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Kettlebells for Conditioning?

So I bought 2x24kg (53 pounds) kettlebells before I went to uni to help my conditioning for swimming championships.
What does everyone do with them? At the moment the gym staff let me keep them there, and I do 15-20 minutes of swings variants (double-handed, one handed, alternating grip), squats and renegade rows with 20-30 seconds rest. Nothing fancy but by the end I’m sweating more than a two hour swimming session!
What are everyones’ opinions?
Thanks

[quote]Bambi wrote:
So I bought 2x24kg (53 pounds) kettlebells before I went to uni to help my conditioning for swimming championships.
What does everyone do with them? At the moment the gym staff let me keep them there, and I do 15-20 minutes of swings variants (double-handed, one handed, alternating grip), squats and renegade rows with 20-30 seconds rest. Nothing fancy but by the end I’m sweating more than a two hour swimming session!
What are everyones’ opinions?
Thanks[/quote]

The more variety the better.

Try incorporating these movements:

snatches (unilateral and bilateral)
cleans (unilateral and bilateral)
squats (unilateral and bilateral)
press (unilateral and bilateral
side press – hold one kb in the nonworking hand for stability
side bends
get ups – though 24kg might be a little too heavy to start with

Experiment with different set, rep, and rest schemes.

There are some great YouTube videos out there if you need to see demonstrations.

Ok, straight to the point: Most ‘typical’ kettlebell exercises have just been named. Of course, you can do all of them on one side or both,… just experiment.

Push presses are a nice total body exercise and I figure you (being a swimmer) could benefit from renegade pushups (basically a renegade row but after every lift you do a pushup).

Also, you could incorporate windmills to work that core of yours, but have someone keep an eye on your technique the first couple of times.

Kettlebells have to be the most over-rated training device known to man. The people who promote this stuff as the end-all-be-all are an absolute joke. KB’s a just another tool, nothing special. These guys who pay hundreds of dollars to talk to specialized trainers are getting ripped off.

Oh I don’t think kettlebells are the be-all and end-all of exercises. You can’t beat barbell and dumbells for heavy strength and size gains and I do 2x upper body 2x lower body days in the gym per week at the moment. However kettlebells are useful, I feel that my core stability is strengthened by using them (not in a ‘curls on a bosu ball for core stability’ way) also I have to be explosive using them, which helps, and a kettlebell swing is great for my lower back and shoulder strength.

[quote]jocko7 wrote:
Kettlebells have to be the most over-rated training device known to man. The people who promote this stuff as the end-all-be-all are an absolute joke. KB’s a just another tool, nothing special. These guys who pay hundreds of dollars to talk to specialized trainers are getting ripped off. [/quote]

no need to shellout hundreds of dollars. buy an appropriate book from amazon for less than 20 dollars. find a suitable forum depending on which style of training you want to follow, reference the decent free stuff on you tube and you’ll be all set.
ive been incorporating hardstyle kettlebell training (Pavel’s system) in with regular barbell stuff for the last 18 months with great results.

as for conditioning, they probably are the most UNDERATED training device known to man.

(personally i have never really understood the anti kettlebell stuff i come accross on the internet. in real life everybody who i have shown them too and demonstrated with are genuinely inpresssed. i guess it must be all the hype and heavy marketing that goes with it. not much different than supplement promotion really though. lol.)

[quote]jocko7 wrote:
Kettlebells have to be the most over-rated training device known to man. The people who promote this stuff as the end-all-be-all are an absolute joke. KB’s a just another tool, nothing special. These guys who pay hundreds of dollars to talk to specialized trainers are getting ripped off. [/quote]

Agreed. Some author here on T-Nation (don’t remember who, though), once said that there’s no such thing as a “couch lifting certificate”, “you just show up and help out”. I’ve remembered that one.

However, being one tool amongst many doesn’t lessen the value of Kettlebells. A hammer is just a tool like many others, after all, it’s just a little better suited for putting nails into a wall. You could do the same thing with a screwdriver, sure,… but it’s just not worth the trouble. Go buy a hammer.

