is better, barbell lifting or kettlebell lifting?
It's really a toss-up -- the answer depends on your particular
goals. Barbells will do more for your 1-rep maximum lift. Kettlebells
will do more for your endurance and are more portable. Both
are vastly superior to weight machines. So are dumbells, when
Do I need to do cardiovascular
workouts in addition to lifting kettlebells?
No. High repetition,
ballistic exercises such as swings, cleans, and snatchs provide
an intense cardiovascular workout that is strength-building at
the same time. It's always a good idea to be active, however,
so I recommend that clients do something active and enjoyable
on days when they don't lift kettlebells; walk, jog, swim, bike,
dance, hike, ski, whatever. Just have fun!
Which weight(s) should
Most men starting out seem to do best with a single 35 lb.
or 44 lb. kettlebell. For some women, a little work at the beginning
with the 18 lb. kettlebell is helpful, but many skip right to
the 26-pounder. Age, level of conditioning, injuries, etc.,
all play a role in this decision. It does not matter at all
where you start -- just that you move toward your goals in deliberate,
How many kettlebells do
You can go a long way with 2
kettlebells of differing weight. For a man, this might be one
35 or 44 lb. kb and one 53 lb. kb. For a woman it might be the
26 lb. and the 35 lb., or the 18 lb. and the 26 lb. These are
just common observations -- everyone is different. Write us
and ask us!
How do I know when I'm
ready to move up to the next kettlebell?
If you think you are ready to move up to the next weight, the
simplest and safest way to proceed is to follow the same progression
of exercises you used in the beginning, with the possible exception
of deadlifts. So, if you've worn out the 35 lb. kettlebell,
pick up a 53-pounder and practice 2-hand swings, then 1-hand
swings, then cleans, then clean&jerks, and then presses
and snatches. I'm sure you will find that some exercises, such
as swings, will progress much faster in terms of weight than
presses will, so you should expect to be using different weights
for different drills. That's why I think it's best to have two
kettlebells of different weights.
What about flexibility
I think the techniques in Relax
Into Stretch are phenomenol, and we've incorporated many
of them into our own DVD called Power
Stretching/Extreme Mobility. I have used those techniques
successfully on myself and on many, many of my clients. They
are a bit complicated, so to achieve the most rapid flexibility
gains, you need a trained flexibility facilitator to assist
you by providing resistance and verbal coaching.
Let me know what
other questions you have. Contact me at
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