New story at t-nation on kettlebells….

Written by the legend that is Mike Mahler!
Some good tips on the main moves we use in the classes as well as common mistakes:

Remember to rate your favourite kettlebell move in the poll at the bottom of this blog!

See you at the next class!

Posted in News | / Leave a comment

The Benefits Of Kettlebell Training For Powerlifters

By Jack Reape

Most of the truly gifted powerlifters I know use the most basic of Training approaches. They just Squat, Bench and Deadlift for the most part, with maybe some pause squats, close grip benches, and stiff legged deads thrown in. They are great because they are gifted genetically and work very, very hard and very, very heavy.

It must be great to be them. For the rest of us, we have to find ways to make up with assistance work and careful planning what we lack in talent and choice of parents. Kettlebells are not the sole answer to every weakness, but they are an absolute must have in the average Powerlifter’s bag of assistance tricks. Kettlebells are different in center of gravity, gripability, and in planes of possible movement. Anything that is that different has a great potential to make an improvement in your training. They are amazingly effective for improving General Physical Preparedness, for Prehabilitation and Rehabilitation of Injuries, and for Dynamic/Explosive work. You can also mix them in instead of Dumbbells in many exercises for an effective change of pace.


The Kettlebell swing or snatch can be done either for higher reps or in interval type workouts to increase overall conditioning. I like to use them for Farmers walks for long distances. Farmers walks are great for improving conditioning and about the best grip work for holding a Deadlift I know. The fatter and smoother handle makes the hand work harder to hold the Kettlebell. I think the KB is great for throwing on a sled (I use a garage sale metal round flexible flyer) and using for sled dragging. Putting a group of KB movements together back to back in a complex is also a great conditioning approach.

(32kg Press)


The heavy single KB swing, or double KB swing is tremendous for Glute and Hamstring strengthening. This is very good especially for wide stance squatters and sumo pullers too. For narrower squatters I like heavy one arm snatches in the squat stance. For Powerlifters with less flexible shoulders or wrists or arms too big for front squats, the double KB front squat is fantastic. Some might say even with double 106s it could never be heavy enough. When I can handle double 106s for reps I will let you know. For me 495×3 in the squat raw is easier than double 88s for 8-10. Not sure why, but like I said different is good and what helps make the biggest changes in your lifts.


In the bench press Kettlebells are not direct assistance, but are best for change of pace on back off weeks, for the best shoulder prehab work I know, and great for single arm and Renegade Rows. On back off weeks I include KB high rep single arm pressing for higher(20+) reps, and as extra workouts after bench pressing. I warm up with bottom up pressing to recruit all the shoulder stabilizers then do one arm or see saw presses for medium rep, medium intensity work. The center of gravity of a Kettlebell and better plane of motion for a natural overhead range of motion far exceeds Dumbell work. Doing double military presses will hit your chest if you lean back a bit. Westside Barbell uses Kettlebells for tricep extensions. I have also used KBs for floor presses instead of Dumbbells. Floor pressing a KB is easier to get into position yourself but much harder to handle weight wise. Finally, the KB arm bar is not only a great low back adjustment but fantastic for prehabilitation of bench press shoulders. A word of caution on Turkish get ups;if you have shoulder issues and/or you have not done much overhead work, you could easily strain a rotator or rear deltoid. Your shoulder will need a careful build up in the Turkish get up. In other words you will have to use a bell that feels very light as you start to recruit external rotators to hold the bell overhead. Be careful and slow on the Turkish Get Up.


The previously mentioned wide stance swings and snatches work well here for the DL and the farmers walk is great for grip work. The front squat with KBs is great for building the conventional pull start off the floor. I have only done close stance KB cleans a few times but some narrow stance Deadlifters swear by this movement. The margin of error is narrow here because hitting yourself in the shin with a fast moving heavy KB will leave a mark.


The single best ab exercise I know is the renegade row. Do it. Do it again. Don’t whine.


