Had you asked me to identify a kettlebell 6 years ago, I would have given you a “wtf?” look and proceeded to ask a question many of you ask me when you meet with me for a consultation.
What the heck is a kettlebell, really?
A kettlebell is a cast iron ball with a handle on it. In comparison to other free weights like dumbbells, a kettlebell is shaped in a manner that it’s overall weight is NOT distributed evenly. This requires the user to exert more power and strength to stabilize the weight during a kettlebell related workout. I often tell people that this hunk of iron will be the end of your crunches in the gym. You want core stability and a six pack abs? Swing a kettlebell! Enough said!
Now that we know what a kettlebell is, I want to talk about my personal top 5 favorite things about kettlebells and open up the forum here to find out what YOU love about this cast iron tool as well. So, let’s get down to business shall we?
The Top 5 Reasons Why You Need Kettelbells in Your Life!
1. Joint Friendly Cardiovascular Endurance that is SUPERIOR to Running. Three years ago I sustained injury to my right knee. I was doing a TON of running at the time on top of a TON of jump training that mimicked my old school basketball training. The problem? Well. . .my knees were NOT absorbing the shock of the impact from running or jumping anymore. At the ripe old age of 23, my body was saying good by to jump training and running and suddenly. . .BOOM! Major disruption to my knee joint. Not cool! The increased paid, swelling, inflammation, and general feelings of MEH creeping up into my knees. This was ever more concerning to me though as, at the time, I thought the only way to increase my endurance and cardiovascular training was through running. So. . .what the deuce? How does one get an intense workout when they can no longer run well or jump high? I plugged my concerns into a few fitness forums and came across a news-feed about kettlebell training for cardiovascular conditioning. I found many a good people who were former runners that had incorporated kettlebell training into their life when they could no longer run long distance due to the wear and tear they experienced on their knees. The result? SUPERIOR cardiovascular conditioning that was well beyond their running days and the ability to RETURN to running after using kettlebell training for a period of 3-6 months. RAD! I was sold on the idea and picked up my very first 12kg kettlebell soon after the reed. I got to swinging, learned some other demanding lifts with my coach and in 4 short months, I was became a force to be reckoned with. Now, I can sprint when I previously could not, and I believe this cast iron tool was the be all end all solution to my knee rehab. If you want cardiovascular conditioning and wish to someday get back to sprints and running, get a kettlebell. STAT!
2. Fast . . .like . . .REALLY FAST FATLOSS! Back in February I ran a beta test program as a way for people to get into the door of Primal Fitness Pittsburgh for it’s grand opening. During our 15 day program we saw record breaking weightloss. In 15 days our top performing participant lost 16 pounds. Yes. 16 pounds in 15 days! YOWZA! How incredible is that? I have seen similar results with this in my own life. The first time I picked up a kettlebell I had lost the extra 10- pounds i had to lose in about 3 weeks and was beginning to add on lean muscle mass which, in turn, further increases the metabolic rate. If you need to get ready for a wedding, a vacation, or are just simply tired of waiting for friggin ever to shed some serious weight, all you need is a kettlebell. Period. And speaking of super fast fatloss, the incredible rate of weight loss is directly proportional to my third favorite thing about kettlebells and kettlebell training.
3. Time Efficient Workouts. When I tell people I workout less than 3 hours a week, I get a ton of baffled looks. Yes, I seriously workout less than 3 hours a week. No, this is NOT sorcery! It’s just science. Here’s the deal. Murdering yourself at the gym for hours upon hours a day actually increases stress hormones that will INCREASE your fat storing hormones and DECREASE yoru overall ability to lose weight. Even more, I can guarantee that you will feel more tired, frustrated, and fed up with your lack of progress. And if you think all that hardcore exercise will make you healthy, think again! There is growing body of evidence that shows that long ended and extreme exercise programs can set you up for some serious down-regulation to your immune system, not to mention setting yourself up for injury that can set you back even further. Ask yourself, why feel more sick and tired? Why risk damaging your body? You can change your life in just 15 minutes a day if you wanted to, and really, that’s all you need to do to reap all the rewards of a healthy metabolism, booming immune system, and overall love for life.
