What is a 'kettlebell'?

A 'kettlebell' or girya (Russ.) is a traditional Russian cast iron weight that looks like a cannonball with a handle. The ultimate tool for extreme all-round fitness.

The kettlebell goes way back, it first appeared in a Russian dictionary in 1704 (Cherkikh, 1994). So popular were kettlebells in Tsarist Russia that any strongman or weightlifter was referred to as a girevik, or 'a kettlebell man'.

Kettlebells:
Accelerates the development of all-purpose strength—to easily handle the toughest and most unexpected demands
Boosts your physical resilience—to repel the hardest hits
Builds your staying power—because the last round decides all
Ensures the correct blend of strength with flexibility—because strength that fails to reach is impotent
Hacks your fat off—without the dishonor of dieting and aerobics
Forges a fighter's physique—so form matches function
Gives you independence—world's #1 portable gym makes you as strong as you want anywhere, anytime "Not a single sport develops our muscular strength and bodies as well as kettlebell athletics," reported Russian magazine Hercules in 1913

Why train with kettlebells?

Because they deliver extreme all-round fitness. And no single other tool does it better. Here is a short list of hardware the Russian kettlebell replaces: barbells, dumbbells, belts for weighted pullups and dips, thick bars, lever bars, medicine balls, grip devices, and cardio equipment.

Vinogradov & Lukyanov (1986) found a very high correlation between the results posted in a kettlebell lifting competition and a great range of dissimilar tests: strength, measured with the three powerlifts and grip strength; strength endurance, measured with pullups and parallel bar dips; general endurance, determined by a 1000 meter run; work capacity and balance, measured with special tests.

Voropayev (1983) tested two groups of subjects in pullups, a standing broad jump, a 100m sprint, and a 1k run. He put the control group on a program that emphasized the above tests; the experimental group lifted kettlebells. In spite of the lack of practice on the tested exercises, the kettlebell group scored better in every one of them! This is what we call "the what the hell effect".

Kettlebells melt fat without the dishonor of dieting or aerobics. If you are overweight, you will lean out. If you are skinny, you will get built up. According to Voropayev (1997) who studied top Russian gireviks, 21.2% increased their bodyweight since taking up kettlebelling and 21.2% (the exact same percentage, not a typo), mostly heavyweights, decreased it. The Russian kettlebell is a powerful tool for fixing your body comp, whichever way it needs fixing.

Kettlebells forge doers' physiques along the lines of antique statues: broad shoulders with just a hint of pecs, back muscles standing out in bold relief, wiry arms, rugged forearms, a cut-up midsection, and strong legs without a hint of squatter's chafing.

Liberating and aggressive as medieval swordplay, kettlebell training is highly addictive. What other piece of exercise equipment can boast that its owners name it? Paint it? Get tattoos of it? Our Russian kettlebell is the Harley-Davidson of strength hardware.

Kettlebells are like weightlifting times ten.
"Kettlebells are like weightlifting times ten," stated Olympic Silver Medalist in Greco-Roman Wrestling Dennis Koslowski, D.C., RKC. "…If I could've met Pavel in the early '80s, I might've won two gold medals. I'm serious



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