After Squatting: Double KB Swing Heavy 3-4 sets of 7-12 reps. Renegade rows 3-4 sets of 10-12 reps

After Benching: See saw Press or one arm Military Press 3-4 sets of 7-12 reps. KB one arm row 3-5 sets of 7-12 reps

After Deadlifting: KB Front Squats 2-5 sets of 7-12 reps, KB snatch conventional stance) or double KB swing(sumo stance) 3-4 sets of 7-10 reps.

Conditioning/Extra Workouts: KB snatch 7-10 reps per hand x8-12 sets with 30-60 seconds rest. Doing reps higher than this quickly turns into a conservation of energy; great for GS but not great for Powerlifters. Farmers Walks, 2-6 trips of 50-100 yards as heavy as you can handle. KB complexes-just mix together 5-7 exercises and do them nonstop for 1-2 giant sets of 7-12 reps per exercise. Example: KB renegade row L+R/KB See Saw Press/KB snatch/KB alternate lunge/ KB Swing/KB Front squat. This will leave you a bit tired.

CONCLUSION; I am not sponsored lifter, so every bit of gear or equipment I buy and then give a review of is measured in Return on Investment. If you are a powerlifter who is not a freak, it is well worth it to have Kettlebells in your arsenal.

Powerlifting moves are used in all Brighton Kettlebell classes, so come down to check them out! If you’d like to go heavy, Brighton Kettlebells has 32kg kettlebells!


Posted in News | / Leave a comment


Tuesdays: 7:30pm
Due to the sucess of the Thursday classes, Brighton Kettlebells are proud to announce the launch of Tuesday evening classes. This will be held at the slightly later time of 7:30pm for those that need a little extra time to get there after work.

Saturdays: 1pm
We’re also going to trial a Saturday class, which will be held at 1pm this Saturday 22nd August. If this is a success, it will become a regular fixture.

Remember to secure your places by contacting me in advance! Prices are as follows:
1 session: £8
10 sessions: £60 (6 months expiry)

Christian: 07876-558850 or

Posted in News | / Leave a comment



I took my good friend Kelvin Gardener (Cheetahs Gym/ Strength-Tec Gym) along to meet Andrew Stemler of Crossfit London fame, for the Crossfit London Kettlebell Seminar, in Beckton, London.
Held on the 16th July, 2008 at the East London Gymnastics club, the seminar showed us how to safely do the fundamental kettlebell moves including of my faves, the Turkish Get-up.

As well as witnessing Andrew’s comical style, it was great to see a different perspective on the exercises and their execution.

I’d always heard Crossfit had some controversial ways of doing things, which is why Kelvin and I decided to check this workshop out!

Brighton Kettlebells is always open to new ideas and accepts there are many ways of doing the tried and tested. Most notable was the increased range of motion used in the Kettlebell swing.

At Brighton Kettlebells we take the kettlebebell swing up to around chest level, using primarily the hips, letting it float momentarily before letting gravity take it down between the legs. Not in Crossfit! Crossfit enforces a Kettlebell swing which is not for the faint hearted, it rises way above the head, taken to an almost overhead position, before letting gravity do it’s thing.

This is typical of Crossfit, grab a difficult move, and make it harder, to maximise pain, increase aerobic output and calorific expenditure! Needless to say, Brighton Kettlebell classes should see some of these variations peppered in to workouts to keep people on their toes….just when they thought it was all getting easy……..

A huge thank you to Andrew for having us up and if any of you fancy giving this 3-hour workshop a go, go to the Crossfit London for the next dates:

The Accelerated Learning Workshop on Brighton Beach is still available at the discounted price of £65.
Book your place at:

Posted in News | / Leave a comment


Kettlebells are getting some publicity!
It seems the public are getting very interested in these great training tools.
one80news has just published an aricle about Brighton Kettlebells.

You can view the article online at:
Scroll down to page 20.
Let me know what you think!

Posted in News | / Leave a comment