Somehow the fitness industry became the beauty industry
Why in yoga, why not in training ?
So why KB? A question I regularly get asked is why KB? And the even worse question I regularly get asked is can I purchase some personal training with you to get fit, but I don’t want to hurl around those kettlebell thingies(yes people will actually ask this question, as if kettlebell lifting doesn’t somehow manage to get you fit, AND seriously WTF is wrong with some people?).
So firstly, I don’t hurl an iron ball around for hurling an iron balls sake. I do it because there’s certain qualities I get out of it. It’s not dancing or art therapy. The qualites are for mind/body, sports performance and physique. Of course we can mix KB lifting up with other training methods, but that’s for blogs to come. This blog is kettlebell specific, so let’s get to school plebs..
To hold up and move a bell for several minutes at a time, your body has to be soft and relaxed whilst being focused in, breathing properly and moving efficiently. Sometimes when KB lifting your stress reflexes may kick in. You may find your shoulders lifting, your muscles tightening and you may start holding your breath. With enough practice you realise this not only achieves nothing, it actually holds you back from performing as well as you can. So relax, breathe and let go. Practice this long enough and you’ll find yourself building a new response to stress. Instead of tightening, shrugging and tensing you’ll find yourself softening, breathing and focusing in on the next best thing to do.
Although you’re average bro likes to pride himself on having a big chest and guns, in sports performance these muscles paint only a small part of a much bigger picture. So KB sport will make you efficient. You kind of have to be. There’s no way I know of holding up and hurling sometimes 3/4 of your body weight, for several minutes and dozens to hundreds of reps at a time without efficiency. Coincidentally the muscle groups most used in KB sport are the ones that are mostly neglected with conventional training..
*Postural muscles(your back bro) Maybe the muscle group most neglected in conventional fitness. This is why you see gorillas walking around the gym & it’s also why old people stoop forward. Strengthening the lumbar erectors is the biggest single step you can take toward having a healthy back for life. The take away message here- be human, never age & become injury resistant by building this muscle group.
*Glutes & hams(booty) The muscle group that stabilises the knee, ankle and hips, increases explosive power and damn well fills out a pair of jeans or hotpants in all the right ways. This group of muscles is hard to work without free weight. Notice plenty of yoga chicks with nice arms, legs and abz but a pancake ass? You guessed it, it’s a KB swing deficiency.
*Grip If you do Jiu-Jitsu or rock climbing you’ll know this is one of the first things to give out. There was a point in time where my forearms measured bigger than my biceps, yes I was a real life Popeye.
AND let’s not forget cardio/conditioning Basically with enough time and effort you’ll be able to reach maximum heart rate lifting kettlebells(I know lifters who can get to 190bpm+). No plebs, you don’t need a treadmill or cycling for cardio, stop going off 1980’s information.
Some of this was already covered under performance, but basically if you’re a woman KB training will give you a firm round booty, a tight midsection and the right balance of top to bottom & front to back firmness #skinnystrong
If you’re a fat dude it’s probably gonna be the best way to bring your midsection in for the amount of time spent, ie KB training is the most time effective fat burner I’ve come across. If you’re skinny and want to build size KB training isn’t that great, it does however work well as an assistance training. Adding KB snatches, clean and jerks and swings to some old school barbell lifting will give your size and strength a whole new dimension. A kettlebell/barbell program will be covered in a future blog post.
Although that covers only a small amount of everything there is to know about KB, at least you’re now familiar with what basic KB training can do for you.