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Forest Vance Training, Inc.

Extreme Kettlebell Cardio Conditioning

Strenuous physical exercise can be a dangerous activity. There are inherent
risks in any physical activity, intense fitness training is no exception. The
use of professional instruction is recommended before entering into any
type of sport or physical exercise. You should become knowledgeable about
the risks involved and assume personal responsibility for your actions. The
information contained within this manual may or may not be accurate and
is open to interpretation.

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About Forest Vance & The Extreme Kettlebell Conditioning Program 4
Introduction & Background 5
The Program 9
Exercise Descriptions 14
Bonus Content 27
Conclusion 32
Additional Resources 33

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About Forest Vance & The Extreme Kettlebell Cardio Conditioning

Forest Vance has a Master of Science in Human Movement and is a Russian
Kettlebell Challenge Certified Instructor. He is also a Personal Trainer, Gym
Owner, Blogger, Author and Fitness Entrepreneur based out of Sacramento,
From the author:
This program is not for the faint of heart but if rapid fat loss and extreme
cardio conditioning are what youre after, youll love it!
Once you finish this report, be sure to check out my main site at you'll find out more about my websites, gym,
workout programs, books and DVDs, membership site, and much more.
Forest Vance, Master of Science, Level II Russian Kettlebell
Challenge Certified Instructor

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Cardio - Defined
Before we get into all of the Extreme Kettlebell Cardio Conditioning
program details, a quick question: how do you define cardio?
It might conjure up images of folks pedaling away on recumbent stationary
bikes at the health club, catching up on the latest E! channel celeb gossip
Or you might think of running or biking outdoors
But odds are you probably DONT think of cardio and lifting weights
of any kind as one in the same. So my goal with this kettlebell cardio
program is to PERMANENTLY change the way you think about cardio
Lets start with some defining facts about cardio from
Cardio exercise is any exercise that raises your heart rate Cardio
exercise uses large muscle movement over a sustained period of
time, keeping your heart rate to at least 50% of its maximum level
You need a minimum of 20 minutes of continued elevated pulse
to get the best results
So if we elevate the heart rate, utilize large muscles of the body,
work at a reasonable and sustained intensity, and do it for a
continuous period of time, were good to go no matter our
implements/training tools of choice.
Kettlebells happen to be a great tool to elevate the heart rate quickly. And
if we work at a high but sustainable intensity with them for a
continuous period, we get a killer kettlebell cardio workout ...

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Why Interval Cardio Is A Better Solution For Fat Loss

Now that we've defined what cardio is and established that kettlebells
are a viable and useful tool for doing it we're going to talk about the best
way to set up your cardio workouts interval-style!
Here are three quick reasons why I hate traditional, long/slow cardio, and
why intervals are superior for fat loss and super-human conditioning:
1) LSD cardio is mind-numbing
Doing 45 minutes of low-to-medium intensity cardio on a stationary bike or
treadmill is seriously boring. Thats why I was excited when I found out
that LSD (long-slow-distance cardio) is not the best way to lose fat
2) Its unfavorable for positive changes in body composition

Perfectly evidenced by the pic above high-intensity, interval-based cardio

is the type of training the individual on the right does on a regular basis

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low-intensity, sustained effort training is the type the individual on the left
does for his sport. Which physique would you rather have? I rest my case.
3) Humans arent designed to work this way
To quote Mark Sission of the Primal Blueprint:
Humans were just not designed to work for extended periods of
time at 80-90% VO2max. Our evolutionary blueprint, the last draft
of which was completed well over 10,000 years ago, set us up as
great slow-movers and occasional fast sprinters.

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Interval Cardio Programming

According to an article from Craig Ballentyne (fat loss expert and author of
the famous Turbulence Training program) on, variety is one
of the main keys in your interval program that prevents you from hitting a
fat loss plateau. Three ways you can switch up your cardio interval
workouts include:

Increasing or decreasing the length of the interval (while

decreasing or increasing the intensity, respectively)
Increasing or decreasing the number of intervals per workout
Increasing or decreasing the rest time between intervals

And so, through some unique and fun programming strategies, we're going
to incorporate all of these methods into the Extreme Kettlebell Cardio
Conditioning program for maximum results in minimum time ...

