional overload then kettlebells are also for strength and even hypertrophy with the right programming.
The other benefits of working with the kettlebell are way more than just cardio or strength, there are so many things you can do with the kettlebell that you can’t do with other fitness equipment, certain moves are simply best or can only be performed with a kettlebell, especially something like flowing with a weight is best done with a kettlebell. You simply don’t throw a barbell or dumbbell around for flowing, it’s impossible. Some will say “but you can load a barbell up heavier” and that’s a true statement, however, it’s all relative, and when you get to work with 2 x 32kg kettlebells you are at a serious stage of strength and other physical attributes.
At Cavemantraining we’ve been combining the awesomeness of the kettlebell with other training like bodyweight, flexibility, and more. Anyone that is interested in this hybrid type of training where you get the best of all worlds, Hardstyle, Sportstyle, Flows, bodyweight, flexibility, and more, should check out our Caveman Inner Circle which has over 150 full-blown kettlebell workouts and a new one being published each week.
Every exercise is cardio. Depending on the weight of the KB, speed and duration of the activity will determine if it is aerobic, anaerobic, or alactic activity.Trent Ryan
Any exercise can be cardio but is not by default cardio.