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?”
I’ve been talking a bit about kettlebells lately. Before that, it was barbells and dumbbells.
However, I’ve never laid out the primary reason you should pick any exercise modality out there. After all, there are plenty. They range from an afternoon walk before you cook supper to Crossfit. There is an insane number of choices.
Yet, with all the discussion about why you should do this or that, we all–myself included–tend to forget the primary reason you should pick any method, modality, or outlet.
Today, I’m going to remind you.
Continue reading “The Number One Reason You Should Pick Any Excercise Modality”
For the last while now, I’ve been working toward something. I’ve been working toward making myself into something. I’ve written about my thoughts and a bit about why I’m not the only one who should work toward this something, even.
But I haven’t even really defined precisely what this something is. I’ve touched on it, but I haven’t really defined what it is that this Modern Barbarian really is.
Today, I’m going to try and do that. I may add to some of this at a later date, but this is where the entire concept stands as of this moment.
Continue reading “The Ideal Person”
For months now, I’ve been using my home gym exclusively. I’ve enjoyed the fresh air and sunshine while I train. I’ve liked stepping just outside my home to get my training in. I’ve loved how so little has to work around my training schedule.
And, for the time being, it’s over.
Continue reading “Time To Head Back To The Gym”
Tell someone you life weights and they’re going to ask you one question above all others, most likely. “How much do you bench?”
The bench press is considered by many to be the gold standard in strength. The NFL Combine actually tests the bench press, so you know it has to mean something, right?
When you look at training, even my own training program, it’s clear that the bench press is one of the most vital lifts out there.
Of course, the question we don’t ask but probably should is, “Is the bench press overrated?”
Continue reading “Is The Bench Press Overrated?”
Back in the day, it seemed like everyone who trained did bodybuilding-like training. I know when I was in high school, college, and the Navy, all of my training was bodybuilding training because, well, I didn’t know any better.
Those were the days before the internet.
That meant if you wanted to train, you tended to grab books like Arnold’s Encyclopedia of Bodybuilding or magazines like Flex or Muscular Development.
Not only that but the public’s perception of “strong” generally meant looking like Arnold or Stallone. It was the way we thought of people who were strong and tough.
Why else do you think Dolph Lundgren or Jean Claude Van Damme came to prominence?
But today, we know a whole lot more. We have access to information we couldn’t imagine back then. Hell, I didn’t even know “powerlifting” was a thing in those days.
Which leads me to ponder: Should new athletes focus on looking good or just being strong?
Continue reading “Looks Versus Lifts: Thoughts On Strength Versus Aesthetic”
I love my son. I really do.
I’m proud as hell of the kid, too. He’s smart, he’s funny, he’s got a lot going for him in this world.
However, I have to be honest, too. He’s lazy as hell.
It’s frustrating, too, because he’s like a lot of people in his generation. He doesn’t like being overweight, but he’s willing to do absolutely nothing to change it. Nothing at all.
At this point, I’ve lost about 30 lbs. That’s nothing to sneeze at, and it means I may know a thing or two about getting the weight off. At least at the start. Especially since at this point about six or seven years ago, I did it then too.
So many of his generation want to bellyache about their lot in life instead of getting off their asses and start training.
Continue reading “Stop Your Bellyaching And Start Training”
A while back, on one of Joe Rogan’s podcasts, he had an MMA trainer on the show. I don’t remember the guy’s name, but I remember the trainer commenting that something he does with his guys is that their everyday training is kept around 70 percent. The reason for that is so they can train every day.
He went on to criticize Crossfit for overtraining people by pushing for a maximal effort in each and every workout, which sparked Crossfitters on YouTube to lash out and a whole bunch of things like that.
But the comment itself stuck with me. It stuck with me because I thought about what I already knew about the evolution of man and some stuff I wrote about some time back.
The reason it stuck with me is that I think the guy is right and most of us have been and still are training incorrectly.
Continue reading “Are We Training Incorrectly?”
Today, I was back at the training. It was my first real day of lifting since this time last week, and I was eager to get after it today. Especially since I now have a whole new respect for the need to embrace strength and conditioning.
After all, I needed every ounce of it I had yesterday.
There are no real wrong answers to the question, “Why do you train?” However, there are some I consider a bit nobler than others. One example of that is being able to handle anything life throws at you, including a hurricane, being now right up near the top.
The fact that I, a middle-aged fat guy was able to outwork my 17-year-old son despite the relatively limited nature of my conditioning training is particularly telling.
So today, I hit the weights with a renewed focus and a strong desire to make myself even more than I did before.
Continue reading “With Renewed Focus”