What many thought was a passing FAD back in the late 90’s and early 2000’s, kettlebell training has had quite the staying power in not only the health and fitness industry, but also in the even more highly scrutinized strength and conditioning sector of the health and fitness industry.
Growing up it was all barbells and dumbbells in the strength world, and in particular, my strength world. I was a DII athlete and even interned as a strength coach assistant at a DII powerhouse school that also had DI Hockey. Kettlebells weren’t seen in that facility in as late as 2006.
It wasn’t until 2007 when I had my first real job in my educational field as a personal trainer in a small, exclusive, and private studio in the Twin Cities of Minnesota, where I was first exposed to this bowling ball looking thing with a handle. Like many others resistant to change, I was kind of snarky about them when the owner of the studio introduced them to me. Because I was the low man on the totem pole, I was up for anything the boss man wanted me to try, so I obliged and began learning a couple kettlebell training exercises he was demonstrating for me, the kettlebell swing and then the kettlebell snatch.
It took a couple sessions to nail down the technique and that’s when it started to click for me. Kettlebell training movements were smooth, easy on the joints, explosive, full body, functional, and very efficient. I didn’t fully immerse myself into kettlebell training quite yet, but I certainly respected them, bought myself a pair of 35lbers for home, and worked them into my programming for humans of all ages and fitness abilities.
Here’s 5 advantages, each of which likely requires its own article, of purchasing and learning the art of kettlebell training for your health and fitness journey.
I once had someone tell me they didn’t have any time or room in their apartment to workout. I told them to buy a gym membership then, and he said he “didn’t like training in the gym.” I said train outside then, and he said “it was winter in Minnesota.” This guy was a real Nancy of course, so I challenged him on the “I don’t have any room in my apartment” excuse. I said, “tell me about how much room you don’t have in your apartment.” He said, “the only space I really have that is open is my closet.” I said “good, buy some kettlebells and we’ll teach you how to kettlebell train in your closet.”
My point is this, if you have a closet, you have enough space in your house, apartment, or tiny house for kettlebell training.
If you were to ask 100 fitness pros and strength coaches to pick a tool to use if you had only 15 minutes to train and you wanted to get the most bang for your buck and the most variety of movements and benefits, I think you’d get a majority of them answering, “kettlebells.” Sure, there’s going to be the barbell and dumbbell answer in there, but after some discussion afterward about the varying answers, I think 80% or better would say kettlebells would be the way to go. Strength, power, endurance, mobility, stability, and EPOC effect, you’d be hard pressed to find anything better.
When you understand the variety of movement, general fitness, strength, power, and endurance benefits of kettlebell training, the price is incredibly low. People spend $3,000 for a stationary bike with a screen nowadays. I could build an entire 2,000 square foot gym with a $3,000 budget. With a couple hundred bucks into some kettlebells, maybe $500 if you want a complete line at home for you and your family, you’re basically set for a one-stop-shop for life! Now you’ve just got to kettlebell train consistently!
Unlike fancy widgets that rely on technology, batteries, motors, etc….kettlebells will last you forever, provided that you purchase quality kettlebells and not the crap they sell at retail stores. If you’ve bought from a reputable supplier and they have a quality powder coat, they will work as long as you’re alive, and if your kettlebell training is consistent, chances are your life will be lengthened.
Whether you’re you’re a young buck or doe just learning the ropes, in the prime of your competitive athlete days, in the real world, or retired, kettlebell training can be utilized for all seasons of life. Gaining or maintaining muscle, gaining or maintaining lean mass, and gaining or maintaining functional capacity are qualities we should all strive to retain as we age, so whether you’re 8 or 80, your kettlebells can grow old with you.