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Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Product Review: Enter the Kettlebell

Disclaimer: I recently completed my HKC, and am in the midst of prepping for my RKC. In other words, I'm "part of the tribe", so you may feel free to take this review with however much salt you believe is necessary.

Enter the Kettlebell
Pavel Tsatsouline

(Note: I actually bought the Kindle version of this book, because I like having Kindle books.)

I resisted buying Enter the Kettlebell for a long time: honestly, if I wasn't planning to do my RKC, I'm not sure I would have bought it still.

Why the resistance? Because for years, I had a my somewhat worn copy of the Russian Kettlebell Challenge and that, along with a pair of Kettlestacks, seemed to be sufficient. The Russian Kettlebell Challenge seemed like such a comprehensive work that I couldn't see the need for another text.


But having embarked on the quest to make a serious study of Kettlebell training (and strength training more generally), I decided that it was time to make the investment in Enter the Kettlebell. If nothing else, it's a required text for the RKC, and many people speak highly of it. And with good reason; it's a good book. 


Where the Russian Kettlebell Challenge covered a blistering array of exericses, Enter the Kettlebell covers just six: The Swing, The Get-up, The Clean, The Press, The Clean and Press, and The Snatch. By reducing the number of exercises, Pavel is able to give a lot more clear, concrete detail about how those exercises are meant to be performed, and provides good coaching cues for each one. The book also includes a brief history of the Kettlebell, and some program guidelines and plans to help the reader progress with the kettlebell.


As far as an instructional book goes, this is a much better book than the Russian Kettlebell Challenge. I love my Russian Kettlebell Challenge, but Enter the Kettlebell is just much more comprehensive in it's explanation of each lift...when I started studying this stuff more deeply, I discovered that I had some pretty major technical errors in a lot of my lifts that I had learned by reading the Russian Kettlebell Challenge.


The writing is...well, it's Pavel. Some of it feels like a bit of filler. Some of it wanders. He uses the word "comrade" a lot, and makes references to tough Russians. Either you like it, or you don't. But whether you like it or not, the info in here is solid. A lot of it mirrors things I learned at the HKC, and I suspect will learn when I get to the RKC as well.


If you're interested in kettlebell lifting, this is a good place to start.

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