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By Donnie Thompson, RKC, World Super Heavyweight Powerlifting Champion


From a very early age, I have been very driven. Having a strong drive to be your best is usually accompanied with determination. If you do not recognize these traits early on, your life may be lived in confusion. Everyone who excels in something has to be guided. Then comes the passing of the baton and the student becomes the teacher. Meeting Pavel in 2004, not only changed the way train, but gravitated me to someone with a like mindset. His book, Power to the People, sparked my curiosity in Russian Kettlebells. I knew they would work. Like any other physical challenge, I wanted to be guided correctly. A chance meeting with Pavel at the 2004 Arnold Classic jumpstarted me in the right direction. Since our encounter, my Powerlifting dreams have come to fruition. "Why not me" be the next champion?

I left Arena Football to pursue my career as a commercial gym owner. This too was challenging, but not enough. I worked with the masses to help them achieve their fitness goals. Early results happened for everyone. But when it came to the daily trench work to go to the next level, 99% of the masses quit or went to another health club. I was so weary of trying to help others become champions, I said, "why not me"? I will become a champion if no one else wants to be. I sold or gave away everything I had to be the best powerlifter I could be. I went into complete isolation for the last ten years to achieve this. A Bohemian lifestyle is all I understand when trying to be the best there ever was at something. Sacrifice is not sacrifice, it is protocol.

Now you can see how myself and a man from another country who re-invented the Russian Kettlebell could be such great iron enthusiasts. Power to the People! was worn out when I had finished with it. I did not need to be convinced. Just guided. Pavel warned me of the dangers of the Kettlebell lifts he was about to show me. I laughed! This time I was entering into a match made in Heaven. The KB and me. In no time at all, my tricky lower back was reborn. My shoulders developed over night. The swings, snatch and presses were icing on my lifting career cake. The rest is history.

Pavel's Return of the Kettlebell has spoken to us, the steak eaters, the cave dwellers, the ones that do not care about health insurance and workman's comp. Return of the Kettlebell is the guide for the Hard Man's rough lifestyle. It explains the difference between useless muscle growth and necessary muscle use. It provides a menu of new entrees for the hard gainer. The double C & J, Cleans, Viking Presses, Grinds and Ladders. The Double KB anything catches my attention from the first rep. At this point, I have the second highest squat of all-time at 1235LBS. The double KB Front Squat for ten reps gives me all I want. After doing single KB exercises for a period of time, it only makes sense that the hard gainer would want to go to double KB movements! Return of the Kettlebell is not only the guide, but the blueprint for your double KB success. Do you want to separate yourself from the pack? Do you have the need to be better tomorrow than you are today? Are you looking to raise your absolute strength? Express your hard gainer attitude by living each page of Return of the Kettlebell.

It can be very confusing reading Power to the People!, Enter the Kettlebell! and now Return of the Kettlebell! What do I do now with all this information? Just like lifting weights, you cannot perform every known exercise every time you train. Return of the Kettlebell is clearly Pavel's most advanced book yet! Those of you that were thinking of becoming RKC certified, competing and or just taking it up a notch, this is your guide. Quit watching the champions. Stop watching a select few pull ahead of the curve. Ask yourself, "why not me"? From this point forward, stop cheering the guys in front of you! Return of the Kettlebell is for the individual who is willing to set himself apart from the rank and file! The blue print is now in front of you! Application, desire and determination will nudge the former champion out of the way so you can take his place! "Why not me? Why not you"?