More Dynamic Than Conventional Weight Training
The kettlebell is one of the best forms of developing functional fitness and rehabilitating muscular imbalances and injuries. Since incorporating kettlebell training into his regime, Jon has seen remarkable changes in his body and is in the best shape of his life. Despite using traditional weight training techniques in the past, it was only when Jon learned how to use the kettlebell that he discovered the real potential for change in his physique. Upon study and use, it becomes very clear why this tool is capable of unleashing such incredible results.
Placing Unique Demands on the Whole Body
When performing kettlebell drills, you are forced to use all of your internal stabilisers as well as your main muscle groups to support the movement. Your core is called upon for balance and stabilisation and your glutes and hamstrings, during the hinging motion, will provide the power needed to snap the bell into position. Clearly training with kettlebells places demands on the body that other forms of training do not. The most obvious difference between a kettlebell and traditional weights is the handle. The handle creates a lever, which makes the bell feel like an extension of your own body. Since it acts like another joint, it dramatically increases the demands on the body, which in turn increases the benefits of using it. When you look at a dumbbell you can clearly see that the weight is evenly distributed at each side. With a kettlebell, the centre of gravity is offset. This means the bell will be pulling at you as you use it, so your body has to work harder to stabilise the weight. It is within this fact that you can see how you are working your large muscle groups as well as strengthening the complex network of stabilising muscles including your core.
What is Inertia?
You will also experience a lot more inertial forces when working with the bell over free weights or fixed-motion machines. Whenever an object is accelerating or decelerating (moving) it is fighting inertia. During dynamic kettlebell exercises such as the swing, clean or snatch the body is constantly fighting to keep the bell moving and under control. Training this way means you will develop core strength, power, coordination, flexibility and endurance which are unparalleled.
A Full Body Conditioning Tool
Another reason to train with kettlebells is the fact that you will get the benefits of strength training, cardiovascular fitness and flexibility all in one workout. It may be deceiving at first, as swinging a bell may appear to be quite easy. However, it is incredibly demanding metabolically, which makes it a great fat burning tool. Kettlebells also target the muscles in the posterior chain, which are often neglected in many training programs. Most people tend to be stronger in the front of the body which causes postural problems and muscular imbalances. In turn, this puts you at a higher risk of injury. By targeting this neglected region, you are ensuring you attain that important balance of strength. kettlebell training is a fully functional training technique as opposed to training your muscles in isolation. When your body is trained in a functional way, it will become fast, strong and powerful and you will be much fitter inside and out.
The Results Speak For Themselves
At JM Training we have incorporated kettlebell training into the programs of a vast range of clients. By doing so we have seen how different people experience a variety of results and benefits from it’s use. For example, Dan Madams experienced a significant increase in the power and strength of his legs and core after incorporating kettlebells into his resistance program. This combined with the improvement he saw in his endurance and VO2 MAX helped him to decrease his marathon time and reach a personal best in 2011 after 10 years of running marathons. We have seen boxers, hockey and tennis players and other athletes improve in their sports from the increase in power, lean muscle and cardiovascular fitness kettlebell training provides. But the exciting thing is that kettlebells are not just for the fitness elite. By incorporating functional movements with the kettlebell into your stay at home mom, office worker, teacher, student or working professional’s workout routine, we have seen amazing results. From a fat loss of 15-20% to an 80lb weight loss, or revealing those abs for the first time, this tool can be used by many different skill levels. JMT trainers are well versed in how to regress and progress kettlebell exercises to fit the individual, and with the intensive training we provide, anyone can reach new levels of performance and attain new personal bests.
Jon on his passion for Kettlebells
“I was first introduced to the kettlebells by a colleague, Mackenzie Lesager, at a gym in the UK who had just gotten back from a course taught by Pavel Tsatsouline in the US. Seeing Mackenzie perform some of the moves he learned got me intrigued by the bell and it’s function, so I signed up for a workshop. I remember being given a 20kg kettlebell and told by the instructor that it was going everywhere with me, all day long, it couldn’t leave my side. Midway through that day my hands were calloused and sore, my whole body ached and all I wanted was to put that bell down. The irony looking back is that you’d be lucky to try to tear me away from them now.
After taking the introductory workshop in kettlebell movements I quickly introduced regular full body training with the bell into my resistance workouts. I was instantly hooked by how dynamic and challenging training with kettlebells was. Although I saw the changes in my strength and body that conventional weight training had to offer, I really missed the intensity and challenge of sport specific training. Even after day one of training with the bell I felt parts of my body I hadn’t felt since I trained as an athlete and muscles hurt that I didn’t even know existed. I saw great improvements in my flexibility, endurance, my body’s balance of strength, it was the first time I saw a definitive 6 pack. I was leaner, stronger, and more powerful. At 30, and after only a few years of use, I was in the best shape of my life. I only wish I discovered the kettlebell earlier, especially as a young athlete. I can only imagine what a difference they would have made to my performance and fitness.
I was inspired by the no nonsense approach taken with the kettlebells and decided to push to new levels of certification through ADPF (Angie Dowds Professional Fitness). Angie took a special interest in me and we became close. First as a mentor and then as a friend. I wanted so badly to hone my technique and be a better trainer and coach with the bell. I owe a lot of my experience and drive to Angie, who pushed me to become the 1st person to get a distinction in her Master Trainer Certification. I strongly believe that this tool is only as good as the trainer who teaches it. Which is why after years of use, I still push myself to become better, to come up with creative twists to exercises, new ways of executing moves, and challenging myself. There are infinite possibilities when it comes to the kettlebell and I hope to inspire others with this unique and amazing tool.
Jana on her first experience with the Kettlebell
“The first time I picked up a kettlebell I thought, ‘well that looks easy enough.’ ” I was greatly mistaken after being taught the 2 handed swing technique for the first time. It was amazing how challenging swinging a weight could be. My heart was pounding after only 15 seconds and I felt exhilarated. Sometimes a new challenge or training technique is all it takes to inspire someone to push to new limits and realize their true potential.
This is what kettlebells, and Jon, did for me. Upon being taught many different exercises and techniques with the bell over a 2 year period, I saw how versatile and unique it can be as a tool. From snatches to turkish get ups to windmills, the opportunities to use the bell in new and exciting ways seemed endless. As you master one exercise there are countless more ways to create new moves to challenge and inspire the body to change. I may have been an athlete and dancer in the past but it was only after using the bells that I saw what my body was capable of. I no longer had to just hope for those abs you see in fitness magazines, I could have those abs. All it took was hard work and not being afraid to try something new. Feeling stronger, being leaner and realizing what I am capable of helps me push my body to new levels everyday. I just wish more people out there could realize the impact the kettlebell could have in their lives, as it has had in mine.”