Many years ago I trained as a bodybuilder. I spent HOURS in the gym. My partner(s) and I would be in, first thing in the morning, about 5 or so to get our workout in before he went to work or, in another case, since he worked at night, before he went to sleep.
At that time, there weren't a lot of machines as there are today. We lifted free weights meaning barbells (the larger/longer of them for those who don't know) and dumbbells.
We'd be there every day for each other, just to get ourselves motivated. So often one or the other would say "I wouldn't have come today but I knew you'd be here." A big part of that was because lifting weight felt SO GOOD when you were done yet, rep after rep was so BORING and, if you went heavy, you needed a spotter (helper)!!! We loved the way we looked though!
There were always more men in the gym than women. A big part of that was because most women were afraid of the weights; they were afraid they'd start to look like men; they didn't want the bulky muscle. (None of that was ever going to happen unless they REALLY put some time into it and even when I was working out 6-7 days a week, 5 hours a day, I didn't have "manly" muscles.)
Eventually, the "hard-core" style gyms such as Bill Pearl's in Pasadena and the Power Source in Burbank shut down. Now, we have all these pretty places with t.v.s all over the place; all kinds of fitness classes; machines and clean shower rooms (I never did go in the shower rooms at the gyms I went to), and WOMEN! Gyms realized ~ yikes! How do we get women into our gyms? We're missing half the population!
Those are GREAT yet, so many times I hear people complain about ".... HAVING to go..." somewhere to the gym. I "HAVE" to go before I go to work or, "If I don't go now..." They complain about the crowds, people not wiping down the equipment, having to wait for a machine; how much time they have to spend between machines, weights and cardio, etc.
Wouldn't it be so much easier if you had just 1 or 2 pieces of equipment that you could use at home whenever you wanted to? That would work your WHOLE body pretty much every time you picked it up; didn't need a spotter for and burned up to 1200 calories/hour? It also assists with coordination, strengthens joints, can be used by men and women alike and is way more cost-effective than machines!
That would be a kettlebell. Is there a learning curve? Yes yet, once you learn the fundamentals there are so MANY things you can do with it from the comfort of your home.
Sadly, many people are using kbs the same way they'd use a dumbbell which is a waste of a wonderful piece of equipment! There is so much you can do with it! I'd say check YouTube except, without knowing the basics the vids there can really lead you astray as to how to use it most functionally.
A few things I see wrong about kb use is, many don't know how to use them safely. I watched one woman finish her set and throw it behind her. I was shocked! Or, when they do put it down, they use their backs and not their legs. Most of the time it's the subtle things such as pushing hips too far forward (they "should" come under you) or, not having crown to coccyx alignment during the swing.
So, what's the difference between kbs and dumbbells? Mostly functionality and variety. There is only so much you can do with a dumbell. There's a lot more you can do with a kettlebell! Dumbbells isolate; kettlebells use the whole body strengthening joints and enhancing cardio while building long smooth muscles. You need way less workout time to get more results. You don't need a spotter, can do it most anywhere and you're focused on whole-body, functional training.
Anyone of almost any age can swing a kettlebell and reap the rewards.
Enough for now ~
Revvell P. Revati is a natural health practitioner/educator, private trainer and Sahaj Bodytherapist and EFT master with more than 3 decades of learning and teaching.