Kettlebells and strength gains. That’s a really big question and it’s not discussed nearly as much as I think it should be. After all, while we have tons of studies about how dumbbells and barbells can increase strength, there aren’t quite as many dealing with kettlebells.
And, to be fair, some of the kettlebell studies are flawed. I took a look at several studies here, and a look at another one here.
All in all, it looks like one can gain strength with a kettlebell, which stands to reason.
However, the science is far from settled on the matter, which is why a new study from August, 2020 deserves some attention.
Continue reading “Study Looks At Kettlebells And Strength Gains”
Is it the king of overhead pressing, or just a pretender?
The overhead press is one of the most important movements in resistance training. It doesn’t matter if you’re using a barbell, a dumbbell, a kettlebell, or a big old rock. It’s important.
Once upon a time, the measure of strength wasn’t the bench press, but the overhead press.
While it’s prominence has fallen in many ways, the overhead press is still pretty damn important. Even while focusing on the kettlebell snatch, I’m still making it a point to press with a kettlebell too.
There are a lot of people who claim that pressing with a kettlebell is the bee’s knees.
But is it?
Continue reading “The Kettlebell Overhead Press”
And why you might want to be too.
While the kettlebell swing is the workhorse of kettlebell training, the snatch is definitely the king.
Multiple studies have shown that for cardiovascular capacity, the kettlebell snatch is the big boy on the block. Nothing really compares with it, especially in the kettlebell world.
Unfortunately, it’s also a very technical movement. While it’s easier to learn than a barbell snatch such as they do at the Olympics, it’s still not exactly a “Day One” movement.
But why am I spending the next little while focused on the kettlebell snatch above all other movements?
Continue reading “Why I’m Focused On The Kettlebell Snatch”
While I spent a good bit of time looking at recent studies on strength, there was one that I wanted to find that I wasn’t having any luck on. You see, in Pavel Tsatouline’s books “Enter the Kettlebell” and “Return of the Kettlebell,” he makes reference to a soviet era study by a scientist named
He uses the study a great deal to illustrate how kettlebells can be used to develop strength.
The question is, what does the study actually show? After all, Tsatouline doesn’t exactly quote it.
But it’s something that we kind of need to know, right?
Continue reading “Soviet-Era Study On Kettlebells And Strength”
Is it really that much better than a cheap kettlebell?
Now that I have the nightmare of the site move over and done with, I can get back to work. Part of that work was in taking a look at the brand new kettlebell that arrived at my door yesterday.
You see, I’d always used fairly cheep kettlebells because, well, I was broke and I’m a cheap bastard. However, I’ve always appreciated finely made things.
Since I wasn’t completely broke, I decided to get a quality kettlebell and did some research. In a lot of people’s minds, the Kettlebell Kings bells are the cream of the crop.
But are they?
Continue reading “Initial Impressions Of Kettlebell Kings Powder-Coated Kettlebell”
Just how much conditioning do you get out of traditional kettlebell training?
I’ve written before that kettlebells are great for conditioning, but I haven’t really supported that. Not scientifically, at least, and it’s time I fixed that.
However, like almost everything with regard to kettlebells, the science is a little muddled. Part of that is due to design, but is that all there is?
Let’s take a look at see.
Continue reading “An Overview of the Conditioning Impact of Kettlebell Training”
Or how I learned to stop just looking at the results
Earlier this week, I made mention of a study on kettlebell training. It had some interesting outcomes, but that study also illustrates a key point that I need to discuss in the name of intellectual honesty.
You see, while the study was an interesting one and the findings were fascinating, there was a problem that I failed to consider while discussing it, and it’s time to set the record straight.
Continue reading “Why Not All Studies On Exercise Are Created Equal”
For kettlebell practitioners, there are two types of swings. The two-arm is sort of the entry-level swing while the one-handed is the more advanced move.
However, many people who use a kettlebell never seem to progress beyond the two-handed stage. After all, the one-handed swing is a logical progression if you’re looking to do cleans, snatches, high pulls, or any number of other exercises.
If you’re just looking to get fit, though, is one better than the other?
Continue reading “One-Arm Or Two-Arm Swings: Which Is Better?”
When I started down this rabbit hole of looking for evidence backing up kettlebell training, I figured it wouldn’t be that hard. After all, the blasted things have been around for centuries. There are pictures of old-time strongmen like Eugene Sandow hoisting the things.
Anything that old and that linked to historic physical culture should have a lot of research behind it by now, right?
Eh…not so much.
Continue reading “The Difficulties Of Evidence-Based Kettlebell Training”
What does science actually say about strength training with kettlebells?
If you’re going to look at any kind of training such as kettlebell training, you need to know if it’ll do what you want it to do. While I do think that your enjoyment should play a factor, as previously noted, I also think you need to understand what will happen if you engage in a given training modality.
With barbells and dumbbells, even with calisthenics, people already generally know what to expect. If you lift weights, you’ll get stronger and can get bigger muscles. Similarly with calisthenics.
But kettlebells are different animals. Despite having been around for centuries, few people really understand what they can really do.
That includes me.
So, as part of this ongoing quest to figure them out, let’s look and see if they can really make you stronger.
Continue reading “Do Kettlebells Actually Make You Stronger?”