Wednesday, January 14, 2009

3 KettleBell Body Shapes?

You are going to get a laugh out of this. I usually ignore blatant stupidity unless asked directly. Well, I was asked directly. Once in a while something comes along that is so utterly ridiculous that it leaves me at a loss for words. This ain’t one of those times.

I received several emails about this. Apparently Ryan Shanahan of KettleWorx “The Global Leader in Kettlebell Fitness” (which is trademarked BTW) has seen fit to write an article about the “The 3 KettleBell Body Shapes” and to cite the Iron Tamer as an example of the “Hardstyle Body”. Now I am fine with that, except that he uses it as an insult to me and the Hardstyle system to sell his laughable “Kettleworx” product.

Any time you read a so-called ‘expert” saying things like “Your Body Shapes the Way You Move It “ and “Different kettlebell training methods result in different body shapes”, it is a sure sign they haven’t got a clue about human physiology and are trying to rip you off with bogus exercise methodology.

He goes on to say: “As you can see the Russian or Hard Style of Lifting Kettlebells definitely makes the body stronger, more powerful, and bulky.”

Right……..so Sara Cheatham Sr. RKC, Mark Cheng RKCTL, our Chief Instructor Pavel, and myself should all have the same body type, since we all train Hardstyle. It is also interesting to note that I am about 50lbs smaller and MUCH stronger than I was before learning and practicing the Hardstyle principle. I repeat: I am smaller and stronger than before I began using this system that Ryan claims will cause “bulking”.

Here is some science for you Ryan: Your “Body Shape” is determined by your GENETICS and how you FEED it, along with how you train.

He demonstrates his complete and utter lack of knowledge of Hardstyle with this one sentence: “This (hardstyle) system is also restricted to only a few basic movements – Clean & Press, Snatch, Swings, Get Up and Pistols done while using Heavy Kettlebells for Low Reps.”

Hmmmmmm……on my Full Body Power DVD I teach at least 25 different variations of various exercises. In the showreel video he put in the article I do KB juggling, bent press, Sots press & more. My score in the best-ever Secret Service Snatch Test is 260 reps in 10:00 and I can get 220 24kg snatches in 10:00 anytime I want. That is hardly a heavy weight for me, nor are those low reps. And I am Hardstyle.

How about this gem: “KettleBell Conditioning combines a complete cardio, core and resistance workout in each training session for whole body fitness.”

The implication here is that Hardstyle does somehow does not give a total training effect or provide conditioning. Tell me again what your Secret Service Snatch score is Ryan?

He uses video to show both male and female Kettlebell Fitness Body types. The male body example is a former member of the RKC who had that build before he ever touched a kettlebell. The females are fitness model types who I am fairly certain also looked that way before touching kettlebells.

The truth is in the results. Hardstyle is about strength. It is about conditioning. It is about resilience and mobility. It is about performance. It is not just about “…a body shape with toned and defined muscles that look great on the beach” although it can certainly produce that.

Ryan, feel free to go ahead and market your ridiculous method of using kettlebells, but please do three things:

  1. Get your facts straight about the Hardstyle principles before you denounce it.
  2. Know that you can only rip people off for so long before they figure out the truth.
  3. Leave me out of it.


26 comments:

Faizal S. Enu said...

Shanahan is just low.

Jennifer said...

People never cease to amaze me.

P. J. said...

Touche

t said...

He reminds me of your typical Canadian. He even looks like IKE from southpark.

SG Human Performance said...

I am sorry to hear that this guy has such an unrealistic view of the "hardstyle" of training and the RKC. My wife and I both love your class and I can attest that she has not bulked up at all. Apparently he doesn't understand that low reps don't produce hypertrophy, just strength.

Matt Holder, M.S., C.S.C.S. said...

Finally let the TRUTH be told! Well put Irontamer. HARDSTYLE!!!

Tytbody said...

Well put Dave. Thank you. I was heated when I saw his post.

Coach RJ said...

There are a lot of sharks in the fitness waters today--many just there for the money since so many people need help with obesity and fitness. A few are in it because of their passion to change lives without any BS. The Iron Tamer would be just one in the honorable category. I'll refrain from saying what I really think about this guy and what he's saying about HARDstyle. I'll say this about HARDstyle regarding my own body...since starting with Delaine Ross and David Whitley in May.08, I've LOST 5 pounds, become more flexible, and increased my stength and power beyond the point of calculating anymore! Last weekend I got over 650 snatch reps in 40:00, so much for low rep bulking Comrades! The bulkup comments are just BS! Now excuse me while I go do some bicep curls--NOT!

Laura said...

I'm sorry that your name was thrown into such absurdity. Shanahan has some pretty skewed perspective on what he considers himself to be a professional about, and it sucks that his integrity is as poor as it is. Rock on, Iron Tamer.

