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Old 05-17-2007, 06:57 AM   #1
James Evans
Senior Member
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: London
Posts: 537
Default 12 Months of Kettlebells

Looking over my diary for last year to review previous running times I was reminded that I have owned my kbs for a year now. They were a very kind present from my now ex-girlfriend before she moved to work in Bangkok.

When they first got here I played around with some of the basic moves. Interesting the discrepencies in strength that I noticed.
  • I could press the 25k bell with little worry
  • Swinging the 16kg was ok, not fun going heavier
  • I could TGU with my right arm at 16k, couldn't move under that weight with my left arm. Had never had a problem with dbs at this weight
  • When snatching the 16kg the bell slammed over my wrist into my forearm. Same with the 20. The 25 just smashed into the low ceiling...
  • The bruising on my forearms made TGU and pressing work very painful for a while.
  • The grip came within a week and as if by magic I could snatch like a demon, well maybe not quite like a demon. I don't use my 25k much but I can easily control it and there are no new blue marks on the ceiling these days. The grip thang has been one of areas that has impressed me the most.
  • Generally kb type movements took me a while to warm in to (even with dumb bell familiarity), more mainstream strength moves were a doddle. I was struck by the fact that you have people who can swing a 16k for 100s of reps and not press a 25k.

Anyway, in honour of the first proper session I did with them back on 14 May 2006 I repeated the following last night:

5 Swings @16kg
5 Pull ups
5 SDLHP @25kg
5 Presses @20kg each arm

10 rounds for time

No idea where this came from, think I dreamt it up with the idea being high reps would have been too uncomfortable (particular in the swings and my weakness here, the pull ups) but over 10 rounds I would be getting through considerable volume.

It took me 26 mins 40 a year ago. Last night I did it in 21.20. The kb stuff is easy (well, you know what I mean), my pull ups just let me down by about 5-6 mins.*

I really like owning the bells. I'm tempted to get a second set for two armed work but far from being a priority. Primarily I think they're fun and I like their convenience. Sometimes I just can't face doing something with a barbell and I'll just do one of these:

20 swings
5 snatches each arm
3 rounds


10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1 snatches each arm


20, 10, 5 snatches each arm

These are all done in a couple of minutes.

But I do use them mainly for swings and snatches and as much as anything, to fire my heart up. I like doing snatches with dbs equally, it's just a different variation. They are not the centre of the stuff I do.

I will though use the next 12 months to start seriously attacking the 25k rather than just using the lighter bells for warm ups, circuits and quickies.

Just as a reminder, I got mine from Stan Pike:


*In light of my piss poor pull up potential (PPPUP) I've bought some bands today and am going to use some of Peter's advice to get my numbers up. I can't kip at home because the bar will come off and I will be projected Clouseau style down a staircase.
The rationale for reduced gin intake and the knowledge of the perils of alcoholism and attendant metabolic derangement has almost entirely come from physicians and researchers.
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