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View Full Version : Kettlebells vs Olympic lifting ( Calm Down! It's probably not what you're thinking.)


Travis Hall
09-09-2010, 06:21 PM
Deleted.

Derek Weaver
09-09-2010, 06:26 PM
In my opinion, the KB lifts are much easier to learn than the full version olympic lifts with the barbell. There's a lot that can go wrong with both, but I think you can "get away" with more with a KB than a barbell.

Regarding your second question: No.

Garrett Smith
09-09-2010, 09:22 PM
1. Yes
2. No

Steve Shafley
09-10-2010, 06:04 AM
What Garrett said.

The whole "couch thread" on IGx was based on the fact that a certain member of the RKC organization took issue with Glassman saying the kettlebell snatch couldn't develop the same amount of explosive power as the barbell snatch.

KB lifting is easy to learn, but tough to master when you get into the high rep ballistics.

It does develop a "power endurance" that is surprisingly useful for GPP purposes, at least for me.

I'd say 99% of the gen pop needs power-endurance and strength-endurance more than anything else to improve their quality of life, i.e. let them do more of the things they do for fun, and light menial tasks encountered on a daily basis.

Also, high rep kettlebell work is excellent conditioning for snow shoveling.

Blair Lowe
09-10-2010, 10:28 AM
Another yes/no. Basically KB doesn't have to worry about a first pull which makes it a helluva lot easier to learn.

Steve Shafley
09-10-2010, 10:45 AM
They aren't even comparable. The swing is the basis for the kettlebell snatch and C&J. If you are doing 1 arm olympic variants off the floor or from the hang, then you should be using a $25 Olympic sized dumbbell.

KB ballistics are an entirely different kind of lift than barbell or dumbbell olympic variants, the just share the same name.

Andrew Wilson
09-10-2010, 10:00 PM
Hello everyone,

I've become curious about kettlebells and thought this might be a good place to gain some information. These chunks of iron come with a lot of baggage! It is hard to find information not tainted with fanaticism to put it bluntly.

There are two things I'm curious about:

Are the main kettlebell movements (clean, snatch) easier to learn then the basic oly lifts (clean, snatch)?

I ask because I'm the basement training type and I have found it difficult to properly learn the oly lifts on my own and reap any true benefits.

Question two ties into question one:

Absolute Brute power aside, can kettlebells develop this same type of explosive power that oly lifts are so famous for?

Thanks.

Mechanics wise, KB is swinging mass way from your center of gravity, OL is loading your center of gravity than jumping. KB creates some savages but OL just makes explosive destroyers. http://www.youtube.com/user/olympiclifting?feature=mhum#p/u/10/hLMpksOYdKY wfs

Gary Ohm
09-12-2010, 08:06 AM
Honestly there aren't many things that can compare with Oly lifting in terms of explosiveness and power output. Except maybe car throwing...:p

But KB's aren't bad. Don't throw the baby out with the bath water here. You can get alot of good with kettlebells. Unless of course your goal is to lift competitively. IN which case, yes you do need to find a coach.

Best of luck.

Jack Hunckler
09-12-2010, 08:51 AM
Thanks for the replies. It would seem unanimous :)

I'm a bit disappointed about the second question. The similar names are misleading. Makes me lose interest in KB's. I need to find an Oly coach too help with some basics. I'm going to look into this.

Finding a coach is always a good idea (if you can afford it). I've made tremendous progress under my coach . . . probably even more than I understand. It's just so valuable to have that set of experienced eyes---watching, evaluating, sizing things up---and that experience boosts this rookie's confidence that i CAN reach my goals.


:cool: Mephisto (http://www.shoestores.com)

Neill Smith
09-13-2010, 03:39 PM
It would appear that your goal is not to learn the Olympic lifts but to develop explosive power. Is the real question, then: What activities that are effective without coaching are best at developing explosive power?

If so (or if not) I'm curious to hear the answers.

Gary Ohm
09-13-2010, 04:24 PM
Heavy sandbag clean and press. Heavy sandbag squat jumps. :confused:

Andrew Wilson
09-13-2010, 07:08 PM
It would appear that your goal is not to learn the Olympic lifts but to develop explosive power. Is the real question, then: What activities that are effective without coaching are best at developing explosive power?

If so (or if not) I'm curious to hear the answers.

