What’s the OPTIMAL kettlebell workout duration for “BEST” results?

What’s the OPTIMAL kettlebell workout duration for “BEST” results?

Back “in the day,” when I was in my late teens and early 20s, my workouts were long.

Like 2 to 2.5 hours long.

After all, more is better right? ;-]

And then, somehow, on the backside of college, I got ahold of Leo Costa’s “SERIOUS GROWTH” newsletter.

Leo, a bodybuilder / entrepreneur, who’d teamed up with The Golden Eagle, Tom Platz

And supposedly had gotten himself invited to Bulgaria to see how the World Champion Bulgarian Olympic Weightlifting team trains.

Apparently, according to the Bulgarians, your testosterone levels drop significantly after 45 minutes of training.

Which is why the Bulgarians chopped up their training into multiple 30 minute sessions throughout the day.

So, 45 minutes or less became the standard.

One of the most productive training periods of my life was when I chopped my training back to 40 minutes per session, and added in 10-30 minutes of post-workout recovery.

Of course I experimented with this over the years with my private clients.

One of the best templates I found for them was the following:

  1. Warm Up – 10-20 minutes
  2. Workout – 30 minutes
  3. Cooldown – 5-10 minutes

The warm up was usually more of a “transition” time from “Work Mode” into “Workout Mode” so they could get their mindset right. 

Like a decompression chamber of sorts.

As a result, some of my programs are 40-45 minutes long.

Most are 20 to 30 minutes long.

And some are even shorter.

And that’s because experience has dictated to me that time range is “enough.”

The problem with that is guys (and ladies) start feeling so good, they want to do more.

(Which is a good thing!)

But they forget that they’re supposed to feel good and have energy to spare instead of feeling run down/ run over like they did after traditional “beatdown” style workouts.

For example, I got an email from Jeff the other day.

He’s feeling great 4 months into Kettlebell WOD – which is daily, UBER-short workouts – 15 minutes a day (plus a 5 minute warm up) to achieve results by building momentum through consistency.

He found his copy of Kettlebell Burn which he’d bought a few years back and asked me if he could stop WOD, do Burn, and then pick up WOD where he left off.

My advice?

“I wouldn’t. I’d just keep going with WOD. 


Simple: 15 minute workouts are EASY to do and to fit into any schedule. 45 minute workouts? They’re easy to rationalize your way out of and skip and kick on down the week.”

My answer falls into the category of the old quip:

“This is working so well, help me screw it up.”

Which often tag teams with it’s cousin:

“It worked so well I stopped doing it.”

So, at the end of the day, the OPTIMAL workout length for YOU is:

[1]  The one that easily fits into your schedule

[2]  You won’t rationalize not doing

[3]  You’d feel foolish for not doing it

[4]  Leaves you with more energy than you had

[5]  Is repeatable

[6]  Creates a “reservoir” of energy inside you so you WANT to do more

[7]  Produces results

So, if you’re struggling with the “best” workout duration, hopefully you found this helpful.

Stay Strong,


P.S. If you need to burn off some fat, and aren’t time-starved, here’s where you can find Kettlebell Burn 2.0, the program Jeff was asking me about.


And if you think short, 15-minute training sessions work better for you, check out Kettlebell W.O.D. which Jeff is currently using here.


And, if you need a program but aren’t sure which one is right for you, here’s a list of my programs.


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