Build muscle and burn fat with this full-body, 30-minute kettlebell workout

This high-intensity session develops strength all over and boosts your metabolism in just 30 minutes

Man performing kettlebell rows
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Whether you're tight on time or like to train efficiently, it makes sense to find a workout routine that combines cardio exercise and resistance training, so you can hit your fitness goals without spending hours at the gym. That's where this 30-minute kettlebell session comes in handy.

It uses a mixture of bodyweight exercises and some weighted strength training moves with some of the best kettlebells to get you muscle-building and fat-burning results. The key is to raise your heart rate and work your muscles intensely throughout.

According to DanielPT (opens in new tab), the YouTube trainer behind this routine, "we will have a 50/50 combination of Kettlebell and bodyweight exercises. In both elements, there are more explosive movements involved which makes this [high-intensity] workout even more challenging."

There are two blocks of 20 exercises, and you'll do each move for 35 seconds, take a 15-second rest, then make a start on the next activity. Between blocks, there's a longer 50-second drink break, so keep one of the best water bottles for gym workouts close by.

It's crucial to get your technique just right if you want to get the most from your training and avoid injury, which is a particular concern when working with weights. Fortunately, you can follow DanielPT's demonstrations to perfect your form as you go.

Watch DanielPT's 30-minute kettlebell workout

This exercise style is known as high-intensity resistance training (HIRT), which aims to work you hard in short bursts with only minimal rest between moves. It's similar to high-intensity interval training (HIIT) but focuses on building muscle rather than cardio.

But that doesn't mean it's only about developing strength. HIRT combines resistance training with moves designed to increase your heart rate and boost your metabolism. As a result, you increase the amount of energy you burn during your workout.

But raising your metabolism, the amount of energy you burn at rest, also means you get fat-burning results throughout the day. This is why many people also use a HIIT workout for fat loss if they're looking to lose weight.

It's also what makes DanielPT's routine so effective, as moves like kettlebell swings are designed to work your whole body, strengthen your core (which plays a vital role in workout performance and everyday tasks), and boost your metabolism.

If you're looking for an upper body alternative to this full-body workout, you can pick up a set of the best adjustable dumbbells and take on this shoulder dumbbell workout, which focuses on building muscle in your arms, shoulders, and back.

James Frew
Staff Writer

James is a London-based journalist and Staff Writer at Fit&Well. He has over five years experience in fitness tech, including time spent as the Buyer’s Guide Editor and Staff Writer at technology publication MakeUseOf. In 2014 he was diagnosed with a chronic health condition, which spurred his interest in health, fitness, and lifestyle management.


In the years since, he has become a devoted meditator, experimented with workout styles and exercises, and used various gadgets to monitor his health. In recent times, James has been absorbed by the intersection between mental health, fitness, sustainability, and environmentalism. When not concerning himself with health and technology, James can be found excitedly checking out each week’s New Music Friday releases.