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Return of the Kettlebell
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Return of the Kettlebell
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9.21 out of 10 (43 reviews)
Well, here it is...the book I always wanted.
Rated 10/10
By Dan John, RKCTL Murray, UT

I'm not sure I can speak highly enough about "Return of the Kettlebell." Maybe it's the little things, like how we are walked through the squat with pictures that answer so many questions for the novice or the several pages dedicated to the Hip Flexor stretch. Honestly, the devil is in the…
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Return of the Kettlebell

Return of the Kettlebell's protocols were born from Pavel's insights while training elite power athletes. Several champions made astonishing, almost mysterious, strength and muscle gains—at least two broke new powerlifting world records—thanks to kettlebell training. Pavel decided to reverse engineer this "What the Hell" effect experienced by the champions—so all others could benefit from their success. Return of the Kettlebell presents the final fruit of Pavel's research—combining the very best of ancient lifting wisdom with modern day scientific breakthroughs.

Central to Pavel's new program for explosive muscle gain is the skillful use of double kettlebells. Discover smokers like the Double Clean, classic strength builders like the Double Snatch and Double Press and enjoy the supreme intensity of the Double Clean and Jerk. Like the Breakfast of Champions, consume what's on the Return of the Kettlebell menu and watch yourself grow—and grow!

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How to Master Advanced Kettlebell Drills—And Explode Your Strength!

A hard man's plan for dramatic strength gains—combining the sharpest edge of scientific research with the inherent power of the ancient kettlebell

Thoroughly master Pavel's Enter the Kettlebell! program and you can consider yourself a "Kettlebell Black Belt". But once you're a Kettlebell Black Belt, then what?

Well, say hello to Return of the Kettlebell, which takes it for granted you already own those Black Belt fundamentals—and offers you a dramatically tougher, yet highly systematic program for explosive and massive muscle gain.

Return of the Kettlebell 's protocols were born from Pavel's insights while training elite power athletes. Several champions made astonishing, almost mysterious, strength and muscle gains—at least two broke new powerlifting world records—thanks to kettlebell training. Pavel decided to reverse engineer this "What the Hell" effect experienced by the champions—so all others could benefit from their success.

Return of the Kettlebell presents the final fruit of Pavel's research—combining the very best of ancient lifting wisdom with modern day scientific breakthroughs.

Central to Pavel's new program for explosive muscle gain is the skillful use of double kettlebells. Discover smokers like the Double Clean, classic strength builders like the Double Snatch and Double Press and enjoy the supreme intensity of the Double Clean and Jerk.

But just mastering the double kettlebell methods alone will hardly take you to the Promised Land of consistent, long-lasting and massive muscle gain. And here's where Pavel delivers the key plans and training schedules, designed according to the breakthrough Russian "block system"—plus a slew of vital tips—to ensure you continue to gain and gain and gain.

Like the Breakfast of Champions, consume what's on the Return of the Kettlebell menu and watch yourself grow—and grow!

What you'll get when you invest in Pavel's Return of the Kettlebell:

Chapter 1: The Science of Big

  • Heresy, but it works! Maverick superstar Vasily Alexeevev snuck this renegade method past the apparatchiks' noses—and packed serious pounds of beef on his grateful students in record time… Page 2
  • Why the Russian kettlebell beats all comers as the ideal tool for repetition quick lifts… Page 3
  • Why "fast eccentrics" are now all the rage among serious hypertrophy experts
  • Understand how to manipulate Z-band streaming for faster muscle growth… Page 4
  • Shoot from both barrels! How a double whammy of "quick wacks" and "slow squeezes" will leave no muscle untrashed in your quest for explosive growth… Page 5
  • 3 styles of Russian kettlebell training—which one is right for you?… Pages 6–8

Chapter 2: Explode and Grow

  • This "Smokers' Delight" will jack your heart rate through the roof… Page 11
  • The best starting position for more powerful—and safer—shoulder contractions… Page 13
  • The ladies' way to trouble-free Double Cleans… Page 17
  • Yes, this will build monstrous biceps—but you'll be risking a serious injury… Page 19
  • Bad idea! Why "scooping" can only hurt your future strength development… Page 20
  • The difference between anatomical and biomechanical breathing—and which to choose for greater strength development… Page 21
  • The essential prerequisites for a powerful Double Snatch… Page 22 
  • You MUST employ this secret in the Double Snatch—or risk your back and face… Page 24
  • Could this method be the best ever upper back and shoulder builder?... Page 26
  • Employ this little-known method for the ultimate in lateral deltoid development… Page 28
  • How to correctly perform the Viking Push Press—for way more powerful quads and tris… Page30
  • The 2 biggest problems a beginner faces with the Push Press—and the perfect solution to both. 
  • The correct grip for optimal explosiveness in the Snatch… Page 33
  • The essential prerequisite for maximal force transmission in the arms and legs… Page 34
  • The correct neck position for a truly effective Push Press—and a great way to save your back… Page 36
  • The 4 major keys to efficient and painless shock absorption
  • 3 important reasons NEVER to raise your heels when push pressing… Page 40 
  • Why it's best to stay "light" with the Viking Push Press… Page 43
  • Risk being accused of steroid abuse—when you gain like crazy from this ultimate kettlebell lift… Page 46
  • How to optimize your Clean and Jerk—for inhuman results
  • 4 superb Russian drills to improve your shoulder mobility
  • The relative benefits of Jerks and Push Presses… Page 53 
  • How to squeeze every possible advantage out of the Jerk
  • When and how to employ this Russian coaching favorite, the Half-Jerk… Page 55
  • The 4 key differences between the traditional power Jerk and the new GS Jerk… Page 56
  • Little-known Russian secrets for developing superior stability in the Jerk… Page 59

