I’ve posted a few items on fitness in the past, particularly on the Concept 2 rowing machine and on weight training (my preferred exercise). For the past month or so I have been regularly missing my gym workouts- and it’s starting to show. While I was weight training rowing took a backseat but I’m beginning to get back into the swing of doing a row most days now to make up for it. However, I really miss lifting and because my house is fairly small and contains two children I have no room for a decent weights set up. A bench with a squat rack just won’t fit. So I’ve been looking for an alternative. My office contains a Gold’s Gym Power Tower- a dip, pull up and press up station all-in-one- which is very handy but it’s just not the same; I like to lift things!
I first read about Kettlebells about a year or so ago. Imagine a cannonball with a handle and you’ve got your Kettlebell. The basic weight or ‘pood’ is 16kg/35lbs, but you can step up the weight to bigger KBs as you improve. It’s an old school training regime to be sure, but it seems to be highly effective at building pure strength and burning fat. Unlike normal weight training some of the routines for KBs involve ballistic movements- swinging the ball through parts of the lift. The great part for me is that the only equipment which is required is a KB and yourself. No benches or other equipment to clutter up the house. And it’s quite fitting given the few mentions Spetsnaz have gotten here lately- they apparently used KBs to train with.
There are a lot of claims made about this sort of training which, if only half true, would make it better than anything else going. The main guy who advocates KBs is Pavel Tsatsouline. According to him (and a lot of the reviews around the web) KBs are the single best way to increase strength, burn fat, and increase speed. Now, I’m somewhat sceptical about the extent of some of these claims but as the routines for KBs seem to be based on power lifting it seems to me that, if this is the case, they will do a lot of what they claim. I know that the basic lifts work with a barbell so I’m willing to try the same with a Kettlebell.
At the moment I’m trying to locate a company in the UK which sells KBs (plenty in the US but I dread to think what the shipping would be like) at a reasonable price- the cost varies wildly from place to place. Once I’ve tracked that down, I’ll invest in a KB and report back as progress (hopefully) occurs.