As for me, I’m a martial arts instructor and active fighter. I’ve trained with all kinds of tools, great ones, good ones, bad ones and crappy ones. Since I’ve learned how to properly use Kettlebells, however, when it comes to getting my students (or myself for that matter) that’s just the tool of my choice. I’d use other tools for other kinds of athletes… for fighters, Kettlebells just rock.

So, basically, yeah… they’re just a tool. You’re right.
No, they’re not overrated, here’s where you’re wrong. They get the job done, better than other tools - in certain areas.

THis, especially half way down:

Also Pavel’s Enter the kettlebell (esp. Rites of Passage program)

[quote]Cprimero wrote:
THis, especially half way down:

Also Pavel’s Enter the kettlebell (esp. Rites of Passage program)[/quote]

Right, that was the couch-lifting thing ;).
Thanks.

[quote]jocko7 wrote:
Kettlebells have to be the most over-rated training device known to man. The people who promote this stuff as the end-all-be-all are an absolute joke. KB’s a just another tool, nothing special. These guys who pay hundreds of dollars to talk to specialized trainers are getting ripped off. [/quote]

While I agree with you that kettlebells aren’t the end-all-be-all, I wouldn’t say that they are nothing special. You’re right, they’re just a tool, but a quite effective and versatile one. They can be used for conditioning, strength training and are great for injury-prevention and ingraining functional movement patterns while improving dynamic flexibility.

Even the most popular “kettlebell gurus” like Pavel Tsatsouline and Mike Mahler use the kettlebell together with other training methods, like barbell training and calisthenics. You can also do some effective exercises you can’t do with any other training tool, for example bottoms-up KB presses. And if you question the value of these exercises, do some research and look at guys like Adam T. Glass.

I really don’t understand all the hate. I think no matter what you’re goals are, there are KB drills that will suit you, and the only downside they have is that they are really expensive, at least here in Europe.

OK after training for about 5 weeks my thoughts

high rep swings with about 20 seconds rest are murder on the shoulders arms, grip core and lower back
Double kettlebell front squats are evil. When supersetted with swings they are truly truly nasty.
Alternating arm kettlebell swings look kill, get attention but also ‘shock’ your core as well.
Kettlebell floor/standard press feel a lot harder than normal DB press!

For CONDITIONING (not mass or strength) they are my favourite implement

Came 11th in national BUCS swimming at weekend for 100 back - I attribute the success to the explosiveness in my legs - which kettlebells (along with squats, trap-bar deadlifts, stiff-legged deadlifts and cable pull-throughs) have helped in no small way

I think kettlebells are a great tool you have in your conditioning arsenal. I like a lot of things, bodyweight circuits, complexes, kettlebells, high rep Olympic lifts, circuits of the slow lifts, intervals, and a mix of all. Really gives an overall conditioning benefit especially when you work on being very strong on top of it.

[quote]Bambi wrote:
OK after training for about 5 weeks my thoughts

high rep swings with about 20 seconds rest are murder on the shoulders arms, grip core and lower back
Double kettlebell front squats are evil. When supersetted with swings they are truly truly nasty.
Alternating arm kettlebell swings look kill, get attention but also ‘shock’ your core as well.
Kettlebell floor/standard press feel a lot harder than normal DB press!

For CONDITIONING (not mass or strength) they are my favourite implement

Came 11th in national BUCS swimming at weekend for 100 back - I attribute the success to the explosiveness in my legs - which kettlebells (along with squats, trap-bar deadlifts, stiff-legged deadlifts and cable pull-throughs) have helped in no small way[/quote]

congratulations on your results.
one thing though,
kettlebell swings should not be “murder on the shoulders arms, grip core and lower back”
grip , yes, hamstrings and glutes,yes, but you shouldn’t feel it too much on your shoulders arms and lower back. maybe some technique issues? make sure you are driving the bell with your hips hard and not pulling with your shoulders and hands.
good work anyway.

Thank you. I think it is that I do the sessions immediately after my workouts (upper body/lower body) and because my shoulders have been worked from DB Chest Press/Dips/Chin ups or something like that at the end when I do 3 sets of as many swings as possible everywhere aches) I will check my technique though. Also my arms and grip are the weakest parts of my body - stuff I need to work on