Kettlebell lifting is known as a great tool for strength and conditioning, building muscle, burning fat, and increasing your cardio. But, there is another side to this already great tool, a side that isn’t talked about as much. Kettlebell lifting can be a dark and cold mistress, but, it can also show you the light and lead you to the Promise Land. This side of Kettlebells can teach you a lot about yourself and what you are capable of achieving. What I am talking about is the mental side of kettlebell training. The side that creeps into the back of your mind and tells you to just put the Kettlebell down and walk away from it. Or the side that tells you maybe there is an easier way, maybe this isn’t for me, maybe an hour on the elliptical trainer is a better option than a 10-minute set of jerks snatch or long cycle.
The reality is that you know the Kettlebell set offers you more in that 10 minutes than 2 hours on the elliptical. However, the Kettlebell is like a wild dog, it senses your fear worse than a dog can and I haven’t figured out how. The Kettlebell somehow speaks to you, the Kettlebell transmits messages in your head like an old Twilight Zone show – maybe it’s something in the steel!
For the first half of my kettlebell coaching/ lifting carrrer, I didn’t embrace it or maybe I didn’t realize it , or maybe I didn’t want to believe it. I would have clients or myself technically proficient in the lifts, conditioning would be great they would be peaking at the right time and the next thing I would know the Kettlebell would be sitting on the platform, not because there wasn’t anything left (well sometimes) but because the Kettlebell told them to put it down and forget about it and have a beer!
Every little pain is accentuated during a kettlebell set, where the handle sits on your hands, the soles of your feet, your grip, your shoulders, your legs, your elbows are sliding off your shirt in the rack position, your arm is shaking over head. If you have lifted kettlebell you are familiar with all these little pains that start to feel like the weight of the world. All these little things wouldn’t bother you normally, it would be no big deal, but during a 10-minute kettlebell set it feels like it’s going to kill you.
The carry-over in life is second to none, once you have fought through a tough 10 minute set any other task will seem insignificant. Kettlebell lifting is a practice that will certainly challenge you physically, give you great Mobility, improve your conditioning, give you explosive strength that you can deliver over time, but it will certainly challenge you mentally like no other modality ever will and offer you a lifetime of mind body and spirit.