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Table of Contents

Section One

The History of the Russian Kettlebell—How and Why a Low-Tech Ball of Iron Became the National Choice for Super-Tech Results

Vodka, pickle juice, kettlebell lifting, and other Russian pastimes

The origins and nature of the girya….the favorite toy of legendary Russian supermen—stories to get strong by.

'The working class sport'

The first official kettlebell competition…. Poods—an old Russian weight measure….standard weights for competition….how Pavel earned his national ranking.

Finally: Xtreme all around fitness!

Why Soviet science considers kettlebells to be one of the best tools for all around physical development….Voropayev's study…. Lesgaft Physical Culture Institute validates KB's for general strength, strength endurance, general endurance, work capacity and balance.

Kettlebells in the Red Army

The Red Army catches on…. every Russian military unit equipped with K-bells…. KB's a favorite for the Russian Navy….the perfect physical conditioning for military personnel….the vital combination of strength and endurance….Girevoy sport delivers unparalleled cardio benefits….why Spetznaz personnel owe much of their wiry strength, explosive agility, and stamina to kettlebells….Soviet armed forces manual declares kettlebell exercises to be "one of the most effective means of strength development".

Section Two

Special Applications—How The Russian Kettlebell Can Dramatically Enhance Your Chosen Endeavor

Kettlebells for combat sports

Russian wrestlers do lion's share of conditioning with kettlebells…. ballistic drills have highly specific applications for wrestling…. extreme cardio action is another reason….

Why KB one arm snatches work better than Hindu squats….KB's strengthen respiratory muscles…. Laputin's special breathing shrug….KB's for powerful wrists…. boxers appreciate newfound ability to keep on punching….KB's reduce shoulder injuries….

develop the ability to absorb ballistic shocks….build serious tendons and ligaments in wrists, elbows, shoulders, and back—with power to match….why kettlebell drills are better than plyometrics as a tool for developing power…. KB's a better choice for most than

barbell Olympic lifts….KB throwing for better punching power….KB's the tool of choice for rough sports.

Why Russian lifters train with kettlebells

Famous Soviet weightlifters start Olympic careers with KB's…. Olympic weightlifters add KB's for spectacular gains in shoulder and hip flexibility….excellent also for swings, laterals, rowing and throwing-related movements….for developing quickness….

Rodionov's amazing drills for super leg-strength…. the one-legged kettlebell front squat….

KB's a fine tool for overloading…. working up to a kettlebell Sots press…. overhead kettlebell squats unmatchable in promoting hip and lower back flexibility for powerlifters….

incorporating KB's as complex training…. Dr. Fred Hatfield's recommendations….

plugging KB's into Steve Wilson's radical deadlift routine.

Get huge with kettlebells—if you wish

Why the girya is superior to the dumbbell or barbell, for arm and chest training….

the secret behind Pyotr Kryloff's massive pecs….why Giryas are superior for shoulder development….how to gain muscle size doing KB J&J's…. repetition one arm snatches for bulking up your back, shoulders, and biceps…. incorporating KB's into drop sets—for greater mass and vascularity…. using KB's for extra pullup and dip resistance.

Kettlebells for arm-wrestlers

World champion arm wrestler gives KB's two thumbs up….

why the kettlebell is one of the best grip and forearm developers in existence….

Rodionov's KB drills for wrist and finger strength.

Getting younger and healthier with kettlebells

The amazing health benefits of KB training….Doctor Krayevskiy's 20-year age-reversal….

Vasiliy Kubanov's leap from disability to a national KB ranking…. successful rehabilitation of hopeless back injuries with kettlebells…. Valentin Dikul—from broken back to All Time Historic Deadlift of 460kg, thanks to KB's…. why KB's can be highly beneficial for your joints.

How kettlebells melt fat and build a powerful heart—without the dishonor of dieting and aerobics

Len Schwartz's research on the training benefits of Panaerobic® exercise….. spectacular fat loss….enhanced metabolism….increased growth hormone….a remarkable decrease in heart rates….the safety of a slower-beating heart.

Section Three

Doing It—Kettlebell Techniques and Programs for Xtreme Fitness

Why Kettlebells?

The many reasons to choose K-bells over mainstream equipment and methods….

KBs suitable for men and women young and old…. perfect for military, law enforcement and athletic teams…. Giryas—a 'working class' answer to weightlifting and plyometrics….a logical choice for any sport…. outstanding grip developers….

promoting shoulder and hip flexibility….best bet for building best-at-show muscles….

highly effective for strengthening the connective tissues….fixing bad backs….cheap and

virtually indestructible….promotes genuine 'all-around fitness' —strength, explosiveness, flexibility, endurance, and fat loss.

