Just because something’s popular doesn’t mean it’s high quality, but sometimes you find something that’s both. I was browsing kettlebell workouts on YouTube, filtered by view count, and bodybuilder and online coach Obi Vincent’s full-body kettlebell workout caught my eye.
It has amassed more than 26,000 likes and 1.2 million views since it went live in August 2021. It’s not the most popular kettlebell workout on YouTube, but I skipped past a bunch of videos that didn’t fit my training goals—largely because they were aimed at beginners or too short.
Vincent’s session stood out to me because after completing my strength work for the week, I was on the lookout for a new piece of conditioning work. Vincent’s session combines a 10-minute EMOM (every minute on the minute) with a second 10-minute AMRAP (as many reps as possible). Vincent also talks through the technique for kettlebell cleans and snatches which are hard to get right, plus he includes a warm-up.
What’s more, it only needed one kettlebell, so I fetched my trusty 24kg weight from the shed and pressed play. Watch Vincent’s video to see the exercises in each section and how to do them.
3 Tips For Doing This Workout
1. It’s Easier When Your Form Is On Point
This is true in pretty much any workout, but I think it especially applies to kettlebell exercises.
With some muscle-building movements you can mask poor form with strength, but muscling your way through compound exercises like the kettlebell swing, snatch and clean is a one-way ticket to fatigue (and possibly injury).
I found that by focusing on my form during the EMOM complex I was able to conserve energy and finish each minute’s work within 30 seconds, giving me a little bit of time to recover before the next round.
If I had let my form slip there would have been a lot of wasted energy stabilizing the weight at and above the shoulder, and if I had used my arms instead of my hips to power the kettlebell swing I would have been relying on a smaller set of muscle groups which will tire faster.
2. Select The Weight Wisely
If you’re at the gym or have an extensive collection of kettlebells at home, you can change the benefit of doing the workout by selecting a light or heavy kettlebell, just make sure you adjust the reps as necessary.
With a light kettlebell and more reps, you’ll raise your heart rate and challenge your muscular endurance. A heavier kettlebell and fewer reps should result in more of a strength or hypertrophy stimulus.
My 24kg/53lb kettlebell landed me somewhere in the middle. I was able to complete each minute’s work unbroken, but ended the workout breathing heavily.
I also found the AMRAP taxing on my quads, core and shoulders, feeling that familiar burn that a set of 12 strict overhead presses might deliver. I managed to reach a decent way into the fifth round in 10 minutes, but by the end my forehead was sodden and I needed a lengthy sit-down.
3. Save This For A Day When You’re Short On Time
I tend to spend between 60 and 90 minutes in the gym, five days a week, as part of my regular CrossFit training. Each session usually comprises some strength work, skill work, a classic CrossFit workout and some accessory exercises to strengthen lesser-used muscles.
Vincent’s routine took me 30 minutes from start to finish, warm-up and all (I added a couple of my go-to mobility movements into his pre-workout routine to make sure my body was primed for the intense session ahead).
The kettlebell complex EMOM allows you to work on your strength and skill with the kettlebell, while the rep scheme in the AMRAP is an example of high-intensity resistance training (HIRT)—a type of exercise that blends hypertrophy training with HIIT to work your heart, lungs and muscles simultaneously.
It couldn’t replace a longer, segregated session, but it does offer a worthwhile shorter alternative for days when you’re pressed for time.
Need help deciding? Coach’s guide to the best kettlebells can help.
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