Kettlebell Long Cycle Beep Test (wVO2Max test) – English Version

About one month ago me and my Athletes tested our VO2max, using a running type Beep Test. Vo2max is the best indicator of Fitness Level according to NSCA’s “Essentials of Personal Training” literature.

We got some interesting results, but according to Kettlebell Lifting… they meant NOTHING! CMS Athlete had worst result than Level II Athlete. How is that possible. Well, I would say it is SKILL that is the most important factor at Kettlebells. At least it makes the biggest difference between a “Rookie” and an Intermediate level lifter.

I wanted more “comparable” results, results that would show me some number. It took me some time to put together a test. And I adjusted it quite a few times, tested on myself, my male and female Athletes before I asked my “mentor” if he thinks the test actually shows something. We adjusted it some more, we threw in some things and took out a few more.. and Voila, test is here!

Note: if you want results that are “legit”, the lifter needs to be at least Ranked Level I according to most Ranking tables. That means an Athlete can stay under bells for at least 10 minutes and can do good amount of reps with 24kg Kettlebells.


Why LongCycle over Jerk:

1. LongCycle includes more major muscle groups into action than Jerk only
2. Kettlebells travels longer distance, so the total power output is much bigger than in Jerk only (F = M x A)
3. Less overhead lifts are done than if we would do Jerk only, so that means safer on joints. If we would use Jerk only I think triceps would be “done” before you heart rate would be challenged enough
4. LongCycle is physically harder than Jerk
5. LongCycle can be done (better) by an Athlete, who is not technically perfect

WHat about Heart rate?

I have tested myself quite a few times. I used max Heart Rate that was measured at Center for Sport medicine this February on an Ergometer bike. I wanted to bring those number as close as possible to Heart rate numbers at the end of the test. With some help of my Cycling “Coach” (mentor) I think we found quite a good combination for that test.

How does the test look like?


Test starts at 00:00. Athlete has 2 minutes to finish all the reps in the given level. He is not allowed to put Kettlebells down before he finishes all the given reps. Tactic is up to each individual. If an Athlete start to fast he can get in Level 4 to soon and will take to much time to recover from set to set. If he starts to slow there is a chance, that he will spend to much time under the bells and will not have enough time to recover between sets.

Athlete is NOT allowed to start with new set before two minutes mark!

Scheme (sorry, I will not translate, but I think it is all clear 🙂 )




Test starts at 00:00. Athlete has 90 seconds to finish all the reps in the given level. Same tactic can be used as with men. She is not allowed to put the Kettlebell on the floor before all the reps on the given hnad are done. Athlete is also not allowed to start with new set before 90s mark! She needs to alternate hands every set.

Scheme (again, I will not translate):





Test can be used for many reasons, but mainly we use it to “guess” (or better, calculate) the pace, that an Athlete can (could) hold for 10 minutes. We can also use it for testing Generel Physical Preparation for Kettlebell Lifter, since it is much more accurate than regular Beep Test (like I said before, if a Kettlebell Lifter is not a good runner it doesnt mean he is not in good shape!).

Example for man Athlete:

We sum up ALL the reps done by an Athlete and divide it by 1,5. The number we get is approximate number of reps the Athlete could do in 10 minutes!

Example for female Athelte:

We sum up all the reps done on both hands and divide that number with 2! The number we get is approximate number of reps an Athlete could to in 10 minutes!


Once the test got its final form (as described above) I did it 3 times on 3 different weights. I used 26, 28 and 30kg Kettlebells for that test (I took one week between test and I tried to rest at least one day before the test to have similar conditions each time (not really possible with 40C outside one time, and 30 the other, but that heat only got me on 28s)).

Result I got on each test (except 28s due to an blister on right arm) are VERY CLOSE to my actual PR on the given weight.

With 26s I managed to perform 143 reps. My PR is 92 reps!

With 30s I managed to do 118 reps total. My PR is 77 reps!

Well, use the formula above and see it for yourself!

Try it for yourself and you will be amazed how close the number is.

Here is also Cardio graph of my test with 30s.

Enjoy my friends!








Avtor članka in testa: Gregor Sobočan, MS

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