T Nation


I might not make many freinds among those who take things too seriously with this one.
After all the hype surrounding Kettlebells we finally have a Devils Advocate.
Some of sit and wonder why anything from Russia (or India or Asia) is perfect and magically outperforms any traditional training method, even specific training for the tested sport!
Hype should be banned and reason and truth enforced by a special team of Russian special forces who train only with kettlebells and other “secret” techniques which have turned them into iron willed supermen who can only be destroyed by magnetite.
Here is the link. http://www.dolfzine.com/page459.htm

Good reading - I always think it is good to hear a variety of opinions on any subject.

With that said, I just followed a couple of links and voila: here is an article in rebuttal to the Dolfzine article:


In the end, there are pros and cons to any training system, any device, any tool, any methods and it is worth looking at any issue from both sides.

im sure Pavel is doing alright out of it. Kettlebells sound like a good alternative but i could never bring myself to pay for the things, especially when you can get barbell plates that look like they would do a similar job (or dumbells!).
By the way i have some exotic Maori stones that the Maori have used for centuries to be brutally strong, send me you cash and i’ll send you some stones!

I don’t know why you guys are even bothering to talk about that kettlebell stuff- that’s old crap dude. Now we have the 8th wonder of the world- the INDIAN CLUB!! Just think of the exercise versatility and training advantages you’ll have over your neighbour now!

Of course, Indian clubs didn’t actually originate in India, but in the mysterious chinese circuses, where the juggling clowns were really communist agents, and would use the clubs as deadly weighted-weapons to fatally injure their enemies…

In all seriousness, the point I’m trying to get accross is that there is always an exercise equipment fad at the time. No, kettlebells (or Indian clubs) are not magical, but it seems to me they would add some great variation to a workout, and one could conceivably base a workout solely around them. -This IMO is the mark of a good piece of equipment.

I have not ever trained with a kettlebell, but would cerainly take the opportunity if it arose. Ditto Indian clubs.

Unfortunately some people take it to the extreme- Kettlebells, clubs, medicine balls, sandbags, thick bars, sledgehammers… all useful, but imagine if you could only ever train with that one piece of equipment for the rest of your life. “Choose your path carefully Jedi knight…”

Variety is the spice of life, and IMO also the best way to train- always shocking the body with something new- be it a change in program, or in equipment.

THIS is how the strongmen of old trained- with whatever was available at the time- rocks, chairs, humans…

I will always be willing to try something new at least once. (Well, within reason- I have yet to succumb to the lure of the “Bowflex”, or those crazy incline benches with pulleys that use your own BW, or anything that uses the word “tone” in the advertising bumf, or…).
We’ll leave it there I think. :-)SRS

SRS nailed it on the head. A variety of training mediums is key to success if strength and overall conditioning is your goal.

I have not trained with KB’s but would if I could, wouldn’t be the only thing I’d use though. The general consensus seems to be that they are a nice change and can be included as a part of the overall plan, not to be used exclusively but as well as DB and BB.

In my opinion kettlebells can be a worthy addition to a functional training program. However I feel strongly against relying on them as the main training method in a program.

Ian King - Overreaction Short Term, Underreaction Long Term.

In other words, we all should dump everything we’re doing, train exclusively with Kettlebells for 6 months, and then get rid of them after that time because, of course, they’re completely worthless now.


I’d have to toe the middle line between those two, but perhaps more in favor of the first.

The guy who wrote the rebuttal article has that ‘selectively ignorant’ quality that so infuriates anyone attempting to counterpoint. What’s more, he doesn’t appear to know anything about martial arts.

D. Indech

KnightRT - I’d have to agree that the first article would have won in a debate.

Overall though, I remain a fan of using kettlebells as part of my routine. In no way do they replace my core barbell and dumbell work, but they make for a great change of pace. As do clubells, medicine balls, weighted vests, sledgehammers, etc. If I don’t enjoy my training, I don’t do as well.