HOW SERIES: How do kettlebells build strength, power, AND endurance?

Pick up a relatively heavy weight, lift it ten to twelve times, put it down, repeat. That's the prevailing science followed in most American gyms and health clubs. That's a sound formula that will allow most new lifters to build some real strength and muscle mass, but endurance, power, and speed, or enhancement of central nervous system is not addressed.  But what would happen if you figured out how to move a relatively heavy weight (say between 8 and 48 kilograms), fluidly AND explosively, for ten straight minutes or more, instead putting it down after a few reps? Magic... [go to: for more information]

I've had the privilege of training with, and learning from the best, kettlebell world champion and head coach of the American Kettlebell Club, Valery Fedorenko. Fedorenko brought this ancient system to the United States, and I teach it to people every day.  Currently, without much published American Science (yet) behind this astronomical tool,  the kettlebell speaks for itself when you look at what the top athletes in the sport can do.  Here's a quick look at current world champion, Ivan Denisov.

But the true value of kettlebells lies in what it can do for you, whether it can transform you into a world champion, or a healthy mom, the system is the same - moving a relatively heavy weight for time with a full body effort. The technique honed by champion athletes over decades, is teachable and repeatable.

In other words, you can do it. 

Of course everybody starts and works at their own level, and that's what's so great about the system we've developed at AKC Fitness LI. Using six intensity variables, we create workouts that get off-the-chart results on the performance front, building not only strength and stamina, but speed, and explosive power, with some serious weight loss and muscle building as a glorious side effect.

I can guess at the scientific, theorize about how long, high rep sets, with technique proficiency will build connective tissue to a much greater degree, creating super strong joints, which then allows for endless intensity increases without injury, but I refuse to wait to use this system until the journal studies are written. I see it working, repeatedly. It works on myself and all of my members. Let's take a look at three levels of performance measurement, and what I've witnessed over the last several years.

The average member doubles their STRENGTH levels (measured by one rep max) over the first six months of working with kettlebells. This includes leg, upper body, and core strength. ENDURANCE levels multiply exponentially. Most members are capable of performing 20 minute sets on a regular basis. POWER, a factor of how much explosive force one can develop, brings coordination, timing, and speed into the picture - true athleticism. Kettlebell lifting is the essence of sustainable explosive force.

Take a peek at one of my recent 20-minute sets.