Kettlebells vs…..Kettlebells

15 01 2008

There’s been a huge shake up in the last year within the kettlebell community in North America. Now I’m not going to get into the politics of it all, I’m not interested. But I felt I needed to touch on the whole issue, to clear up my stance on the whole thing, because of something I actually wrote in an earlier post. It was in “Ascending With Bells“. It was the part about:

“important note: There isn’t a difference between lifting kettlebells for sport and lifting for, say fitness. There’s lifting kettlebells and then there’s what you use Kettlebell lifting for.”

Not sure what head space I was in when I wrote this, but something wasn’t sitting right with me afterwards and I went back and reread the post. When I saw that part, I thought “What?! This would imply there is a right way and a wrong way, which I don’t believe in the least.” I had just ended up regurgitating a view (of which I was exposing myself to a great deal, reading all things AKC and related to AKC). But that is not my view. I’m not one to just take someone else’s word for it and repeat it on blind faith, especially if I have not done the tactile research myself. This is part of why I chose lifting kettlebells as my primary activity to develop excellence. I want to experience and learn the difference via doing the work, by putting my “time under the bells”, so when I share knowledge, I can share it truthfully.

rkc-bells.jpgSo, a right way and a wrong way? I think it’s more about a different way. I think the principals that were applied to the kettlebell are very sound (in it’s major introduction to North America about 8-10 years ago by Dragon Door). It’s gotten people into amazing shape, tapped into a whole sector of the population that didn’t exercise, not because they didn’t like exercising, but because they didn’t like exercising in a set-up that made them feel like lab rats. It can’t be totally bogus, because even elite athletes were using this RKC system of lifting kettlebells and were seeing huge improvements and carry-over to their specific athletic endeavors. Not to mention, with Dragon Door’s intro en mass, it assisted in causing a major paradigm shift in how fitness is viewed in North America (for the better) as it pertains to functionality and efficiency. Where the conflict appears to be coming from is an issue of integrity, which I will not get into, as I know nothing about it (not that I would be inclined to, even if I did).

akc-bells.jpgIn comes the American Kettlebell Club. The AKC has worked very hard in the last year to introduce Classic Kettlebell Lifting (or Kettlebell Lifting Sport), which uses a very different system of kettlebell lifting. A system tested and taught by World Champions of their chosen sport. And I can see, what with the strong foothold the RKC has in North America, why the AKC has had to come in with a rather strong stance. It’s the nature of the game. And they’re coming in with over 50 years of out of this world type results.

So the RKC, a system whose principles are based very similarly to those of a power lifting style (with a bunch of extra goodies:). And the AKC, teaching the system of pure strength-endurance. Are you right or wrong in training one way or the other? Should you be forced to choose between one or the other? Should you feel guilty (or allow anyone else to make you feel guilty) for the choice you DO make? Hell no! Lift based on what your goals are, based on what you enjoy, based on what holds value for you. You will derive great benefit from which ever system you use, whether it’s one or the other or both.

Now to end off, I will throw this out there, just something to keep in mind. For those who enjoy the RKC style of lifting and are focusing on that right now, if you ever come to a point where you feel you’ve kind of reached the top and just can’t seem to improve any further, consider checking out the AKC and Classic Kettlebell Lifting (CKL). From my research thus far (mind you, that’s research read and heard, as I’ve just recently actually started lifting) it seems that CKL WILL take you to levels beyond what a power lifting style can offer. And that comes from guys and gals who have been at the top of the RKC ladder.

But we’ll have plenty of time to come back and revisit this, as Chris and I continue down this path and gain our own hands on experience. Whatever it is you are doing, train hard, train smart and train truthfully to the path you are walking.

s.

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6 responses

7 02 2008
From the Top of the Ladder…. « Gym Jane!

[…] the Top of the Ladder…. 7 02 2008 I’d written a post about a month ago, “Kettlebells vs Kettlebells“, touching on some differences between the lifting presented by the RKC and the lifting […]

21 04 2008
gymjane

Photo of the Dragon Door style Kettlebells was borrowed from:
http://www.getlean.ca/kettlebells.jpg

21 04 2008
gymjane

Photo of the Pro-Grade Kettlebells was borrowed from:
http://firefightersworkout.com/kettlebell.html

20 03 2009
gymjane

For a more scientific explanation, check out this great article by Scott Sonnon of RMAX International: http://www.rmaxinternational.com/flowcoach/?p=317

25 06 2009
BorisT

Good post, there is too much drama over ideology and jargon over a bunch of weights.

26 06 2009
gymjane

Thanks Boris:) Yep, it really is about defining first your goals and then finding the best approach for the job, based on the goal, not the tool.

All the best with your Kettlebell lifting!
Shane.

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