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Cardio and Kettlebell Circuit: the Perfect Exercise Combination!

a man performing kettlebell and cardiovascular exercises

It’s not up for argument. Cardio and kettlebell make for a near perfect unification of exercises. The cardio takes care of the heart and lungs while the kettlebell works one’s external musculature. This highly effective exercise tag-team will ensure a whole-body training experience.

How it works

After completing a 10-minute, whole-body, cardio-based warm-up, set a 30-minute countdown timer on a rower. (If you don’t have access to a rowing machine replace it for any cardiovascular exercise: running, cycling, skipping – even swimming if you’ve got access to pool.) For the allotted duration you are to cycle through the circuit (below) as many times as possible. The aim is to try and complete one lap within 5-minutes.

Remember: this circuit can be completed at home. ‘But what if I don’t have the kit?’ Not a problem. All the exercises that feature in this circuit can be substituted. Just try to ensure that the replacement exercises will provide an equal physical challenge. Really, the essence of this session sees us sustaining moderate to high-intensity cardio output for about a minute before completing 10 controlled repetitions of a strength exercise – which is supposed to act as rest.

Key points

  • Ensure that the warm-up is not included within the overall time.

  • Complete the circuit as many times as possible inside 30-minutes.

  • Work through all exercises in the order shown.




1500-metre row
10 down to 1 kettlebell swings


1. 250-metre row
2. 10-reps – kettlebell swings (16/24/32kg)
3. 250-metre row
4. 10-reps – kettlebell single arm cleans (5 each arm) (16/24/32kg)
5. 250-metre row
6. 10-reps – kettlebell single arm press (5 each arm) (16/24/32kg)

Distance to beat = 4750 metres

Total reps = 210

(Let me know what time you achieved:


General advice/rules

  • Ensure to group the equipment as close to the rower as possible as this reduces time wastage between transitions.

  • Try not to rest on completion of the exercises – get straight back on that rowing machine!


Exercises Tutorial

If you’re unsure about how to perform any of the exercises in this circuit see the tutorials below and all will be revealed.

1: Rowing

2: Kettlebell swing

3: Kettlebell clean

4: Kettlebell press (jerk)


(As we are very interested in user experience here at Hungry4Fitness, we would be very grateful if you could take a few seconds out of your day to leave a comment. Thanks in advance!)

Blog Author

Adam Priest is a former Royal Marines Commando, personal trainer, lecturer, boxing and Thai boxing enthusiast.

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