Friday, August 08, 2008

My BIG workout mistake

I did something on Wedensday that I thought I would never do.

I finally broke down and ordered a set of kettlebells from

This wouldn't seem like a big deal except for the fact that two years ago I wrote an article for stating that I didn't see why Kettlebells were becoming so popular.

Truth be told, I had picked a pair up, played around with them a bit, developed the opinion that while they were fun, they were expensive and most of the exercises you can do with a kettlebell
you could also do with a dumbbell.

So I boldly stated that I thought they were overrated.

Then one day I met coach Adam Steer. He was in Toronto for some seminars so we hooked up for some coffee and to chat about the fitness business.

Adam was a good guy who I considered to be very bright...while we were chatting and drinking coffee he mentioned that he really likes using Kettlebells...I thought to myself, "Kettlebells? Well, they're still not for me"

Then while at a series of meetings in Florida I met Chris Lopez of

After some discussion I realized that Chris was also a big fan of kettlebells.

Now both Adam and Chris are very bright people, and I consider both of these individuals to be the type of people who don't just jump on an exercise fad simply because it is popular.

So I thought to myself, maybe kettlebells could be useful, but still, how much different could they be from dumbbells?

It was during my summer vacation that I finally changed my mind.

I was up at my cottage relaxing with my family and taking a week off from work. It was a week of sunny weather and great times.

It just so happened that Craig Ballantyne was renting my in-laws cottage (which was just down the road from where I was) during that same week.

One day during my vacation I called Craig to see what he was doing (Alright, I was looking for someone to go get ice cream with me...I know, I know...I have issues)

When I asked Craig what he was dong he said "Kettlebell workout" To which I responded, "You're doing a Kettlebell workout INSIDE the cottage"

"Yep" is what Craig said.

I could only imagine the look on my mother in-law's face if she found out Craig was swinging around a 70 pound kettlebell in her cottage, so after some discussion I convinced him to bring over his Kettlebells so I could give them a try (and get him out of the cottage).

About 5 minutes later a black lab came bounding onto my dock, quickly followed by Craig, who was carrying a big black kettlebell. I took it into the water and heaved it around a bit, did some kettlebell swings, some snatches and some shot-put style throws.

And you know what? I was having a TON OF FUN. And it was a very challenging workout too.

Yes many of these exercises could have been done with dumbbells, but it is DEFINITELY not the same. The handle is different and the feel is different.

So, I am not afraid to admit when I am wrong, and in the case of kettlebells I was WRONG.

They are fun, extremely sturdy, versatile and portable, which makes them a perfect tool for a demanding and intense workout.

So today I took the plunge and ordered the set of 3 kettle bells. Yes, they were expensive, but I bought them from, so I know they are high quality, and I know they are going to last me a LIFETIME.

My plan is to incorporate a couple of kettlebell workouts into my weekly routine.

It will be a great way to keep things fresh and new, and will allow me to get in some extra workouts at home or at my office when things get a little too busy for me to make it to the gym.

And remember, it is my opinion that the best fat burning workout is one that forces your body to maintain or build muscle, and kettlebell training will definitely do this for you.


PS- When I met Chris Lopez back in Florida I agreed to do an audio interview for his site As a thank you, Chris sent me his program. All I can say is WOW. I really like Chris's approach (and if you haven't noticed this is something I RARELY say about workout programs).

This is a great workout that can be done at home that incorporates Kettlebells and my favorite piece of exercise equipment - Blast Straps.

If you are looking for an effective fat burning resistance training workout, then you need to check out Chris's Fit and busy dad workout.

Chris's philosophy is that as a parent you need an effective workout that doesn't take up a lot of time. My opinion is that even if you aren't a parent, this program will obviously work amazingly well for anyone who needs a workout that can be done quickly and
done almost anywhere.


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Ben said...

Oh, man, it's all over now! I had the same epiphany about a month ago when I ordered from an equipment company just down the road from here (shameless plug for the folks at!). Two kettlebells quickly became four, and now it's my lone gift request for any occasion (well, that or Taylor Swift gift-wrapped and set on my front porch). Not only are my workouts just plain fun now, but it's even better scaring the usual gym-goers on a regular basis.


Redlefty said...

Yep, KBs are awesome!

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billy said...

Hey Brad,

I've been thinking about taking this (expensive) plunge myself. I like the idea of doing nothing but kettlebell training for a while and see what happens. I also like the idea that it seems like I could do these exercises at home without even having a "home gym" area.

2 questions:

Which weights did you go with and how did you decide? I'm thinking about the 35/53/72 lb set.

Also, do you know of any good resources of kettlebell exercises and/or programs out there (preferably free ones?)


Brad Pilon said...

Hey Billy,

I went with the set of 3 35/53/72

for resources...the free ones would be youtube, I like the stuff by Troy M Anderson.