Adventures in Kettlebell Training

A couple of weeks ago, I found myself lying around the apartment and moping about my eleven-pound weight gain – the thought of which still makes me cringe. I’m one of those people who, when they become depressed, glue themselves to the couch and alternate between watching reruns of Parks and Rec and taking naps. That day, it was hard for me to summon the motivation to peel myself off the sofa and go to the gym. But I had reached a point where I knew something *had* to be done, and soon I found myself putting on my Reeboks and heading out the door.

When I entered my University’s gym, I noticed signs advertising fitness programs. I decided to sign up for CrossFit. I had heard good things about the program, and I figured signing up for a class would be a good way to keep me motivated and accountable about working out. Well, when I went to the gym’s office to sign up, I found out that all the CrossFit classes were full (this was the very last day to sign up for classes, so it makes sense). I still wanted to sign up for something, so I looked over my options and decided to take my chances with kettlebell training.

What’s a kettlebell? You’d probably recognize one if you saw one. They look like this:


Kettlebells are weights. Unlike dumbbells, the weight is not evenly distributed but rather concentrated at one point. This actually mimics real-life scenarios involving heavy objects better – our instructor compared picking up a kettlebell from the ground to picking up a heavy suitcase; and the comparisons are endless.

Kettlebells originated in Russia and are still lesser-known in America. Their weight is also measured in kilograms.

Obviously, we do many exercises with the kettlebells during my hour-long class. Many exercises can also be done with traditional dumbbells, such as lifts, presses, squats, etc. But when working out with a kettlebell you can do swings, which you generally can’t do with dumbbells. Variations of swings include two-handed, one-handed, the height your kettlebell reaches, etc.

Here’s a diagram (in Bulgarian) of some kettlebell workouts:


This is a diagram of a guy performing a “Turkish get up.” This move is incredibly difficult. In the beginning, I tried doing it with a (light) kettlebell and was struggling so much that the instructor made me do it sans kettlebell until I got the hang of it. I am proud to say that I can now handle doing a Turkish get up, albeit with a small kettlebell. But still 😉


^The guy in this pic is *clearly* a badass because he is using a huge kettlebell. Holy moly.

Up until two weeks ago, I had never touched a kettlebell in my life. But every Monday and Wednesday from 6:45 am to 7:45 am, I’ve been exercising with them. I wasn’t really sure what to expect from the class at first, but I have been pleasantly surprised with how much I enjoy kettlebell training. The last two classes are next week. The semester is nearly over, so obviously the gym isn’t offering another class until the summer or fall. I will definitely be enrolling in this class again.

I’ll be spending the summer at home, so I won’t be able to take the class through school. But I did some research and found that a rec center near my house will be offering a kettlebell class this summer. I may do that, but I think I may finally be fitting my CrossFit in – I found a program in my hometown.

What are your thoughts on kettlebell training?

Peace, Love and Liberty,