Alright I read that book - Enter The Kettlebell - last week. Thankfully my library network had it, saving me some $$$$.
It's written by some Russian dude, Pavel, who's kind of credited with popularizing kettlebells outside of the former Soviet Union.
He preaches that *strength is a skill* not a genetic gift; that the key to building muscle lies in proper form and technique. Are you buying that?
Well I might be. I'm at least open to the hypothesis for the time being. To that end I've been reading up on lifting kettlebells with proper form and technique.
I've never felt so strong in my entire life as I do now - almost like I'm on steroids or something. And that's only from do a wee bit of kettlebell lifting.
Personally I don't think the exercises are that complicated. I don't think you really need to work with a certified kettlebell (RKC) instructor. Just borrow a book and pay attention to the YouTube clips. Heck you can watch someone on YouTube and learn from the critics in the comment thread!
While Tim Ferriss introduced me to them, there's a good amount of instruction out there on the web especially on YouTube. There are websites specializing in the subject; Pavel's site is Dragon Door. And there books like the one above.
Kettlebells are heavy (no $hit!) so you're better off NOT ORDERING them online. Your local Big Box sporting goods store will have them. Craigslist is probably fresh out these days but check anyway because you may get lucky. However the best bet may be to do in-store pickup at Walmart. You order from Walmart.com and they will deliver it for free to your local store or Fedex/Kinkos. That's what I did for my little one (30 lbs) - my first wife's Valentine's Day present.
Women should start at 15-25 lbs. Men should start at 25-45 lbs. Once you move up you can use the original one for one-handed exercises.
While Tim Ferris essentially just recommends *the two-handed swing*, there's also *the clean*, *the clean and press*, *the Turkish get-up*, and *the snatch*. Today was a pretty light day but I managed to do them all as it takes NEGLIGIBLE TIME to do so.
Here's a few clips for visual consumption:
I know most people want to go to yoga, join a fancy gym, hire a personal trainer, try a trendy diet, run, and just stick with the workouts they've done in the past.
It's just that none of that stuff really works - nothing targets the all-important midriff like dangling a heavy kettlebell between your legs does.
Furthermore, the kettlebell swing REALLY helps your posture. See my prior post for more on that. Essentially, perfect posture (i.e. standing TALL, not straight), perfect kinesthetic bending, sleeping, sitting, and walking will actually tone your stomach and hind-quarters. Ever notice that all the beautiful people have terrific posture? Consider that maybe beauty is a *function* proper spine stacking.
And it turns out that *pulling* exercises like the swing really, really help in that endeavor. That's not just my own hypothesis/intuition - Pavel discusses it in his book as well.