“… That is the question.”
“Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles
And by opposing end them…”
Thank you, Hamlet.
The Kettlebell Swing is a fine, fine exercise.
In fact, it is the foundational kettlebell exercise.
But let me ask you a question:
When building a house, do you stop once you’ve poured
Do you keep going and build the rest of your house?
(I guess that depends if you run out of money…)
Sane people finish building their houses.
In the KB world there’s a huge – even an over-emphasis
on the Swing.
Some go so far as saying that it’s the only exercise you
need to do.
To me, that’s like pouring the foundation of your house,
then rolling out a sleeping bag and camping out there.
Sure, you have some solid ground to sleep on, but no
walls or roof to keep the elements out – and certainly
nothing to enjoy –
Unless of course you like the monotony of doing the
same exercise over and over and over and over and
over again and again and again…
The Truth is, if you limit yourself to “only” the Swing,
then you’re missing out on the rest of powerful transformational
potential of kettlebell training.
Consider the Snatch – the Tsar (the King) of KB lifts.
Not only does it rip fat off your body like a pickpocket
running from the police, it’s been reported to improve
upper body strength in exercises like the Pull Up.
Then there’s arguably one of my favorites –
The Powerhouse of KB lifting –
The Clean + Jerk.
With a pair of KBs.
With “just” the double KB Clean + Jerk you can transform
You can strip off fat like pouring paint thinner on an
You can pack on muscle at an alarming rate.
And you can build stratospheric conditioning levels
without the bone-jarring you get from running.
What’s not to like about that?
It’s a virtual one-stop-shop for total body transformation.
Too bad most people can’t do Clean + Jerks properly.
Because they’ve been brainwashed into thinking that
the Swing is “all” they “need.”
They fail to see that there’s a BIG difference between
“needs” and “wants.”
You need food.
You want a 24 ounce porterhouse, cooked medium-
rare, with a loaded baked potato on the side.
Because of #1 they haven’t done the necessary prep
work for their body to perform the lift safely and equally
When you’re unsure of your technique, your confidence
sucks and you’re less likely to do the exercise you’re
supposed to be doing – in this case – the C+J.
And therefore you don’t enjoy it.
Take the time to invest in your strength + conditioning
Learn how to do the double KB Clean + Jerk correctly.
You need to –
+ Make sure you have enough shoulder mobility/stability
and if you don’t, which drills will help you get your
shoulders up to speed – quickly
+ Make sure you have enough t-spine mobility so you
can get your arms over your head so that you don’t
wreck your lower back
+ Make sure you get the timing of the drop down so
you lock out your arms at the same time you hit the
bottom position (semi-squat) so your elbows don’t
re-bend and you risk dumping the KBs on your head
+ Make sure you have the necessary drills to dial in
your technique – making it crisp and efficient, so you
can lift as much weight as possible, as often as possible,
and burn as many calories as possible, without getting
Remember, the Swing is fine exercise – however, it’s just
To truly build a house – a castle, or better yet – a fortress of
Shakespearian proportions, make sure you learn the
Clean + Jerk.
I’ve laid out detailed instructions for you inside the DVDs
and book that make up “Kettlebell STRONG!”.