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Kettlebell Rx: The Complete Guide for Athletes and Coaches Paperback – December 15, 2011
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About the Author
Jeff Martone is one of the world's leading Kettlebell instructors. His impressive list of certifications includes: Russian Kettlebell Challenge (RKC), certified instructor; Kettlebell Sport Lifting Coach in the American Kettlebell Club; Cross Fit Level II certified instructor and certified Physical Fitness Specialist, Cooper Institute for Aerobics Research. Jeff is also a 1st Degree Black Belt, Gun Tao Kung Fu and a 3rd Degree Black Belt, Pointing Hand Kung Fu. He is the author of numerous DVDs, including H2H Kettlebell Circuits and Power Behind the Punch.
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Top Customer Reviews
Jeff Martone's kettlebell resume speaks for itself. He is certainly an expert and also an excellent teacher and coach. Martone has experience with both of the two major styles of kettlebell lifting, the so-called "hard" and "fluid" styles. He is able to explain the styles clearly and also point out that these names are more about marketing than any kind of fundamental differences.
Part one of Kettlebell Rx addresses flexibility drills and kettlebell exercises. This is by far the longest section of the book. The exercises are clearly explained and are accompanied by photos showing how they should be performed. Martone also demonstrates the common mistakes that people tend to make and gives advice on how to correct the errors. Also included is great information on how to structure the exercises into a safe and effective workout program. Not to be missed is the section on "lifting people" where Martone demonstrates his popular stunt of using a person in place of a kettlebell for a Turkish Get-Up. I don't think I'll be trying this anytime soon, but it is awesome to see! The production value of the book and the photos is very high. I am surprised the book does not cost more, given that every page is in full color on high quality paper.
Part two deals with rotational power development, such as hand-to-hand drills, "hot potato" exercises and other drills that use a lighter weight. This part of the book has the same high quality of instruction and production value.
Part three introduces kettlebell sport. Many people simply lift kettlebells for general fitness and/or to increase their performance in their other sports. However kettlebell lifting is itself a sport, with its own set of rules, tournaments, titles, etc. Martone introduces us to the sport, describes its history and champions, and also recounts his own experience in achieving his first title.
As good as this book is, and as Martone himself points out, there is no substitute for having a trainer if you are just starting kettlebell lifting. Having a knowledgeable trainer watch and correct your form is the best and safest way to begin lifting kettlebells. I know it is expensive (believe me, I know!) but your health is worth it. In my experience, a trainer can teach you the basics that you need to know in around ten sessions. That and a kettlebell or two will be all you need for a lifetime of fitness. It is a terrific bargain!
If you absolutely can not, or will not, get a trainer then at least have another person watch you lift and help you correct your form with the guidance in the book. But I would really recommend a trainer.
I really can not recommend this book highly enough. If you are a kettlebell enthusiast, you simply must have this book. If you are thinking about starting kettlebell lifting, this should be your first book. It could really be your only book.
It's that good.
The strength of the book is its in-depth descriptions of grips, hand position, body alignment, and trajectory of the kettlebells. I found the instruction very helpful for each of the exercises. As an instructor, he has had numerous shoulder issues, which he has overcome with kettlebells, but is also sensitive to the potential for injury in setting up the exercises. The book has a lot on technique, philosophy of progression, and some suggestions for pursuing kettlebells as a sport.
The downside of the book is that there is not much in the way of individual workouts or an introduction to developing a personal workout. He is very minimalist in his approach, so he recommends a lot of 10 set, 10 rep workouts in very short sequences. He does recommend some crossfit routines at the end of the book, but as a kettlebell purist, I did not find these helpful.
Overall, this is a great book for beginners or those that can use a visual reminder of good form and technique!