How did kettlebell training help me sprint to the top of the Columbia Tower in 13 ½ minutes??
Kettlebells and dumbbells can increase strength and endurance, but only kettlebells can be used to perform ballistic exercises, which sets them apart, in my mind, as being a superior form of training. Because the kettlebell’s center of mass extends out beyond the hand, unlike a dumbbell, it becomes necessary to swing the kettlebell, and not just lift it. These swinging movements engage and develop the fast-twitch muscles to a greater degree. If the kettlebell exercises are performed properly, this will dramatically increase one’s cardiovascular strength and explosive power… both of which are essential for the Big Climb.
(As a side note: I’ve been promising a few of my readers an explanation on the difference between slow-twitch and fast-twitch muscles… that will be forthcoming over the next week, but let me just say this about that: People with a higher percentage of slow-twitch muscles will be better marathon runners because of the endurance-rich quality of those muscles. People with a higher percentage of fast-twitch muscles will do better at sprints and events that demand quick bursts of energy.)
When you’re working out with essentially a cannon ball with a handle on it, the shape of the kettlebell necessitates ballistic and swinging movements which, in turn offer a multitude of fitness results. Basically, training with kettlebells will not only build strength and muscle size, but it will condition the body to excel at high intensity/shorter duration activities.
My training for the stair climb consisted largely of running stairs, but I supplemented with a daily 20-minute kettlebell routine, always with varied exercises. I remain absolutely fanatical about kettlebells and continue to be amazed everyday by the results!