Tuesday

My Twin Swings Bells

“Kettlebells looks so easy.” I mistakenly said to my twin brother Shawn.
Right now the K.B. community isn’t large, but that’ll change. Kettlebells are solid black cast iron and I think it looks like a cowbell. Its history is Russian and the debate is which came first, Kettlebells or Vodka. The conditioning includes strength and endurance. And the longer you train you get a low resting heart rate, flexibility, core strength, and unparalleled mental concentration. Testimonials about working with K.B.’s are remarkable.

In the 60’s and 70’s there were K.B. competitions held in Russia and Lithuania. The first official K.B. competition in America was held in Cambridge Massachusetts in 2002.
Shawn was in one of Chicago’s initial KB championships several years back. I remember he was first on deck to compete. To the left side of the court there was a vat of white powder and he and the other man bent over to chalk up.

They walked behind two Kettlebells placed on each mat at 53lbs each. After a minute concentration, opened legged, they bent over, pushing their bottoms back, then straightened up and lifted the heavy iron. Next, they threw the bells down between straight legs and snapped them, up above their heads and held it in a locked position-before it was counted as a rep. That movement is called a “jerk”, Shawn performed 29 that a judge counted. If he performed one with his body twisted out of balance, it wouldn’t have counted.
And I watched as every person needing to stop because of sheer bodily exhaustion, throw their K.B.’s to the floor, with a very definite thud.

Okay. For those of you that are thinking about getting started you need one Kettlebell at 36 pounds, and the weight alone forces you to not go too fast, unless you’re a heavyweight champion, or an Olympic weight lifter. And you need a KB trainer and/or a couple of (read) books on it. I know Shawn’s friend Pavel has a huge place that has a website and any related stuff on Kettlebells at Dragon Door.

“He who sets out to do too much accomplishes little.” German Proverb.