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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The cardiopulmonary demand of kettlebell snatches Chan, Margaux


Kettlebell lifting continues to gain popularity as a strength and conditioning training tool and as a sport in and of itself (Girevoy Sport). Although the swing to chest-level and several multi-movement protocols have been analyzed, little research has attempted to quantify the aerobic stimulus of individual kettlebell movements, which would best inform kettlebell-related exercise prescription. The purpose of this study was to quantify the cardiopulmonary demand, assessed by oxygen consumption (V̇O₂) and heart rate (HR), of continuous high-intensity kettlebell snatches under conditions that consider Girevoy Sport, and to compare this demand to a more traditional graded rowing exercise test. Ten male participants (age = 28.4 ± 4.6 years, height = 185 ± 7 cm, body mass = 95.1 ± 14.9 kg) completed (1) a graded rowing exercise test to determine maximal oxygen consumption (V̇O₂max) and maximal heart rate (HRmax) and (2) a graded kettlebell snatch exercise test with a 16-kg kettlebell to determine peak oxygen consumption (V̇O₂peak) and peak heart rate (HRpeak) during this activity. Subjects achieved a V̇O₂max of 45.7 ± 6.9 ml·kg-¹·min-¹ and an HRmax of 177 ± 6.9 beats per minute (bpm). The kettlebell snatch test produced a V̇O₂peak of 37.3 ± 5.2 ml·kg-¹·min-¹ (82.1 ± 7.4% V̇O₂max) and a heart rate of 173 ± 8 beats per minute (97.3 ± 4.8% HRmax). These findings suggest that continuous high-intensity kettlebell snatches with 16-kg are likely provide an adequate aerobic stimulus to improve cardiorespiratory fitness in those whose V̇O₂max is ≤ 51 ml·kg-¹·min-¹ and those who are moderately trained and lower, according to recommendations from the American College of Sports Medicine.

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