Monday, December 10, 2007

Pro-Grade Vs. Dragondoor

First, I have no dog in this fight. I am an acolyte neither for the RKC nor the AKC. I'm doing my own thing over here and so far it feels great. :)
That having been said, I only know what my body tells me. My body tells me that when I perform Fluid Style Swings, Snatches, and Long or Short Cycle, the Pro-Grade Bells feel better. It also tells me that when doing Turkish Get Up, bent Press, etc., the Dragondoor Bells feel better. There are many reasons, to include handle size, the point at which the handle descends into the bell, finish, etc. Ideally you would have a set of each.
If you know your goal is to snatch a lot or do a ton of long cycle (clean and jerk) I would definitely say to at least give the pro-grade a try.
At the Steve Cotter seminar I picked up one of the red 32 kilos and snatched it a few times to get a feel, and just found it went up more smoothly than my DD 32 kilo. Now you know I am no fan of making things easier, but it's important to remember that when I make things harder, there must be a purpose. If the Pro-Grade model allows me to increase work capacity, and add 30 seconds to my snatch sets, so be it. Why use a bell that doesn't fit the job as well as another? Different tools are often required for different jobs.
I also found the handles 'locked together' better for double kettlebell (gripping two bells in one hand) work.
I'll be ordering up one of the 16 kilo pro-grade models and giving it a more extensive workout, at which point I will report back on it. I know you're thinking "!6 kilo? Come on Jordan, make an effort." but trust me, it will be plenty.
Apparently the pro-grade bells were designed by a sort of convention of kettlebell lifters who wanted a common bell for international competition, and this is what they came up with. Hey, I didn't know.
One thing of note regarding the pro-grade is that they have been notoriously hard to find. Steve has them available on his site now, and they can be found here.

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