As you know, I am a fan of high intensity training. That is, I prefer exercises that require near maximum exertion for periods lasting between 20 seconds and about a minute and a half. Exercises like running sprints can bring you to a significant oxygen deficit rather quickly. Other exercises, like sets of moving weight, usually take a little longer.
Of course, the benefit of such training is the significant demand it places on the body; which in turn will cause the body to secrete greater amounts of the strengthening growth hormones.
Well, recently, I was reading Jordan Rubin’s new book “Live Beyond Organic“. On pages 154-155, Jordan introduced me to kettlebells – specialized weights that quite effectively help you train the larger muscle groups.
In fact, I have found that for me to group kettlebells with weights may be a little offensive to experts of the industry. Kettlebells are really in a class of their own. Training with kettlebells is much more than a form of weight lifting and more than a competitive sport. For many, it is an art and even a way of life.
There are many kettlebell exercises that use repetitive endurance patterns starting with the swing. That is, swinging the kettlebell between the legs up to about shoulder height and back through the legs for several repetitions. This trains your quadriceps, hamstrings, gluteals, mucsles of the back, the core, and more.
Another exercise, the “clean” involves the swing continuing up to shoulder with a catch between the arm and forearm in a pre-press position. It uses similar muscles as the swing on adds to it a stronger emphasis on the upper body muscles including the forearms, arms, and shoulders.
From there, we move on to the press. This carries the exercise to the next logical step of pressing the kettlebell handle above the head. Like the former exerises, there is a strong training of the core and an emphasis on the muscles of the torso, shoulders, and triceps.
Once these patterns are mastered, the next logical exercise is the pushpress. Like the press, the kettlebell goes up to the top. Only the push press brings the explosive pressing up coming largely from the legs. More advanced techniques include the jerk, the longcycle press, the longcycle pushpress, the longcycle jerk, half snatch, snatch, and more; each exercise building on the previous.