What The Hell Effect Kettlebell

James Lee
• Monday, 28 December, 2020
• 11 min read

Andy Bolton, the first person to dead lift 1,000 pounds, uses kettle bell swings to improve his “maximal hip drive, speed, and aggression.” The hip hinge in the swing looks similar to how the dead lift is locked out at the top. In the video below, kettle bell expert Lauren Brooks demonstrates the swing next to a dead lift.

hell kettlebell
(Source: www.youtube.com)


The big difference is the kettle bell swing is a ballistic movement (one explosive pop of the hips), whereas the dead lift (at heavier weights) is a continuous grinding motion. The explosiveness that comes from the swing builds the posterior chain muscles, which are important in the squat.

Researchers Jason Lake and Mike Lauder found that kettle bell swings helped squat strength in collegiate level athletes by almost 10%. As Andrew Read explained, the kettle bell swing has been shown to improve vertical jump by about 20% in collegiate level athletes.

The kettle bell swing is certainly valuable for building explosive strength and it may substitute for plyometric movements. Danny Camaro’ s description of the Olympic movements seemed to seal the final answer for me.

One research group, led by Pasquale Pinocchio, found that a ten-week swing protocol significantly improved clean performance. A 2013 study with a larger group still found significant increases at a more modest 13 kg (still great for a ten-week cycle).

Thus, while the kettle bell swing may not be the exact same movement as the clean or snatch, it can still build strength. The “What the HellEffect exists because people are surprised kettle bell movements transfer so well to increases in strength in other exercises.

kettlebell workout kettlebells rkc sfg guy swing holiday challenge wikimedia commons hiit swings minute gym kb exercises torch body stronger
(Source: strengthendurance.wordpress.com)

On the surface, the swing seems to translate to jumping and the dead lift, but research shows it also improves the squat and Olympic movements. Somewhere in central Iraq, during my first “OP” in country, I stopped in my tracks.

“What the hell ?” I had read about this phenomenon many times but was not sure if I believed it. On paper, this program worked well, and I had results to prove it.

I always scored at the top of my age group on our physical readiness test (PRT). At the time, the SEAL PRT* was push-ups, pull-ups, sit-ups, a three-mile run and a long swim.

I’m not exactly sure, but I believe the swim distance was a half mile. To score high for my age group, I needed to do 120 push-ups, 120 sit-ups, 25+ pull-ups, and take roughly 18 minutes on the run.

It felt like my body wasn’t working the way it was supposed to. Moving under load (wearing body armor and or carrying a heavy ruck) was even worse.

hell kettlebell drink crossfit
(Source: thedrinkagency.com)

I didn’t know him well yet, but John Fans was in the corner of the gym with a funny looking implement (a kettle bell) doing an exercise I was certain would injure him (swings). He told me all about the kettle bell, his friend Pavel, and the website I could visit to learn more.

The delivery man commented, “What the hell ?” as he dropped the package at my door step. That night I read and re-read the The Russian Kettle bell Challenge.

Like so many, I thought I could train myself by using the book, the website, and a little coaching now and then. To me, this was “strength with a greater purpose” before I’d even heard the expression.

I’d be following Pavel’s “Rite of Passage” program (Top). Then, I started adding some practice with my 32, all at a body weight of 185lbs.

The previous deployment had proven that the kettle bell could get me in better operational shape, but could it really improve my measurable? Body weight pull-ups held steady around 25 reps (not bad).

hell effect muscle
(Source: breakingmuscle.com)

I could put two 24 kg bells on my homemade dip belt and still crank out a good rep. No one believed me. I could jump on top of the highest box in the gym (nearly as high as my solar plexus).

This wasn’t that bad, especially considering I have never been taught how to dead lift nor practiced it. I loved the simplicity and the max results with minimum effort aspect.

The PST is the physical screening test that candidates take in order to earn a chance to try out. From Pavel:Ladies and Gentlemen, I am honored to introduce you to Strongest’s new CEO. Eric Froward is a former US Nav...