Back squat with depth jumps

Gary Ohm
09-13-2010, 07:19 PM
Gary you are right about, 'the bath water,' but I feel they are an unnecessary investment if they won't help improve this area of my training.

That's one of the most level headed things I've read in a long time. I guess I need to spend more time on this forum than elsewhere...

Regardless, depth squats with a jump would be great. But in the spirit of simplicity, I think I prefer my sandbags. You can bail out without a second thought. If you are squatting and not using bumpers on a platform, something is going to be abused when you bail.

Keep up the solid thinking Travis.

Allen Yeh
09-14-2010, 03:24 AM
So what are you looking to develop power for?

Kelly Baggett has some great plyo stuff.

http://www.higher-faster-sports.com/articles.html

Joe Defranco's take on developing power and Oly:
http://www.defrancostraining.com/ask-joe-test/41-strength-training/180-hang-cleans-vs-weighted-jumps-for-explosive-hip-extension.html

Gary Ohm
09-14-2010, 05:23 AM
Great links Allen. I got a lot out of Defranco's post and videos there.

Derek Weaver
09-14-2010, 01:20 PM
That's one of the most level headed things I've read in a long time. I guess I need to spend more time on this forum than elsewhere...

Regardless, depth squats with a jump would be great. But in the spirit of simplicity, I think I prefer my sandbags. You can bail out without a second thought. If you are squatting and not using bumpers on a platform, something is going to be abused when you bail.

Keep up the solid thinking Travis.

I don't think, or at least hope, that Andrew was suggesting depth jumps with a barbell on your back.

Heavy squats complexed with jumps of some sort (depth jumps, vertical, box variations, seated box jumps etc.) all develop power well.

The problem is that, like Allen said, power for what? The Oly lifts do develop power well, but the learning curve to do them correctly makes them a less attractive option.

There's also this program: http://www.8weeksout.com/phpBB3/viewforum.php?f=16&sid=a592860d4547d266c535e1bcdf07cee8

Andrew Wilson
09-14-2010, 03:31 PM
I don't think, or at least hope, that Andrew was suggesting depth jumps with a barbell on your back.



Yep: https://docs.google.com/leaf?id=1Sj_vlDDHqRsBoE8s-RJM48Lg4Kaoh34OMxYvCOX-LhiAemD_4FIdM9_tyYil&sort=name&layout=list&num=50


I've been doing this with depth pushups the last 6 weeks too, has been amazing

Gary Ohm
09-14-2010, 03:36 PM
Sorry, I've been reading too much stuff over on teh crossfit forum.

Jumping 1RM barbell back squats would be something they would do. Maybe even on a Bosu...

Sorry gang:o

Andrew Wilson
09-14-2010, 03:45 PM
Just to add something about Oly lifting, it seems alot of people are detracted by it because there is a huge misconception about the technique. Even that defranco link has a huge misconception that that was a hang clean, that was no where near a legit hang clean, that was like a hump up haha. Something I've learned about the lifts is that the simpler the lifts are taught, the more the efficient the lift. All the focus on "triple extension", "double knee bend", "pulls" and such just over complicate the concept and lifters spend more time looking at the areas that mean the least to the effectiveness of the lift. The bulgarian program hype makes it worst, and CrossFit hyper worsens it, especially with those terrible freeze pictures they put up. The snatch and clean are really just a vertical jump, with different hand spacing. and to get the bar in that position you just knee extend (1stpull) to give the bar path a few inches so it doesn't bang into your knee, then you jump. I should probably make a video on this

Andrew Wilson
09-14-2010, 03:49 PM
Sorry, I've been reading too much stuff over on teh crossfit forum.

Jumping 1RM barbell back squats would be something they would do. Maybe even on a Bosu...

Sorry gang:o

hahaha there was an affliate that tried to do snatch box jumps. Some of the European track coaches actually have their guys do a jumping back squat, but its usually a low intensity, usually around a 10rep

David Boyle
09-16-2010, 09:50 AM
(2) things:

For ballistic conditioning kettlebells are the tool of choice. Space savors, low-risk high rep movements, and all around very functional piece of equipment.

Kettlebells can offer brute strength training if you can get your hands on 32kg + bells...ie Mike Mauler. Can be tough though...most gyms don't carry 70lb,88lb,106lb KB's. Pretty expensive if you buy them yourself.

I don't have to go on about O-Lifting...there are a lot people more knowledgeable than me on the subject.

Hands down I believe both combined can offer a sound program.