Kettlebell master class

Tommorrow I’ll be doing a master class at my teacher’s dojo.
The topic will be „The Art of Kettlebell Training“.

Sounds nice, huh?

Background:
At our headquarters in vienna’s 8th district, Ronny (Shinergy-founder and my teacher) and Tom (captain of the Shinergy[supreme team], Shinergy[master instructor] and athletic director at our hq-dojo) have decided to remove all those puny machines from the gym and establish a pure athletic-gym. So basically, what remains is a squat rack, a bench, two power-racks, a cable pulley and a pullup-machine, accompanied of course by TRX suspension trainers,

barbells, dumbbels – and, as you might already have guessed, kettlebells.

Think the gym of my dreams.

Now, as there’s not too much people in Austria offering high-quality kettlebell tuition (I consider myself to be one of a few), it’s my job to instruct our gym trainers on how to use the Kettlebell and turn a piece of iron into a lean, mean, one-stop-shop for fitness. Ok, I’ll admit that sounds a bit dramatic, but you get the point.

The master class is scheduled to start at 2PM and last until 5. That’s a mere 3 hours – not exactly a lot of time, considering the fact that kettlebells do indeed have some unique features. On the other hand, the kettlebell is but a tool and my „clients“ will be gym trainers and athletes with years and years of training experience. Those guys have a good link to their bodies and will catch the basics easily.

Having said that, what do I consider the basic kettlebell techniques?

Well, certainly not renegade-rows or shoulder presses. You can do those with dumbbells, maybe even better so than with kettlebells. For me, when it comes to what distinguishes the kettlebell from the dumbbell, I’m talking but a handful of movements:

  1. The Swing
  2. The Power-Clean
  3. The Power-Snatch
  4. The Get-Up
Why’s that?

Obviously, the Swing is a typical kettlebell technique because of its offset center of gravity. The kettlebell just behave sdifferently from a dumbbell when it comes to swinging.

Dollowing that thought, Cleans and Snatches can be initiated with a swing when performed for high reps. You wouldn’t do that with a dumbbell – with a barbell it’s just impossible. Thus, the Power-Clean and Power-Snatch qualify as typical kettlebell-techniques in my book.

Last but not least, the Get-Up is different if performed with a kettlebell. Don’t get me wrong here, I like barbell Get-Ups just as much. It’s just not the same thing – neither one’s better or worde, they’re just different.

With the kettlebell, your shoulder gets a good stretch. Also, the offset center of gravity challenges the local stabilizers – so does the barbell, in a different plane. I find that these two points force the trainee to perform the kettlebell Get-Up cleaner than a dumbbell Get-Up. As for the barbell (or sandbag for that matter) – I think both versions are great and should be done on a regular base.

Tomorrow, I’ll post the handout that’ll guide through the masterclass along with the days impressions.

On a side note, I have to add that I had a great training day today – todays youth class as well as the adults class were attended by just one person each. I was stunned by how good some of my students have become in just 3 years. I’m proud to train with them.

So long,

take care

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