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The Russian Kettlebell Challenge: Xtreme Fitness for Hard Living Comrades Paperback – June 1, 2001

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Pavel Tsatsouline was nationally ranked in the ethnic Russian strength sport of kettlebell lifting. A former physical training instructor for Spetsnaz, the Soviet Special Forces, today Pavel trains SWAT teams and the US Marines. He is the author of Power to the People!, Relax into Stretch and Bullet-Proof Abs.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 170 pages
  • Publisher: Dragon Door Publications (June 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0938045326
  • ISBN-13: 978-1608100002
  • Product Dimensions: 10.9 x 8.4 x 0.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (83 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #142,959 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

50 of 51 people found the following review helpful By Gary Karl on August 28, 2001
Format: Paperback
The "Russian Kettlebell Challenge" companion book and video are well-crafted and user-friendly re-introductions to the lost (in America) art of kettle-bell lifting. I took a flyer on the video, which I found sufficiently intriguing that I bought the book and a KB, then another, larger KB, and am poised to buy a third implement. Pavel and his publisher promote KBs as a tool of "extreme fitness," but the average fitness enthusiast ought not be scared off by the advertising hyperbole. KBs are unique in my experience in combining functional strength and endurance training in a single workout which you really can do at home. My 4-month experiment with kettlebells has been very rewarding and an awful lot of fun. RKC (as this book is known among Pavel's "Party" faithful) is the best of his books to date. It describes in words and pictures the how-to's of basic KB moves and variants and gives you the parameters for designing your own workout. Many of the exercises can be done with dumbbells in lieu of kettlebells for those who are reluctant to pop for the implements until they've given the program a try. While the book and the video can each stand alone, they are designed to work best together. The video augments the book by visually presenting the unusual movements. In RKC, as in all of his books and videos, Pavel teaches his lessons with an appealing sense of humor and a heavy emphasis on safe performance. I started with the smallest KB (about 36 pounds) and found it a little daunting at first. After a few weeks, however, I eagerly moved up to the "medium" bell (about 54 pounds) and now, a few months later, plan to complete my set with the big boy (72 pounds).Read more ›
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35 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Jo-Be-Se on April 24, 2006
Format: Paperback
It must be said that Pavel is prone to excessive hyperbole in his writing. That said his overall themes with respect to weightlifting and fitness are a great change of pace from the typical body-building game. The best way to review this book would be to list its positives and negatives, so here they are.

NEGATIVES

1) Price: $34.95 is a lot to ask someone to drop for a workout book. This is especially true when it discusses an implement that will run you an extra $80+.

2) While Pavel has the ability to condense information into short, powerful sections, he uses this as an excuse to add pages to the book.

3) Literally 18 pages of the book is advertisement for other Dragondoor products.

4) If you believe the hyperbole you will believe that the only way to get in top shape is to lift the "Russian Kettlebell" way. It is great exercise, especially if you're in decent shape already, but it's not the only way

POSITIVES

1) Great pieces of workout information packed into short, easy to read sections

2) Much of this information, while it is aimed at kettlebell training, can be transferred to other forms of lifting and exercise. To be frank, the idea that specific kettlebell training is so rare in this book is a positive. Pavel discusses many of the basic ideologies behind effective training that can be transfered to any type of exercise you choose. This is one of the strengths of the book.

3) He gives a bibliography of very authoritative books. You RARELY find that today.

4) The book discusses ways to get in top aerobic, anaerobic, and muscular condition all in one workout.
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35 of 35 people found the following review helpful By louienapoli on August 29, 2004
Format: Paperback
A kettlebell looks like a cannonball with a thick handle, and that's pretty much what it is. Because there's a mass of iron below the handle, the weight is unbalanced, and it's up to you to wield it right, which isn't easy. So what's the big deal? The big deal is, learning to handle and exercise with kettlebells works virtually every muscle in the body. It gives you a terrific cardio workout. And it gives you what they call "functional strength," which is the kind of strength a wrestler needs to gut-wrench an opponent, or a mother needs to lift and carry her kid. I've trained with weights for over 20 years, and I was skeptical when I first read about kbells. I took a chance and bought the book, then a (roughly 32 lb.) kbell. The first workout had me gasping, dripping with sweat, and feeling like I'd been wrestling five bears. After a shower, though, I felt great. Like I COULD wrestle five bears. And I gained size and definition--fast. Now, 32 pounds is no big deal for me. A 32 lb dumbbell is like a toy. But the kbell felt like it weighed 60 lbs. because of the weird displacement. Anyway, the book took me through the basic exercises, and gave me a fitness tool and technique that's time-tested and wonderfully effective. It's a good idea to get the DVD that goes with the book so you can see the exercises and get a real idea of the cadence and form, but the book in itself is excellent. Pavel is a masterful trainer and an engrossing, amusing writer. This book, and the kbells it talks about, are fitness tools worth their weight in gold. If I could give it 7 stars I would. The only caution is this: kbells are not easy. They can be dangerous if you don't follow the book's directions. And they're not for anyone who's looking for a relatively easy and pleasant workout, like cycling to CNN. But if you want a kick-butt workout that will give you real results for your effort--and I mean effort--this is the best deal in town.
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