Official Website of Sarah E. Rippel, BS, CPT, FMS

-Why I Love the Kettlebell-


Short and to the point, that’s how i’m gonna TRY to attack this topic 🙂

I would never subscribe to a “one size fits all” approach to training.  I have never adhered to this mentality when training my clients, nor will I ever adopt it when it comes to my own fitness routine.

With that being said, I have really come to appreciate kettlebells.  There are several forms of training I could blog about, and probably will…but for now, I want to “preach kettlebell.”

Why?

Coming from the “bodybuilding school” of training (waaaaay back in the day, starting circa Feb. 1994 and lasting roughly to the summer of 2004…yeah, so that’s a decade), it’s extremely refreshing to find anything remotely unlike bodybuilding training.  For me, I lived the bodybuilding lifestyle in such a way that it became detrimental to my well-being.  I was a fitness competitor, and fortunately got out of that realm with my health relatively unscathed.    I was obsessed, to put it in plain and simple terms, with exercising and dieting.  It was my world.  I wasn’t a beastly she-male as many would picture by putting “bodybuilding” together with a female.  Let’s face it – anyone who lifts weights with the intent of building their body, getting leaner, and looking more fit is a bodybuilder in some way, shape, or form.  It can definitely be taken to extremes, though.  I wasn’t pumping my body full of steroids like too many of the fitness/figure girls do.  Not trying to sling mud, just stating the obvious.  I thank my lucky stars I was able to escape with my sanity intact, but that’s a whole other story in itself.  Also, I guess an upside to my too-long of a stay in bodybuilding-land would be that I feel I am extremely knowledgable when it comes to this style of training, in addition to all the other “stuff,” for what it’s worth. However, I am in no way seeking out aspiring IFBB pro’s as clients! 🙂  I can most definitely tell you what NOT to do if you’re wanting to build a healthier, happier body, that’s for sure!  I have a gazillion training journals to prove it!  Extreme dieting is BAD!  Overtraining is the DEVIL!

Back to the topic at hand…kettlebells.

What i’ve learned in working with kettlebells is that the exercises are obviously different from your standard lifts.  Kettlebell training is an art…an art that requires an entirely different approach and a unique mentality.  My athletic background is gymnastics, and my mother is an artist (I am as well), therefore I believe i have an above-average understanding and appreciation of “art” per se, as well as the “art of human movement.”  Kettlebell training is graceful and strong at the same time.  It is a practice.  It requires excellent timing, focus, and coordination.  It is also extremely challenging.  In a time where total-body exercises are revered and isolation-based movements are tossed aside, kettlebell training shines.  Anyone who completes a set of 20 swings for the first time will realize the impact of total-body training on the cardiorespiratory system as well as body in general.  Simply put, kettlebell training, when done with a proper understanding and adequate PRACTICE, is an efficient, effective, and enjoyable means to a healthier body.  Do I, at this point in time recommend it for everyone?  No.  The kettlebell purists out there would mock me, but alas…I don’t believe everyone is cut out for the kettlebell.

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