Enter The Kettlebell! Extreme Fitness For Hard Living Comrades is a beginner’s kettlebell book written by Pavel Tsatsouline, the man most directly responsible for the Russian kettlebell’s popularity in America. In 2001 he moved to the United States and began talking about the benefits of this traditional Russian strength training tool (the kettlebell looks like a cannonball with a handle on it).
I will leave my opinions about the effectiveness of KBs out of this article and simply tell you about the book. Enter The Kettlebell is, in my experience, the best introduction someone can have to kettlebell training, outside of personal instruction with a certified instructor.
Enter The Kettlebell teaches the two fundamental movements as part of The Program Minimum. For the first 4-6 weeks, the beginner–known as a girivek–will perform two sessions each week of the kettlebell swing and the Turkish Get Up. These two movements teach the habits and build the strength that are the foundation of more advanced exercises to come later, once certain benchmarks have been reached.
Now, do those movements sound familiar to you? Probably not. They certainly didn’t to me when I first heard of them. That is why I do recommend at least one session with an instructor to learn good technique. Kettlebells can change your life in a lot of good ways, but they can also kick your butt–not in a good way–if you don’t respect them or you get sloppy or have more testosterone in your body than brains in your skull. I say that because that was me and I’d like to spare you some painful mistakes if you’re willing to learn from mine.
After the program minimum is completed, the military press and the kettlebell snatch are introduced. This program is called the Rite of Passage (ROP). In order to complete the ROP a man must be able to do 200 snatches with a 24 kilo kettlebell in 10 minutes. If that sounds hard, it is. Also, he must press overhead the bell which is closest to half of his bodyweight.
Enter The Kettlebell teaches good form, lays out the structure in a way that is impossible to misunderstand, and is actually pretty funny as well. Pavel is a great teacher and has an obvious love for what he does. If you want to learn kettlebell strength training safely, productively, and give yourself a shot at KB training longevity, I highly recommend this book.
But remember–see an instructor whenever you can! You won’t regret it.