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The Program

Workout is to be performed every other day for five weeks (42

days). Perform workout one on day one, workout two on day three,
On off days, do about 30 minutes of easy cardio like jogging, biking,
swimming, etc. Shoot for about a 6-7/10 intensity level.
Take one day off per week completely.
Do all workouts circuit-style perform the first exercise, rest the
allotted time, move on to the next, repeat for sequence, start over.
Set your timer for sixty second intervals. Perform prescribed reps
of exercise. Rest period is from the time the set is finished until timer
goes off for the next 60 second period. Complete entire workout
in this fashion.
Do three (beginner) to five (advanced) rounds total of each day's
exercise sequence. (Meaning you'll end up doing three to five sets
total of each exercise)
Make sure to perform a SMR/joint mobility/dynamic stretching/etc.
warm-up and static stretch cool down.

Other Tips/Guidelines

This workout is all about intensity. It's very low volume, especially at
the beginning so if it's too easy for you, you need to pick harder
exercise variations and/or heavier weights.
For example, five sets of 15 handstand push ups and 25 swings with
the beast with minimal rest is tough no matter who you are :)
On the other hand, if you want to make the workout easier, just
regress the exercises (ex. Knee push ups) and use lighter weights.
If you can't do regular pull ups yet, do body rows (see exercise
description section) and double the prescribed reps.
Windmills are a tricky exercise. Take your time to follow the
recommended progression and learn them properly.

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21 Fat Burning Kettlebell Cardio Workouts

10 push ups
15 swings
12 push ups
20 swings
15 push ups
25 swings
4 rack squats/side
4 pull ups
6 rack squats/side
6 pull ups
8 rack squats/side
8 pull ups

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10 push ups
15 swings
4 windmills/side
12 push ups
20 swings
5 windmills/side
15 push ups
25 swings
6 windmills/side
4 rack squats/side
4 pull ups
1 TGU/side
6 rack squats/side
6 pull ups
2 TGU's/side
8 rack squats/side
8 pull ups
3 TGU's/side

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10 push ups
15 swings
4 windmills/side
6 lunges/side
12 push ups
20 swings
5 windmills/side
8 lunges/side
15 push ups
25 swings
6 windmills/side
10 lunges/side

rack squats/side
pull ups


rack squats/side
pull ups

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rack squats/side
pull ups

1 TGU/side
15 swings
4 windmills/side
4 rack squats/side
4 burpees
2 TGU's/side
20 swings
4 windmills/side
6 rack squats/side
6 burpees
3 TGU's/side
25 swings
6 windmills/side
8 rack squats/side
8 burpees

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Exercise Descriptions
The Swing

1. Start by performing a simple sumo deadlift with the kettlebell between

the feet. This is the movement you need to get down before you move on
to a full blown swing. Focus on pulling your butt back behind you with your
hip flexors and moving through the hips instead of squatting. The deadlift
and the squat are two very distinct and different movements. Your back
should stay completely flat and you should feel a stretch in the back of the
legs if you're doing the movement properly.
2. Once you have the deadlift down, you can try a swing. Two things to
think about: make sure you're 'hike passing' the weight back between the
legs on the downswing; again, this movement is like a deadlift, not a squat.
Try to get the bottom of the kettlebell to face the wall behind you as you
hike pass it back. Then, snap the hips and swing the weight up. If you're
doing it right, the arms are loose and the legs are doing the job of lifting
the weight. It's not a squat and front raise, it's a hip snap. The knees lock
out and the hips come all the way through the force is then efficiently
transferred to the upper body.
3. When you feel comfortable with the swing, you can progress to the
full swing. The mechanics of this movement are the same as the half swing,
the hip snap is just more powerful and the 'bell should swing up to about
shoulder height.

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Single-hand Swing
Now, there are several variations of the basic swing. The first one we'll
cover is the single-hand swing. The form here should be identical to the
basic swing, with one exception: turn the hand slightly in on the bottom of
the movement. You should feel like you're pouring a pitcher of water.
This is to pre-stretch the external rotators and allow for a more comfortable
bottom position of the swing.
Another thing to keep in mind is shoulder and lat engagement; the elbow
should be straight, but be sure to pull the shoulder back 'into its socket';
don't let the arm separate from the body as you swing the weight up. Keep
the lats (the muscles underneath your armpits) tight and flexed at all

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Hand-to-Hand Swing

All the same coaching points apply to the hand-to-hand swing as do the
one hand swing; just switch hands now when the kettlebell is in front of
you in mid-air.