BellyButtandBells said...

Unfortunately Ryan's using the kettlebell as a gimmick...heck all of the "retail" fitness "instructors" are jumping on board and so are the infomercials. An educated consumer interested in actual kettlebell workouts will seek out the best in the field. Unfortunately by his using so many examples--he has put the noose around his neck if you ask me.

BellyButtandBells said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Boris T. said...

Sorry to see you get dragged into these sort of things... Sad really.

Boris said...

Wow. It is amazing what marketing is capable of. I can't imagine that his success will be long-lived, but stranger things have been known to happen.

I agree w. Boris T. completely.

Stephen Gurtowski said...

I've been a trainer for over 17 years, and I've trained with iron since I was 15 years old. I take this stuff seriously. I am always frustrated beyond my limits when I encounter or hear about a so-called "trainer" that doesn't know a damn thing about what they are talking about. I worry about how many people will be injured or led astray or turned off to exercise and health because of people like this. Grrr!

Oh well, thanks for motivation for today's workout, Dave.

Gabi said...

A fourth thing he could do, for everybody's benefit including his own: put a paper bag over his head, lie on the floor and wait there until he dies.

Kelly said...

Typical Canadian? I hardly think it's necessary to slag all Canadians based on one jerk.

Kelly

Gary Berenbroick, RKC said...

big and bulky my $%@, I've been training with kettlebells for five years and I still weigh the same as when I started and my waist size is two inches smaller. how does this guy get on TV?

Howie Brewer said...

I removed the guy from my Facebook page. His constant barrage of 'expert' advice got downright annoying. And then after seeing his appearance on The Morning Show cinched it for me. Bye bye...

Like A Viking said...

Q: Hey, do you know what Ryan Shanahan says about kettlebell training?...
A: Who gives a damn what Ryan Shanahan says!
FWIW, Hardstyle kettlebell training has me moving like a BMF and my body shape does correspond.

fawn said...

Thanks for the link Dave... now I know how I got so bulky.

Aaron Friday said...

That's the closest thing to "pissed off" that I've ever seen Howie Brewer, and Howie lifts kettlebells for time. Cheers, Howie!

Gaby got the fever too. Gabi, your post was brilliant!

Add muscle, lose fat. Other than that, you can't change body shape. It can't be done because it is impossible. It's not HARD, it is impossible.

200 years hence, and we're still struggling to usher in the Age of Reason.

Delaine said...

Well said, David. I trained Hardstyle for all my fitness competitions and ended up being told to do less work b/c they got me where I needed to be weeks before my teammates who were using traditional training methods. Hardstyle is about strength. The rest is up to genetics and diet. As outlined in PTTP, if you want to bulk up with kettlebells, there is a protocol. If you want to lean out, there is a protocol. But it has to do with #'s of reps and sets, not "kettlebell fitness" vs HardStyle.

Steve McMinn said...

Good work Kelly on defending us Canadians!

t, I imagine you were just having fun :)

As a Canadian, I am embarrassed by Ryan and his ignorance.

Am off to the San Jose RKC on Friday and will continue to do my best to promote real kettlebell lifting in Canada!

www.fit4real.ca

kettlebellszeged.hu said...

We've just heard about it in Hungary, Peter Lakatos has just wrote about it in his blog. The Hungarian RKC community has benn laughing ever since...
Keep up the good work David!

Harry Munro said...

"Example of a KettleBell Fitness Body:
Female Body example:" I've seen that video before, if you look closely the KBs are not just plastic, but HOLLOW!!!

Zatt said...

I don't know anything about Ryan Shanahan or Kettleworx, other than what I've seen of him on the internet. I have to say that seeing him flex while curling a kettlebell that's half (or maybe a third) of the weight of the one that my wife works out with makes me laugh.

I admit, I'm relatively new to kettlebells, having been introduced to them through CrossFit about five years ago. It was only about eighteen months ago that I made the transition to using kettlebells and body weight exercises exclusively. I've used nothing but Pavel's methodology, being introduced to the RKC through his books and videos. Luckily, we have an RKC instructor in my area… But, I digress.

The point that I'm trying to make is that his "3 Kettlebell Body Types" don't match my experience with using RKC kettlebell methods. I'm a relatively small guy standing 5'7" (1.7 m) and weighing in at 153 pounds (69 kg). I wouldn't say that's "bulky". Hell, I've had a couple of people at work say that I'm "too thin". None of the people I work out with, including my wife are "bulky", either.

I'm going to go out on a limb here and make the determination for myself that Ryan Shanahan has no idea what he's talking about, like the vast majority of "celebrity trainers" out there.