5-Minute Kettlebell Thruster and Swing Metabolic Workout

Delly Bezoss

Ready to push yourself to the limits in a short amount of time with limited equipment? We’ve got just the workout for you.

Welcome to 5 Minutes of Hell, in which MH fitness editor Brett Williams, NASM-CPT, spends 300 seconds asking for it from some of the best fitness pros in the biz. In today’s grueling challenge, Williams gets to work with 2020 MH Next Top Trainer winner Jah Washington, NCCPT, to see if he can keep up with high-intensity moves for five grueling minutes.

Hit play on the video above, grab some kettlebells (one pair, one single bell for swings), and set a timer for five minutes to join him. Here’s an overview of the fast-and-furious sequence. (Be sure to watch the video for specifics on how to do each exercise.)

Round 1: 15 Thrusters and 15 Swings, EMOM

Grab two kettlebells and start by holding them shoulder height with the elbows on your rib cage. Stay grounded by pushing your feet into the floor. After you’ve done 15 reps, it’s onto kettlebell swings. Be sure to squeeze your glutes at the top for all 15 reps. Once you’re done, you get to rest for the remainder of the minute.

Round 2: 15 Thrusters and 15 Swings, EMOM

Back at it. You’re pushing vertically on the thrusters and horizontally with the swings. “[You’re] moving in different planes and being strong in different directions on these moves,” says Washington of these two complementary exercises.

Round 3: 8 Thrusters and 8 Swings

For this portion of the workout, complete eight thrusters and eight kettlebell swings in 30 seconds. Do this for three rounds. If you can’t hit eight reps for each of these moves, don’t sweat it. Try doing five or six reps of each instead.

Round 4: 30-Second AMRAPs

For the last minute, Washington has Williams do as many reps as possible
(AMRAP) for both thrusters and swing, devoting 30 seconds of time to each exercise without pause. And… exhale.

Some parting words from our fatigued fitness editor: “That was five minutes of hell… So, I think I learned a valuable lesson today and that is do not overestimate how much you think you can do,” says Williams. “And when you get to the point in your workout [and] you feel your form starting to go, remember that there’s a difference between pushing yourself to the limit and pushing yourself too far.”

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