For anyone considering adding a kettlebell or two to their home gym, here are a couple of points to keep in mind :
Kettlebells have traditionally been manufactured in various sizes, each of them based on the old Russian unit of measurement pood. A pood is equal to 40 funt (фунт, Russian pounds), and is approximately 16.38 kilograms (36.11 pounds). The pood was abolished in the USSR in 1924, but many kettlebells are still manufactured in multiples of 16kg.
Men usually start out with a 16kg(36lb) bell - this is the one I have, and it's harder than the weight would suggest. For anyone with a few years of weight training under their belt (and certainly for competitive powerlifters), or anyone over 183cm/6' and about 90kg/198lb, a 24kg bell is worth considering. If you get a chance to try one out somewhere before you buy it, pick it up and clean it. That'll give you a reasonable idea.
The female equivalents of the 16 and 24 are about 8kg and 12kg (on average - of course there are those who would easily work with more than this). Once again, if you can try before you buy, great. The thick handles and concentrated weight make a difference.
If you've already got a kettlebell and are considering a second, a typical progression (for men) is 16/24/32. Once you have these three, if you want more, start again at 16. There are plenty of exercises involving two bells, and many of these are easier with the same weight for each.
I've never tried the adjustable kettlebells - I'm sure that some of them are great - but remember that you'll be swinging them over your head, dropping them on various surfaces (particularly if you try a bit of kettlebell juggling - good fun), and generally giving them a bit more punishment than the typical dumbbells. Personally, I prefer the old-style lumps of iron for that reason.
If you do end up going for the traditional bells, remember that they last indefinitely and the design hasn't really changed over the years. If you see one on ebay, or a friend is selling one; grab it.
There are many more kettlebell exercises than you might imagine. It can be well worth investing in a book or DVD demonstrating some of the basic moves.
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Scott Andrew Bird is a writer, photographer and a guy who just loves this stuff. He's been at home in front of a computer for more years than he cares to remember (OK, 31) and is now making amends for years of many mistakes noted in the De-constructing computer guy articles (part 2) on T-Nation.
Stalkers may wish to track his every move via Twitter or Google+; everyone else is cordially invited to hop over to his online home. Enjoy.
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Matt Palfrey.If you've been involved with the fitness industry for any length of time, chances are you've thought about setting up your own gym. Perhaps you've already got one.
Either way - how do you promote it? Attract new customers? Learn about what works, and what doesn't?
This week we'll be discussing this area in detail, answering all of the above and a whole lot more. Joining us is Strength & Conditioning Coach Matt Palfrey, together with Personal Trainer (and Strength Athlete) Josh Hewett. Fantastic.
NB : We'd love to hear your questions and comments. If there's a particular subject you'd like Matt and Josh to address, just swing by the event page for this Gymchat (during the discussion itself) and jump in the Q&A.
And if you'd like to point your friends/colleagues to the discussion, just use the 'share' button at the top of that page. The more the merrier.
Thanks again to everyone who watched and sent in questions for the discussion Gymchat 237 - Old-Time Strongman Training [with 'Physical Culture Renaissance Man' Logan Christopher, joined by Personal Trainer (and Strength Athlete) Josh Hewett] - much appreciated. If you haven't seen it yet (or simply want to go over a particular point again), here's the entire video.
Logan Christopher.Old-Time Strongman Training - Phonebook Tearing, Frying Pan Rolling, Kettlebell Juggling and a whole lot more. Love it.
They're certainly uncommon areas: how do you train for them? What are the benefits of these approaches? What sorts of equipment is involved?
This week we'll be discussing the entire field of Old-Time Strength in obsessive detail. Joining us is 'Physical Culture Renaissance Man' Logan Christopher, together with Personal Trainer (and Strength Athlete) Josh Hewett. Fantastic.
If you've got questions/comments for Logan or Josh, just swing by the event page for this Gymchat. And if you'd like to point your friends/colleagues to the discussion, just use the 'share' button at the top of that page. The more the merrier.
Thanks again to everyone who watched and sent in questions for the discussion Gymchat 236 - Programming for Strength vs Hypertrophy [with Strength Coach Jason Paris, joined by Personal Trainer (and Strength Athlete) Josh Hewett] - much appreciated. If you haven't seen it yet (or simply want to go over a particular point again), here's the entire video.
Jason Paris.How do you train to maximise strength, rather than size? You'll always achieve a certain amount of each; but how do you focus on one or the other?
This week we'll be discussing this area in detail, explaining exactly how to prioritise either one - or train for a mix of the two. Tackling this is Strength Coach Jason Paris, joined by Personal Trainer (and Strength Athlete) Josh Hewett. Fantastic.
If you've got questions/comments for Jason or Josh, just swing by the event page for this Gymchat. And if you'd like to point your friends/colleagues to the discussion, just use the 'share' button at the top of that page. The more the merrier.
Görner the Mighty.This is one of the books that Logan mentioned in the Gymchat last week - Görner the Mighty. Good stuff.
Although I was lucky enough to read the original book many years ago, I'm extremely keen to dive in to this version - the 2012 reprint - as soon as possible. I suspect that things will look quite different now; after training for a number of years.
Görner the Mighty.
If you ever wake up with that 'just run over by a truck' feeling, you need a copy of Tim Hull's Functional Correction Manual. Not only will it help you to locate and repair the problem, it'll help prevent it happening in the future.
When it comes to body transformation - whether that's an increase in strength, packing on a bit of muscle or losing a bit of excess fat - this is the perfect place to start. Dr Berardi's Precision Nutrition.
If you've ever watched a Bruce Lee film and marveled at his strength, speed, agility, endurance, flexibility or muscularity, this book should take pride of place in your collection. Unlike many other writings covering everything from Lee's training methods to nutrition, this book is based not on the recollections of people around him; but on Lee's own notes. Brilliant.
For a full list of what we're reading and watching at the moment, just head over to the Recommended Books & DVDs page. See you there.