How to Burn 20 Calories per Minute With the Kettlebell Snatch

Updated on August 25, 2017

The Case for Kettlebells

Recently an article came out in the A.C.E. magazine, Fitness Matters. A.C.E. stands for the American Council on Exercise. In it is an article by Chad Schnettler, M.S., John Porcari, Ph.D., and Carl Foster, Ph.D., with Mark Anders.

This article reports on a study to done to determine the real effects of Kettlebell training on caloric expenditure. Their goal was to look at the calorie cost of energy and the level of intensity brought on by a 20 minute Kettlebell Workout.

In the study, they first test the subjects on a treadmill to get their baselines of oxygen consumption and heart rate. They also took the subjects RPE (rating of perceived exertion).

After they had their baselines, they then took each subject through a 20 minute Kettelbell Workout known as the MVo2 or Vo2 Max.

Vo2 Max is your maximal oxygen consumption.

The Vo2 Max Protocol for Kettlebells is taken from Kenneth Jay, Master RKC, who literally wrote the book on Vo2 Max training and Kettelbells, called Viking Warrior Conditioning. In this tome of fitness written by a guy also know as the "Dane of Pain", Kenneth details for us in precise detail his research in developing what Pavel Tsatsouline calls, "a foolproof blueprint for achieving Olympian conditioning in record time - while simultaneously improving one's body composition dramatically."

In his research, Kenneth used the Kettlebell Snatch.

The Kettlebell Snatch is a ballistic drill where one swings akettlebell with one hand between the legs and driving with the hipslaunches the kettlebell over head in one crisp, clean movement.

The initial beginnings of the Vo2 Max workout has you spending 5 minutes finding your snatch cadence. In the five minutes, the subject works up to a one minute maximal effort with the kettlebell snatch and then divides that maximum effort by 4. For example if their 1 minute maximum was 24 snatches, then their magic number is 6.

So now, the subjects spent 20 minutes performing 6 snatches in 15 seconds followed by 15 seconds of rest. Switched arms and did it again.

The results of that test showed the following:

The average calorie burn was 272 calories, but that doesn't take into account the calorie burn that comes from the "substantial anaerobic effort."

Aerobically, the subjects were burning 13.6 calories, but anaerobically, they were burning an additional 6.6 calories, which adds up to 20.2 calories per minute!

According to Dr. Porcari, "That’s equivalent to running a 6-minute mile pace. The only other thing I could find that burns that many calories is cross-country skiing uphill at a fast pace."


Keep in mind, top marathon runners are about at a 5 and a half minute mile.

The researchers say that the big reason for these dramatic results is because the Kettlebell snatch is a whole body endeavor that is performed with great speed and power. It is also done in an interval style which has always been an effective method of training.

The study also showed that the trainees were working at an average heart rate of 93% of maximum. That, my friends, is training. That is a workout there!

So what have we learned here today? Kettlebell training is good work. It is ideal for those on the go with little or no time to train or go to the gym. It combines resistance training and cardio all in one. Kettlebell training is not only good for your ticker, but good for over all health, conditioning and strength.

Wow! After reading this, I think I'll give Kettlebells a try!

See results

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • profile image

      Frank Cruthers 

      4 years ago

      I started using kettle bells in my training for a half marathon, I ran a 1:41 at 50 yrs old. I know if I get this right I can get back to a 1:35 I did at 35 and be stronger than ever. I love the science but looking forward to being a "Warrior". Thanks

    • David R Bradley profile imageAUTHOR

      David R Bradley 

      5 years ago from The Active Side of Infinity

      Attack those Kettlebells (make sure you use perfect form) start with the Swing before progressing to the Snatch

    • seigfried23 profile image


      5 years ago

      That's it; it's settled. I've been putting off kettlebell use for several years now and it's time to transform my body. I've been eating greek yogurt as a start, but the results aren't coming quite quickly enough lol.

    • David R Bradley profile imageAUTHOR

      David R Bradley 

      9 years ago from The Active Side of Infinity

      Kettlebells can look difficult, but when you invest the time to learn to use them properly, you will reap many, many rewards.

    • bojanglesk8 profile image


      9 years ago

      Kettlebells look difficult. Good hub.

    • David R Bradley profile imageAUTHOR

      David R Bradley 

      10 years ago from The Active Side of Infinity

      kettleballer, make sure to get a copy of Kenneth Jay's Viking Warrior Conditioning for more on the science of the MvO2 max protocol. Thanks for taking the time to read the Hub.

    • kettleballer profile image


      10 years ago

      Thanks for the hub. My non-scientific evaluation was "these will smoke you" Now I can back it up with science.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)