TimD wrote:Hey Pete. I noticed in another thread(which I don't want to hijack), you mentioned KB circuits. I finally broke down and bought a pair. I'm currently just feeling them out with 1 and 2 arm swings and squat pulls. How do you like the feel as opposed to DB's? Have any circuits/complexes from De
I really like the feel of the kettlebells. Oddly, Bill Starr just wrote an article and dimissed them as something phased out in the 30s and bound to be phased out again. But I doubt that. There is a suck factor to the kettlebells that dumbbells just don't have. Guys much stronger than me at DeFranco's often stop by when I'm doing kettlebells and ask if I think they suck, too.
The thicker, rounded handle is good. It's not as thick as a usual thick bar, but it's enough to make me grip them pretty tightly. They make an interesting challenge when you keep them in front rack and do squats or lunges, because the weight isn't as centered on your body. Forces you into a more upright posture.
The only thing I don't like is that "smack" of the kettlebell into my wrist when I punch up the KB at the top of a snatch. Other than that, the different center of gravity on them makes them a bit different even when you do "normal" exercises with them. Curling them is a whole lot of no fun, for example, and I've seen guys using the 16kg ones for lying triceps extensions, which looks even harder.
I'd recommend checking out some videos on the kettlebell snatch. If you learn that, it's just a continuation of the swing's motion. Oh, and getups are a bit easier to do with the same weight when it's a KB, in my opinion, because the weight is more secure against your arm.
As for circuits:
I only ever did a couple of circuits or complexes at DeFranco's that were purely KBs. Most of the time they mixed it up with pullups, tire flips, sled drags, sandbags, jumping, etc. and KB work just featured in as one slot.
But this one was especially memorable, if short; it was done after a leg workout.
Kettlebell Circuit - 2 rounds, 90 seconds rest between rounds
Front Squat - 10 x 2*16kg KBs in front rack position.
Pushup into Burpee (off kettlebell handles) - 10 reps
Reverse Lunge - 8 per leg x 16kg KB in front rack position held by horns
One-Arm Swings - 10 per arm x 16kg KB
More recently they'd had me doing kettlebell combo lifts, like a front squat/push press (but with a pause, so it's not a thruster) with two kettlebells, or snatch w/ a press (snatch, then lower and press, repeat), swings into figure eights, etc.
Honestly you can treat them just like a pair of non-adjusting dumbbells, but you can take advantage of the larger handle to do things like the figure-eights. You wouldn't want to try passing a dumbbell hand-to-hand like that.