The Russian Kettlebell Challenge is a School of Strength. We have a singular focus - to make you stronger. Become stronger and you will move through your daily activities with greater ease and less pain. Make sure you can move your own bodyweight well, top that with strength, and you will have the keys to many things: improved sports performance, reduced risk of injury both on and off the sports field, and a long and healthy life.
Strength does not require bulk - I weigh 150 lbs. (68 kilograms), which is what I weighed in high school.
Strength is a skill - I'm in my late 50's and can walk up to over twice my bodyweight (that's over 300 lbs.) and lift it from the ground
Strength is the attribute that most people ignore but it's the very center of what we do.
We have chosen the kettlebell as our implement of choice. Why?
Because kettlebells, as taught in the RKC, really do work - and in a safe, time-efficient, and extremely effective manor. They can help anyone acquire the kind of functional strength that's valuable in almost any area of endeavor, drop inches and weight, or both. Are kettlebells the only way to achieve the goals you have for your body? No, but kettlebells are versatile enough to be used by a burly powerlifter or a sub-100-pound woman who has never exercised before..
Why do kettlebells produce results? Because of the way you use them. You don't "workout" or "train" with a kettlebell in the RKC, you practice. It's like practicing the piano - you try to improve your performance by refining your technique, learning when to work hard and when to relax - you don't just "go through the motions." These concepts can and should be applied to all exercise but it's easy to be mindless when you're on a treadmill or exercise bicycle or swinging lightweight dumbells or pushing the lever on a machine. The kettlebell affords the user no such luxury because it insists on having your full attention, one of the wonders of the kettlebell's design that features the center of gravity several inches away from the handle. And because there is obviously no point in practicing when you have less than your full concentration, the kettlebell rewards you for stopping well short of muscle failure.
A kettlebell is the right weight for "strength/endurance" training which will shape up every aspect of your physique, including your cardiovascular system. No more treadmills or stair climbing machines!
Kettlebells are small and portable - no need for a separate workout room at home. You can even bring one to the office and use it at lunchtime. Take them with you when you travel.
Excellent kettlebell resources are available. See Getting Started With Kettlebells on this web site for a list of books and videos to help you, and for a link to a list of certified Russian Kettlebell Instructors in your area.
Why should I not consider using kettlebells?
Kettlebells are not for the faint of heart. They demand diligence - remember the weight is at the end of a short handle and you're holding the handle, not the weight.. You must work with the weight as it moves. If you're looking for an easy, mindless workout like a stationary bicycle or treadmill, kettlebells are not for you!
Some people feel kettlebells are expensive for what they are - after all, each cast iron cannonball-with-a-suitcase-handle costs about $110 plus shipping (and shipping can be expensive for heavy items like kettlebells). Look at it this way: anyone can start working with kettlebells for less than $200. That will cover the purchase of a first kettlebell, a book, a companion video, and shipping. Depending on the size kettlebell you start with, you may have considerable change leftover from your $200. Compare that with what a decent home gym or gym membership costs and you'll see that kettlebells are a fitness bargain. See Getting Started With Kettlebells on this web site for detailed information on how to make your first kettlebell purchase based on your gender, size, and strength training background.
Who is the "ideal" kettlebell user?
Anyone to whom functional strength matters. That includes but is not limited to martial artists, law enforcement and military personnel, women looking to regain the figure of their youth, and anyone who enjoys a sport that requires both cardiovascular and muscular endurance. Kettlebells are as increasingly popular in professional and college sports teams as they are in fitness centers and YMCA's. Kettlebells can turn that sick, brittle lower back of yours into one with which you can enjoy life again - with your doctor's approval, of course!
Who should not use kettlebells?
Anyone whose doctor says, "No." If you have health problems or serious injuries from other athletic pursuits, be sure you are ready before you start working with kettlebells, but know that there are world champion athletes training with kettlebells even into their 70's, and children as young as 12 (working under the supervision of their parents, of course).
How can I buy kettlebells and related materials?