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Turkish Get Up
In contrast to the swing, the get-up is a slow and controlled movement
it's considered a 'grind'. As a frame of reference, fast, explosive
movements like the swing, clean, and snatch are considered 'ballistics'.
We worked the back of the body with the swing the hams, glutes, and
back now we're hitting most of the muscle groups in the front. This is a
highly complex movement, so I'll break it down into steps for you:
1. Start by lying on the ground with the kettlebell at your side. Grab the
'bell, pull it into your body, and roll to your back.

2. Press the single kettlebell straight up to the sky. Make sure your wrist is
straight and you have a firm grip on the kettlebell handle.

3. 'Punch' up towards the ceiling while rolling on to the elbow at the same
time. Your shoulder blades are pinched together and the chest is 'high'.

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This is the first 'half' of the movement. You'll want to learn the movement
by getting this part down first, with no weight to start, and then with
weight added as you get better at it. This is not only something to practice,
but a viable exercise; I use the get-up in personal training sessions and
group classes all of the time. Once you have the get-up down, it's time
to progress to doing the complete movement, which involves standing all
the way up.
Next, bring the knee 'through' your hips and to about six inches away from
the same hand.

Squeeze the glute and come up to a lunge position; take a deep breath,
hold it, and stand up.
4. Slowly reverse the motion and return to the ground.

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Pull-Up/Body Row
The pull-up is your basic upper body pull. You can perform this exercise
with your palms facing away or palms facing towards you. Start with arms
fully extended; drive the elbows towards the ground, lead with the chest,
and keep the shoulders down and back through the top of the movement.

To perform the Beginner Pull-up, start by finding a bar about chest high. A
railing outside would work I found a perfect bar at a playground for our
photo shoot. Shift your body underneath the bar so that the exercise is
challenging for you but not impossible. Youll have to play with your body
position a little to get it just right.

The movement is just like a Pull-Up, but your feet stay on the ground.
Drive the elbows down towards the ground, the hips and shoulders should
stay down and back.

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Rack Squat

To perform the squat, start with your feet between hip and shoulder width
apart, and your toes pointed straight ahead or slightly out. Weight is back
through the heels, chest is tall, and shoulder blades are pushed down and
back. Sit back as if youre sitting on a chair. The lower legs should stay
completely vertical. Imagine that you are stuck in cement up to your
In the rack squat, the kettlebell is simply racked on one side; this adds a
unique core and stabilization challenge to the exercise.

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Push Up
The basic version of the push-up is performed from the toes. Starting from
the ground, the body is nice and straight, your chest, hip, and thighs
should all be in the same plane. Your shoulders are pushed down and back,
abs are engaged, and your glutes are squeezed.

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The burpee is one of the greatest total-body conditioning exercises of all

time; it can be performed with nothing, but your own body weight, it works
nearly every muscle in your body and requires very little space.
Start the burpee in a standing position. Jump your feet back and land in a
push-up position. Do a push-up, jump your feet forward and jump in the
air. Repeat for reps!

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To perform the lunge, take a giant step out, your weight should still be
through the heel, and your knee should be tracking over the toe. Make sure
the knee doesnt come out over the toe. The lower leg position is very
similar to that of a squat.

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The windmill is an awesome exercise for building core strength, shoulder
stability and mobility, for unlocking the hips, and a whole lot more
however, it's a bit tricky to master. Follow this progression to learn the
Weightless Windmill
Start with a ketttlebell at the instep of your foot. Your feet should be
pointed to the side at approximately 45 degrees.
Poke your hip out to the side. The movement in this exercise is
coming from the hip and not the torso.
Let the hand slide down the leg; tap the 'bell and stand up.
(You're imagining you have a kettlebell in your top hand throughout the
movement here.)

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Bottom-Hand Windmill
Same exact movement; now you're simply picking up the 'bell with your
bottom hand.

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Standard Windmill
Same movement only now the KB is overhead. Arm is locked, shoulder is
packed - same principles as the TGU. Make sure you tense the glute and
engage the core to stand up.

