Reads: Russia 1999, Gyrievoi (Kettle Bell) Sport

I first came in contact with kettle bell training a few years ago when a friend of mine expressed a deep disappointment at finding out that I, a Personal Trainer and someone he believed to be a true blooded Russian, had little experience with the all mighty bell.

Admittedly at the time I was ignorant of the training technique that saw such popular resurrection over the past few years. Having my clients swinging cannonball size and weight objects around what is most of the time a packed, confined and shatter prone training environment has never appealed. As for my own training I was more than happy with an athletic strength and cardiovascular regime that I had settled into at the time.

Still, not one to have my Russian patriotism questioned I did what any self respecting Russian does regularly (or so I was told at the time): bought a kettle bell and got swinging. Over the years kettle bells became a regular part of my weekly training regime as well as those clients who’s body type and fitness level is ideally suited to this type of training.

Kettle Bell Training is like no other training technique and is used by many fitness enthusiast serious about their results. They are used in the gyms and elite private studios around the world and are now a firmly grounded training tool. It is often argued that kettle bell training is one of the very few resistance workouts that help to develop flexibility and strength while providing a heavy cardiovascular element. As such the equipment and the movement patterns deliver a true total body conditioning workout.


A kettle bell or Girya as it is known in Russia is a heavy cannonball like object with a handle. Competition kettle bells measure 16kg, 24kg and 32kg but various weights can be usually found in 2 to

4kg increments. Though you would rarely need more than a pair of kettle bells suited to your size, plate loaded kettle bells offer a “one size fits all” option if you happen to outgrow your current strength and size.

In a nutshell:


1. Compound movements recruit the majority of skeletal muscle thereby making this a total body workout.
2. The nature of movements and versatility of the equipment allows you to do more work in less time.
3. Perfect for adding cardiovascular element to muscle heads that prefer to avoid pounding the treadmill. Continuous flow that develops with practice adds a heavy cardiovascular element to each of your workouts.
4. Since the training is a combination of explosive power and endurance you develop a lean physique with less emphasis on size and more on strength, tone and muscle stability. Many moves simultaneously develop strength and flexibility, something that is rarely seen in body conditioning.

5. The ability to perform unilateral movements will help you strengthen a weaker side, vital if you engage in sports, hypertrophy based training or developing a balanced physique.
6. Thick handle promotes development of grip which in many combat sports especially.
7. The nature of many of the exercises directly translates to everyday life making kettle bell training a functional training system.

Kettle bell training is like no other training technique and should be used by every fitness enthusiast serious about their results. Application of kettle bell training is a vital ingredient to a achieving a balance, athletic and lean physique. When combined with other forms of training it has the potential to round up a well periodised strength protocol by offering a single session that trains a wide variety of energy systems.