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Are Kettlebells Passť?

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  • Are Kettlebells Passť?

    I've been reading up on kettlebells and am considering taking a class or seeking the help of a personal trainer to learn proper form. I especially like that cardio and strength are combined in one set of movements and am encouraged by the many fat loss testimonials out there. I really couldn't care less whether they are trendy, but I have noticed that most books, blog posts, videos, etc., that I've found helpful were published a couple of years ago, and I'm beginning to wonder whether I'm getting in on the tail end of a fad. So, if former kettlebell enthusiasts are abandoning the practice, why?

  • #2
    I don't think people are abandoning the practice, it's just that kettlebells were such a hype back then. It's still a functional piece of equipment. The hype have probably just gone down because the information of what can be done have mostly been covered, and because the people who would've bought a kettlebell have now bought a kettlebell, so there is no need to really market the item anymore.

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    • #3
      What's a kettle ball?
      The Champagne of Beards

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      • #4
        I have a kettlebell and the swing is a decent exercise I do sometimes watching tv.

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        • #5
          This"fad", as you called it, has been around for quite some time, so I'm not sure it qualifies as a fad. The 'Thigh master' and such contraptions, were fads, but kettlebells are not. Some folks get bored of the same routine. I am one of them. However, kettlebells are my go to exercise when time and space are a factor and I want all systems getting worked in one circuit (cardio, strength, and mobility). They must be supplemented with pushing and pulling exercises, however. (Pushups and pullups work fine for that). Look up Steve Maxwell for some great kettlebell training. He's over 60, is a kettlebell/bodyweight pioneer in the U.S., and he travels the world giving seminars. Check him out online. He has a site and youtube videos. There's nothing wrong with mixing things up though if you get bored with just kettlebells. Have fun out there and just keep moving. Peace!

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          • #6
            Yeah, I realize kettlebells have been around for centuries, but I was referring to their recent resurgence in the States. I'd noticed their popularity waning and wondered about the reason. I thought maybe people were getting injured or were finding them less effective as promised. Also, I've had trouble finding a certified instructor in my immediate area (I live on the outskirts of a major metropolitan area). I don't know how important the certification is. Thanks for the recommendation. I'll look into Maxwell.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Reindeer View Post
              I don't think people are abandoning the practice, it's just that kettlebells were such a hype back then. It's still a functional piece of equipment. The hype have probably just gone down because the information of what can be done have mostly been covered, and because the people who would've bought a kettlebell have now bought a kettlebell, so there is no need to really market the item anymore.
              It's funny you mention that because I heard the same thing happened when adjustable barbells were initially invented. Back in those days, the word in magazines was that if you bought an adjustable barbell and used it, you would get big and strong. That's all you needed back then. That's all they were advertising in the magazines. And it was true, people did get the results.

              The problem was just as you mentioned. People would only need to buy an adjustable barbell once. It wasn't generating enough money. Thus the invention of supplements, a product that people would continue to buy over and over again.

              The rest is history. Over the years, the health and fitness industry has turned people onto ideas of magical products guaranteed to give them the results, instead of hard work. Thus, the phenomenon you see these days. People are constantly confused about how to get in shape, always looking for the new gimmick, more scientific method of training, new scientific diet, and/or supplement(s) that's going to work magical wonders, instead of actually working hard.

              The truth is, the answer is the same now as it's always been as to how to get in shape. But people just don't see it. It's sad.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by MerryMac View Post
                I've been reading up on kettlebells and am considering taking a class or seeking the help of a personal trainer to learn proper form. I especially like that cardio and strength are combined in one set of movements and am encouraged by the many fat loss testimonials out there. I really couldn't care less whether they are trendy, but I have noticed that most books, blog posts, videos, etc., that I've found helpful were published a couple of years ago, and I'm beginning to wonder whether I'm getting in on the tail end of a fad. So, if former kettlebell enthusiasts are abandoning the practice, why?
                The truth is that most of what you hear about kettlebells is just marketing hype. That doesn't mean that they don't work. It just means don't think there is anything magical about them. That's actually what the advertising companies intended to accomplish, for people to believe that there is something about them that makes them WAY better than barbells or other equipment, but there isn't. You can just as well do circuit training with many other types of equipment and it'd provide a similar workout.

                I'm not bashing kettlebells by all means, I'm just bashing the advertising companies. Kettlebells actually are a descent piece of equipment. Try bending over and grabbing a few heavy kettlebells and doing a few clean and jerks with them and then tell me how you feel. You can feel all your muscles working, and it really is more taxing than you'd think. They really are a descent piece of equipment that require functional strength.

                The question is, do you really need them for the type of training you are looking for and your specific goals? Maybe or maybe not. Do you like training with them and is it fun? Fun is a big factor, it all depends on you.

                Personally if I had kettlebells at my gym, I'd add a few exercises into my routine as a functional movement, same thing with farmers walk, sand bag work, etc.. But I don't think I'd buy one unless I was really into home workouts and for some reason there was an exercise I couldn't do without.