Part 1: The Pros and Cons of Marine Corps Training Marine Corps is the most feared and respected fighting force on TH... When Pavel asked me to make a contribution for an article, I was honored.

His request was made in a forum post discussion... I wrote an article some time ago about physically preparing for combat in mountainous terrain.

(Source: www.d20athletics.com)

Due to the oppressively hot summer heat down South, kettle bells in the air conditioning became a very attractive workout option! Following the Kettle bell : Simple and Sinister Routine for several months SEEMED to be good “cardio” but no actual use of a recumbent bike or treadmill happened.

The only “cardio” was 10 sets of Kettle bell Swings done “on the minute” seemed to do a great job! To make a long story short, he tried and for the first time in his life he could do a handstand push up.

When he decided to test himself, it turned out that his 360-pound dead lift went up to 450, and he suddenly could do a strict pull up with over 100 pounds. In one of the comments to the above article, a reader says: “I was a decent track athlete in college, running mid to low 22s 200 m dash and around 50 flat in the 400.

Eventually I had a 3rd degree hamstring tear running the 200, and I had to learn how to move all over again… I feel faster and more explosive now than ever before.” Street Combat. Some say that this move is “as close to combat as possible without trading punches.” Those able to accomplish this feat have plenty of strength and stamina when it comes to movements like risking blocks, breaking holds, upper cuts, breaking an opponent’s balance, and delivering a fight ending front kick.

The fact that the snatch requires a burst of energy and then relaxation before “reloading” makes it ideal for training strike type actions. “ Brazilian Jujitsu black belt kettle bell students of Senior SFG instructor Doug Nepal have seen superior results on the mat once they have switched from a fancy per iodized “sport-specific” conditioning regimen to kettle bell swings and get-ups.” Outperform Fitness Instructors.

kettlebell swing perform muscle
(Source: breakingmuscle.com)

I started doing some hanging leg raises on a pull-up bar at the gym to strengthen my core, but nothing resembling a pull-up. Please don’t try to go from 100 kettle bell swings a day to running the marathon because of this heading but here’s what Strongest writer Emily Bearded had to say.

Please note the lady is a former track athlete, retired professional May Thai fighter, etc., etc. She writes “When I signed up to do the Brooklyn Half, my body felt great.

Now, here stood my friend with a big smile, trying to convince me that these kettle bell things were the answer to my fitness woes. Reluctantly and hesitantly, I met with the new Strong first kettle bell coach, Shane, for a class.

Shane taught the Russian, hard style form of kettle bells that focused on safety and strength as a skill, and also longevity of the athlete. The Russian style of kettle bell was introduced to the West in 1998 by Pavel Tsatsouline, a former Soviet special forces instructor.

Since then, thousands of athletes have made the kettle bell their primary modality of training or an adjunct to improve performance in amateur and professional sports. The theory behind this phenomenon is that the kettle bell conditions the entire body and is not a sport-specific tool for training.

swing squat everything kettlebell deadlift hinge improves hell effect swings breakingmuscle squatting lifting deadlifting lift self
(Source: www.pinterest.com)

The kettle bell swing and snatch offer ballistic movements that provide strength and cardio gains. The hips hinge back, like in a dead lift, and then powerfully thrust forward sending the kettle bell either chest height or overhead depending on the practiced skill.

There are variations to both the swing and snatch and when practiced with volume and speed, offer superb cardio gains. The strength endurance acquired translates to improvement in a variety of sports and physical activities due to increasing efficiency at lower intensities.

The size (or load) of the kettle bell is dependent on your weight, current strength, skills being performed, and goals. One of the beautiful things about the kettle bell is that it is compact and someone could get maximum training results with just a few sizes on hand.

Also, in the hard style kettle bell world, it is important to not feel completely spent after a training session. The saying goes, “the workout should put more into you than it takes from you.” It would be a contradiction for a marathon athlete to deplete him or herself in a kettle bell session and not be able to get the next day’s mileage completed.

