Long before Rocky Balboa’s Russian nemesis, Ivan Drago, delivered a memorable Hollywood battle of the fists in the boxing ring in the movie Rocky IV, there was a real Soviet-born strongman known for his simplistic, yet highly effective training style.
Meet Pavel Tsatsouline, creator of the workout program, Enter the Kettlebell! Strength Secret of The Soviet Supermen. For years, Pavel fine-tuned his training program by testing it out on Russian Special Forces, and produced some of the toughest military experts in the world. In Enter the Kettlebell, Pavel lays out his program to develop muscular strength and endurance, improve body composition and coordination, and give you a full-body workout with one single piece of equipment…the kettlebell.
Even though kettlebells have been around for a long time and used by casual gym goers and serious athletes, many people aren’t familiar with the power of this cannon-ball-with-a-handle piece of equipment. And Pavel recognizes that.
So in the early chapters of the book, he provides a brief history of the kettlebell and some bad-to-the-bone stories about some of Russia’s strongmen who built their brawn with the kettlebell. And in order to reach a larger audience than his Russian comrades, Pavel also provides a brief history of how the kettlebell made its way into western workouts.
But that’s where the history lesson ends, and the heavy lifting begins. After discovering the kettlebell’s backstory, you’ll learn about how to select the right one for you and find out how this single piece of equipment can improve your health, strength, and overall fitness level. You’ll get safety lesson on how to use the kettlebell without throwing out your shoulder or injuring other body parts, seasoned with Pavel’s dry humor and common sense advice.
Then you’ll get into the meat of the program that begins with practicing simple exercises to build strength and coordination. You’ll learn the basic moves like the swing, shoulder press, clean, and snatch. Beginners will want to follow the Russian Kettlebell Challenge (RKC) program, and stronger more experienced kettlebellers can take on the RKC Rite of Passage Program.
And at the back of the book, Pavel answers the Frequently Asked Questions about using kettlebells for strength training, fat loss, conditioning, etc, in a Q&A format.
Pavel and Dragon Door Publishing have also produced a 46-minute DVD that complements Enter the Kettlebell. In the DVD, Pavel demonstrates every kettlebell exercise in the book. In the DVD, you’ll get a quick lesson on bodyweight exercises you can do to build strength to handle the kettlebell workouts. Pavel revisits kettlebell safety and provides a review of how to select the right kettlebell. Then it’s time to get to work. In the rest of the DVD, Pavel provides step-by-step details about how to perform all of the essential kettlebell exercises like The Swing, The Get-Up, The Clean, The Press, and The Snatch.
Enter the Kettlebell! Strength Secrets of the Soviet Superman is one of hundreds of workout programs available.
The Program is more affordable than many others. The book is available for $34.95, and the DVD can be purchased for $29.95. And you can no double find both of these for less money on other sites.
This workout program is relatively simplistic compared to many training programs that include hundreds of moves and a wide range of equipment. In Enter the Kettlebell, the only piece of equipment you need is a kettlebell. If you don’t want to buy one, you can even substitute a dumbbell to do most of the exercises. Pavel’s sensible and sometimes tough approach is also an effective one. If you put in the work and muscle the kettlebell around like he tells you to, you will build muscle, strength, and endurance, and burn more calories and body fat.
If you’re a bodyweight training purist, Enter the Kettlebell isn’t for you. While the only piece of equipment required is a kettlebell, it still means you’ve got to buy one, go to a gym to use one, or lug one around with you when you’re on the road. Pavel’s program provides plenty of variety, uses compound exercises, and works every muscle in your body, but it might not offer enough variety for some people.
While Pavel Tsatsouline’s Enter the Kettlebell program may be an old-school fitness regimen based on Soviet-era training principles, it still contains all the elements of an effective workout to kick your butt. Today, most gyms probably have kettlebells available. But it’s an ideal workout program you can follow within the comfort of your own home. And if you’re willing to put in the effort, and follow Pavel’s program, you’ll soon be ready to roll with the best of Russia’s Special Forces.