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Thread: Kettlebells

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    Forum Member hefightsfire99's Avatar
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    Default Kettlebells

    Anyone using kettlebells much? If so what are you using them for? I'm trying to suggest some affordable options for our department to provide equipment at each station.
    "...When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched, Nor will the flame burn you." Isaiah 43:2


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    I own two 28kg bells from Lifeline USA. I use them frequently. I would suggest two 16kg and two 24kg pairs to start. Pick up a large tire for flipping, and a smaller tire for dragging(attach webbing). These can be picked up for free, as it costs money to dispose of them otherwise. Pick up a 10-12 lb sledge, an ab wheel, and a power tower(combo dip/pullup station). These items shouldn't run you more than $500, probably less. If you have cash to spare, then go with an olympic weight set. www.mikemahler.com and performancemenu.com are both great resources for kettlebell exercises. www.rosstraining.com and www.crossfit.com will supply you with endless, brutal workouts with the aforementioned equipment.

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    Forum Member hefightsfire99's Avatar
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    Thanks for the input. Anyone been through Mike Stefano's kettlebell course? I've been using a crossfit/ API workout personally on shift but looking for something more than the caveman stuff to present to the chief. I like flipping tires but I'm not sure how well it would go over especially department wide. We have a training center but can only use it on our days off. I'm hoping for something for each station. I think a set of kettlebells are less than $500. It might be a good sell but I would like to talk to some folks who had been using them for their whole workout.
    "...When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched, Nor will the flame burn you." Isaiah 43:2

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    The 16kg and 24 kg pairs will cost about $300 or so collectively with shipping and handling. For a size/strength routine, Mahler advocates 3-5 sets of five reps for each of five movement patterns: upper body push, upper body pull, quad dominant, hip dominant, and abdominals. For conditioning, you can devise 3-5 minute circuits with one minute rest in between. Another option would be cluster training. 15 second block, do 6 snatches, rest 15 seconds, do six snatches in 15 secs, rest 15 secs, etc. for 30 minutes. If successful, go up to 8-10 reps, or increase weight. Rosstraining's never gymless is a great resource for bodyweight only training. Ever increasing numbers of firefighters are using kettlebells for job specific training, as the odd shape of the bell greatly increases core/unilateral stability, as well as grip. Have any doubters perform several sets of high rep swings, or C&J's, then they will realize. I don't remember where to find the promo on youtube, but it showed a firefighter raising a ladder, then fading to someone holding two bells overhead. Same thing with carrying equipment, then farmers carries w/bells, meant to illustrate the parallels of work performance and kettlebell training. I personally combine olympic weightlifting with kettlebells, calisthenics, and running/sprinting. However, if I had to choose one and only one training modality, it would be kettlebell training. Hopefully you can paraphrase my ramblings to help your cause. Maybe lifeline or another supplier can give your dept a discounted rate. I imagine the equipment can be written off, as well, so $300/station to start isn't really all that much, considering reduction of cardiac issues(leading cause of firefighter fatalities!) and injury leave.

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    Forum Member hefightsfire99's Avatar
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    Thanks for the help brother.
    "...When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched, Nor will the flame burn you." Isaiah 43:2

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    Just be sure you are learning proper hand position, Kettlebell placement and lifting techniques. It wasn't until I met with a KB instructor did I realize how much it involved. Its more than just throwing a weight around. Improper use of KB can result in injury. They are great for our line of work and our dept had one PFT certified as an instructor and we are getting KB's for stations that are interested.

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    Forum Member hefightsfire99's Avatar
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    Do you know how much you guys are paying per set? What kind of certification does your trainer have?
    "...When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched, Nor will the flame burn you." Isaiah 43:2

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    Quote Originally Posted by hefightsfire99 View Post
    Anyone using kettlebells much? If so what are you using them for? I'm trying to suggest some affordable options for our department to provide equipment at each station.
    Great question. I'm Mike Stefano, health and fitness editor here at Firehouse.Com and also a Master Kettlebell Coach with the American Kettlebell Club. Please check out my website: http://firefightersworkout.com

    Our philosophy on kettlebell training is very different from what's mostly out there. We used timed sets with a very specific technique for very high reps. These sets can last up to ten minutes and more (sound familiar? IE: CPAT).

    My First Responder Kettlebell Program is based on proven Soviet Science passed down for generations. The Russians have used this training modality for decades with its military and work force with legendary results. Currently the Unites States Air Force is doing a six figure study on a military version of this exact program.

    This training is the real thing, building strength, endurance, cardio health, flexibility, and everybody starts at square one, an even playing field.

    My website has free videos, articles, and a tremendous amount of information you can browse through...

    Good Luck,
    Mike
    http://firefightersworkout.com

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