Kyle Kirvay Gets His Cardio By Squatting 495 Pounds for 22 Reps

Kirvay got his cardio in the gym with a barbell in a power rack.

Bodybuilder Kyle Kirvay is not interested in treadmills or stair climbers or exercise bikes or rowing machines for his cardio. The IFBB Pro gets his cardio by loading five 45-pound weight plates on each sleeve of a barbell, resting that barbell on his traps, and squatting it raw for 22 unbroken reps.

I was shooting for 20 but when the blood left my brain and entered my legs I lost count.

Check out the full set in the video below, courtesy of Kirvay’s Instagram page. For the set, Kyle “Tiger” Kirvay wore knee sleeves and a lifting belt but did not use wrist wraps.


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A post shared by Kyle Tiger Kirvay (@kylekirvay)

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Kirvay moved through 12 reps before taking a quick breather, though he maintained the barbell. He repped out three more reps before it appeared that his lungs were getting a pretty stringent workout. After his 17th rep, he appeared to smile and shake his head — it is unclear if he was having fun. His final five reps were performed slow-and-controlled with deep breaths between each. Judging from his breathing, he was still effectively bracing prior to each rep. Despite going two reps over his target, his form remained constant through the end of the set.

I still rather do this than 20 minutes on the stairs any day.

On Feb. 19, 2022, Kirvay competed in the 140-kilogram (308-pound) weight class at the 2022 USPA Battle at Atilis, held in Atilis Gym, Bellmawr, NJ. He scored three New Jersey state records and an American bench press record with the following stats:

2022 USPA Battle of Atilis — Kyle Kirvay | 140KG

  • Squat: 365 kilograms (804 pounds) — New Jersey State Record
  • Bench Press: 275 kilograms (606 pounds) — National & New Jersey State Records
  • Deadlift: 365 kilograms (804 pounds) — New Jersey State Record
  • Total: 1,005 kilograms (2,214 pounds) — New Jersey State Record

Per the caption of his Instagram post, his 22-rep squat set was his first time squatting since the 2022 USPA Battle of Atilis. Additionally, it was his first time performing “high-bar squats” — meaning the barbell rests higher on his shoulders — in three months. When Kirvay decides to step onto the lifting platform at a sanctioned powerlifting meet again, his squat training should pose a threat to his current 365-kilogram (804-pound) New Jersey state raw squat record.

Featured image: @kylekirvay on Instagram