The fastest way to drop weight and build lean mass is an intense combo of weights and cardio, according to a 2013 study by strength-training researcher Steven Devor, a professor of kinesiology at Ohio State University. Devor’s research found that short, ferocious circuits of strength and power exercises, performed without rest, delivered dramatic improvements in both VO2 max and fat-to-muscle ratio. The kettlebell swing in particular, Devor says, is a near-perfect way to build explosive athletic power while revving your metabolism to churn through more calories even after you’ve finished working out.
Instructor Eric Frohardt, who creates stripped-down total-body routines for military and law enforcement units, says he keeps a kettlebell in his car for precisely this reason. “There’s no easier, quicker way to stay in shape for deployments, mountaineering trips, hunting, and other adventures,” he says. Frohardt designed this relentless 20-minute circuit of swings, carries, and squats to jack heart rate and target your largest fat-burning muscles — legs, glutes, chest, and back.
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