For the past few blogs I have looked at the benefits and history of kettlebell training, but what’s it really like? Having initially seen people doing it in gyms and thinking “that does not look that difficult” I was surprised in our training session at Premier Global how quickly the heart rate goes up. The dynamism and effort that goes into just a standard kettlebell throw is quite something and after a few goes even supposedly super fit personal trainer was pretty breathless. When combined with other more complex throws and put into a circuit format it soon became clear that the bells are REALLY hard work, and effective in challenging the muscles as well as the cardio-vascular system. It also feels quite powerful, so when you are throwing the bell it feels like a very functional movement, and the bells make you use the larger more powerful muscles in the posterior chain to generate momentum. I have now introduced many of the kettlebell moves to my personal trainer clients, all of whom are really liking it. A couple took a little time to get the hang of it, and like many of the personal trainers that attended the course with me had problems letting go of control (which is what we should be using in conventional resistance training) and allowing momentum to work. However with a bit of time and practice it came and even the fitter of my clients are getting thoroughly challenging by them. Even Wendy in Egham who does not seem to sweat has been really worked by the circuits that we are doing. There may be an issure with maintaining a neutral spine while doing the throws, as a heavier bell can encourage clients to bent over at the waist, but with the correct weight of bell to learn with, good demos and supervision at first it’s really no problem.
I have also used the bells in a few workouts of my own, and have come out of them feeling really fit, tight and strong, if that makes sense. The Kettlebells also have the benefit of being easily transportable, they are really versatile, and there are no bits to screw on of off. Lots of other people at the gym also give you queer looks and are curious as to what you are doing, which will appeal to the frustrated rock stars out there. So give it a try!