This means fewer reps for more sets are generally performed to allow for sufficient rest and proper form. If reading this sparks your desire to check out this cannonball with a handle, I would first and foremost encourage you to seek out a reputable coach.

kettlebell minute hell workout
(Source: www.muscleandfitness.com)

A good place to start is finding a local SFG (Stongfirst.com) or ROC (Dragondoor.com) certified coach. Both of these organizations graduate quality instructors that engage in safe practices and training.

I continue to set strength and distance goals and stand in awe of what I am able to accomplish. With your feet shoulder width apart, bend down, keeping your back straight and your core tight.

Candice has trained with kettle bells for over 7 years to improve strength and distance running. Greetings, I'm on active military service (US Army) and when I went home for three weeks to visit my family I elected to stick with an entirely kettle bell based strength training routine (basically the 'Total Package' article formed the guidelines for it).

I flew back to Hawaii after three weeks and did the obligate 5/3/1 Training Max test (per the latest edition of Jim's work, 5/3/1 Forever). I had expected strength losses across my four main lifts (bench, press, squat, dead lift) of at least 5%-10% and was rather pleasantly surprised.

I was also on the tail end of recovering from a nasty upper respiratory tract infection sustained early in the vacation, so I didn't get much roadwork in, but some pool work for aerobic conditioning. ... well, we all make mistakes... (Coming from a former Navy and Air Force guy...) But a nice WTH Effect indeed.

(Source: hcanterbury.blogspot.com)

... well, we all make mistakes... (Coming from a former Navy and Air Force guy...) But a nice WTH Effect indeed. Nick Schokkenbroek I did expect big setbacks as the heaviest bells I have been two dvukhpudoviks.

I was able to tackle a 302 lbs dead lift for five reps and a 248 lbs squat for five reps (both of them are my 85% training max) with no problems for dead lift and a slight hard effort on the squat. I worked the jerk, long cycle, press, getup, swing, goblet squat, two kettle bell front squat, and snatch extensively in that three week time and am presently digesting the data to design a post October 2020 (Pearl Harbor Powerlifting meet) kettle bell only training plan where I won't touch a barbell again until January 2021.

Once we’re settled back in Europe again, I’d like to see to get a rack and barbell. I would think the barbell and kettle bells can compliment each other, but it would be interesting to see how you’ll do with the barbell lifts after training with only kettle bells for such a long time. I've come back stronger after such a break, proven by meet conditions.

But the kettle bell training is a great choice in such conditions, if you have the chance, and must do a good job retaining the strength. Between that and the AK-47 of fitness equipment article and the original books by Pavel I was brought onboard about the kettlebell's effects on one's strength.

The kettle bells for two and a half months should mean when I go back to the January 5/3/1 I'll be in decent shape. Each and every time I have had to move both my teenagers junk and mine from a three bedroom location to another.

(Source: www.barbellstrategy.com)

Both times I easily threw a giant two piece sectional couch on my shoulders and walk up and or down two flights of stairs. Simply being strong with sustainable programming for several years is my main objective.

This came about after I watched my grandfather physically weaken over the past decade and a half after suffering from an illness, a fall (and being wheelchair bound), and dementia in succession. Those sad circumstances forced me to rethink my goals for strength training and the means of being strong and healthy.

Mostly barbell based training is done this year or the majority of it because I am aiming for a 1000 lbs total at a local powerlifting meet.

Other Articles You Might Be Interested In

01: Reviews For Kettlebell Kitchen
02: Proper Form For Kettlebell Deadlift
03: Proper Form For Kettlebell Swing
04: Proper Technique For Kettlebell Swing
05: Alternative For Kettlebell Swings
06: Onnit Academy Kettlebell
07: Onnit Academy Kettlebell Workout
1 www.onnit.com - https://www.onnit.com/academy/full-body-kettlebell-workout-for-beginners/
2 www.onnit.com - https://www.onnit.com/academy/kettlebell/
3 www.onnit.com - https://www.onnit.com/academy/mma-fighter-kettlebell-workout-plan/
4 www.onnit.com - https://www.onnit.com/academy/5-kettlebell-workouts-for-outdoor-athletes/
5 www.onnit.com - https://www.onnit.com/academy/a-simple-guide-to-designing-your-kettlebell-workout/