How To Develop More Power With Your Kettlebells, Part 1…

Do you remember what made you buy your first kettlebell or set of kettlebells?

Do you remember all the hope you had inside for what the kettlebell promised to you?

Do you remember the days between when you placed your order and what seemed like forever before the UPS man delivered it?

I do.

Like yesterday.

I ordered the “starter set” or whatever it was called back then in ’02 – a 4kg, 8kg, 16kg, 24kg, and 32kg.

I remember thinking – “This will make my life so much easier teaching my clients how to use these instead of the Olympic lifts.”

Ok, admittedly, the ad copy for “gorilla shoulders and tree-swinging traps” also “hooked” me. I like the visual aesthetics the kettlebell promised too – and unlike some, I’m not afraid to admit it. 😉

And that brings me to the topic of power.

I’ve been fascinated by power my whole life. Lift more. Do more. Be more. You get the picture.

Power, I think, can be summed up in one word – “More.” More simply means “a greater quantity.”

So how do you develop more “more” – get a “greater quantity of a greater quantity?”

I have to thank Mark Joyner at simpleology.com for helping me with this. Sure, many other people have written all about this topic, but Mark really simplified it for me.

In order to understand how to get more power, you have to understand where you derive your power – you must know the components that make up your power. You have 3 sources of power – 3 sources to “get more.” And in order to get more, you must understand what they are.

I’d normally list all three sources and then define them, but in order to keep us from getting distracted, I’ll just start with one, the least important of the three, which I think will surprise you.

Power Source #1 – Money.

Yup – sticky topic.

But do you remember why you bought your kettlebell? Why you exchanged your hard earned cash for a lump of iron with a handle on top? Quite simply because you thought the value of the kettlebell was equal to or greater than the value of the cash in your hand. Your money was a means for you to buy a solution to whatever problem you thought the kettlebell would solve at the time.

Was it worth it to you? Are you getting your money’s worth?

I can’t answer that question for you, but I can honestly say that I can. Since spending the $700+ on my first set of kettlebells, I have in some way shape or form made back 100x that original cost in either dollar terms or value terms. Let me explain.

When I bought my first set, I was 29. I was 7 months into my personal training business, and it was growing like gangbusters. I am now 38, have bought probably close to 200 kettlebells, maybe more over the last 9 years and the course of my business life, became an RKC and am now a Master RKC – teaching people how to be kettlebell instructors (RKCs) as well as use kettlebells, all as a result of one purchasing decision.

I don’t know about you, but I can honestly say that the kettlebell changed my life.

All because I invested my money to get more of what I wanted – my other two sources of power.

And that’s why I addressed money first, because in my mind, it’s just a vehicle to get you what you want – and more of what you want. And, I’ve been able to prove to myself over the last 9 years, that when I get more of what I REALLY want, getting more money is easy.

So what’s my point? What does money have to do with kettlebells?

Just to point out that everything costs money and but price and value are really two different things. The cost of my kettlebells is nowhere near the VALUE of them – of what I get out of them, of what they’ve returned to me.

So, take a good hard look at why you bought your kettlebell(s). What was it you hoped to achieve by buying your kettlebell(s)? And what is their value to you? Revisiting that buying decision will help you get more power out of your kettlebell(s).

I shared with you why I first bought my kettlebells – I’d love to hear why you bought yours so just drop a quick comment below.

Next time we’ll look at what I believe to be the second most important source of power.

18 comments… add one
  • Scott Jan 26, 2011 @ 10:48

    Jeff,
    I discovered kettlebells while serving in Iraq. I was training that night and saw a few of them sitting in a corner. I thought to myself “I’ve heard about those things before… maybe I’ll give them a shot.” And the rest is history. I SWEAR by kettlebells now even though I use many approaches / means to my fitness goals. The value of my seven sets of kettlebells (purchased almost immediately upon my return from Iraq) is FAR beyond what I paid for them! They are efficient in portability, area of use, and a means by which to use multiple energy pathways simultaneously. KB’s are truly the #1 tool in my approach to overall fitness. I also plan to achieve my RKC certification in the near future which will provide me with that “return on investment” giving me more money to attain the things I want to achieve the type of power you are referring to. Great post!

    • GEOFFN Jan 28, 2011 @ 9:41

      Scott – yeah, EFFICIENCY is probably the #1 reason I love kettlebells and have chosen to specialize in using them and promoting them. Look forward to seeing you at a future RKC. Thanks for your service.

  • Jason M Jan 26, 2011 @ 11:38

    Actually, there is a nice back story to how I got into kettlebells. I have been a lifelong martial artist and exercise enthusiast and all of my training up to about 2004 had been exclusively bodyweight training. I met my ex-wife, who is Russian, that year and learned about kettlebells through her. I searched around to see if there were any in the the States and found dragondoor but actually got into PTP and bought a barbell and hadn’t gotten into kettlebells until closer to 2005. I’m pretty coordinated and was able to get a good grasp on all the movements right off the bat and fell in love with them since they were so easy to integrate into my training. I am recently divorced and had to give up all of my barbells and big equipment and now exercise exclusively with kettlebells. I use them every single day of the week in my living room if only for just 10 minutes. They have come to mean more to me than just a tool for improving myself physically–they have become my daily getaway from whatever life throws at me.

    • GEOFFN Jan 28, 2011 @ 9:49

      Jason – yeah, sometimes my training is my “refuge” too. Isn’t it amazing what you can get done in only 10 minutes?

