Kettlebell FAQs





Kettlebell FAQs

Q: What is a kettlebell?
A: The kettlebell or girya (Russian) is a cast-iron weight (resembling a cannonball with a handle) used to perform ballistic exercises that combine cardiovascular, strength and flexibility training. Russian kettlebells are traditionally measured in weight by pood, which (rounded to metric units) is defined as 16 kilograms (35 lb).

Q: What is kettlebell training?
A: Kettlebells offer a different kind of training using dynamic movements targeting almost every aspect of fitness; endurance, strength, balance, agility and cardio. Many people love it because it’s challenging, efficient and you only need one piece of equipment. The kettlebell is held in one or both hands and variety of swings, presses or pulling motions are performed.  Some movements involve changing the kettlebell from hand to hand as the kettlebell swings up or as you move laterally, requiring you to stabilize your body and engage your core in an entirely different way. Other moves require power from the legs and hips to move the kettlebell, providing integrated whole body functional  movements that are often missing with other types of training.

Q: Who uses kettlebells in the U.S.?
A: Once the Russian kettlebell became a hit among those whose life depends on their strength and conditioning, it took off among athletic people from all walks of life: martial artists, athletes, and regular tough guys.  With its wide range of varsity it is now a major tool that is used in transforming the general heath population’s health and fitness goals forever.

Q: Is kettlebell training dangerous?
A: There incidence of injury with kettlebell training is very low. In fact, there are many more incidents and serious injuries reported from the more common activities of walking, running, or even playing tennis.  However, it is key to always pay attention to instruction and focus on your form during training.  Just like any other activity the chances of injury can always be a factor.

Q: How much does a kettlebell weigh?
A: Competition kettlebells come in weights from 8 kilograms to 90 kilograms (1 kg=2.2 lbs) although they come in different weights; they are all one standard size.

Q: How long does it take to learn how to use and train with a kettlebell?
A: A beginner will usually develop a good grasp of the basic techniques within 4 to 6 weeks. Total mastery in the kettlebell sport can be attained within 5 to 7 years of experience and training but is a continuous learning process.  If you r goals are to learn the kettlebell training for health and fitness purposes your learning curve could vary.  But consider it an art that will always continue to evolve and with that in mind you will always be a student to the kettlebell training and methodology.

Q: What is the difference between doing exercises with a Kettlebell versus a Dumbbell?
A: With a dumbbell, the center of gravity lies in the your hand but, with the kettlebell, the center of gravity lies outside of your hand, which means it can change depending on how you’re holding it and moving it. The momentum of many kettlebell movements creates centrifugal force, focusing more attention on the muscles used for deceleration and stabilization. This type of multi-directional movement mimics real life movements. Dumbbells are great for building muscle and strength with slow, controlled movements while kettlebell training involves the entire body and focuses on endurance, power and dynamic movements.

Q: What does a typical kettlebell workout involve?
A: A kettlebell workout typically involves high-intensity timed sets with concentration on the technique and regimented pace of the kettlebell lifts.  A dynamic warm-up is conducted before each kettlebell class. Timed sets with kettlebells can involve using a single kettlebell or two kettlebells. Timed sets can have a wide variance of time with higher or lower reps from lying and standing positions.  Literally hundreds of repetitions can be done within the span of an hour of kettlebell training.  Each workout is commenced with a cool-down and stretching routine.

Q: Do I need to be in great shape in order to start?
A: No, you only need to apply maximum effort and follow instructions and have the heart and determination to become a better you.  HSPT will provide you with the tools and road map to get you into the best shape of your life. Of course there will be days when you feel like you are struggling and there will also be times when you feel energized and at maximum performance. This is simply the process of improving strength and conditioning and is a continuous process.  If you stick with it and give it your all, you will be a success and you will see and feel results.

Q: How much do kettlebells normally cost?
A: HSPT uses the highest grade of kettlebell.  See Details here

Q: Do I have to buy my own kettlebell?
A: No.  However, if you do not purchase your own kettlebell, HSPT will apply a small rental fee to use kettlebells that are onsite at the facility.  We do suggest that you purchase your own kettlebell but it is not a requirement.

Q: Why does HSPT kettlebell training cost more than it does at a gym?
A: HSPT is not a gym.  HSPT is a private training facility specializing in athletic development, body transformation and general to elite fitness training. Gyms do not have the same standards for their members. You can do whatever you want or do nothing at all at a gym, provided you still pay your membership fee. Nothing offered at any commercial gym is comparable to what is offered at HSPT.

Q: How long will it take before I see results?
A: That depends on how often you actually workout, the amount of effort you apply, and the changes you make to your diet and exercise regimen. Kettlebells are not magical objects on their own. At the end of the day it all amounts to really hard work and determination in order to obtain your fitness goals.

Q: Will using a kettlebell make me bulky? (Women ask this question a lot)
A: No not “bulky” but lean and sexy if you are a woman and lean and athletic if you are a man.  There is a specific acute variable that creates bulk during weight training.  If this was the objective it would put you in a sports specific type program.  The kettlebell training is not a bulk or hypertrophy program at all so no worries about bulking up from this style of training. If creating muscle hypertrophy was that easy, every man in America would look like Hercules. Women simply do not have the hormonal make-up to build large muscles. Eating too much, regardless of what type of exercise you do, is what ultimately makes you look bulky.

Q: Will using a kettlebell make me build muscle like a bodybuilder? (A lot of men ask this question)
A: No. If you want to look like a pro bodybuilder, then you have to put in the kind of work and effort that pro bodybuilders do which consumes much of your time and daily life.  The training is more hypertrophy, striations and muscular development.  If your goal is to develop this type of body we do have the knowledge Professional experience and know how on how to help you accomplish this goal too.  But for the most part a large % of our clients are just focused on HSPT helping them develop a healthy lifestyle and ultimately reach and even surpass their health and fitness goals.

Q: Can I continue to do my regular type of training and still do kettlebell training?
A: Yes. We have numerous clients that workout several days a week and have very active lifestyles. Kettlebell lifting has only helped to enhance performance in their additional areas of training and activity.

Q: I saw someone on YouTube doing something with a kettlebell, can I try it at home?
A: First, this is not something I would ever suggest unless you are an actual kettlebell expert.  There is no law to prevent people from doing foolish things with kettlebells or any other weights or exercise equipment for that matter, so there are definitely several displays of this kind of thing on YouTube. A kettlebell is only a weight and readily available at many sporting goods stores.  So anyone could purchase a kettlebell and make a YouTube video claiming to be an expert.  To be properly trained in using a kettlebell is key before attempting to just grab one and start working out with it.  There are a lot of very significant techniques that are not seen by the untrained eye.

Q: What about nutrition?
A: Nutrition is a key element in any fitness or wellness program.  Eating a healthy diet will help to provide you with the physical results you want to see.   It will also help to improve performance and maintain a more even energy level throughout the day.