The program minimum

The one arm snatch…. the bent press…. Bob Hoffman's recommendations….get ready to wrestle a bear.

The Russian Kettlebell Challenge workout: the program-maximum

Trofim Lomakin's animal instinct for the load—one way to win….Yuri Vlasov's mathematical modeling—another way to win….Pavel's own free style program….the top ten Russian Kettlebell Challenge training guidelines….how often and how long to train…. The secret key to successful frequent training…. THE most effective tool of strength development….difficulty and intensity variation…. Hermann Goerner's kettlebell workout….the power of the "ladder"…. how to add Power to the People! and other drills to your kettlebell regimen…. High motor density and fatigue specificity….the spacing hypothesis….why not to train to failure…. the 'rep ladder'—another Russian Special Forces favorite….tempo variation.

The kettlebell drills


Swing/snatch pull

"If you have time on your schedule for only one back exercise, make it this one…"

mastering the two-arm swing….the one arm swing….the importance of stretching.


The importance of neutral wrist alignment for all the KB drills…. the key to efficient and painless shock absorption…. making the clean tougher….the pure evil of the two K-bells clean…. seated hang cleans, for gorilla traps and shoulders….


The one-arm snatch—Tsar of kettlebell lifts…. how to add misery to your snatches.

Under the leg pass

A favorite of the Russian military—and great for the midsection.

Jerk, Clean & Jerk

George Hackenschmidt's advice on the one-arm jerk….or try this for double brutality.

Jump shrug


Military press

How to add and maximize tension for greater power tension….bracing….a lesson from Houdini….how to get the most out of your press, while putting the least amount of distress on your shoulder…. Starling's Law….the extensor reflex….why you do need to lock out.

One hundred ways to cook the military press

The negative press….the 'powerlifter's secret weapon for maximal results in your lifts….why to lift what you can't lift…. the graduated press….how to get more out of a 'light' weight…. the two-kettlebells press….the 'two steps forward/one step back' technique for building strength and muscle mass….the 'waiter press' for strict and perfect pressing skill…. the elbow raise to strengthen your shoulders for pressing

Floor pullover and press

Great for working your pecs.

Good morning stretch

Favored by Russian weightlifters, for spectacular hamstring flexibility and hip strength.


An unreal drill for a powerful and flexible waist, back, and hips.

Side press

A potent mix of the windmill and the military press—"one of the best builders of the shoulders and upper back." Hoffman's how-to….a long lost secret that enables you to train the lats with a pressing movement—and increase your poundages on all presses.

Bent press

A favorite lift of Eugene Sandow's—and The Evil One…. why the best-built men in history have been bent pressers….leads to proficiency in all other lifts….how to simultaneously use every muscle in your body…. A superhuman stunt by old timer Batta…. the 'two hands anyhow'—not for the faint of heart.

A Brazilian Jiu Jitsu champion's personal kettlebell program

Steve Maxwell, Senior World Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Champion….personal trainer extraordinaire….master-maker of the super-powerful, combat fitness cocktail….

Workout #1…. Workout #2.

Section Four

Classic Kettlebell Programs from Mother Russia

The official Soviet weightlifting textbook girevoy sport system of training

How to begin…. the importance of full range of motion and correct breathing…. preparing for competition-level…. Falameyev's unique method for teaching a greenhorn his way around a kettlebell.

The Weightlifting Yearbook girevoy sport programs

Voropayev's unique routines and innovative changes in K-bell training methodology….a new way of measuring training intensity…. easing the coach's job of charting out programs for sportsmen of different qualifications…. tempo variation into kettlebell lifting…. Pre-competition Weekly Training Plans for 80kg II and 80kg I Razryad Girevik.

Three official armed forces girevoy sport programs

Three weekly practices…. Armed Forces Kettlebell Drill Complex #'s1, 2 & 3…. using the tonnage system favored by Russian weightlifters….how to increase difficulty….individualizing and monitoring for overtraining.

Group training with kettlebells—Red Army style

Clear-cut recommendations on group kettlebell training.

Xtreme kettlebell training—Russian Navy SEAL style

Performing snatches and other explosive kettlebell drills under water….pseudo-isokinetic resistance….depth variation….how to make your muscle fibers blast into action faster than ever….the release technique.


The official Girevoy Sport ranking system….the official armed forces kettlebell lifting rules….the further evolution of kettlebell lifting.

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