I mentioned a few months ago that I had bough some Kettlebells from Stan Pike at Intense Fitness. They are well made and I am enjoying training with them. It was refreshing to be able to buy them from Stan as well, stopping off at his house on a trip down south, and have this great bear of a man explain a little bit of technique to me in his garage gym. If anyone in the UK (especially Scotland or northern England) is thinking of getting some kettlebells - or indeed any other toys - then check out Stan.
Normally in the world of the interweb, kettlebells are associated with a certain Russian and to be fair - wherever you stand on Dragondoor's marketing - Pavel has been responsible for reintroducing this tool to the West in the last 10 years or so. And Pavel's books and DVDs are good - especially at teaching basic technique in detail, with lots of hints and cues to get you going. "Enter the Kettlebell" is an excellent and elegantly simple manual.
Stan's Kettlebell Bible - co-authored with Rob Beauchamp (a former Royal Marine Commando) - is a very different proposition but an excellent addition to any training library. At 235 pages this is an encyclopaedia of programme design, sports science and exercise technique. There is no condescension or mock tsarist argot, just dense information clearly explained and illustrated. It is rare to read the sort of material that is presented here on exercise physiology, warm-ups and stretching - essential to understand, but rarely discussed in this detail.
Not a book to skim through, this Bible will repay repeated study and I would recommend it to anyone. Don't expect an easy read - you will be challenged, but it is worth the effort. You can order it here (I do not get anything for this recommendation by the way)
Local readers may be interested in this upcoming kettlebell contest sponsored by Intense Fitness:
U.K.K.A. BORDER KETTLEBELL COMPETITION Sunday 11th May 2008.
One Handed KB Swings
One Handed KB Snatch
One Hand Hammer Throwing
One Handed Standing KB Throw
The Farmer's Walk.
The Crucifix Strength Challenge
Single Arm Swing-Lock Out and Hold
The Ultimate Centurion Circuit.
Additional Features and Challenges
1. Traditional Archery
2. Horse Shoe Quoits
3. Throwing the Welly
4. Junior Tug O' War for Children
5. Blacksmiths Grip Challenge.
6. Middlebie Pebble Grip Challenge.
Trophy’s will be presented.
Here is a video of last year's event: