A Kettlebell Scenario

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A Kettlebell Scenario

Postby Preacher » Jul 20, 2005 03:11

The scenario: A ninety pound steel ball with handle drops down from a height of seven feet, guided by the single hand of a girevik (kettlebell man) who stops its descent inches from the floor and sends it back up overhead with a single, explosive motion.

The questions: If you were such a man, what would the strength of your connective tissues be like? How about your ability to absorb ballistic shock? What kind of punching or grappling power would you have?

No wonder Olympic Silver Medalist (Greco-Roman Wrestling) Dennis Koslowski once said, "Kettlebells are like weightlifting times ten."
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Re: A Kettlebell Scenario

Postby dragon » Jul 20, 2005 05:27

Preacher wrote: If you were such a man, what would the strength of your connective tissues be like?



Steel cables probably!


Preacher wrote:What kind of punching or grappling power would you have?


This is where i feel(just by observing what i have seen of the training) kettlebells have more of an advantage over conventional weight training methods.
If you have the need for strength/power in your chosen field(martial arts,military,manual worker,etc) you are seldom going to have the luxury of handling perfectly balanced loads that fit neatly into the palm like a barbell.
Most of the grapplers i know do perform maintainance weight training at a gym but also perform awkward lifts such as tire flipping and the farmers walk for power.
It's a shame that most commercial gyms don't have a range of kettlebells(i've never seen any gyms that have them in the UK!) for power trainees.

Dragon
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Postby Maxim » Jul 20, 2005 09:42

"Kettlebells are like weightlifting times ten."

:lol:
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Postby wynnema » Jul 21, 2005 04:36

most of the exercises that you do with kettleballs can be performed with a dumbell. I think they are a bit of a scam.
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Postby mat » Jul 21, 2005 05:31

wynnema wrote:most of the exercises that you do with kettleballs can be performed with a dumbell. I think they are a bit of a scam.


I'm not sure about that. Surely Kettlebells have been around much longer than dumbells. perhaps a dumbell is supposed to be a more modern, "safer" version of a kettlebell?
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Postby dragon » Jul 21, 2005 05:53

wynnema wrote:most of the exercises that you do with kettleballs can be performed with a dumbell. I think they are a bit of a scam.


The sport of kettlebell lifting in Russia has been around for a long time.

To say a kettlebell is a scam because some of the exercises can be performed with a dumbbell is like saying kick boxing is a scam because some of the kicks are the same as Kung Fu.

From the people who have tried both(and that's the only way you can have valid opinion),lifting the same weight with a kettlebell is harder than a dumbbell because of the kettlebell's design, namely a thick handle removed from a compact center of mass.
Whether or not this extra difficulty is neccesary for you greatly depends on your chosen field:-
A power lifter's goal is to control a barbell.
A martial artist's goal is to control an adversary.

Training with conventional barbells and dumbbells is undeniably one way of developing strength,but for a more sport specific approach(if you are a martial artist for example),learning to handle difficult objects,developing grip,controlling off balance objects,etc,should be part of your training.

I have never tried kettlebell training ,and as i've posted many times before,i enjoy training with a bodybuilding routine(dumbbells and barbells).
This doesn't mean i am so quick to dismiss other forms of training which may have benefits to my martial arts practice though.

Dragon
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Postby Maxim » Jul 21, 2005 06:11

A power lifter's goal is to control a barbell.
A martial artist's goal is to control an adversary.

And a girevek's goal is to control a girya :lol:

I never tried kettlebells, but this is what I know about them:

* It is an old sport in Russia that preceded modern weightlifting up till 1912, before WWI.

* Since it is lifted by one hand, the kettlebell causes random and arbitrary muscular development. Lifting with one arm for long periods and with heavy weights deform the musculoskeletal system.

* Since the kettlebell is asymmetric around the hand grip, it causes serious trauma to the wrist, elbow, shoulder, and spines. It differs from dumbbell in that the dumbbell are symmetrical around the axis of rotation.

