Kettlebells vs. Traditional Resistance

Kettlebell and Clubbell Training advantages over Traditional Resistance Training
By: Nicholas James Schodtler, NASM, CPT
Jan. 6, 2009 - PRLog -- Chicago, IL (USA)
The reason for so much debate and confusion in my professional opinion, as to why kettlebells are a superior form of training, is too many people attempt to use kettlebells with little or no expert instruction. Because of this they make the CRITICAL MISTAKE of attempting to use kettlebells like traditional weights.

Traditional weight lifting is what is called "Single-Plane Static" -Meaning your body is in a fixed position while pressing weight towards and away from you in a linear manner, (direct line of applied force) while attempting not to use momentum targeting an isolated muscle or muscle group. Even the muscle building is different. Traditional bodybuilding targets “Muscle Hypertrophy” –an increase in muscle size. Most people associate size with strength. What most people do not know is that 50-70-percent of hypertrophy size is from fluid called “Sarcoplasm.” Sarcoplasmic Volume accounts for 50-70 percent of muscle gain/size incurred through traditional weight lifting –contributing very little to direct strength.

In “Real-Life-Activities” the human body moves constantly through three plains of motion at all times –Be it your job, daily tasks, sports …anything and everything!
These planes are called:

 Sagittal Plane
 Frontal Plane
 Transverse Plane

Resistance Machines
Traditional Weight-Lifting
Resistance Bands ...

All target Sagittal Plane movement from fixed positions. This is called “Single-Plane-Static.” All the so-called “Tried and True” methods of exercise listed above ignore two very necessary planes of motion critical to human performance and function.

FACT …70% of ALL injuries will occur in the Transverse Plane.

Resistance Machines
Traditional Weight-Lifting
Resistance Bands ... Do Not Promote Natural Movement !

This is what gives Kettlebell and Clubbell Training it’s distinct advantage over so-called “traditional methods” of training.

So what’s the difference?

Kettlebell training is the antithesis of traditional weight lifting –using all (3) Planes of Motion simultaneously –heavily targeting the Transverse Plane …Again this is where 70-percent of all injuries typically occur.
Kettlebell training is based upon generating momentum and then perpetuating, redirecting and decelerating that momentum.
Almost every kettlebell and Clubbell exercise engages literally hundreds of muscles at once. Most expert level kettlebell enthusiasts have profound functional strength without bulky size. This is because the very nature of kettlebell training triggers greater "Myofibril Density” and a higher "Rate of Synchronized Motor Units" Myofibrils are contractile organisms within the muscle that are directly related to strength –So muscles become incredibly dense (strong) without bulky size. A motor unit is a single α-motor neuron and all of the corresponding muscle fibers it innervates. When a motor unit is activated, all of its fibers contract. Groups of motor units are designed by Nature to work together to coordinate the contractions of a single muscle; so in theory the higher rate of motor unit synchronization the greater the contractile force.

There is no substituting a kettlebell or a clubbell. Even if you were to attempt basic kettlebell movements with a dumbbell –like the “Kettlebell Swing” for example, it still would not even come close. Whether holding the dumbbell with one-hand or both hands, either by the handle or the dumbbell head, there is still a direct line of applied force –And the dumbbell itself is still balanced in design. The kettlebell is asymmetrical in design -Just the act of picking the kettlebell up triggers engagement of all 38-core muscles.

KettleBell and Clubbell Training focus on Multi-Planar, (all 3-planes of motion) and Circular Training -Utilizing what is called MetCon Training (Metabolic Conditioning). MetCon Training works all four major body systems, Nervous System, Cardio-Vascular, Muscular and Skeletal … Simultaneously !

Look at it this way…
You can run on a flat even surface.
You can run up a steep uphill rugged terrain.
Both involve running, and running no matter on what surface visually looks the same…But one is a HELL of a lot harder!
This is the simple major contrast between traditional weightlifting and proper kettlebell training.

Nicholas James Schodtler
Master Personal Trainer
Sports Enhancement Training
National Academy of Sports Medicine, C.P.T.
MetCon Training / Reality Fitness / Nutrition / Supplementation

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The Kettlebell…
Ball of iron with a handle.
Simple, sinister, brutal—and ferociously effective for developing explosive strength, dramatic power and never-say-die conditioning.
The warrior’s choice for the toughest, most demanding, highest-yield exercise tool on the planet. Guaranteed to forge a rugged, resilient, densely-muscled frame—built to withstand any and all situations.
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