The Foundation of Fitness?

9 02 2008

rebar.jpgDuring the course of the weekend that I attended the AKC: Kettlebell Lifting Coach Certification, as each hour passed, the idea that this system, working for high reps under a load thru dynamic, full body movements ( I think with the addition of some joint mobility work), should very well be the foundation of everyones fitness, began to take up residence.

Now, I’m not just regurgitating what we were being told at the Certification. Actually, it was quite refreshing that we didn’t get into the topic and that the coaches didn’t bombard us with propaganda about why their system is the “stuff”. And I’m most definitely not a band wagon jumper. I tend to research things to death before I make up my mind (sometimes to a fault, working on that;). On the flip side, when something really just makes sense, it also clicks with me right away. I am drawn to the value of “IT”, not the value OTHERS place on “it”.

It was thru the stories and experiences shared, thru the demonstrations provided and the practical, physical results that lifting in such a manner produces, that caused this idea to push it’s way to the forefront of my thoughts.

This type of exercise produces a strength not many, in North America anyway, are acquainted with. It strengthens your connective tissue, your ligaments and tendons. It builds an immense work capacity, it develops strong mental fortitude. It is strength that lasts, meaning it will stick with you for a looooong time (even if, once the foundation is laid, you don’t come back to it for a prolonged period). Because of the nature of the movements, combine with the nature of the weight and the training progression, it also decreases the risk and frequency of injury. And that’s not all. There’s tons more. But I’m not going to get into those because you can develop the other benefits thru various other activities as well. The idea that this system should very well be the foundation for everyones fitness doesn’t come from all that. It comes from just the ones I mentioned above.

Thinking about my time in high school (with all the sports I played and the subsequent injuries I suffered), I thought “man, what I wouldn’t have given to have this back then”. Being a dad now, my thoughts also went to the youth and what immense benefit this would be for them. Then my thoughts went to my Dad and Mom, thinking how beneficial this would be for those that are getting on in years, just to stay fit, strong, independent and maintain a high quality of life as they get older. Then my thoughts went to everyone in between and to those who maintain a very physical lifestyle, but I’ll come back to that.

My thoughts were reverberated back to me when I spoke with one of the coaches (I broached the subject, as it was getting rather loud inside my head). Out of respect for those involved in the conversation I won’t name names, but one of the coaches said they’d presented the kettlebell lifting to a top ranking professional athlete and coach in his own sport, and the first words the coach said when he saw it was “this needs to get into schools and introduced to kids”. This athlete/coach, with all his success, knowledge and years of experience recognized immediately the value of having kettlebell lifting taught as the foundation that would lead to fitness, longevity and sports performance.

Back to everyone in between and to those who maintain a very physical lifestyle (ie: athletes). I am in no way saying kettlebell lifting (as presented by the AKC) is the best and only physical endeavor to achieve great fitness. Or that it should replace any of it. Or that it’s all you should do. Everyone should still, most definitely, pursue whatever physical activity (whether for fitness, enjoyment or competition) they love to partake in. Hockey, football, swimming, hiking, CrossFit, rugby, martial arts, dance, RKC Kettlebelling, sailing, bodybuilding, climbing mountains, rowing, triathlons, marathons, yoga, powerlifting…..all of it. What I AM saying, though, is I believe that this system of Kettlebell Lifting is the strongest, most sensible foundation of general physical preparedness from which all these other endeavors would do best to launch from.

At the risk of exposing my totally geek side, I want to share an analogy that kept coming back to me throughout the weekend and I think may make a connection for alot of people. The lasting strengthening effect on the connective tissue throughout our bodies, that lifting like this develops, could be likened to the bonding of adamantium to the skeletal system of Wolverine (yes, as in X-Men)…………. Now truthfully, who hasn’t thought about how cool that would be……and who in their right mind would pass up on the opportunity (yes, we’re supposing you would survive the procedure;). I just throw that out there.

Is the potential foundation of fitness for the future sitting right here at our doorstep? Grab a couple bells, start lifting and find out:)





6 responses

9 02 2008

Sooner or later Wolverine was going to come into this discussion. Good job. I like what you are saying about the connective tissue because it is the part that people seem to undervalue. Orthopedic doctors just seem to want to cut and paste connective tissue, and most people seem to be trying to get to the top of their game by skipping the connections part. Strengthening the connections between tissues or between people always gives you better results that are long lasting, but going for the top quickly without connective work tends to give results that are temporary with long term negative consequences.

24 02 2008
Louis Hayes

Guys, I happened across your blog today and am VERY impressed with your thoughts, motivation, and knowledge. Please keep up with your efforts!

Louis Hayes

3 03 2008

Thanks alot for your feedback Louis! Appreciate it. Always a pleasure meeting more folks with this same sense of connectedness in what we do. Look forward to reading more of what you guys do as well:) Keep in Touch!


24 03 2008
Scott Sonnon - Flow Coach of the Internet » Blog Archive » “The Only Thing Missing From Kettlebell Lifting…”

[…] wrote a little post about it on my blog: “The Foundation of Fitness?” if you wish to have a read). That’s why I was so excited when I heard about the Fitness Cert […]

22 10 2008

Geek site huh?
I read X man comics, I enjoyed the movies. And yeah, I pondered how it would be to be indestructable. Well if adamantium isn’t available and you don’t happen to be a mutant than lifestyle is the next best thing.

I am a newbie to this thing. I have trained in various martial arts, and did quite a lot of weightlifting. In addition I also did yoga and tai chi. Last year I heard about ketltlebells and decided to purchase some and start training. I live in the Netherlands and Kettlebells are not exactly all the rave here, so I base my training upon the things that I encounter on the Internet.

To make a long story short, please keep sharing your thoughts, you are inspiring other people to take up a healthy life style. And your ideas are very different from the ” regular” gyms where most instructors haven’t got a clue. Barring the few good ones that is.

Good luck with your website and keep training and publishing.


22 10 2008

Yo Pim, thanks alot! Hang in there, it”s going to continue to open up:) All the best with your training and look forward to hearing how things are going later on down the road.

Take Care,

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