As I have noted numerous times in the past, I am a great fan of strength. I’m obsessed with it! In my mind, there is no better way to express yourself and become a man among men more than weight training. Weight training builds strength, endurance, and character like no other. Not only does it build your body, it builds your mind.
I remember when I was 14 years old and got my first weight set from my father. It was that day that a lifelong, inseparable bond was forged with the iron. Since those crude early days of lifting weights, my training has undergone an evolution that has culminated to where I stand today.
Throughout the course of the training evolution, I have tried many different modes of training including powerlifting, bodybuilding, free weights, machines, isometrics, high rep, low rep, high volume, low volume, etc. until I finally found the holy grail, in my opinion.
About five years ago I stumbled onto a training tool that I found to be powerful, versatile, and minimalist. That tool is the kettlebell. Forged of iron and popularized by the strongest, toughest men in the world, I have found the kettlebell to be the greatest low tech training device ever created.
What is a kettlebell, you ask? Think of a cannonball- with a suitcase handle on it. Yes, it looks just like you’re imagining. The beauty of the kettlebell is in the design. The handle is on top, which makes it awkward and bottom heavy. This is a good thing. When performing exercises, or “drills” with the kettlebell, you find that the weight distribution lends itself to an iron grip. Hold that sucker tight or it will get away from you. It will force you to become one with the bell and extract every bit of energy to control it.
Many say that it is not possible to use a kettlebell, or kettlebells to gain strength. I disagree. Currently, the largest kettlebell commonly available weighs 106lbs. Try performing kettlebell drills with a pair of those and tell me you cannot get strong. Trust me, you’ll be one strong ,mother. As an aside, if you are actively competing in powerlifting or Olympic Weightlifting, the kettlebell may not be your number one gun, but will compliment that training perfectly.
By this point, you may asking yourself, why not just go to the gym and lift weights? The answer to that question for me is simply, minimalism. I have not gone to a gym and paid gym membership for many years. I prefer to train myself in my own torture chamber under my own rules, on my own time.
Rather than buying a full barbell and dumbbell gym to put in my house, I put the real estate to better use with a full set of kettlebells. Nearly as heavy as any home gym, while taking up much less space, and saving tons in gym membership fees over time.
So there you have it brothers. My holy grail evolution of strength. I suggest you find yourself a kettlebell or kettlebells, find a good book with an awesome program, and get busy with your own evolution of Lion Pride strength and conditioning!
If you are looking for the A+, #1 starting kettlebell program, look no further than the book that started it all by Pavel Tsatsouline, Enter the Kettlebell
Rise up and Stay Strong!!