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Bonus Section #1: Diet vs. Exercise Video

The kettlebell workout program in this manual focuses on fat loss but it's
very important to note that without a clean diet, your KB workout efforts
will be a complete waste.
Here's a great video that shows you why DIET is such an important
component of fat loss.
Click the link below to watch the video now:
=== >>
And also, if you haven't yet checked out the 5 Minute Fat Loss diet/meal
planning program designed to go with this workout plan, you can do so
=== >> 5 Minute Fat Loss

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Bonus Section #2: Kettlebell Lower Back Pain Causes &

I see the same kettlebell issues pop up over and over again at my
kettlebell workshops and with training clients in general and one of the
biggest ones is kettlebell lower back pain. That is, people complain of their
lower backs hurting during and/or after a kettlebell training session.
Plainly put, this is bad. Because kettlebell exercises folks typically get back
pain from doing like swings, snatches, and cleans arent exercises for
your lower back! In fact, if youre doing these exercises correctly, you
shouldnt feel them in your back at all.
Now while there are a variety of reasons why this can happen, in 90%+ of
cases I see there are two main causes: 1) muscle (specifically core)
weakness and 2) poor form. In this article, Im going to cover each of
these KB LBP causes in a little more detail, and show you how to fix them.
Kettlebell lower back pain reason #1: muscle weakness
Lifting a kettlebell in a balistic fashion as you do in a swing, snatch, or
clean will require your body to brace to stabilize the movement. It will
also place demands on the core muscles of your torso, including your lower
If your core muscles are weak, you wont be able to brace effectively. And
youll get lower back pain.
Check out this post for a quick test and my #1 exercise to improve your
core strength:
How To Tell If Your Core Muscles Are Weak (plank test)

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Kettlebell lower back pain reason #2: poor form

Poor form specifically during KB movements where you flex forward at
the hip is another cause of kettlebell lower back pain.
In a post on my kettlebell blog,, I covered two common
kettlebell technique mistakes that cause lower back pain (and fixes to them
as well) click the link below to see that post now:
Lower Back Pain During The Kettlebell Swing Causes & Fixes

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Bonus Section #3: The Real Truth About Buying A

Are you currently looking to purchase a kettlebell?
Are you trying to find a bell at the lowest possible price AND the best
possible quality?
In this article, Ill reveal the REAL TRUTH about buying a kettlebell and
answer these common kettlebell purchase questions.
See, when I started casually training with kettlebells about five years ago, I
didnt have a clue of what kettlebell brand was the best. My first kettlebell
purchase was quite embarassingly a plastic-coated bell from the local
super store. The bell was way too light I had no idea of what size I
needed and figured Id just start with a small one because it was cheap
and after a few months of heavy use, the plastic actually started to wear
off and the handle started to chip. Bad first purchase but live and learn

(I also didnt know what the heck I was doing in terms of training techique,
but thats a story for another day )
The next set of KBs I picked up were significantly better in quality. Ive had
this set for the last five years, still train with them today, and theyre
perfectly fine for basic kettlebell use.
Then, at the June 09 RKC, I trained with a Dragon Door bell for the first
time and could immediately tell the difference. I still remember doing
the 100 rep snatch test and thinking gosh, this is a little easier than doing
this with the bells I have back home
The DD bells are balanced better, have a much smoother handle, and have
a great quality feel. HOWEVER they are a bit more costly that a lot of
other brands out there and whether you really need to invest in them
depends on your ultimate training goals

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Heres the real truth about buying a kettlebell: if youre just doing some
basic two hand swings and TGUs, and you wont be using your bell more
than two or three times per week, then you can probably get away with a
basic brand and save a few bucks. On the other hand, if youre going to be
doing more intermediate-to-advanced moves like cleans and snatches
and if youre going to be using your bell more frequently you may want
to consider going with a high quality KB brand like Dragon Door.
I AM an RKC instructor. Im probably biased I have no problem letting
you know this. And there are lots of kettlebell brands out there I havent
used. But my main point of this article is that training with quality
kettlebells is important if youre going to be serious about it whatever
brand you ultimately choose. And I can vouch first hand for the fact that
Dragon Door bells are an excellent, reliable, proven, and 365-daysatisfaction-guaranteed(!) choice.
Find out more about Dragon Door kettlebells by clicking the link below:
=== >> Dragon Door KBs

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You may hate traditional cardio, but that doesn't mean you can't train your
heart, build superhuman conditioning levels, and have fun doing it. This
Extreme Kettlebell Cardio Conditioning program is just what you need to do
all of the above!
I wish you the best of luck and look forward to hearing your success story!
Forest Vance, Master of Science in Human Movement and Level II
Certified Russian Kettlebell Instructor

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Additional Resources Info about Forest's gym, websites, books and
DVDs, membership site, workshops, apparel, and much more. All about kettlebell training! Weekly
updates with new kettlebell videos and workouts all the time. Forest's membership site where you can
get all of his workout and diet products at a killer discount.

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