Ever since I can remember, I’ve been fascinated with health, fitness, and human performance. So I’ve spend a good amount of time and invested too much borrowed money to learn more about it. Be that as it may, it gives me a unique perspective on how I view health and fitness. I view it through the lens of principles that work versus trends and fads that come and go. Admittedly, it annoys me when people fall for every new diet trend or fitness trend that all claim to have some scientific breakthrough to give you the edge you need to “finally” get into the shape you desire.
I sound cynical don’t I?
But that’s how our world work now apparently. Sprinkle a grain of truth within a sea of lies to get what you want, right? I digress.
One of the trends I’ve seen over the years in the fitness equipment industry, is the all-in-one solution. It’s the only piece of equipment you’ll ever need to have the body of your dreams. You don’t have to even be a fitness expert to remember a handful of these items marketed to you, and perhaps they are sitting in your basement collecting dust. How bout the Total Gym? I mean if Chuck Norris endorses it, it’s practically gold. I actually used that machine for a season when I was broke, fresh out of college and living at my girlfriend’s parents place. They had a Chuck Norris machine in their basement collecting dust, so I put it to use. In a pinch, it’s actually not a bad piece of equipment; however, it’s ultra boring. I really wish I could come up with a neat Norris joke on the fly right now, but it’s just not coming to me.
Or how about Tony Little’s Gazelle bike/elliptical/thingamajig? Remember that dude’s wicked pony tail? My goodness.
And we can’t forget the Thigh-master with Suzanne Somers! Straight melted inner thigh fat away! Or did it?
We can all chuckle about those old commercials, but guess who’s really chuckling? The people that rode those gimmicks laughing all the way to the bank with millions of dollars because people bought those products in droves!
Yet here we are. I just did a quick search for “all-in-one fitness equipment” and all of the top 5 pieces of equipment were north of $1,500, and most of them don’t even come close to delivering an “all-in-one” solution. Meanwhile,
I’m probably guilty of saying that kettlebells are an all-in-one solution. Oopsie daisies. But let’s break those puppies down for a second, because they may be the closest thing to the perfect fitness tool, and we will even discuss the very few shortcomings.
This could become a long drawn-out science and physiology explanation, but unless you’re really into that kind of thing, let’s keep it simple. It is well known that strength training yields some of the most profound benefits for one’s body composition, bone density, metabolism, and reversing father time. From a non strength training perspective, the next best results producing exercise format are high intensity intervals, otherwise known as HIIT. Hands down it dominates steady state exercise, or as one of my mentors calls it LSD training (long, slow, distance). So, what if you combined the two and merged them for some sort of “best of both worlds” training format. Well, essentially that is precisely what kettlebell training does. Of course you can just strength train with them. Of course you can go light and just get more of a HIIT training component with them, which is all well and good. But then there’s this sweet spot when using them that pretty much any other piece of fitness equipment can’t touch, and that’s the convergence of getting stronger and using heavier kettlebells than you could previously, while simultaneously using a high intensity interval training format. This concoction is special blend of stimulus to your body that can really expedite the fat loss and body composition change you’re seeking. So long as your diet is in order.
And then here’s the real kicker…training with them generally only takes 30min to 45 minute max, and that’s including a 15 minute warm-up. In other words, workouts are only 15 – 30 min. When time is of the essence, you just can’t beat them. When finances are of the essence, you just can’t beat them. (See the $300 home gym)
And how bout the shortcomings?
Seriously, that’s it.
Minimalism’s finest hour. This is your best tool, for your best asset in life. Your health.