What is a Kettlebell?

A ‘kettlebell’ or girya (Russ.) is a traditional Russian cast iron weight that looks like a cannonball with a handle.  As the 1986 Soviet Weightlifting Yearbook put it, “It is hard to find a sport that has deeper roots in the history of our people than kettlebell lifting.” So popular were kettlebells in Tsarist Russia that any strongman or weightlifter was referred to as a girevik, or ‘a kettlebell man.’ “Not a single sport develops our muscular strength and bodies as well as kettlebell athletics,” wrote Ludvig Chaplinskiy in Russian magazine Hercules in 1913.

Why the Kettlebell?

The Russian Special Forces personnel owe much of their wiry strength, lethal agility, and never-quitting stamina to kettlebells. The official Soviet armed forces strength training manual pronounced kettlebell drills to be “one of the most effective means of strength development” representing “a new era in the development of human strength-potential.”

The elite of the U.S. military and law enforcement instantly recognized the power of the Russian kettlebell as a ruggedly simple and effective Strength and Conditioning tool. 

You can find certified kettlebell instructors in outfits such as the Force Recon Marines, the FBI Hostage Rescue Team, and the Secret Service Counter Assault Team.

Once Russian Hardstyle Kettlebell practice became a hit among those whose life depends on their performance, it took off among people from all walks of life: martial artists, athletes, and regular individuals wanting to improve their performance in sport and life.

What is meant by Hardstyle?

Basically, Hardstyle means utilizing total body tension when going for maximal strength and remaining as relaxed as possible following a hard snap of tension during the quick lifts.


Tension itself is not the goal; the goal is the lift at hand. Therefore, all of your workouts should be considered a practice—a practice of safety, a practice of strength, and a practice of necessary tension.


What about Body Composition?

  • Kettlebells bells forge doers’ physiques along the lines of antique statues. 

  • Kettlebells melt fat without dieting or aerobics. 

  • If you are overweight, you will lean out.

  • If you are skinny, you will increase muscle mass. 

  • It will fix your body composition, whichever way it needs fixing.


Check with your Medical Professional before training

Kettlebell workouts can be very intense physically. It is important that you consult with a medical professional prior to training with kettlebells. You will be surprised at how quickly your heart rate will rise, and how quickly it can go above the recommended maximum rate for your age group.

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Disclaimer: Please recognise that it is your responsibility to work directly with your health care provider prior to beginning any exercise or nutrition program or taking any supplements. The content on this website is for informational and educational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice or to replace a relationship with a qualified healthcare professional.  Any information provided is not to be followed without prior approval of your doctor. If you choose to use this information without such approval, you agree to accept full responsibility for your decision.​