Kettlebell Training Applications!

Humble Beginnings

Kettlebell training has been regaining popularity and growing inside the walls of gyms in the west for a short time now. However, the cannonball with a handle has been used for fitness for hundreds of years in Russia but has a slightly pedestrian origin story.

Originally used as a scale weight to weigh out dry good in marketplaces, it only took a few goofs, and a heighten environment rich in testosterone as well as questionable decision making for those scale weights to be tossed around and eventually used as a lifting implement in order to see which man was the manliest of men.

Kettlebells were initially weighed in POOD (16kg) and are still often today referred to as pood. They would be used primarily as circus acts by old-time strongman and were an even commonplace in physical culture in the mid to late 1800’s, but with the emergence of barbells and other what we call conventional today equipment came on the scene, they sort of faded into history. I have some of my views on what that was the case, but nothing is concrete or proven.

Physical Culture History

Russia has been steeped in physical culture for hundreds of years much like the west but has invested a lot of resources into finding the best training methods, equipment, athletes, and coaches. We will go further into that a little bit later.

It is no surprise that the kettlebell was born from Russia because of its history, The fact that they saw an object that’s intended use was so far and away from physical culture and found practical use in making them stronger, and harder human beings is again no surprise. Much like the Scottish utilized stones from nature to test the manhood of youth, and still to this day embrace that tradition

Alternative Theories

It is important to note that there are theories, and possibly some lineage that shows a tool that is similar to the kettlebell being used in Germany and its furthest origins stem from there but there is no real evidence concrete evidence.  There is a real possibility that scale weights of this sort were being used across many different European/Asian countries.

Don’t Call It A Comeback

The tool has made a resurgence and is in gyms all over the west. From kettlebell specific gyms all the way to commercial gyms.  It is great to see that what was once a mainstay has found its way back into the spotlight.

Kettlebell lifting has become the national sport of Russia. An extremely brief description of it would be a variety of movements done for a specified time, and the winner with the most amount of reps at the end wins. It is more complicated than that, and I am not doing the sport any justice. It is an incredible display of strength endurance.

Hardstyle VS Kettlebell Sport

Much like most things on this planet that has any interaction with a human being, there are going to be three camps, two that land on either side and one that is indifferent.

I am in the third camp. I see the benefit of both methods as well as the detriment of both ways. Like everything, there are both positives and negatives to both styles. Here are some of the primary objectives of both.


Great for improving other sports, Posterior chain development, and power

Increased emphasis on strength development

Valsalva (biomechanical) breathing and universal tightness from feet neck during movements

Hip hinge swings

Focus is generally on low volume and high intensity (shorter sets)

Kettlebell Sport

Focus on efficiency

Pendulum style swing

Anatomical breathing

High volume with little to moderate intensity

Emphasis on strength endurance

Both of them are amazing for what they do, I have respect for both of them but to be honest being a strength and conditioning coach I feel more connected to the “hardstyle” of kettlebell lifting because of its ability to directly improve an athlete’s ability to perform in its efficient way.



Heavy Snatch 5-10 sets 1-5 reps

Conditioning Snatch 1-3 sets 100-300 total reps


Heavy Swing 5-10 sets 1-5 reps

Speed Swing  10 sets of 5

Conditioning Swing 1-3 sets 100-300 total reps


Heavy Press  5-10 sets 1-5 reps

Speed press ten sets of 5

Conditioning Press 1-3 sets 100-300 total reps


Heavy Clean 5-10 sets 1-5 reps

Conditioning Clean 1-3 sets 100-300 total reps



Rack Carries

SuitCase Carries

Overhead Carries

Farmers walk

Frame Carry


Turkish Get-ups


Bent Press


Sled Pulls/pushes

Goblet Squats

1 Arm Front squats


Upper Body

Tricep Extensions (all variations)

Front/Side/Rear Laterals (all variations)

Pull-ups (all variations)

Rows (all variations)

Bicep Curls (all variations)

Lower Body

GHD/Nordic Raise (all variations)

Good Mornings (all variations)

Reverse Hypers

Step ups (all variations)

Hamstring curls (all variations)


RKC Plank

Russian Twist

Standing crunches

Side Bends

Hollow rock

Abmat Sit-ups


Weekly Breakdown                     


Heavy swing/Heavy Snatch

3 Accessories  1GPP movement

One core movement


Heavy Press/Conditioning clean

Three accessories 1GPP movement


3 GPP movements

One core movement


Speed Swing/ Conditioning Snatch

2 Accessories/ 2 GPP movements

Friday Or Saturday

Speed Press/ Conditioning Swing/ Conditioning Clean

2 Accessories

One core movement

KHO Health was acquired by was acquire by 9INE POINT in the summer of 2019 and is now referred to as 9INE POINT Health.

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