04 Aug The Great Kettlebell Hoax?

SaxonAre kettlebells just some fitness fad?

Or are they a premier strength and conditioning tool that will continue to evolve, expand, and spread to the masses?

Here’s my thoughts on this.

This fitness industry is funny.

There are fitness fads that come and go all the time.

Fads are what they are, they’re fads which means they come on strong, then they fizzle out over time.

Fads are just part of this industry because people want new stuff.

Honestly, it’s one of the things I don’t like to see in this industry.

But, the things that are battle tested and proven through decades (or even centuries) will never go away.

Here’s a fact about kettlebells.

Kettlebells are nothing new.

They are not new at all.

Kettlebells were reportedly developed in Russia in the 1700’s, although there are other reports from earlier use outside of Russia.

The bottom line is they have been around for a long time.

Many of the early pioneers in strength training, such as Arthur Saxon, Eugene Sandow, George Hackenschmidt, and Vladislav Krayevsky used and wrote about the applications of kettlebells in strength training.

Krayevsky even wrote a major manuscript in the late 1800’s and was eventually published the book in 1900 entitled “The Development of Physical Strength with Kettlebells and without Kettlebells.” (And, if you know where to find this book, please let me know.)

Kettlebells have been used for centuries by strongmen for the purpose of strength and muscular hypertrophy.

I admit that even though I’ve been training for many years, I only “discovered” kettlebells just a few short years ago.

But, I’ve never looked back.

Kettlebells, like barbells, and even dumbbells, are proven, powerful tools for strength, muscular development, and many other great benefits to the human body.

For the skeptics, doubters, or for those that simply believe it’s “just another gadget,” I’m here to say that kettlebell training is the real deal.

This also doesn’t mean that it’s the “be all – end all” or the only thing we should use.

But, for the majority of people, it pretty much addresses everything you could want and much more.

My experience with kettlebells has led me to a few conclusions about whether this is a fitness fad or not.

Here are the conclusions:

1-In order to fully appreciate and understand the power of effective kettlebell training, you must get with a properly certified instructor to help you maximize the benefits of the tool.

The evolution of kettlebells has become very refined for human movement and the development of strength.

In other words, we’ve learned how to better use the tool.

Because of the evolution of the exercises and to get the most benefit in the safest way possible, it’s essential to get with a properly certified instructor to learn how to use the tool.

As more people discover the right way to use this tool, the growth of kettlebell training will continue to emerge and I don’t see it fading out.

2-We don’t know what we don’t know until we do something about it.

I’ll share my personal experience here.

For the first 6 months of training with kettlebells, I thought I was doing really well and I thought I knew what I was doing.

That ended when I signed up for my 1st kettlebell workshop and found out I was doing everything wrong.

When I learned how to perform the fundamentals properly, I would say my results literally doubled and I was more convinced about all the benefits of kettlebells than ever before.

We don’t know what we don’t know until we do something about it.

Take a workshop, get with a certified instructor, or even have someone provide feedback on your technique through video analysis.

Do whatever it takes to improve your skills and discover the optimal use of the tool.

3-Kettlebells will continue to grow and evolve for those who are ready for it. More people will continue to “discover” the benefits of kettlebell training.

I have no doubt kettlebells will continue to grow and evolve, but ONLY for those that are ready to ‘receive’ the benefits.

What I mean is, I don’t try to “sell” the benefits to the ‘dabblers’ and ‘tire kickers’ anymore.

Motivation is overrated.

Kettlebell training is not easy, it requires hard work and practice.

People either want to learn it and benefit or they don’t.

The people looking for the next “magic bullet” or latest exercise gadget are ideal for this tool because you actually have to work to get better with the tool to get great results.

The kettlebell is ready for those ready for the kettlebell.

If they want to learn it, then I will help to show them the way so that they will discover on their own all the benefits the tool has to offer.

The tool is great, but I’ve learned people need to discover this for themselves.

Kettlebells will definitely continue to evolve and expand to the masses for those that have made a commitment to their own development and growth.

4-There is more to strength than kettlebell training.

While I love all the benefits of kettlebell training, it’s just a part of the equation for optimal strength and performance training.

While I do not take a “jack of all trades” approach to training, I much prefer a fundamental human movement and simple approach eliminating things that are unnecessary.

Always ask yourself about each and every exercise you do, does this really help me achieve my top goals?

Make sure you have a clear “rationale” for everything you do and NEVER do something just to do it.

Kettlebells, barbells, and bodyweight/mobility training represent a “fundamental” approach to strength and performance.

Can other things be added to the mix as well?

Of course.

And, I understand we all need variety, but we also need to keep it simple.

Kettlebells represent strength, but it’s “a different version of strong” as Charlie Weingroff put it recently in our podcast interview.

Kettlebells are a different version of strong. -Charlie Weingroff

Are kettlebells a hoax, fad, or silly fitness trend?

In my opinion, absolutely no.

You can’t say that about a lot of things out there today, but kettlebells is truly time tested and proven.

I believe it’s still in the “infancy” of strength and performance training.

If you’ve been training and you haven’t found a local certified instructor, that would be my biggest advice to you right now.

Get with an instructor, sign up for a workshop, get out of your comfort zone, and take things to the next level.

If you enjoyed this, please share it.

Scott Iardella, MPT, CSCS writes about training methods to optimize health and performance. If you enjoyed this article, join a strong and growing community of passionate fitness enthusiasts and subscribe below to get a ton of cool, free stuff! Subscribe below or go to RdellaTraining.com/join to get your FREE Report, Kettlebell Impact with 12 of my best Kettlebell Workouts.
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