Chapter 3: Grind and Grow

  • Why Double Presses should be your main meal for truly massive muscle building… Page 67
  • How to more thoroughly recruit your muscles when pressing
  • 3 big reasons to snatch before you press
  • Radically strengthen your tris—when you add this obscure Z-Health secret… Page 72
  • What you MUST start doing between your sets—to counter the savagery of your Press training
  • How to squat like a Pro in 29 minutes or less… Page 72
  • How curls can surprisingly help your Squat… Page 79 
  • Safety drills for the Squat if you have a bad back… Page 80
  • How to optimize the Front Squat for tremendous extra leg strength and magnificent body mass building
  • Ladies, don't do Front Squats until you read this!... Page 88
  • This "ideologically impure" deadlift will build you a brutish back… Page 89
  • Why "Ukrainian deadlifts' are all the rage for rapid strength gains—and an important warning

Chapter 4: Plan and Grow

  • Discover Russian "Block Training"—Return of the Kettlebell 's deceptively simple methodology of choice
  • The 3 most important reasons to adopt block training—as an absolute necessity
  • Understand the crucial training distinction between concurrent and sequentialsystems
  • Make the gains of a lifetime when you employ these special two-week cycles… Page 101
  • Are you robbing Peter to pay Paul?—How to keep gaining over the long haul, despite wildly conflicting exercise methods… Page 103 
  • How to perform high volume Grinds for maximum gains… Page 106
  • Think you're tough? Then welcome to the "evilization" of the Rite of Passage... Page 106
  • How to perfectly match weight and duration for maximal muscle gains… Page 107
  • Nasty new ladder strategies for even more explosive muscle growth
  • How to correctly take advantage of the heavy-light-medium system of loading… Page 109 
  • The Deadlift does NOT play by the rules—so heed this important warning… Page 112
  • The Explosive Block— a masterplan for truly explosive gains in record time!... Page 113
  • What to do on your variety days—to safeguard your testosterone… Page 115
  • How to eat to succeed with your Return of the Kettlebell program
  • Aiming high and aiming heavy—when you want to walk through walls… Page 117

"Pavel is the reason I started using kettlebell exercises with all my clients so I was anxious to get my hands on Return of the Kettlebell. Pavel, as always, gets straight to the point with his concise, logical, and entertaining writing style. The pictures perfectly depict what you should and shouldn't do to master these awesomely explosive lifts. The book is loaded with tips, tricks, and proven training principles that will supercharge your body and performance."

—Chad Waterbury, neurophysiologist, author of Huge in a Hurry


"I have used kettlebells in my program for years with fantastic results. The combination of movements provide the professional athlete with a unique challenge available from no other piece of equipment. I have followed Pavel's principles in designing my training systems, now with Return of the Kettlebell book and DVD you can take your training to the next level. The guidelines outlined in the DVD and companion book are ideal for athletes who must be strong and explosive. The book has excellent program design hints that allow you to adapt the training to the specific goals you seek. The book and DVD are a STRONG combination that everyone should have in their own personal strength and conditioning library." 

—Stan Kellers, Assistant Coach of Strength, Cavaliers Operating Company


"So you've mastered the Enter the Kettlebell Rite of Passage...200 x 24kg snatches and a 1/2 bodyweight press. What's next? Return of the Kettlebell, if you have what it takes.

ETK outlined a program utilizing one-arm kettlebell exercises and a test, which when passed separated the men from the boys, the women from the girls. Return of the Kettlebelldoubles the pain and doubles the fun with double kettlebell clean and jerks, snatches, front squats, presses, deadlifts and the Viking Push Press. The RTK program for size, strength and power is a unique and challenging protocol that will further clarify the RKC gene pool.

When I first saw the program, I asked Pavel, "Who is this program directed towards? It is really innovative and it is really tough and I really think it would kill me!!' Chief Instructor replied, "Comrade Randy, this program is only for those who desire to be real kettlebell studs. It is not for everyone.' And so it isn't.