* Kettlebell could be with very advanced athletes as a component of enhancing wrist flexion and extension provided that the lifter has developed advanced level in functional anatomy and injury prevention.


I suppose they have their place, but I'm a bit disgusted by all the hype and misleading information. Example:

The Russian Kettlebell—
The #1 Handheld Gym For Extreme Fitness

* Accelerates the development of all-purpose strength—to easily handle the toughest and most unexpected demands
* Boosts your physical resilience—to repel the hardest hits
* Builds your staying power—because the last round decides all
* Ensures the correct blend of strength with flexibility—because strength that fails to reach is impotent
* Hacks your fat off—without the dishonor of dieting and aerobics
* Forges a fighter's physique—so form matches function
* Gives you independence—world's #1 portable gym makes you as strong as you want anywhere, anytime


"Dishonor of dieting and aerobics"? :lol:
"Olympic Weightlifting times ten":shock:
Strength, power, flexibility and muscular endurance can be developed with any kind of resistance, be it barbells, dumbells, kettlebells, stones, animals or whatever. I also think they are extremely overpriced , they are just cast iron balls.

Regardless of my somewhat negative opinions, I must admit they look like fun :P

Happy training!
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Postby dragon » Jul 21, 2005 06:48

Maxim wrote:Since it is lifted by one hand, the kettlebell causes random and arbitrary muscular development. Lifting with one arm for long periods and with heavy weights deform the musculoskeletal system.


I have seen people training with two at once which i would assume has the same effect on the "musculoskeletal system" as dumbbells.

Maxim wrote:Since the kettlebell is asymmetric around the hand grip, it causes serious trauma to the wrist, elbow, shoulder, and spines. It differs from dumbbell in that the dumbbell are symmetrical around the axis of rotation.


I think it would depend how much care you take when you perform any exercise.As a power lifter you perform movements that a body builder would label unsafe.
This comes back to the sport specific training approach depending on what your goals are.



Maxim wrote:"Olympic Weightlifting times ten":shock:


That quote was made by Olympic silver medalist Dennis Koslowski.
One would assume by his statement that he has tried both,so he has more of an insight than i do.

Maxim wrote:Strength, power, flexibility and muscular endurance can be developed with any kind of resistance, be it barbells, dumbells, kettlebells, stones, animals or whatever.


Again,i think this depends on the specifics of why you train.
For example:-

1.Walk into a gym and bench press a 6ft 200 pound barbell.

2.Now use the same pressing movement to lift a 6ft 200 pound grappler who's pinning you on the floor.

The experience will be quite different.

If you're never going to be in the position of being pinned then you never need to look any further than barbells and dumbbells for your strength gains.
If you're a grappler/martial artist,scenario 2 is your reason for training.

I'm not saying kettlebells provide all the answers(because i don't know),but i think there are benefits to a wide variety of training methods.

As for the cost-Yes,if you wanted them for your own use the big disadvantage is they don't come adjustable like a dumbbell set,so different weight kettlebells would need to be purchased.

Dragon.
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Postby Maxim » Jul 21, 2005 06:57

Yes, I think they have a plae in strength training, however most interest in them in recent years is more about money than improved athletic performance imo.

Makes me think about the "war clubs", now known as clubbels. Sure they can be effective, but the fact remains that they are in the spotlight because of major hype, this can be a good thing, but is no proof of their efficiency.
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Postby dragon » Jul 21, 2005 10:49

Maxim wrote: Sure they can be effective, but the fact remains that they are in the spotlight because of major hype, this can be a good thing, but is no proof of their efficiency.


I guess proof of the effiency lies with the benefits you reap.

Whether those benefits outweigh the other factors involved such as cost,is up to the individual using them.

Dragon.
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Kettlebells and high risk professions

Postby Preacher » Jul 21, 2005 11:44

Kettlebells can be found on Air Force One and are used by half of President Bush's Secret Service. Here is a quote by a Secret Service in an interview with the Christian Science Monitor. "When Russian and US Special Forces started competing against each other after the Soviet Union broke up, the Americans made a disturbing discovery. We'd be totally exhausted and the Russians wouldn't even be catching their breath. It turned out they were all working with kettlebells."

