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from Facebook 03-05-2010 06:08 AM

kettlebells, bulgarian bags and macebells?

ok, I know your opinion about traditional weight training. But what about kettlebells, bulgarian bags and macebells?
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blackbelt 03-05-2010 07:55 AM

Iím curious about kettle bells myself.

They seem to have gained popularity in recent years. The senior student at my martial arts school has even been using them.

Iím NOT about to go out and buy a set.

But, I wonder how different they are compared to weights.

JoeJustice 03-05-2010 08:05 AM

Yeah, you can find kettlebells in Wal-Mart these days. They've gone pretty mainstream.

I wonder what ever happened to Indian clubs. I know they use to be common in gyms back in the early 20th century, but most people don't even know what they are today.


bennyb 03-05-2010 09:35 AM

I believe they have some value when it comes to strength and conditioning but not as efficient when it comes to natural pain-free fitness. I've played around and a juggled a couple, not very good but it kept from being bored. I'm talking kettlebells here not the other 2. I never used the other ones. I have used my sledgehammer as a mace and its just as good if not better then a traditional mace.

John Peterson 03-05-2010 10:32 AM

Hey Friends,

I personally believe that we achieve the best standard of highly functional strength, fitness, and muscular development by using our muscles to move our own body's through multiple planes of movement and by developing the ability to contract and relax any given muscle group at will through a highly enhanced mind/muscle connection. By using our own body's in this fashion our strength is then directly proportional to the body itself and our ability to move it through multiple planes of movement with greater and greater ease.Training in this fashion also yields fantastic results as our body's become not only strong, but also flexible, and enduring from all angles and all directions. In addition, when applied sensibly and progressively, this method is also the safest and best way to strengthen and protect our joints, tendons and ligaments. Not to mention that developing our body's the Transformetrics way has complete joint mobility built right into the system. This in turn allows us to remain strong, flexible, enduring and pain free for life.

Let me also point out that when foundational strength and fitness is developed in this natural way it can then be tested with kettlebells, bulgarian bags, macebells, Indian clubs, weights or any other medium one chooses. I don't see anything even remotely wrong with that if that is what someone enjoys and wants to do. Or it can be tested using body weight strength and development exercises such as you saw in Joe Justice's 'Hands Only Rope Climbing' demonstration. Trust me, anyone that can do what you saw Joe demonstrate is superbly strong and well conditioned in direct relationship to his own body's weight. from my perspective that is true, functional strength at it's best.

With that said, I personally prefer to use Pull-Ups, Push-Ups, Super Man Wheel Push-Ups, Rope Climbing and other body weight exercise to test my strength, endurance, and flexibility. I avoid all exercises that cause compression to my spine.

Now, with all the above having been stated, let me also say that I think there is really something unique and wonderful about not having to rely on anything outside of ourselves in order to remain strong, flexible, and pain free for life. Still, everyone needs to train in the way that they enjoy best in order to stay with it long term and reap the lifelong benefits of a strong, flexible, and pain-free body.

---John Peterson

JoeJustice 03-05-2010 10:41 AM

WOW! Hey John, on Facebook there's a little feature where you can "like" something and it gives the post a thumb-up. I gotta give that reply a big thumb-up, it was really fantastic!


John Peterson 03-05-2010 11:53 AM

Hey Joe,

Thanks for the kind words. Very much appreciated. Truth is, by developing our strength in direct relationship to our own body's best natural weight we achieve a perfectly developed physique and an extraordinarily high level of totally functional strength and fitness. The other things mentioned may be fun ways to test our strength but they do not replace mastering our own body's weight from all angles and directions. When we master our own body first and foremost, what I call 'Training Tarzan style' we achieve a level of strength and fitness that is second to none and a physique that is perfectly matched to our own bone structure and our own unique bodily proportions and natural leverages. Thanks again for the kind words.

---John Peterson

GKC 03-05-2010 11:55 AM

I do like my kettlebells..... I have 2!
One is a 24kg one and one is a 16kg one and beleive me they give you a very good workout.They do seem to be uniquely different to weights.
However they have gone mainstream and a bit " Ken and Barbie". They should be for rugged work outs not for leaping around in Lycra juggling a pink 5lb kettlebell.
That careful John do not get to mainstream because the potency of your message will be lost.

Greg Newton 03-05-2010 02:30 PM

I'll weigh in with my opinion, which is similar to John's. However, if you like kettlebells like GKC, don't look at this as a condemnation. This is just my experience.

First, kettlebells are a step up from traditional bodybuilding exercises with weight, in that you are controlling a weight through multiple planes of gravity, much like Olympic weight training, but on a smaller scale. This is more applicable to athletics. Second, I've done the exercises with dumbbells and I've done the exercises with kettlebells; snatches, swings, and clean and presses. I believe the dummbells are safer and I don't really see the point in risking your shoulders and wrists with the kettlebell. That brings me into my third point.

Last year I tried kettlebell training with my seniors who were competing in a firefighting competition. They did 100 pushups, 50 swings with the kettlebell, and ten 100 yard hill sprints. This was two to three times a week. They all told me, four guys and one girl, that they felt the pushups and the hill sprints did more to condition them for the contest than the kettlebells. As well, I had to keep a close eye on them with the kettlebell. I was very afraid one of them would throw their shoulder out of joint when swinging the bell. It didn't look safe for several of them because they had very loose joints.

Personally, I can do kettlebell stuff, but the bottom line is, you are throwing and heaving a weight with ballistic motion over continuous repetitions. The weight is fixed at the end of the arm, putting stress on the wrists, elbows, and shoulder; as well as the lower back and knees which flex and then brake from the dip, which creates a rebound effect on the joints. I believe that you are putting your joints at risk for the long term, even if you can do them safely. That is my opinion.

Greg Newton

mattman 03-05-2010 02:55 PM

Hello, I read this a few times and thought that I might give my two cents.

For a few years I was a body weight exercise only individual. Then a few months after I came home from Iraq a buddy got me to try doing kettlebells, and it was love at first swing. I pretty much did nothing but kb's and pull-ups for about the next 4 years. I had great endurance and my strength honeslty did improve. I got to where I was able to press the 106# with each arm at a bodyweight of 205. Then a yearabout2 years ago, I just kinda got tired of lifting heavy things. I went back to bodyweight exercises. I truely believe that using light to mid weight kb's have some great benifets for cardio. As a full time firefighter/paramedic, I think the swings are great for work. But, I dont by any means think that you have to do the kb's to get in shape. To be really honest, I have sold all of my heavy kb's since I have started using many of the methods from this site. I think the stuff here is great for promoting health, longevity, an all-around fitness. I guess I was lucky, I have not been injured or busted up, but I know that it happens if you lift long enough.

One other method of training that I like to use from time to time is heavy sandbags. They are awkward and hard to grip. Much like an unconcious person at a fire or ems call.

I should also mention that I try to get the guys I work with to try a lot of the exercises found here. A lot of them really do like them.

I hope I didnt bore anyone with my rambling, take care,


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