KETTLEBELL TRAINING

The kettlebell is a unique piece of equipment that allows strength training and endurance training to blend seamlessly.  The off-center handle makes the kettlebell ideal for high-repetition explosive exercises like swings and snatches, while also providing superior range of motion and stabilizer development on strength movements like the military press and Turkish Get-Up when compared to dumbbells.  Our classes result in profound improvements in upper body and core strength, increased power from the hips and legs, and a unique type of endurance that carries over exceptionally well to many other sports and activities.  This class is a favorite for athletes from other sports to cross-train in, such as Jiu Jitsu, MMA, cyclists, runners and climbers.

We offer both all-levels and advanced kettlebell classes.  Participation in the advanced class requires instructor’s approval, which usually takes six months of consistent training.

At our facility we believe in safety first and quality over quantity. With that in mind, we realize that not everyone is ready for Kettlebell Training or Olympic Weightlifting at first. Before entering these classes, we require students to meet certain flexibility requirements, that are assessed through a Functional Movement Screen, as well as onboard through a short series of private lessons to ensure you are ready to participate safely in the class setting.

SPECIAL NOTE: All of our kettlebell classes are lead by StrongFirst certified kettlebell instructors.  StrongFirst is the gold standard in kettlebell certification.  If you are serious about learning to train with kettlebells, don’t accept anything less than the most qualified of instructors!


 

MORE ON KETTLEBELL TRAINING

What is a kettlebell?

A kettlebell, or “girya” is essentially a piece of metal that looks like a cannonball with a handle on it.  Some are made of cast-iron, others from steel, and they come in various shapes and sizes.  They can be used for a variety of lifts such as swings, presses, snatches, cleans and squats.

Due to the shape of a kettlebell, specifically the center of mass being off-set from the handle, they allow for unique benefits that barbells and dumbbells do not.  For example, kettlebells can safely and effectively be accelerated up and down in high-repetition explosive exercises, which is quite challenging to do with other pieces of equipment.  Also, the shape of the kettlebell adds a challenging stability component to exercises like military presses and Turkish Get-Ups since you need to control the orbit of the weight around your arm.

How is kettlebell training done?

There are several distinct styles of kettlebell lifting.  Just like “running” is a vague term that could mean anything from a light jog to a full sprint, kettlebell training is similar in its range.  At Industrial Strength we primarily focus on a system called “Hardstyle” kettlebell training as popularized by Pavel Tsatsouline.  Pavel, a USSR native, is credited with popularizing kettlebell training in the United States.  He helped found the “RKC / Russian Kettlebell Challenge” certification in 2001, and now is the founder and chairman of an organization called StrongFirst which teaches strength training with kettlebells, barbells, and one’s own bodyweight as resistance.  All of Industrial Strength’s kettlebell coaches hold their certification through StrongFirst; the credential is called SFG or “StronFirst Girya.”

The various kettlebell exercises are typically thought to fall into one of two categories:

  • “Grinds” such as military presses, Turkish Get-Ups, and squats
  • “Ballistics” such as swings, snatches, cleans and jerks

In the grind lifts, the objective is to generate as much tension as possible.  In the ballistic lifts, the objective is to be as powerful and explosive as possible.  The combination of heavy, low rep grinding lifts and high-rep, powerful ballistic lifts results in impressive changes to strength, power, body composition, endurance and durability.

Please be aware that the learning curve in kettlebell training is fairly steep.  It takes a knowledgeable and experienced coach to teach these exercises in the safest way possible.  If you are considering joining a kettlebell gym, we encourage you to do some research on the coach’s credentials to ensure they are qualified to teach.  All of Industrial Strength’s kettlebell coaches are SFG StrongFirst certified instructors, which is the gold-standard in the industry.

Benefits of kettlebell training

Pavel, in his 2006 book “Enter the Kettlebell” highlights the many benefits of kettlebell training:

  • Kettlebells are highly effective for building strength
  • Kettlebell lifting is good for your heart. Lifters with 3-5 years experience showed long term decrease in heart rate and blood pressure, and their heart rates decreased more quickly after exercise
  • When used correctly, kettlebell training is quite safe
  • Kettlebell training improves body composition, both building muscle and burning bodyfat.
  • Kettlebell training is great for your back

From our experience at Industrial Strength, here are a few more benefits we suggest:

  • The kettlebell workouts are shorter and more effective than almost anything else out there. A 30-minute kettlebell class will deliver everything you need from your training.
  • Kettlebell training is engaging – you are never zoning out. The workouts are really fun and keep you focused.
  • Nothing builds strength, power, and endurance simultaneously like Hardstyle kettlebell training.
  • Lifts like the one-hand swing, snatch, and Turkish Get-Up are about the absolute best exercises for core strength, grip strength and shoulder stability.
  • Kettlebell training is a favorite amongst Jiu Jitsu athletes, MMA fighters, climbers and other endurance junkies to get all their strength & conditioning (sometimes referred to as “cross-training” by these athletes) done in the shortest, safest, most effective way possible.