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Thursday, March 27, 2014

S T E P  a w a y from the kettle bells...and no one will get hurt

My good friend and mentor Jeff, called and asked me about putting on 'true' muscle. Said tired of the Crossfit stuff.  I told him that the best muscle building techniques are the 'bodybuilding sets! Drop-sets. pyramids, Shock sets,Negs, super sets, etc. Kettle bells are another tool to get the job done. They are great to use but are NOT the best or ONLY tool for building muscle. If you use ANY weighted apparatus the body will respond to it. Even when kettle bells were used centuries ago, by great strong men like Cyr and Sandow, heavy barbells(train axels!) were still a key staple in physique development. Using dumbbells and barbell work can accomplish the same thing and the learning curve is quick and injury risk- real low.

I like using kettle bells 'indirectly'(see Mark on  left and bench press to right)to augment loads and muscle recruitment.

The Crossfit craze has overshadowed great muscle building techniques. Metabolic circuits like CF get predictable,old and plateau real quick; perfect storm for a boring program. Yet if properly placed in a training cycle it can drastically impact strength and physique development. Muscle building techniques are great foundations for making the physique symmetrical and broadening your training scope so you can better reduce injury risk and periodize your training. You don't have to run like a gerbil on a wheel EVERY training session to get the physique you want.

IF you are training, and you have not learned at least a proper squat, bench, overhead press and the numerous permutations using dumbbells, barbells and plate, then it would be a good idea to learn how!
 So bench press, arm curls, back and front squats, shoulder front/lateral raises, manual resistance, etc are just as important as anaerobic conditioning. Give yourself a break from the predictable kips, erg, jump boxes and Olympic lifts and learn how to REALLY put on good quality muscle.