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Category: Weight Training

Heavy Kettlebells

Power Systems had a sale last week.  I got a 48kg (106lb) gold colored competition style kettlebell for 50% off with free shipping.  A couple of days later, they had a 70% off sale with free shipping, so I got two of the black cast iron 100lb kettlebells.  I might have gotten some more competition style bells, but the 70% off sale didn’t apply to those.

I’m using the pair of 100lb kettlebells for farmer’s carries.  The two inch diameter handles make it a very grip intensive exercise, but farmer’s walks are an excellent conditioning exercise too.

I got the 48kg kettlebell for working on heavy swings.  The handle is supposedly around 33mm in diameter, making it less taxing on the grip.  I’ve done some two-handed swings with it and it’s not too bad, but that may be because I’ve done some double bell work with (a pair of) lighter bells having a greater total weight.  I haven’t tried any one handed swings yet, though I did do a clean just to see what it’d feel like.  I’d like to some day be able to do Turkish Get Ups with a 48kg kettlebell too.

In the photos below, the gold colored kettlebell is heavier even though it’s smaller.  I’m told that they’re filled with lead in order to keep them at the correct size.  Competition style kettlebells are all the same size, regardless of weight.  This means that some of the very light ones are mostly hollow and that some of the heavier ones must be filled with a material that’s denser than iron or steel.

2013-07-28-DSC04149-medium 2013-07-28-DSC04152-medium 2013-07-28-DSC04159-mediumHere’s a look at the 100lb Power Systems kettlebell next to a 40kg AOS Kettlebell and a 36kg Lifeline USA kettlebell.  The AOS and Lifeline bells are of comparable quality and both are of much better quality than the Power Systems bell.  I like Lifeline USA bells the best of all of the kettlebells that I’ve tried.  Though very similar to AOS bells, I like the texture of the Lifeline bells better.  The AOS bells have a somewhat rougher texture.  It should be noted that AOS and Lifeline USA kettlebells are both made in the USA.

2013-07-28-DSC04165-mediumThis is what the bottom of each of these bells look like.  Note that the Power Systems bell does not have a perfectly flat bottom.  Even so, I’ve had no problems with them tipping when doing Renegade Rows with them.

2013-07-28-DSC04167-smallI have only one other competition style kettlebell, a 28kg bell from MDUSA.  As expected, the 48kg Power Systems kettlebell has the same size and shape as the one from MDUSA.

2013-07-28-DSC04169-smallThe bottoms of both bells are reasonably flat, though the MDUSA bell looks smoother.

2013-07-28-DSC04171-small

 

 

 

 

New 7.5lb Clubs!

I got this pair of 7.5lb clubs last week from Revolution Clubs. I have been swinging five pound clubs as part of my workout, usually just one at a time, and noticed that it became easier to swing the three pound clubs. So I concluded that it might get easier to swing the fives if I had seven and a half pound clubs.

I’m doing inward and outward mills with just one of the 7.5lb clubs right now. I haven’t tried swinging them both at once yet. I am able to do alternating outward mills with the fives; I’ve been working on alternating inward mills with the fives too, but I don’t have much proficiency with that movement yet. It’s significantly more difficult for me to swing the 7.5lb clubs; I was surprised at just how big a difference it was.

One of the clubs appears to be slightly taller than the other, but I don’t notice that when holding them in my hands.

Here is a close-up of the center of one of the clubs.  They’re made in the USA!

I weighed them and found the weights to be identical, at least to the resolution of my postal scale. I found this surprising because I don’t think any of my other clubs of the same nominal weight actually weigh the same according to my scale.

Below are the three, five, and seven and a half pound clubs from Revolution Clubs. Each is made of white oak and finished with a clear polyurethane finish. The handles on the 7.5lb clubs feel slightly skinnier than those on the fives. It’s only a slight difference though, 1.02 inches on the 7.5lb clubs versus 1.08 inches on the fives.

Here are the clubs from Revolution Clubs next to one and two pound Motion Rx clubs and a 20kg (44lb) Lifeline USA kettlebell:

The one pound club is the recommended weight for someone starting out.  And, in all truthfulness, it’s still the club that I use the most as I use it for all of my warm ups even if I’m not doing any additional club swinging that day.  I.e. I start with club swinging when doing a kettlebell workout or some other type of weight training.  It helps warm the shoulder joint and get it ready for other kinds of lifting.

There is a good, but expensive, DVD and book combo by Gray Cook, Brett Jones, and Dr Ed Thomas named Club Swinging Essentials. In this video, they show five movements which they call movements one through five. I have found out from other sources that movement one, when performed with both clubs is a double outward mill. When performed with just one club it’s an outward mill. Movement two is a (double) inward mill. Movement three is called a parallel mill.  Movements four and five are outward and inward alternating mills.

Below is a promotional video for the above DVD.  At the beginning, while Gray Cook is speaking, Brett Jones begins by performing an outward mill and then switches to an inward mill.

Here is a cool video from the Teutonic Lifting Club.  In it, Andreas Schmidt demonstrates a number of mill variations in addition to some other movements too in one fluid routine.  He discusses club swinging at the end but, unfortunately, I don’t understand German.  There are English subtitles for some of it though.

 

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