Is it really that difficult? Kettlebell Conflict.

I’m going to go out on a limb and probably make some enemies among the kettlebell elites, but I have to ask:  “Is it really that difficult?”

I’ve been training with weights for 26 years.  In that time, Ive tried bodybuilding programs, powerlifting programs, circuit training, intervals, body weight training, cables/bands, running cycling, and for the past 5 years, kettlebells mixed in with those other modalities.

When I started training with kettlebells, Dragondoor and Pavel Tsatsouline were the leaders in the kettlebell world.  No one else was providing the training and experience for newcomers to kettlebells.  Pavel has a great deal of experience and has fantastic products, training and marketing.  I highly recommend his materials (especially Enter The Kettlebell) and workshops.  In fact, you’ll see that I advertise his products here as well.  If you go to the DragonDoor.comwebsite, you’ll find a great kettlebell training forum with many knowledgeable and friendly folks.

Since Dragondoor has come on scene, there have been new kettlebell training systems and coaches with certification programs designed to allow the average trainer to learn the techniques of that system and to be able to teach that system’s techniques to new trainers.  Here’s a breakdown of some of the more well-known programs:

Dragondoor RKC certification – $1895-2695 (depending on how early one registers)

American Kettlebell Club certification – $1333 (on ebay, includes 7 kettlebells)

International Kettlebell and Fitness Federation – $1295

Art of Strength Gym License and Certification – $1800

AOS Online Store

All of these systems have their unique methods and styles.  I wanted to show you the commitment in time and money that trainers make when they participate in these programs.  I’ve even attended the American Kettlebell Club’s certification. Unfortunately, what should make trainers more professional, sometimes makes them less so.  In fact, there has been a bit of a battle over which system is better – the Dragondoor “Hardstyle” system and the American Kettlebell Club “Sport” system.  Both styles have their hardcore proponents.  Some to the point of making sure the other side gets disparaged as much as possible on forums and blogs across the worldwide web.

The IKFF seems to lean towards the “Sport” style and mixes in bodyweight exercises and functional movement drills.  Please refer to their website as I am by no means an expert in the IKFF system.  If you’re an IKFF pro, please comment and let us know about your system.

The Art of Strength and Punch Kettlebell Gym  mix the “Hardstyle” and “Sport” styles with Old School-style weight training and offers multiple circuit and interval-style training modalities (If there are any AOS certified trainers out there reading this, please correct me if I’m wrong.).  I’ve used Anthony DiLuglio’s Enter The Kettlebell workbook, and periodically use both the ‘Providence’ and ‘Newport’ workouts (mostly during the Winter months).  I’ve found these workouts to be extremely effective and just the ticket to keep my Winter weight gain at bay.

So what’s my point with this post?  It is the following; Each “Style” has its own strengths and weaknesses depending on the goal of the practitioner.  Is one better than another?  In my opinion, no.  It all depends on what you’re looking for and how the face (head coach) behind that style appeals to you.

But can someone tell me why grown men and women can get so worked up about their kettlebell style vs. the other style?  Do bodybuilders get worked up over whether Weider works better than Dave Draper, or Bud Jeffries is better than Dino Training?  Or is Clarence Bass better then Vince Gironda?  Oh wait, Powerhouse Gym is way better than Gold’s Gym (actually I have no idea if it is or not).

But you get my point.  I hope.  Free weights and kettlebells are fantastic tools that can accomplish amazing things for those willing to learn the proper ways to use them.  Can we just accept that their are unique and effective ways to use them without spending so much time and negative energy on which system is better than another?  Is it really that difficult to grasp?

Comments Please!!!


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2 Responses to Is it really that difficult? Kettlebell Conflict.

  1. Yes, the conflict! (rolling my eyes)….

    You know, I even got banned (that’s right!) from Dragon Door forums for mentioning AKC! Crazy!

    Some folks do tend to take it personally… why? (party loyalty?) Hard to say…

    Some of it is money… DD didn’t want to lose any folks to AKC.. understandable..

    Some people just want to be right. For many their bell training is like a religion.

    Heard of any religious conflicts going on lately?

    I’m just rambling here… what to do … what to do…

  2. Denis,

    I agree, it’s crazy. I just wrote a post on the AKC forum about how disappointed I was with adults quibbling like children over which style was better. It’s exercise. We should be grateful to have the ability to even swing a kettlebell, and leave the arguing to the politicians.

    Jim

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