Kettlebells. Opinions Please.

Discussion in 'Strength & Conditioning Discussion' started by jimjam, Mar 12, 2008.

  1. jimjam

    jimjam Blue Belt

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    Okay, I did a couple of searchs but they came up blank so....

    Due to a nasty shoulder injury I havent been able to lift properly for a year, I havent been able to roll or spar either for that matter. But, my shoulder is healing thankfully and I am able to start some light free weights movements again.

    However, due to a change of apartments since last year I dont really have the space to set up my weights bench to my liking.

    Instead of cluttering up what little space I have ( and it is a very small spare bedroom) with weights and a bench would there be any merit in buying some kettlebells? I cant really afford the time or money to become a gym member either.

    Ive used these for short periods in stores, and Ive read hype about them for years but are they any good? Are they a realistic substitute for dumbell/barbells?

    Im not really looking for a miracle cure or substitute for hard work, I just want to re-build and maintain an average ( for a bjj player) level of strength.

    Does anyone have any experience with them? Has anyone found they have replaced more "traditional" weights?

    Thanks in advance for any replies.
     
  2. ratman201

    ratman201 S&P's resident Chef

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    Kettlebells:

    Useful for some stuff = yes
    Vastly Overpriced = certainly
    Replacement for a barbell = hell no

    A kettlebell is just an implement as is a barbell, dumbell, rock, fat bitch, etc..

    What is important is weight and movement, barbells are the safest, easiest to use, most wide spread and versatile implement.

    If you don't own a dumbbell buy one of them. They are much much cheaper.

    Doing stuff on the cheap with little room:
    Bag of sand
    Dumbbell (adjustable)
    weighted vest
    pull up bar
     
  3. Barut

    Barut Banned Banned

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    If you can't find time for a gym, don't bother with a kettlebell. Make a sandbag and use the money that you saved to buy some pot.
     
  4. niagareven

    niagareven Blue Belt

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    If you wanna go that route, buy an olympic handle dumbbell and like four 5lbs plates, four 10lbs plates and four 25lbs plates. Now you have something way more usefull than kettelbells, for less money, that you can adjust the weight on, and doesn't take up much space at all.
     
  5. Urban

    Urban Savage Mystic

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    They are NOT a realistic substitution for a complete routine. However, they ARE an effective training tool and useful supplement to a pre-existing routine. As a stand alone training paradigm I've always thought they were somewhat lacking for several reasons:

    - Price... need I say more? no, nut I will. most KB's are WAY overpriced and since [see my next bullet]

    - they're not adjustable, this makes progress a lot like bodyweight movements. you have two avenues to progress with KB's: use a more complex movement, or do more reps. That's it. more weight isn't an option unless you buy another overpriced Kettlebell.

    - they're not the all singing all dancing tool of fitness, nor are they "superior to dumbells in every way!!!111one" like the hype would have you beleive.

    All in all, KB routines DO emphasize compound explosive movements, which IS a good philosophy for routine construction, but they're lack of heavy loads makes them pretty myopic in my opinion... wonder if I used that word right... IMO, if you're going to follow a KB type routine, a better investment in terms of cost and versatility would be a pair of adjustable DB handles. If you have the money to burn though, I suppose you could take the plunge, still, consider the cheaper alternatives:
    -Kettle stack. buy a pair, and some plates and adjust at will.
    - Kettlesack (I think that's what it's called) is a sandbag based KB that comes with handles of various thicknesses.
    - a sandbag. costs like 50 bucks at the most to make one that will go up to 200 lbs if you so choose, great training tool, and just as versatile if not more so than KB's.
    - Homemade KB... check out my shot loaded beauty, this thing will go up over 100 lbs when full:
    [​IMG]
     
  6. jimjam

    jimjam Blue Belt

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    Man, as far as kit goes that is pretty gnarly, if only I could weld . Thanks for all the fast and informative replies, sort of confirmed what I had suspected. Im hoping to move out of this hamster cage and into a house around summer so hopefully I'll have a garage where I can get back to training proper.

    One more question though, for those of you training with sand bags ( and I assume you literally mean military style sandbags, I have a few ) ......do you have any links to routines for them, and is there any way of using them indoors without my girl going ballistic because of sand everywhere?
     
  7. Barut

    Barut Banned Banned

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    Try not to get sand in her panties or girl parts. They tend to get a little pissed when that happens.

    I think Urban has a 'how to' for sand bags. He has the blue name and gets loads of trim, so he can give you the specifics.
     
  8. philthy

    philthy Blue Belt

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    I've met a few people who trained mainly with kettlebells (no deads, squats, bench, etc) while they couldn't do barbell lifts they were very functionally strong in a submission grappling situation.

    I implement kettlebells into my routine but I don't believe they are the end all and be all of training. Much like ratman said it's just a type of training tool.

    If you want some kettlebells and price is an issue just pm me i'll hook you up. Really that goes for anyone, I don't mind hooking people up with deals on any of the stuff i sell on hammarsports.
     
  9. jimjam

    jimjam Blue Belt

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    Duly noted on the sand in the lady bits and panties. I will try to avoid that.

    Urban?

    Thanks man, but I think the cost of sending them to Ireland would negate any money you might be able to save me. But thanks anyway.
     
  10. spirez

    spirez Purple Belt

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    They are good, i've only started using them recently but it adds another dimension to training.

    Doing moves like bottoms-up clean & presses, snatches etc really work the grip well, which is great for grappling strength.
     
  11. immovablestone

    immovablestone Purple Belt

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    They can be great if you use them right, but if money is a problem don't bother, or start with one until you're doing 50 rep snatches, cleans, swings, getups, etc, then buy a heavier one. There are lots of sites out there (dragondoor, etc) that have routines, but you have to sift through all the "KB's rule the earth!" mumbo jumbo to get to the good stuff.

    I use them as often as I can, ie with whatever time I might have during a week AFTER lifting and MA, which come first.

    Sandbags are great, too. Nothing like a 150lb+ sandbag getup complex to make you feel like you just got worked in a prison shower.
     
  12. WinterIsComing

    WinterIsComing Blue Belt

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    Kettleballs are the ghey. The only balls I need in my routine are the ones that hang below my belt.
     
  13. spirez

    spirez Purple Belt

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    It's a lump of iron with a handle. Funnily enough that is also what a dumbell is. You phail.
     
  14. ChaseT.

    ChaseT. Banned Banned

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    Donnie Thompson, who holds the highest powerlifting total ever, is a proponent of kettlebells. There are better ways to spend money (barbell, bumpers, power rack, etc.) but they can be a useful tool.

    [​IMG]
     
  15. HONOS

    HONOS Yellow Belt

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    I definitely like them for doing stuff like snatches, but they are an addition to a barbell routine, not a substitute imo.
     
  16. Tornado

    Tornado Blue Belt

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    Sweet! How much did it cost to make?
     
  17. Barut

    Barut Banned Banned

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    That fillable KB is the best invention that Urban has come up with.
     
  18. philthy

    philthy Blue Belt

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    I bet he could make some kickass thick dumbbell handles.
     
  19. Newt

    Newt Guest

    I've got both DB's and KB's and I think I prefer the DB's for most things - plus they're a lot cheaper. Virtually anything you can do with a KB, you can do with a DB. Bottom line - I think KB's are overrated and too expensive.
     

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