  • Diana Jan 26, 2011 @ 13:00

    Geoff,
    I started to work with a personal trainer that was also a co-worker, she told me that she had some new “tool” to help me achieve my goals but I had to wait until after she went through some “certification” program to then be able to teach me. At the time, this was March so we just did the basic workout stuff. Being over 300lbs at the time, I needed a slow start! After this certification she went to (later, I learned it was the RKC) she brought over this “tool” to make me healthier. Ha! Once my hand slipped through the handle that VERY FIRST TIME, I was completely hooked. Hooked enough to now say that almost 4 years later I have lost over 100lbs, I have achieved first my HKC, then the RKC and I am now training to run my first marathon this May! I don’t even want to think of where I’d be right now in life without that “tool”…..probably deceased!
    Always great reading your posts!

    • GEOFFN Jan 28, 2011 @ 9:50

      WOW Diana – you are AWESOME! Way to go! I look forward to hearing even more about your successes.

  • Eric Moss RKC Jan 26, 2011 @ 14:38

    I had parted ways with the gym where I was working as a personal trainer and needed a new way of training. The kettlebell and exercises that made it famous are far superior to what I had been doing. A meeting with the Iron Tamer had him bend some frying pans and command me to go through the RKC. I have never looked back.

    • GEOFFN Jan 28, 2011 @ 9:51

      Ahhh… good ol’ Iron Tamer! I love hearing stories like this Eric. Thanks for posting.

  • Joe Jan 26, 2011 @ 17:44

    I got into bells because I was introduced to them bu one of my intstructors at wing chun Kung Fu who uses them daily I began to improve my stance and structure n the rest is history I use them nearly everyday I love them

    • GEOFFN Jan 28, 2011 @ 9:51

      Yeah Joe – amazing how that WTH Effect works, huh?

  • Stuart Jan 27, 2011 @ 12:00

    I have followed many different programmes over the years to get stronger, fitter and more powerful for the sports I play(ed) (Rugby, Football, Cricket). Last year after a pre season of heavy lifting I became heavy, slow, non-athletic. Mid season I’d had enough scrapped my traning plan and searched a solution. Thats when I came across KB’s and DD. Within 2 weeks of changing to KB’s (mostly swings and TGu’s) I was much more athletic, conditioned and still retained strength. I was hooked and still am. My local gym had 16kg an d20kg bells. Once I progressed from these I bought myself a 24kg, pull up bar and ditched the gym. I’m now doing ROP, with hill sprints cycling the intensity. I’m a KB convert and never going back…..I may bring in Indian clubs in the future. Through DD I’ve also discovered joint mobility, they don’t teach that in my local gym! KB’s are a life changer 🙂

    • GEOFFN Jan 28, 2011 @ 9:53

      From a pure all-around efficiency point of view, Stuart, it’s hard to “go back” once you have that experience. They’re a life changer for sure.

  • Logan Christopher Jan 27, 2011 @ 15:01

    Applying simpleology’s principles of power to kettlebells. I like it. Can’t wait for the next two articles.

    • GEOFFN Jan 28, 2011 @ 9:40

      Thanks, Logan. Simpleology was a great “grounding” course for me a couple years ago and really changed the way I looked at my world.

  • Eddie Jan 28, 2011 @ 9:52

    Geoff,

    I followed the progression from PTP to KB’s on DD early 2000 but got lost along the way by following the latest workout of the month club. I followed the latest workout or bought a new program to frequently not allowing my muscles overload and adapt. Thank god I got off the merry-go-around. ROP and pullups are my core exercises. At 53 years of age and years of working out I am back on course. Simple goals master swings and TGU.
    Knowledge is power but can be addiction.
    Eddie

  • Robert Sep 20, 2013 @ 19:36

    I discovered kettlebells training for a marathon last year. My boss introduced me complexes such as double swing, clean and press, and snatches to help increase my muscular endurance without destroying my body running 50-60 miles a week leading up to the event. I ended up running the marathon 27 minutes faster than my previous runs and fell in love with the training that got me there. Now I only sprint, but I use kettlesbells as part of my calisthenics programming for lower back and hip power and strength.

  • Irina Jun 10, 2014 @ 17:42

    When I was introduced to kettlebells, I was teaching Pilates. I loved Pilates but I had a feeling that it was missing something. I constantly tried to add some “huffing and puffing” or cardio aspect to it. I tried a kettlebell class in 2008. I fell in love with the bells right away: your abs are fried, your arms are sore, you are huffing and puffing, and you feel so strong! That is the greatest feeling.
    I am a CPA and actually have to do accounting for living now. Kettlebells are not only my go-to workout, it is a major de-stressor. I use them at home and at the gym. I even drag them with me when we travel by car. This way I can eat more on a vacation ;). I did not get my certification yet but I keep thinking about it. Thank you for the education you give us. I always look forward to your e-mails.

  • Sule Dec 12, 2015 @ 3:53

    I am so excited that you are iucirnsttng others. I have seen you on FB’s strong kettlebell moms. I live very close and would love proper training instruction. At the moment, I have been sidelined due to cervical disc herniations but when I get the ok to add kettlebells back to my routine, I would love to schedule some lessons. I have been working with kettlebells for a year but I would grateful for tips on proper form. I know I probably lack there. I try to keep a neutral stance but wonder if I really don’t. No one has watched or understood if I was doing it correctly.Thanks!!

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