I've always found it fascinating how certain things end up developing a huge following, often becoming so popular they almost develop into cult status. In the fitness world there's a million examples, and no better example than when it comes to building strength.
Whether it's body-building vs. powerlifting, barbells / dumbbells vs. kettlebells, or fat-loss vs. crossfit, it's not uncommon to see everything from mild bantering to flat-out arguments flying on twitter and FB between these groups of believers, each out to prove THEIR approach is the right way.
What often starts out as a "new," cool way to get stronger, ends up becoming an entirely new belief system...with hard-core disciples that proudly proclaim their allegiance on a cool (and often expensive) t-shirt. Confirmation bias and passion make for a powerful mix!
However.....as anyone who knows me well will vouch, I tend to think differently than most. I guess you could say I have sought refuge in being unattached.
To me, functional vs. isolation, dumbbell vs. kettlebell - none of this really exists. (The term "muscle confusion" made popular by P90x doesn't exist either, but that's a topic for another email!)
What does? It's simple: Get strong training, a.k.a. strong person training.
How about something even simpler? Movement training.
Every tool has pros and cons. For example, bands are convenient and can be taken anywhere. Kettlebells are amazingly versatile, and barbells are cool because you can add lots of weight in small increments.
And bodyweight training might be the very best because after all, if you can't control and move your own body against resistance, what right do you have picking up an object to increase your strength?
(In my Get STRONG-Blast FAT group coaching program which is going on right now, I'm teaching bodyweight training nearly exclusively, primarily because it is so quick, simple, safe, and effective!)
The bottom line? Use the equipment (or no equipment at all) that matches your skill and experience level and best serves the purpose. For me the purpose is simple: to develop "real" strength and improve my overall health.
So yes, I will admit that the kettlebell definitely IS one of my OWN preferred tools for strength building and that's one reason why I am leading a Kettlebell Training for Triathletes workshop from 11am to 12pm, at the TRI-MANIA Summit and Expo on Saturday, March 19th, at Boston University's Fit-Rec Center in Boston!
In fact, check out this note (to the left) from FB, left by a trail-runner who admitted not wanting to do a tri anytime soon, but just wants to learn some good form!
Whatever system or method you choose, my advice is to ensure it is BOTH safe and effective. If it is both of these, then it's probably a good choice.
So what is YOUR preferred mode for getting stronger?
Don't forget - Saturday, March 19th, at Boston University's Fit-Rec Center in Boston - Kettlebell Training for Triathletes workshop from 11am to 12pm.
CLICK HERE to go to the registration page. It's only 20 bucks, and should be lots of fun (with some great learning too!). If you've got questions about the workshop or simply want to get in touch, email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org