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The Russian Kettlebell and Hardstyle Have Changed My Life

November 12, 2008 10:37 AM


In early 2000 I bought Pavel's Bullet-Proof Abs. I had never seen anyone talk training the way Pavel did. I did mostly "high intensity training" (HIT). While I was able to lift very heavy weights in the drills I did work, I was, in fact, de-conditioned, inflexible and had very little strength skill. I started to train a lot more with Pavel's methods from the book, and transitioned to "Dinosaur Training" by Brooks Kubik. I felt I was moving in the right direction. Over the next 4 years I worked very hard on odd objects and grip training, but still felt I was missing out on a lot of information.

I was training to the point of vomiting, carrying sandbags for half a mile, heavy bench work. My body weight jumped up to 225. I also picked up a fairly uncomfortable ache in my lower back. I chalked that up to "part of the life" and tried to truck on. By Sep 2004 I had to drop a lot of training and take several months off. During this time I spent a lot of time on the Internet learning and studying. I quickly found my way to the Dragondoor forum. I read and marveled at the power of men who were 30-75 pound lighter than me and the things they could do.

I purchased Power to the People! (PTTP), and learned more in one evening reading than I had accumulated in 6 years of trial and error training. No longer was I being told "Do this" because some one else did it, I was being told "Do this-it will work and here is why" Within 7 months of PTTP I was up to a 585 deadlift and 165 pound Turkish get-up. I came home from Iraq at 230 lbs with an 18-inch neck. I looked completely different…

During the time I was training PTTP, I really got interested in this kettlebell business. Was it hype? It sure did sound like it. A 20-30 minute workouts that would make me stronger, faster, fitter, leaner, flexible and replace my current need for a huge weight room?

Well, you can only look at this thing for so long before you either commit to it or walk away. In February of 2006 I ordered my first sets of kettlebells, two 36's, two 53's and two 62's (I don't play around, when I try it I jump in). My 53 arrived with in 10 days.

Words cannot describe how humbled I was by this "cannon ball with a handle" First of all, I thought I had some lungs and wind-I could run 2 miles in about 12 1/2 minutes. Swings reduced me to a sweaty crumbled mess in minutes. I "knew" I was strong, I had done seated presses with 75's for reps —Why was this 53lb ball so hard to press?

I knew I had found a gold mine. I ordered all of the DVDs DD carried, all the books. I bugged everyone who would listen on the forum. Night after night in the humid Okinawa summer I swung, hoisted, threw, and pressed these weights. Things started to change.

My shoulders density increased to a massive degree, my lower back NO LONGER HURT. My abs felt stronger than ever. My runs felt great. I slept like a rock, and felt energetic all day at work. At that time my job was in a warehouse moving crap all day. I could not get tired, loading and unloading containers, moving boxes, all in 95-100 degree weather with full humidity.

My whole out look towards training was changing. Why cared if you can lift this or that once? Let's lift this bell for the next 10 minutes and see where you are after that. I began to tap the most elusive form of Strength—Strength-Endurance the ability to generate force over and over. The kind of strength that wins championship games, and decides who lives and who dies in combat. I learned looking a certain way meant NOTHING, life is a performance based test. Finally I found a way to pass.

By mid-summer I was throwing a 72 and 88 bell around fairly well. The base had a strongman competition at the fitness center. I entered the heavy weight class, as the lightest man in the division (208lbs than) my endurance and core strength allowed me to dominate.

At the end of 2006 I was slated to return to the desert. This time I knew what I was lugging back over there-5 bags of gear and a rucksack with a 28kg bell. The 34 days of training at Fort Bliss flew by as I snatched and jerked that bell every night.

My tour was going great —working the bell every night in the heat allowed me to acclimatize with in 5 days. My body armor felt light despite it weighing 70lbs.

In December of 2006 I decided to try my hand at the classic strength feat of steel bending. I ordered a nail bag from Iron Mind and waited.

Obviously years of wrist work came through for me, but more so was the massive core power of the breathing techniques Comrade Pavel taught me. My shoulders were strong and mobile, allowing me to easily master the major bending techniques. I understood irradiation and already knew how to load my lats and push from them because of thousands of reps in the standing clean and press. My hands were strong and conditioned-snatches played their part.

With in one year I had bent the Red Nail™, pressed the Beast and put up my 200 snatches in the SSST. But what is really important is what happened to me outside of the training.

I learned I am a great trainer, and I have the ability to teach others. I learned I have more patience than I first thought. I learned the satisfaction of following through goals-that sticking to the program will always take you farther than any silly "muscle confusion" program you will find in the latest fitness magazine. I learned real fitness does not need 2 million dollars worth of machine, 500 dollars in supplements and the approval of some juiced body builder.

Two years of Hard-style: I have found true self-respect. I have earned the respect of top trainers with my knowledge discipline and focus. I have climbed the ladder of the bending world, and earned my place as a strong short bender. As I have transitioned to Old time Strongman work —I have easily learned new feats of power. Snapping wrenches, tearing cards, breaking chains —it all started right back at an investment of buying a book from a man who truly wants to see people grow strong.

As I transition to the civilian world and leave my stripes behind, I now have my mind set to be a personal trainer and help others learn to find their best selves. I will become one of the top strongmen in the world, best short benders in the world. It all started right here —Hard-style, kettlebells, Pavel and his RKC's.

This is my story, and I hope it helps you find your way.

Adam T Glass
http://www.adamtglass.blogspot.com/

 

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