Intense 30 minute kettlebell routine


January 20, 2021

Recently I replaced my weightlifting routine with a kettlebell routine. In the beginning, it was forced, but now I don’t want to go back to the gym anymore and just have one kettlebell at home. At first, I was skeptical. I thought: How can this kettlebell replace all the gym machines? I did some investigation and with that in mind I created this circuit

Intense kettlebell workout whoop strap

What kettlebell weight do you need?

When it comes to strength and weightlifting I consider myself medium. So a dumbbell shoulder press I did about 12kg and 5 sets with the following reps: 12, 10, 8, 6, 4.

I wanted my workouts to be hard, so I bought a 16kg kettlebell so I could grow into it.

Old weightlifting routine

Coming from a weightlifting routine I wanted the workout to be heavy and intense. So I began my investigation. This is the five-day split I had for weightlifting :

  • Monday: Chest
  • Tuesday: Back
  • Wednesday: Shoulders
  • Thursday: Arms
  • Friday: Legs

My kettlebell routine had to cover all of these areas.

Full body kettlebell routine

So this is the routine I came up with.


To cover the shoulders and chest I found the Halo to be very effective. When I was younger I dislocated my shoulder, when weightlifting it’s always something to keep in mind with regards to mobility. One wrong move could mean weeks of pain.

I found that the halo is the best exercise I did so far with regards to the shoulders and the natural movement.

Goblet Squat

The squat, the one exercise that can’t be ignored

Sumo Deadlifts With High Pull

In weightlifting the most intense exercise I always found to be the deadlift. This is where the form factor of the kettlebell shines.

You do a regular deadlift and you pull it right up in front of you to a high pull.

With this exercise you train so many muscles:

  • Legs
  • Lower back
  • Biceps
  • Shoulders

Kettlebell bent over row

An exercise for some back isolation. Only with the kettlebell workout, there are some benefits of extra muscles you train, because of the balance you need to hold. - Back - Bicep - Shoulder - Abs

Kettlebell swings

This is one of the most famous kettlebell exercises. This is something you can’t achieve with any other fitness device. A whole article can be dedicated to this exercise. But it’s intense and really good for you

Kettlebell Single Arm Clean and Press

This one again is one where the form factor of kettlebell shines. A single-arm clean can only be done with a kettlebell, the mobility with this movement feels so natural but requires some practice to get used to.

The press can be done right after the clean. The way you hold the kettlebell and press it promotes the natural way of extending the arm and shoulder. The military press in the gym will force your shoulder to move in just one way, which doesn’t feel natural.

Front Rack Reverse Lunge single kettlebell

Another exercise for the legs. When doing it with one kettlebell comes with some extra benefits. You train your balance and shoulders

Push-ups on the kettlebell

Closing the routine with pushups on the kettlebell, so you can go extra low

The 30-minute kettlebell routine

So let’s put it together. This is my daily routine I do the circuit mentioned below four times in a row.

In the beginning, it took me 30 minutes. Now when I do it takes 20 minutes and after that 10 minutes stretching and cooling down:

  1. 4x Halos to each side
  2. 10x Goblet Squats
  3. 8x Sumo Deadlifts With High Pull
  4. 10x Kettlebell bent over rows on for each side
  5. 15x Kettlebell swings
  6. 4x Kettlebell Single Arm Clean and Presses for each side
  7. 4x Front Rack Reverse Lunge single kettlebell for each side
  8. 5x Push-ups on the kettlebell

Kettlebell routine vs weightlifting

So weightlifting vs kettlebells what are the pros and cons?


  • Pros:

    • Building up strength
    • Social aspect of going to the gym
    • More isolation per muscle group
  • Cons:

    • Missing cardio aspect
    • Not time efficient
    • No full range of motion


  • Pros:

    • Natural range of motion
    • Cardio aspect
    • Time efficient
    • Can be done from home
  • Cons:

    • Missing the strength aspect a bit
    • Intense
    • High learning curve


I got forced into training from home, so I decided to try the kettlebell because I heard some positive stories about it. I’m sticking with the kettlebell for now. It gives me the cardio part, the natural range of motion, and the time efficiency. You get an intense full-body workout in 20 minutes vs a 45-minute weightlifting session for just a single muscle group and I’m not even counting the commute to the gym yet.

I can confirm for myself that the kettlebell has a better effect on me than weightlifting. When I check the data from my Fitbit and Whoop Strap I see:

  • My overall resting heart rate going down
  • Increased calories burned per workout
  • No more stiff neck and headaches

Besides that I see my physique getting way more athletic and overall I feel energized and fit. You notice that it has a lot of positive side effects. When playing with the kids, for example, you get less tired.

For me, it had a real positive impact, of course, every person is different. So I encourage you to try the kettlebell

Michael Awad

I'm fascinated by the power of a strong mindset. I combine this with being a web developer, which keeps me motivated. But how, you may ask? That's what I share on this website. For more information about me personally, check out the about me page: About Me

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