By Rob Shaul

MTI is calling for remote lab rats with kettlebell snatch experience for an upcoming, narrow and focused, 4 week, 5-day/week Mini-Study testing the overall fitness building capacity of kettlebell snatch High-Intensity Interval Training (HITT) and high repetition kettlebell snatches.

This mini-study will begin Monday, December 7, 2020.

The deadline to apply is 1700 Mountain Time, Monday, November 30, 2020.


We found a research study that has been completed on the fitness building capacity of High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) using kettlebells. This 2015 Study found that HIIT using kettlebell snatches significantly outperformed cross-training to improve aerobic capacity among female college soccer players.

In one of our own mini-study, we found kettlebell swings only performed half as well as hinge lifts to improve hinge lift 1RM.

Personally, I’ve experimented with high repetition kettlebell snatches as a way to maintain/build work capacity and aerobic fitness while recovering from foot surgery. Since that experience, I’ve wondered about the overall fitness building capacity of this unique kettlebell exercise which is championed by kettlebell experts/nerds everywhere!


Lab Rats will all complete the same programming which will begin with a general fitness assessment consisting of:

  • 1RM Hinge Lift
  • Max Repetition Arms Extended, Hand Release Push Ups in 2 Minutes
  • Max Repetition Strict Pull Ups
  • Max Rep Prone-to-Sprint (40 feet) in 6 Minutes

After a rest day, the Lab Rats will complete a kettlebell snatch test. Women will use a 12kg kettlebell for the test and throughout the study. Men will use a 16kg kettlebell for the test and throughout the study.

For the remaining Week 1 Friday training session and all the M/W/F training sessions in weeks 2 and 3, the lab rats will complete either HIIT kettlebell snatch efforts, or high repetition kettlebell snatch training sessions. Tuesday and Thursday sessions will be moderate paced running, rucking or biking (athlete’s choice).

Week 4 will be a re-assessment week. Monday of Week 4, the lab rats will re-complete the Hinge 1RM, Hand Release Push Up, Pull Up and Prone to Sprint assessments and the results from the pre-study and post-study assessments will be compared.


Cycle Duration and Schedule

This MTI Mini-Study will take 4 weeks. It will begin Monday, December 7, 2020 and end on Wednesday, December 30, 2020.

What We Hope To Learn

The effectiveness of kettlebell snatch HIIT and high rep kettlebell snatches to increase general strength, strength endurance, and work capacity.

To Participate

  • You’ll need to commit to training 5 days/week, for 4 weeks – during the holidays – and follow the program as prescribed.
  • You’ll need the required below:

– Barbell and plates for the 1RM Hinge Assessment
– Pull Up Bar for the Pull Up Assessment
– 40-foot open space for the Prone to Sprint Assessment
– Stop Watch (smartphone will work)
– Repeating Interval Timer (smartphone will work)
– Single Kettlebell (Women – 12kg, Men – 16kg)

  • Highly Recommended is some type of hand protection – high rep kettlebell snatches can be tough on hands in terms of rips.
  • You’ll need to have experience completing kettlebell snatches with proper form. This is not a cycle to complete if you’re not competent and experienced with this exercise.

The cycle will begin Monday, December 7, 2020, and end December 30, 2020.

We aim to limit the total number of Lab Rats to 10-16 athletes.


Want to be an MTI Lab Rat?

Please email, and put “Kettlebell Snatch Lab Rat” in the subject line by 1700 mountain time, November 30, 2020.

Please include:

  • Your age, height, and weight
  • Kettlebell Snatch Training Experience and Proficiency
  • Verify you have access to the required equipment, including a single kettlebell (12kg for women, 16kg for men), barbell and plates for the hinge lift, etc.
  • Finally, please verify you can commit to the 4 week, 5 day/week training cycle.

You’ll be assigned to a Group, and provided with further instructions. Training will start on Monday, December 7, 2020.