And that is the RTK challenge in a nutshell. Is it for you? Do you want to be a real kettlebell strong man or strong woman? If so, then be careful what you wish for: the Return of the Kettlebell will give you as much you can handle and more." 

—Randy Hauer, RKC Team Leader


"If I say, that I"ve been impressed, reading Pavel's new book, that would be an understatement. I found Return of the Kettlebell highly explosive itself. And I literally mean it, because this book delivered what should be essential not only for a fitness enthusiast, but for every athlete who wishes to achieve their highest potential in their sport activities.

I would also recommend this book for athletic coaches working with teams and preparing them for competitions, not only for amateurs, but also professional athletes.

When we talking about explosiveness, we usually assume fast means speed, and speed is essential for many sports. Speed is King, as the old proverb puts it. And this is a major red line of this book. If you really want to achieve a positive result, while training in sports like basketball, football, volleyball, track and field, then this book for you.

What I like the most about Return of the Kettlebell is that it is also a functional book, charted with a well designed progression plan, without fluff bringing you directly from point A to point B, and this is exactly what you paid for—no funny games!

One more time Pavel has proved that the kettlebell is a great tool for achieving maximum results, either in training for strength, strength endurance, speed strength, or explosiveness.

Spasibo Comrade Pavel!" 

—Aleksandr Khasin, Private Trainer, Reebok Sports Club/NY,B.S.,ISSA,NASM


"After 30 years in the game I'm still always amazed by what Pavel manages to create. Pavel is a minimalist who is also a seeker. Just when you think you need to move on to the "next cool thing' to make progress, Pavel reminds you how much potential there is in really digging into the stuff that works. His ability to synthesize hardcore, old school kettlebell work, the latest research, and innovative training templates always gets me fired up to head into the basement to train. They say, "growing old is not for sissies'; Pavel's work is a big part of living that creed for me." 

—Bill Fox, 49 years old, Attorney/consultant, Masters Winner 2005 Tactical Strength Challenge 


Read Reviews For: Return of the Kettlebell (paperback)
9.21 out of 10 (43 reviews)
Rated 10/10 Well, here it is...the book I always wanted.
By Dan John, RKCTL / Murray, UT

I'm not sure I can speak highly enough about "Return of the Kettlebell." Maybe it's the little things, like how we are walked through the squat with pictures that answer so many questions for the novice or the several pages dedicated to the Hip Flexor stretch. Honestly, the devil is in the details when it comes to working the hips and shoulders and the RKC system is clearly miles ahead of anybody else when it comes to exacting explanations of how to deal with the "four knots."

It could be the "big things." I never thought much of Double Kettlebell Cleans because I have such a history with the O lifts. Maybe, just maybe, it could be because I never did them right! Something as simply as the "V" position changes the lift forever and, if you need to be gassed, go right ahead and do a set of ten. Not enough, add some Front Squats.

I'm not sure most people reading the book will understand the challenge of the training system outlined. A double snatch followed by double presses followed by Front Squats? Good luck!

There is not enough hyperbole in my body to express how much I like this book. We are at an amazing time in the community. The new "Kettlebells from the Ground Up," Kenneth's new V02 Max book and this book and DVD show the maturation of the RKC. It is not enough to just get people tired...any fool can do that! It is important to manage rest period with effort, proper alignment, proper tools, proper load and a systematic approach to whatever goal is in the sights. ROTK is now the standard, the very high standard, of what to expect in the RKC texts.

To say that this work is "amazing" is an understatement. Anyone who plays with kbells must use this book as a resource. Completing the program and goals set in this book is a worthy fight for any man.

Rated 10/10 Grind and Grow
By Zac Zech HKC / Great Falls, MT, USA

As always, Pavel does an amazing job explaining, demonstrating, and doing all the program design. The block training is brilliant in its simplicity and double KBs is all I use now. I was on the fence whether or not to order this book, with so many other incredible options from Dragon Door, but I fully believe I made the right choice, as I continue to grind and grow.

Rated 10/10 Another Home Run!
By Mark Reifkind Master RKC Instructor / San Jose Ca

Pavel hits another home run with his new book "Return of the Kettlebell". I shouldn't,nor should anyone, be surprised at this considering the his already state of the art and groundbreaking body of work but here he goes again, covering new ground and teaching us all that the applications of the kettlebell are much deeper than anyone ever thought.
One of the main things that differentiates Pavel and the RKC from every other 'wanna be' kettlebell course or book is that the man understands the bell is a tool and HOW one uses it is the key to creating an almost unlimited array of training gains, from insane cardiovasuclar endurance to, now, incredible muscle growth, all with the same basic tool.
Using the key principles of the RKC, just in new configurations, Pavel teaches us how to 'muscle up' with double bell work, overload eccentrics and how to use explosive power as well as high tension to get the job done and build some serious muscle.
When powerlifing squat god Donnie Thompson says double bell front squats make him work then ALL should listen!
Bravo Pavel, again, for leading the charge of the bleeding edge of the state of the art.
No matter what the training goal, Pavel has a kettlebell solution that WORKS.
Get this book and dvd!


