If you’re training for strength and size, I suggest you ditch those kettle bells and stick to good old weight lifting.
There’s no doubt that kettle bells are increasing in popularity all over the world, but depending on the TYPE of result you’re trying to produce, you might want to give them a miss.
While kettle bells will almost certainly increase “explosiveness”, vertical jump ability, and yes strength to a certain degree, they just aren’t going to be MAXIMALLY effective for those wanting to add muscle mass.
A recent study  looked at the difference between using kettle bells and weights on strength, vertical jump ability, and body composition.
2 groups trained for 6 weeks using either weights or kettle bells.
The weights group performed the high pull, the power clean, and the back squat. The kettle bell group performed kettlebell swings, accelerated swings, and goblet squats. These exercises were selected to give a fair comparison between equipment.
There was no real difference in body composition or vertical jump between the groups at the end of the study.
However, the maximal load that the weight group could squat rose by 13.6%, compared with just 4.5% in the kettle bell group.
The researchers concluded
“In conclusion, 6 weeks of weightlifting induced significantly greater improvements in strength compared with kettlebell training. No between-group differences existed for the vertical jump or body composition.”
I hope this isn’t a surprise to most of you. What may be surprising is that kettle bells don’t even seem to offer any advantage over weights when training for explosiveness. It appears that OLYMPIC weight lifting exercises offer the same benefit.
But for the Muscle Hacker the message is simple, stick to free weights, cables, and yes even machines. We’re about building muscle, getting ripped, and STAYING that way! 😀
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