Kettlebells are increasingly popular and I’m a sucker for trends that originated ages ago, when men twisted their mustaches at vodka-drinking bears and did things like sticking handles on cast-iron balls to haul them around and work up an appetite for caribou.
I’m reading that the Russians used to measure their kettlebells by “pood”, a unit weight equivalent to 36 lbs. That’s roughly the recommended weight for an average fit man beginning kettlebell exercise, so I went to the sporting goods store and bought a 35-pounder, which is close enough to a pood that I can justify calling it such. I like the word pood.
You basically swing the thing around. There are a number of fundamental moves you can do so you’re not endangering yourself or chucking a pood of iron through your living room wall.
- You’re using all the major muscle groups of your body in a short, very intense workout. I.e.; bang for the buck.
- The asymmetrical nature of many moves forces your body to adjust and work harder in a way that traditional weight lifting doesn’t.
- The movements are more natural, meaning they require your body to work in a manner more closely resembling real-world movements, like picking stuff up, hauling things around, and swinging poods.
- They’re weird and fun.
- You need only one piece of equipment and can do the workout pretty much anywhere.
- They look wicked manly.
- They intimidate Russian bears.
- You make significant, rapid strength gains.
- Because you’re using so many supporting muscles in addition to your major muscles, your workout is profoundly well-balanced, giving you greater overall flexibility, power, and joint support.
I’ve noticed that the day after a new workout hurts, but that the second day after a new workout brings the serious pain. I’m going to start with a short, introductory kettlebell workout today and will report back on its effects this Friday.