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Kettlebells, Padlocks or Dumbbells?

Kettlebells, Padlocks or Dumbbells?

by Roger LaPointe

Kettlebells, Padlocks or Dumbbells?

Group strength classes, personal trainers and garage gym clubs are all asking the same question about their one handed training. Which tool is best for the job?

For this article, we will focus on one exercise, the one hand swing. 
The traditional tool for the Shaolin Monks would be the stone padlock. 72 Consummate Arts Secrets of the Shaolin Temple has this to say about the Key-Stone Arts, "The appearance of the stone key is just like that of a copper key, with a spring and a shell but without a key hole. It is made of granite stone or green stone . The weight of the smaller one is about twenty catties and the bigger ones vary in weight from 60 to 70 catties." p. 31 It is reported at the beginning of the book that there are some translation errors, with the term "key" being a well known one. It should be "lock". I

Shaolin Kung Fu Roger LaPointe practices kung fu learned from the Shaolin Monks

n reference to a lock like you might lock up a chest or door.

If versatility is the key, you have a couple of options. 
Kettlebell Handles are one of the most versatile tools for your training. With the slip of a collar, you make your adjustable dumbbells into kettlebells. With a few more changes, you can change them into Farmers Walk Handles. The old fashioned "standard" plates, that fit the 1 inch diameter bars, are all you need to change the weight, making it unnecessary for an entire rack of kettlebells or dumbbells.

This is perfection for the home gym or garage gym that is tight on space. Remember, if you are in the training business, square footage is money.

Check out the adjustable Kettlebell Handles. Just hit this link

Our hulking beast of a strongman at the right enjoys the thrill of his one hand snatches with an adjustable kettlebell handle. He then moves on to his farmers walk exercises. That is a powerful 1 - 2 combination for your entire body. 

Adjustable Kettlebell Handles or Shot Loaded Kettlebells? 
Solid kettlebells are commonly being imported from other countries for dirt cheap, making the solid kettlebell much more affordable. However, a full rack of solid kettlebells is still far more expensive than any adjustable kettlebell. Additionally, an entire rack of kettlebells is a space hog. These are some obvious problems with solid kettlebells.There are many very positive reasons to go with an adjustable kettlebell, beyond those practical gym owner type reasons to pass on solid kettlebells.Let's look at shot loaded kettlebells first. The shot itself is one good reason. Shot loaded were more than just practical tools for the old time strongmen. The shot itself is a shifting, live sort of thing that you have to control. You can try to resist the shot, like an opponent in the wrestling ring. You can also learn to move with the shot, creating that flowing grace you see in the movements of the greatest boxers and martial artists.

Vic Boff's Bodybuilders Bible shows how to use adjustable Kettlebell Handles. 
Vic's book is really all about functional training. It is almost entirely free weight based. The giant corporate fitness machine manufacturers have really messed up the strength training world. Vic used the term "bodybuilder" in such a broad sense that he even included full Olympic weightlifting in the book. 

Grip training or full body training?
There is a lot of argument out there about how to best do your grip training. Should you focus on your grip, or work your grip training into your full body routine? You really need to do both. 

One Handed Swings and Two Handed Swings are each great exercises you can do to incorporate the entire body in your grip work, especially with the focus on the hamstring, hip and back development. This exercise will also develop coordination between the various muscle groups essential for jumping movements. 

Swings are a great introductory strength training exercise for Martial Arts classes.
Dynamic and explosive weight swings can also be done with the Iron Grip Plates . The 10 Pound Iron Grip Plates through the 100 Pound Iron Grip Plates have nice straight handles, which make them ideal for a variety of exercises, the Swing is one such exercise. I will use my Iron Grip Plates for One Handed Swings with one plate or two plates (one in each hand), as well as 2 Handed Swings.

At the left, you can see me doing One Handed Swings with a 35 Pound Iron Grip Plate . The top photo shows the top of the movement, while the one underneath shows the other extreme of the movement.

Iron Grip Plates for exercise research and development.
Iron Grip Plates are a really excellent training tool. I particularly like them as an R & D tool for my training.

Roger Demonstrates How to Develop Grip Strength with Grip Plates Roger Demonstrates How to Develop Grip Strength with Grip Plates

I know that sounds like a strange concept, but when I get a new idea from my research, I have to try it out. The Iron Grip Plates are a wonderful tool because of their adaptable shape that has it's own weight. For example, I am working on some old French military exercises I found in a Georges Hebert book from 1917. The implements they are using have a similar shape to the Iron Grip Plates. Instead of having the tool copied, I am working on the

Yet More Grip Strength! Yet More Grip Strength!

exercises with the Iron Grip Plates , as the tool. A barbell is not even involved. Pretty cool.

REMEMBER: A classic strongman needed to be good a lot of different strength feats. Your training tools need to be a versitile as possible. Farmers Walk Units are just one more thing you can do with your Kettlebell Handles. 

Buy your Kettlebell Handles through this link.

Or get strong with our Train Like a Strongman DVD here.

Atomic Athletic
500 Lehman Avenue, Suite 21
Bowling Green, OH 43402
www.atomicathletic.com

 

 

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