I have seen photos of military personnel in Iraq training with them as well. Self protection and security experts like Tim Larkin and Jeff Martone train in them too. This is hardly the population to follow a bunch of money-making hype about a training method. If their body can't perform, they go home in a body bag. The fact is that kettlebells are used by people who have to put their life on the line. They actually are pretty old and were common in the US back in the 30's and 40's. In fact you can actually see them sitting in the background of a gym scene in a three stooges episode. For reasons unknown to me, they fell out of use in this country but are coming back.
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Postby Maxim » Jul 21, 2005 12:02

I see your points.
Lots of good things have fallen out of favor actually for unknown reasons or incorrect assumptions like ballistic stretching(really it's safe if you are gentle with the bouncing), strength training in general during Kenneth Cooper's reign :lol: , it's making a comeback though, but mostly machines :x, olympic weightlifting and as you say the KETTLEBELL.

Maxime

p.s. I think the kettlebell disappeared in Russia because of the rise of weightlifting and because the availability of plate loading dumbells.
Last edited by Maxim on Jul 21, 2005 12:04, edited 1 time in total.
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Kettlebells and Body Development

Postby Preacher » Jul 21, 2005 12:04

Even if you are using one arm with a kettlebell, you simply switch sides afterwards. It is actually impossible to just use your arm, you'll rip your forearm muscles. In a kettlebell snatch for instance, you are bent over with the kettleball handle in your hand as if you were to hike a football. You suddenly tighten your glutes and thrust your hips up, letting your arm swing the kettlebell up over head. As it is above, you go with its motion downwards and do this again. From this single exercise you work your arms, shoulders, back, glutes, abs, hamstrings, and chest muscles, not to mention the burn you feel in your lungs. That last effect is quite an experience.

For something like a Russian military press you have to grip the kettlebell handle hard, grip the ground with your toes, tighten your glutes and abs as you press the kettlebell upwards with one hand. This is muscle irradiation, recruiting all the muscles in the body for an exertion. Very handy for real life. At the last Arnold Schwarzenegger Fitness Expo well over two hundred body builders were unable to press an 88 pound kettlebell with one hand. Powerlifters were able to, though. It would make sense. You really need know how to use all your muscles simultaneously to handle that much weight with one hand.

Your wrists won't be hurt in kettlebell training provided you keep them straight. If you don't, the kettlebell will give you a brutal reminder you are doing something wrong. A heavy barbell would do the same.
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Postby dragon » Jul 22, 2005 05:24

Maxim wrote: I think the kettlebell disappeared in Russia because of the rise of weightlifting and because the availability of plate loading dumbells.


I think another reason is comfort.
A lot of trainees don't like performing exercises that are uncomfortable.Even certain exercises you can perform with plate loading barbells and dumbbells are hardly used any more-One such exercise is the barbell side press made popular by Athur Saxon in his strongman pictures.All bodybuilders in the early days,such as Clancy Ross and John Grimek,used power lifting as part of their training.

When i first joined a gym i had to blow the dust off the power rack,and even now i am one of the only trainees who performs chin ups whilst there is a queue at the lat pulldown machine.

Also,the majority of people these days train for appearance,not strength.
Here in the UK i don't recall ever seeing a power lifting magazine.I can think of about 6 bodybuilding publications straight away though.

Dragon.
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Postby Maxim » Jul 22, 2005 06:14

I agree.
It's weird though, because your average bodybuilder has worse "symmetry" as your average weightlifter. This is because of the poorly designed training 'splits', they train upper body as intense as lower body, while lower body takes much more work to respond...

It's not sensible to train the biceps as much as the legs, especially the calves, as the calves are very stubborn, because they are used to heavy work. If you do want to use split training, you should carefully monitor what muscles need less work and what muscles need more work. I am convinced this is exactly what advanced bodybuilders do.

Bye 8)
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