Which 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 used properly.
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 I buy?
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, safe fashion.
How many kettlebells do I need?
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 training?
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.
Do I need an ab pavelizer to
get a six-pack?
The Ab Pavelizer does exactly what
it claims to do -- it completely isolates your abdominals by taking
your hip-flexors out of the picture. Using one of these things is
brutal. It will work for you. Can you get most of the same effect
having a partner lifting on your calves, or by choosing another
exercise such as ballet thrusts or power crunches? I think so. There
are a wide variety of abdominal exercises in the Bullet
Proof Abs book, and I'm sure you can find one or two
that will suit you well. By the way, it takes a lot more than strong
abs to have a six-pack. If that's really your goal, you're going
to need to reduce your body fat % into the single digits or at least
close to it. In other words, you're going to need to work on your
diet as well.
Let me know what other
questions you have. Contact me at
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