Kettlebells are relatively new to the Western world, having been strangely ‘hidden’ away in the Eastern bloc for far too long. now though, we are witness to an explosion of interest in this wonderful way of training, but resources are quite thin. Like any ‘new’ product, there are those who jump in too deep, too early trying to make a quick buck. Be weary of sites that sell you ‘The definitive guide’, costing only 3 payments of 19.99. Much of the deeper understanding still lies in the Eastern bloc countries, and few have been able to make the transition over to the English speaking WWW world. This is a shame, because we need that knowledge. Some, like Pavel, and Federenko have started, and that is a good thing.
Below are some of the resources I have found useful and inspiring. It is a rapidly changing world of course, and I find the ‘blogosphere’ THE place to turn to for the most up to date stuff, mostly because the filter system (i.e. Wikipedia-style updating) tends to keep the good blogs running, whereas the others fall by the wayside. This seems true in the Paleo world as well. To keep up to date, one needs to be critical, and read a lot. Of course, deep in the archives, lie 1000 secrets, and a lot of these sites are driven by afficianados who are constantly on the look out for such gems of info from our past, all to share with the online world. High 5’s for them!. The list is just a start, I am always looking out for new ideas, and sources of info, so do add to it!
Home of the International Kettlebell and Fitness Federation and founder Steve Cotter. Very professional and an industry leader in kettlebell training and its incorporation into the fitness world. Great video resources, reader forum and details of how to find/become a certified trainer.
A goldmine resource this. Seemingly a lifetime work from Denmark’s most experienced kettlebell trainer and competitor, Thierry Sanchez. Candidate to Master of Sport, 2010 World Champion in biathlon jerk, Danish representative for the IUKL and IKSA. The site, and the blog especially is full of articles relating not just to kettlebells, but to strength training and fitness in general. Material can be readily downloaded, links are provided to many great lifters and technical pointers to improve your lifts, and Sanchez is one of the leading experts in the technical side of GS. Regularly updated and willing to share great knowledge, a site with positive vibe.
Cutting edge Californian strength and conditioning gym specializing in olympic weightlifting and cross training. Head trainer Greg Everett is one of the top coaches in the US, and this professional site really is full of great information, videos on most of the classic OL and kettlbell lifts. Hard to leave once you start browsing.
Super experienced and respected coach, athlete, writer with years of kettlebell training and teaching behine him. No nonsense approach, lots of straight forward tips and good videos. A real resource for strength and conditioning training information and inspiration.
Home to Honored Master of Sport Valery Fedorenko, one of the greatest kettlebell lifters in history and now has a presence in the US, where he is a sought after coach and advisor. Prolific lifter even today, regularly updates his facebook site under the same name, and although his teaching style is a little monotonous, hidden away is years of experience, so it’s well worth watching his videos. Such a smooth style lifter.
Home page of Pavel and the ‘hardstyle’ RKC philosophy. Flashy and full of stuff to buy, but look beyond this, and you’ll find a lot of ideas, clips, articles etc to contrast and compare to other ‘styles’.
Home page of Andrey Kuzmin, one of the few Eastern bloc lifters to share information about kettlebell sport online in English. Simple, but some good info and videos here.
Here is a great site made by an Irish lady called Marianne. She is a kettlebell trainer and has made a rich resource full of videos mostly aimed at beginners, but also useful for advanced lifters. Workouts are given along with step by step guides to the various lifts and bodyweight exercises. All done with an Irish smile.
For the best DVDs and books, look no further than Steve Cotter’s Encyclopedia series going from basic, up to advanced lifts, how to master the pistol squat, bodyweight training, extreme kettlebell workouts. Hours of great viewing, and a lifetime of challenges!. Outstanding resource, well worth the money. The best available, forget the crap coming onto the market now.
Quite a new site for Norwegian kettlebell enthusiasts. As the sport is still in its infancy here, this is a great initiative that seems to aim to spread the good word, provide information on the where/how/why/when etc.
Ok, the best and worst comes last, from the University of Youtube. Here you will find any Dick and Joe posting their versions of how to use kettlebells in the most ‘effective’ way. Undoubtedly, youtube is a great source of inspiration, especially if you aspire to achieve a lift that is seemingly impossible, a quick search and ‘walaaa’, some hairy dude from the MidWest has posted a grainy video making it look simple. I use Youtube a lot, but like anything in life, be critical and be sensible to information out there. In the training world, there is no gospel that dispells any other method. As Bruce Lee once famously said:
“Adapt what is useful, reject what is useless, and add what is specifically your own.”
This mantra is so true to most aspects of life of course. Listen to advice, try things out, see how you feel with different methods, be safe, be curious, and do what works for you. Be weary of any training ‘guru’ who tells you that his/her method is ‘right/better’ than others. Typically this is bulls#it. Unless you are Jillian Michaels….