Category Archives: American Kettlebell Club

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Kettlebell Cook-Off! AKC vs. Perform Better – Round 2!

Those of us interested in Girevoy Sport know that the proper kettlebell will help with achieving your training goals.  The shape of the kettlebell helps the Girevik maintain a proper rack and prepares one for Girevoy Sport competitions.  Unfortunately, the cost of the Girevoy Sport-style kettlebell has kept many aspiring Gireviks from training as they would like.  Several months ago, the fitness company Perform Better introduced a Girevoy Sport-style kettlebell called the First Place Elite, which has challenged the American Kettlebell Club’s monopoly on GS-style kettlebell sales.  The only down-side to the Perform Better Kettlebells initially seemed to be the lack of sizes, as they come in 12, 16, 20 and 24 kilo sizes, and a finish that could best be described as “slick”.  I decided to check out the Perform Better bell and previously purchased a 20 kilo bell and wrote a comparison between the Perform Better bell and one of the original AKC (pre-Pro Grade) kettlebells.

I liked the Perform Better kettlebell and appreciated the 20 kilo size as a bridge between the 16 kilo and the 24 kilo bells.  However, to be fair, it wasn’t a proper comparison as the AKC bell was not the current model – the Pro Grade.  I decided, therefore, that I would purchase an AKC Pro Grade and compare that to the Perform Better model.

As it turned out, I was fortunate that my big Christmas present this year was a 20 kilo Pro Grade kettlebell from the American Kettlebell Club.  As I mentioned in my last post, my new kettlebell came on the day before Christmas (Thanks UPS!).

It’s cool Grape and has a more rugged finish to it than the Perform Better’s smooth Ferrari finish.  The handle on the Pro Grades comes pre-sanded and you can see where bondo has been used to fill gaps or divots in the metal.  The paint seems to be a better quality than the original AKC bells from the first certifications, however.

Today I did my first workout with the two bells.  I decided to use an exercise where I could utilize both bells and settled on the double jerk.  To keep it easy, I did 10 sets of 10 jerks with a minute rest between sets.  It took me about four sets to get my groove, and the other six to really try to find my rack.  I felt really good for about 2 out of the 10 sets, where my rack and double dip seemed to really “click”.  But being that I hadn’t done a proper workout for a little while, the 10 X 10 was sufficient to get a good sweat going.

Both kettlebells felt good in my hands and there seemed to be no difference in the handles or the weight.  In addition, the “ball” portions of the bells seem identical in size and shape.

I’ll be practicing long cycle on Friday and will see how the paint jobs hold up as the bells hit at the bottom of the backswing. I don’t particularly care what happens to the finish, so I’ll write an honest assessment and take pictures in order to help everyone with their purchasing decisions.

Stay tuned and keep working…

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