Rated 10/10 Enter the Kettlebell sets the standard from boy to man
By Kenneth Jay, MRKC / Slangerup, Denmark

now Pavel sets the standard from man to monster in his new and absolutely magnificient book Return of the Kettlebell. If Enter the kettlebell gave you the strength and physique of Spiderman then Return of the Kettlebell will make your skin green and turn you into a copy of Dr. Bruce Banner's alter ego.

Pavel has outdone himself and laid out the plan for explosive muscle gains and extraordinary strength- only one thing is required of you if you chose to follow the path.. you gotta have the heart to follow it through... just be careful you don't Incredibly HULK your shirt in the process :)

Rated 10/10 evolution
By John / Detroit

Got the dvd first. Left me with a couple of questions. Found them in the Return to the Kettlebell book. Actually like the book better but than I just prefer the book format for the kettlebell stuff. Been doing the grind program, trying 73#and 53# mismatched for 5(12345) tonight. 3rd workout and I'm already feeling the difference. The book covers in greater detail, has the reasoning behind and answers questions not covered in the dvd. If you had to make a choice and your competent with doubles work get the book first.

Rated 10/10 A Thing of Beauty
By Rick Huse, CSCS, NSCA-CPT, RKC, CK-FMS / Indianapolis, IN

The concise presentation of wisdom is truly a thing of beauty and Pavel's books are like Forrest Gump's Box of Chocolates. You never know what you're going to get until you bite in but because it's Pavel, you know it is going to be good. The Return of the Kettlebell adds another flavor to the box. RTK tastes good and is satisfying on many levels. Besides the exercises and workouts, there is a tapestry storytelling that entertains and exercise physilogy that educates; all of which serves to draw you deeper into the hard-style Kettlebell culture and the fans the flame of desire to excel and test your limits. Of special interest to me was the discussion of strength & conditioning KB training versus competition KB training. Pavel's presentation was intellectually fair, balanced and very informative. The take-home point was that training strategies are goal dependent and must be viewed in the context of the individual's needs and desires. For what is "right", for what is "best", the answer is, "It depends". You decide but make your decision from a position of informed strength. Pavel's words will help you make better decisions about clarifying your goals and finding your pathway to them. Years ago, on the last afternoon of a RKC certification, Pavel walked by me while I was doing double jerks. I saw him out of the corner of my eye turn and walk back toward me and he said, "You know, Rick, this is not about Kettlebells, it's about strength". I couldn't help but to smile. How Zen like. Strength skills and techniques? Strength of will and purpose? Deep inner strength? Well, I guess it all depends. You decide, after you read the book.

Rated 10/10 If you want to build mass with kettlebells, this is IT!
By Matt Kinsell / San Diego

Shortly after the release of this book, I was in search of a program to use after I completed the "Rite of Passage". I ordered RTK and decided to start practicing the drills. I liked it so much that I started using them exclusively. In order to get the most from the program I did the progressions as specified for 12 weeks. In that time frame I quickly put on about 7 pounds of muscle. Mostly on my upper back and shoulders. All while eating at maintenance calories.

Rated 9/10 Great sequel to Enter the Kettlebell
By Erik Traeger, RKC / Clovis, CA USA

If you want to increase your pressing strength, this book is your ticket!

By Scott Herman, RKC / Lenoir, N.C.

If size and strength are what you're after this is the program for you. Pavel is a genius. He has once again laid out the ground work and given you a program that is spot on and second to none. The program is very well explained and illustrated and if followed will get you the results you are looking for. You will need to be well driven and narrow minded with specific goals. When I started RTK I had a goal of putting on 15 lbs. in 4 months. Well I've already put on 10 lbs. in 4 weeks. And I have a long way to go with my volume. I look forward to the challenge of RTK and where I will be in 4 months. If you follow the template, eat and sleep you can't go wrong with this prgram. Can't wait to walk through walls. Thanks again Chief Instructor.

Rated 10/10 Better than great
By Jeff O'Connor, Sr RKC / Talala, OK

As a casual read, this is a fantastic book and anyone will benefit from the knowledge shared. But, for the serious student of the "Iron Game" this book (like all of Pavel's) deserves multiple reads. The details and training gems contained in this book are numerous and invaluable. It's not about the sets and reps, it's about the technique and application. Using the lessons taught in this book will definitely pack dense athletic muscle on your frame. Don't cheat yourself, earn it with ETK and then apply RTK. You will get results.

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9.21 out of 10 (43 reviews)