                Like I said, there really isn't anything magical about them. You could try a class if you like the group thing. But like I said, I wouldn't go out of my way to purchase them. It just isn't worth it IMHO. How about these questions. Are you into home workouts. Do you regularly do push ups, situps, burpees, etcc., and are you looking for an extra piece of equipment? If not, then it isn't worth it, because it'll probably just end up sitting in the closet collecting dust.

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                • #9
                  I mentioned it in another thread: there is this guy and his shovel glove routine. Looks cheaper for similar benefits.

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                  • #10
                    Or screw handles onto old bowling balls for free. If you really like and use them, then maybe upgrade to the real thing. Or just keep using the bowling balls if your handles are so sturdy they can do everything a KB does.
                    Crohn's, doing SCD

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                    • #11
                      I think maybe kettlebells just aren't readily available to many people. In my own gym, they are under lock and key. You must take a class before you are allowed to use them. Meanwhile, hundreds of dumbbells are available. Seems easier just to grab one of those.

                      I think you should take the class. You never know what you will come away with. I may take the kettlebell class myself next year.

                      I would never buy kettlebells just like I'd never buy dumbbells. I would soon outgrow any light ones and there would be storage issues to own a full set.
                      Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Knifegill View Post
                        Or screw handles onto old bowling balls for free. If you really like and use them, then maybe upgrade to the real thing. Or just keep using the bowling balls if your handles are so sturdy they can do everything a KB does.
                        You can buy good quality kettlebells for a buck a lb. Dunno if finding bowling balls and screwing on handles is worth the hassle.

                        Kettlebells are good shit.

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                        • #13
                          A kettlebell is a cast iron ball with a handle attached to the top of it (picture a cannonball with a handle on the top). This design makes kettlebells different from training with dumbbells because the weight of a kettlebell is not distributed evenly, thus creating the need to counter balance and stabilize during your workout (Aha ... core strength!).

                          The most common weight of a kettlebell ranges between 9 pounds and 105 pounds.

                          Check out this kettle bell workout

                          www.hnl24h.com

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                          • #14
                            "Are Kettlebells Passť?" No, their heavy.

                            I love them but you have to ask yourself: What am I training for?

                            Done correctly, they can give you a great workout. I use them a lot in conjunction with barbells, sprints, slam balls, pullup racks, ropes, etc.

                            They are also great for trips in the car. Take one with you and you have plenty of ways to keep in shape and they don't take up much room.
                            Never, never, never quit! -- Winston Churchill

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                            • #15
                              For home workouts, they're a great option. One 35lb kettlebell can give you a hell of a workout, even if you just pick a few movements out of the dozens of possible options. Clean and press/jerk, Turkish get ups, various squats, and snatches (especially snatches) combined with some push ups, dips, or other body weight exercises makes for a great functional workout. Simple, high energy expenditure, resistance/cardio hybrid, you don't need much space or time. And you can change it up everyday and probably never run out of combinations.

                              I bought one 35er almost a year ago (I wish I had heard of them sooner, I guess they really flew under my radar during their fad phase, whenever that was), I still love it and find new ways to use it, almost everyday. Even after moving up to a heavier weight I still use my original one. It's one of the best ways I ever spent $47.

                              I keep it sitting right near my TV, almost any time I watch something (I watch a lot of stuff too, I love movies/tv series/documentaries), I'll workout most of the way through it. I figure if I'm going to be in front of a screen I might as well make the most of it, I get to absorb something interesting and get some exercise in.

                              The ability to vary the intensity with kettlebells is also excellent, very easy to access the full spectrum of exertion. You can switch between slow, low intensity, steady movement (like just passing the bell from hand to hand around your waist), right into something high intensity like a snatches/press-lockout squat complex, etc. You can design some pretty cool circuits this way, it's fun if you like to play around with workout structure/recovery times/active recovery, etc., which can supposedly yield some interesting and different hormonal responses. I suppose you can do this with any kind of equipment or workout, but the versatility of kettlebells seems to make them especially useful for this.

                              I guess it depends what you like. It's great for those who workout at home. If the amount of equipment, storage space, and money are factors, few things give you more bang for your buck. Since I'm pretty firmly in that category, without the space for a full home barbell set, I love kettlebells.

                              If you're more focused on the gym, yeah, I guess there are better options. Making the most of your time, it's probably better to us heavy barbells for squats/deadlifts.

                              I also ran into what sbhikes mentioned, where the kettlebells are locked away in a separate room. Apparently, they can only be used by personal training clients, and only during supervised training sessions at that. I asked about it and it has something to do with insurance, apparently the coverage fees to have freely accessible kettlebells on the main floor are very high.

                              When I got back into more traditional weight lifting in the gym after years away from it (just recently), my strength and performance was a hell of a lot better than I expected it to be, and I largely attribute that to kettlebell work at home.

                              /tldr.
                              Last edited by TheChokingGame; 08-29-2013, 05:18 AM. Reason: Shortened.

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