Thursday, March 11, 2010

The kettlebell is the tool, but what is the goal?

Number of clients I have had come in to the studio with a goal of maxing out their SSST: Zero. Donut hole. Zilch.
Most people come to me with more human goals. Dropping some weight, getting rid of back pain, stronger core, stronger legs for cycling, etc.
I am hesitant to get so wrapped up in the kettlebell culture that i forget why I even started doing it in the first place. It's like I've said before regarding my Beast Challenge goal. I'm not doing it to nail the Beast Challenge, I just figured being able to do those three things with a 106 pound kettlebell would mean I was pretty strong.
If someone comes to me as a cyclist I know a some things right off the bat with a fairly high degree of certainty. No core, no toe touch, glutes don't fire, spends a lot of time in a kyphotic position. The math isn't too hard on that one.
Value in spending a lot of time trying to nail the SSST: Eh. Negligible. He already has more endurance than 99% of the people who will walk in my door, so why hammer on an attribute that is already pretty locked in? Sure it's a different 'type' of endurance and there will be some benefit, but it's not number one on the list of things that need to be addressed.
After corrective work there is probably more benefit in, stop me if you've heard this one: Swings and Get ups. Swings to get the glutes firing, get ups to address the core (plus everything else) and start to balance out the lower and upper body strength.
Folks are resistant to the idea that one or two exercises can do it all. We are conditioned to believe we need 5 exercises to hit the bicpes, and what about my rear delts?
It is this simple though, and this complicated.
Are your goals in line with your goals? Dan John has a great line in his Philosophy of Strength Training DVD: "Let's make sure we keep the goal, the goal."
SDon't get so wrapped up in the kettlebell that you forget why you picked it up in the first place. There's nothing wrong with the SSST, I think it's a great goal, but make sure it's the goal for you.

1 comment:

  1. great point man.although I have said this to many clients:" if you can do 200 reps in 10 minutes with the 24 kg that pretty much deals with any issues you may have with strength, muscle mass, cardio fitness and mental toughness and body fat".

    but you are correct: first things first: swing and getups done right