I recently came up with a fun, fast, simple and effective double kettlebell routine. Set your interval timer for 30 seconds of work and then take a 30 second rest period. I suggest using two medium sized ketteleblls for this. Complete beginners can use kettlebells as low as two 8kgs (two 18lbs weight) and even push themselves all the way up to double 16kgs (two 36lbs weights) when you’re conditioning is up to speed. In the video below, I demonstrate double 14kg (two 31 pound weights) swings. I hit 20 reps in 30 seconds.
Now, 20 reps for 10 minutes means you moved 12,400 pounds (62 pounds x 20 reps x 10 rounds = 12,400 lbs. Huzzah math!). This also means that your conditioning is increasing it’s level of badassery, to which you should be well pleased ;). If you thought the time efficient conditioning was enough, wait until you hear about the 4th thing I love about kettlebell training.
4. Ridiculous, Insane, and down right FREAKY Strength Gains! A few weeks ago I wrapped up a conversation with strength coach and nutritional expert of Eat to Perform, Janelle Deeds (who coincidentally has a the best name ever 😉 ). On the forum, we talked about my personal strength gains I have experienced from my lifting routines. “You are not the norm” she said, ” but imagine how many people you can help by going against the grain!” Right on! To date, I have mastered some freaky lifts that most well conditioned MEN have reached. I have a 32kg Turkish get up, a 28kg single arm press, and a double 24kg military press. I am a 5’3” female. I am not saying this to stick my nose up into the air, but I AM saying this to make a point. If you put your mind to something, you can unleash your potential to become stronger and more capable than you ever thought possible, no matter who you are or what your perceived limitations may be. If you are seeking incredible feats of strength, congratulations! You are NOT the norm! With patience, persistence, strategic planning and a solid foundation, you CAN and WILL become the strongest version of yourself. Kettlebells will help you become really strong! And in case you don’t believe me, here’s some added visual inspiration. 🙂
And just a few years later. . .
5. Increased quality of life with better breathing. Guaranteed! Confession: I used to smoke cigarettes. In fact, I used to smoke A LOT of cigarettes. At my very worst, I was smoking 2 packs of cigarettes a day. True story! I had struggled with this addiction for a number of years but, after more nerding out over the interweb, found that exercise, and specifically kettlebell training, were proven to increase the lung capacity to a degree that could help people breathe better. Better breathing means more oxygen to the bodily systems which has proven to increase the quality of your life. I set a quit date, picked up my cast iron ball with a handle on it, and made a commitment to end my addiction once and for all. Years would go by and I would pass my 5 minute snatch test at my RKC certification weekend. The ex smoker hitting 100 reps of kettlebell snatches in 5 minutes. A feat, given my limitations, that I never thought would be possible.
Do you have habits you need to kick? Are you ready to change your life for the better? Beyond movement, strength, time efficient workouts and fatloss, kettlebell training will increase the quality of your life simply by teaching you how to breathe properly. Better breathing patterns mean less overall tension in the body, which leads to better movement, better fatloss, and better overall mental well-being. Take it from me, the ex-smoker. I literally guarantee you will breathe better with kettlebell training. It’s without question!
Are you a kettlebell enthusiast yourself? If so, what are YOUR top 5 favorite things you love about kettlebells? Let me know by leaving some comments below in this post! I would love to hear from you all!
Are you new to the world of kettlebell training? Great! Keep reading!
If you’re ready to make a commitment and rapidly and dramatically transform your life, look no further than the Russian Kettlebell. With your cast iron tool and the guidance of a certified kettlebell instructor, you will reap all the rewards of strength, conditioning, mobility, fatloss, and an overall higher quality of life. Forget the extreme protocols that have left you more miserable than before you started training. Make the commitment to change today by contacting me via email at email@example.com or simply fill out this form to register for your free fitness evaluation. I will be more than happy to discuss your training goals at your free consultation on site ! Thanks for visiting the blog today!
Let nothing stand in your way!