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Pete: KB's

Posted: Tue Jan 26, 2010 10:27 am
by TimD
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
Franco's? Tkx

Posted: Tue Jan 26, 2010 11:40 am
by stuward
What size did you get Tim? I'd love to get some but the shipping is so expensive here. You hardly ever see anything bigger than 10# available for purchase and never anything on the used market.

Posted: Tue Jan 26, 2010 11:54 am
by TimD
I just got a couple of baby ones, 35 lbs or thereabouts. I use them primarily, right now anyway, for swings and squat pulls, so two of them do the trick nicely, plus now that I'm over 60, it's not like I'm going to be using a lot more than that for pressing, etc. We have a chain Sporting goods store down here called Dick's Sporting Goods, and they carry them up to around 50 lbs. Usuall not in stock, but they can get them in in less than a week. Also, I noticed the other day that Sears carries them up to 20 lbs, the Weider brand. Shipping is prohibitive, and that's exactly why I didn't order them up online. I also noticed they're starting to show up in local gyms in the area as well. So far I kind of like them. the handles are thicker than my DB's, swings are much easier because of the flat palms out grip, no knee banging, etc, and in the one arm stuff they seem to throw you off center, unlike a DB, which is a pretty decent after effect for the trunk area.. I've been browing youtube for kettleells drills and trying some of them out. I don't even think of it a working out, just having fun.

Posted: Tue Jan 26, 2010 11:59 am
by stuward
CFB Gagetown has a selection in the gym and I usually play with them when I'm there but I haven't found any in Halifax yet. There is a technique to snatchs that I haven't figured out yet. The back of your wrist gets beaten up otherwise. The fat grip is kind on fun as well. I did some farmers walks with a pair of 32Kgs. Normally that would be light for me but my forarms were on fire.

Re: Pete: KB's

Posted: Wed Jan 27, 2010 10:13 am
by pdellorto
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
Franco's? Tkx

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.


Posted: Wed Jan 27, 2010 11:38 am
by TimD
Tks for the ideas. That circuit sounds like it's a real conditioner. As to the snatch, you know, I've been checking out you tube. Now with a barbell or DB, I pull it up, vertically, then whip the elbows down and wrists up. I've noticed that in some video's, they consider a snatch just a swing all the wy up to overhead and fixed, just what we called a DB competition swing back in the day. Well, I guess there really aren't snatch police outtside of a competition, so I'll play around with both styles.

Posted: Wed Jan 27, 2010 12:10 pm
by pdellorto
Yeah, there is a reason I only did 2 rounds. I think it was like "Okay, finish with a circuit. Do 2 rounds and we'll see." After 2 my leges were too smoked too much to do a third. I could have kept squatting, but I couldn't lunge, I'd just fall down on one knee.

When I first learned the snatch, I did get more of a circular arc than before - like a swing that just didn't stop until most of the way up, punctuated with a short snappy press to catch it at the top.

Nowadays I find I start with a couple short "warmup" swings to get some momentum going, and then I pull nearly straight up. I get the full triple extension on those - I end up at the top on the balls of my feet, knees straight, and hips forward. I even use my other arm to provide a bit more snap. It just took me finding the right groove for me - maybe it's not a picture-perfect KB snatch but it's getting stronger steadily, and I feel like I'm coordinating more.

The two-arm snatches are harder, though, because I can't use that arm, and because I have to widen out...and my one-arm snatch stance is a more comfortable a little more narrow. Can't stay narrow with two KBs swinging between your legs, one missed motion and it's an injury timeout.

Posted: Sun Feb 07, 2010 8:10 am
by pdellorto
Tim, here is a another KB complex from DeFranco's. I forgot about it because I haven't done exactly the same one yet:

But it would be a good one, I'm sure.