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Kettlebells vs. Traditional Resistance
Kettlebell and Clubbell Training advantages over Traditional Resistance Training
By: Nicholas James Schodtler, NASM, CPT
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”
These planes are called:
Resistance Bands ...
All target Sagittal Plane movement from fixed positions. This is called “Single-Plane-
FACT …70% of ALL injuries will occur in the Transverse Plane.
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)
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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