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Kettlebells - The perfect exercise or just a fad?

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  • Kettlebells - The perfect exercise or just a fad?

    Seems that kettlebells are the latest greatest thing in the world of exercise, especially in the paleo/primal communities. However for myself, I had never even heard of them or seen anyone use one before discovering PB. Now after getting a chance to try them out I can say there does seem to be some benefit to using them. The thing is Im not sure that they are the be all end all of the exercise world like Pavel would want you to believe. Im curious what others really think about them. Is working out with them everything it claims to be or just marketing hype?
    Primal Chaos
    37yo 6'5"
    6-19-2011 393lbs 60" waist
    current 338lbs 49" waist
    goal 240lbs 35" waist

  • #2
    No, it's just a fad. Everyone will be coming back to indian clubs any minute now.

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    • #3
      It's just a weight that is easier to handle in some situations than a dumbbell or something similar. The only thing that I find them useful for moreso than a DB are for Turkish get ups. BUT, that is the only exercise that I have done that I found them to be mo-bettah'. I guess kettlebell swings would be a good exercise to use them for, but I have never done them.
      It's a "fad" in the sense that they are a big deal right now but they will stick around as a tool for the future. I don't think you need to center your training around it.
      People too weak to follow their own dreams will always try to discourage others.

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      • #4
        I have used them almost exclusivly over the past couple of months. The will get you stronger and in shape in a good way both cardio and with muscle growth. They are not the end all be all though as most KB people claim. They cannot take over heavy deadlifts and other activites and most motions you can do with a dumbbell if you wanted too.

        They are a great tool that will get you into some decent shape. But like EVERYTHING out there, you need to mix it up if you want to grow!

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        • #5
          Well, my grandfather had a huge kettlebell in his study, and that was my first encounter with weights evar! So, I blame my addiction to KB on my childhood memories.

          I like KBs because how large, cool and crazy the movements are. I won't use kettlebells for straight lifting - I am a bar girl for that, but swings and snatches and other ballistic stuff is plain fun compared to the dumbell excersises. Yeah, I shadow-boxed with dumbells before but it wasn't the same wild coolness. With a KB it's easy to slip in the nerdish fantasy land and imagine that you are actually swinging a flail around (I guess dumbell can pass for a warhammer)... anyway, nerdish expose aside, I feel the ballistic coolness of KBs is a great suppliment to the deliberate, measured lifting of the really heavy stuff in the suat rack.
          My Journal: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread57916.html
          When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.

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          • #6
            Having been using them for a few months now I would say they are an extremely good tool, better that one might think after seeing Jillian Michaels jump on the bandwagon. Not the be all and end all, but well worth it and far more useful the most of the machines currently lining gyms or collecting dust in people garages.

            And anyway, what is the perfect tool? Bodyweight plus some rings maybe? Nothing else fits the bill as the be all and end all.

            @Darth - I'm really keen to get/make myself a set of indian clubs.
            www.back-to-primal.blogspot.com or on Facebook here

            My training journal if anyone is interested

            Be strong to be useful

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            • #7
              My introduction to KB's was with CrossFit which I started a few months ago. I have to say that KB exercises are probably my favorite exercises because they aren't high impact, they work the full body and all the stabilizer muscles (depending on what lift you do, especially Turkish Get ups). They have been around for a very long time, but have recently seen popularity. I would think they will have staying power with the fitness world. They are not the absolute best exercise implements to ever be devised, but they could absolutely be used entirely for a full body work out regimen. I'd only suggest using them for the first time under supervision of someone who understands KB fitness so that you don't hurt yourself, which is always possible when swinging heaving things around. My conclusion: They aren't a fad, I'd expect to see them around for a long time to come.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Blah View Post

                @Darth - I'm really keen to get/make myself a set of indian clubs.
                I was joking, but to be honest aside from how cool they look I don't see any reason to get KB or indian clubs over say cheap old sledgehammers. I do like the old timey pictures of guys swing clubs, but... meh.

                (I even saw one guy making his own clubs by filling plastic wiffleball bats with sand, and lead shot.)

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by DarthFriendly View Post
                  I was joking, but to be honest aside from how cool they look I don't see any reason to get KB or indian clubs over say cheap old sledgehammers. I do like the old timey pictures of guys swing clubs, but... meh.

                  (I even saw one guy making his own clubs by filling plastic wiffleball bats with sand, and lead shot.)
                  I'd like a pair of clubs not for lifting, but for swinging and rotations to help with mobility so I would only need something like a 2lb pair. My shoulders are less mobile than they could be and clubs seem like a good way to work on that.

                  Also my 16kg kettlebell cost me less than a sledgehammer, and I think I can do more with it. Though I would still like to get a sledgehammer, different tools for different jobs.
                  www.back-to-primal.blogspot.com or on Facebook here

                  My training journal if anyone is interested

                  Be strong to be useful

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Blah View Post
                    I'd like a pair of clubs not for lifting, but for swinging and rotations to help with mobility so I would only need something like a 2lb pair. My shoulders are less mobile than they could be and clubs seem like a good way to work on that.

                    Also my 16kg kettlebell cost me less than a sledgehammer, and I think I can do more with it. Though I would still like to get a sledgehammer, different tools for different jobs.
                    I know a dude who had the 72kg kettle bells, not sure you could get a hammer that heavy.

                    Of course he was mostly a tool.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by DarthFriendly View Post
                      I know a dude who had the 72kg kettle bells
                      In Soviet Russia kettlebell swings you.
                      www.back-to-primal.blogspot.com or on Facebook here

                      My training journal if anyone is interested

                      Be strong to be useful

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Been using them for almost 2 years. Love the overall conditioning I get from em. Strength(core especially), flexibility, cardio(will kick your BUTT). Start light, and work your way up. There are numerous movements you can do with em:-) Grok/Swing On!
                        Free your mind, and your Grok will follow!

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                        • #13
                          They've been around since the 1700's, so it's a pretty long lived fad. I think kettlebells work me in ways that are very different from traditional weights. I love the core focus. I keep one in my office to swing around when I need relief.
                          Christine
                          Wag more, bark less

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                          • #14
                            I really just like to envision big Russian dudes and svelte Russian women lugging them around and randomly swinging them at objects. I want to be one of those women =P I'm 2nd generation Russian (Ukraine & Belarus, father's parents) and I still fully intend on getting dialect tapes to learn to fake a Russian accent.
                            Depression Lies

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                            • #15
                              Think I'm probably alone on this--- but I do think kb's are going to run their course. Reason? Injuries. Am sure, like Pavel says, it's all our fault. But it's really easy to hurt yourself without perfect form or patience. Pretty sure I'm not the only fellow around who has neither.

                              I loved the kettlebells, and they felt cool. Right until I hurt some muscle in my back. I know, I know, my fault. Months ago. Still recovering. Sucks.

                              But I've lifted weights for years and the only time I've ever been injured this badly was from the kettlebells.

                              Eager to go back to them (maybe just for swings), but I imagine as more people use them, more people will be injured, and slowly they will disappear into the background again.

                              [alternate hypothesis: as they increase in popularity, proper instruction will become more available, and injury will decrease]

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