A ‘kettlebell‘ or girya (Russian) is a traditional Russian cast iron weight that looks like a cannonball with a handle. The Russian Special Forces personnel owe much of their wiry strength, lethal agility and never-quitting stamina to kettlebells.
The official Soviet armed forces strength training manual pronounced kettlebell drills to be “one of the most effective means of strength development” representing “a new era in the development of human strength-potential.”
Different Types of Kettlebells
There are two main types of kettlebell, cast and competition style.
Cast Kettlebells, as their name suggests, are literally a solid moulding and therefore change size as they increase in weight. Because there are no set criteria for these bells, there are literally hundreds of different variations. They range from very good to very poor in general design and quality.
The other variation, competition Kettlebells, are designed to be consistent in size regardless of weight. The difference in weight comes from the degree of steel used in their construction, some are simply more solid than others.
The Kettlebell Body
Kettlebells melt fat without additional aerobics; losing 1% of body fat a week for weeks in not uncommon. If you are overweight, you will lean out. If you are skinny, you will get built up. the Russian kettlebell is a powerful tool for fixing your body composition, whichever way it needs fixing.
Who Uses Kettlebells in the United States?
The extreme kettlebell workout would have remained the exclusive domain of Russian spec ops, had former Spetsnaz instructor Pavel Tsatsouline not immigrated to the U.S. The elite of the U.S. military and law enforcement instantly recognized the power of the Russian kettlebell, ruggedly simple and deadly effective as an AK-47. You can find Pavel’s certified kettlebell instructors in outfits such as the Force Recon Marines, the FBI Hostage Rescue Team and the Secret Service Counter Assault Team. Once the Russian kettlebell became a hit among those whose life depends on their strength and conditioning, it took off among people from all walks of life. There is no stopping the Russian kettlebell invasion. Men’s Journal called it ‘a workout with balls.’ Rolling Stone pronounced Pavel ‘The Hot Trainer of the Year’ and his Russian Kettlebell ‘The Hot Weight of the Year.’
Kettlebells Deliver Extreme All-Around Fitness
Kettlebell training lowers the heart rate and the blood pressure. Exercises with kettlebells build strength, endurance and achieve a balanced development of all muscle groups. Most methods that claim “all around fitness” deliver no more than compromises. Accept no compromises – choose the Russian Kettlebell!
Your Gym to Go
The kettlebell is a complete, portable gym. Imagine truly being able to hide your gym under the bed or behind a couch when not in use. Forget about spending tons of money on gym equipment that you never use anyway. Not only will you actually use your kettlebell, but you never have to worry about where to put it in your house.
What Do I Need To Start With Kettlebell Training?
Check my intro articles:
- Equipment You Need For Kettlebell Training
- What Size Kettlebell Is Right for Me?
- Best Kettlebell Books for Starters
Are Kettlebells Dangerous? Am I Too Young or Too Old?
Only 8.8% of top Russian gireviks, members of the Russian National Team and regional teams, reported injuries in training or competition (Voropayey, 1997). A remarkably low number, isn’t it? Note that these were not regular guys but elite athletes who push their bodies to the edge. This does not give you an excuse to lift kettlebells flippantly, as any type of strength training can be dangerous if you use bad judgment. As for the age, at the 1995 Russian championship the youngest contestant was 16, the oldest 53! And we are talking elite competition here; the range is even wider if you are training for yourself rather than for the gold.