Kettlebells and Kickin' Ass

Can you trust a guy with kettlebells?

Kettlebells are the most mysterious, enigmatic, and (dare I say) daemonic contraption found in modern gyms. The solid circular shape resembles an iron skull, a stone bust, or even a shrunken head lying around in the jungle--which might explain how Colonel Kurtz bulked up in Apocalypse Now.


To learn more about this elusive piece of equipment, I consulted with experts at Wikipedia. A kettlebell is defined as a cast iron or steel ball with a handle attached to the top. The device has an ancient history, dating back to the Greeks, who would swing them to jump further.


In 19th century Europe, circus strongmen adapted a kettlebell, which was used for weighing crops, to athletics competition. Pictured below is German strongman Arthur Saxon (1878-1921), who became famous before the First World War for lifting heavy things over his head.


About a decade after the Cold War ended, the Russian special forces trainer Pavel Tsatsouline popularized the kettlebell in America. Pavel created a series of hilarious instructional videos, like this one below. Comrade, enjoy his chest hair safely.

Modern Kettlebell usage has developed along two tracks. There’s the San Francisco--fitness-influencer community, who train to light EDM music while wearing expensive fabrics. I think these people smile too much. This is what happens when you eliminate the element of excessive danger from your training…

The other path is lead by Joe Rogan, who prefers training with kettlebells as opposed to the traditional barbell lifts. Rogan identifies with the functional strength crowd. In the video below, he shows off his kettlebell and explains his workout philosophy.

So there you have it; I’ve taken you on a tour of the Kettlebell in all its mysterious and wonderful glory. As for the question I posed at the top, whether you can trust a guy with a kettlebell, the answer is quite clearly NO. You should not trust such sorcerers of steel.

Football was meant to be played in leather helmets and sweaters. Currently taking suggestions for which NHL team I should support.

Twitter: @IshFarooqui