The Competitive Edge Part 4: Kettlebells Aidan O'Connor September 4, 2014 Spotlight In recent years, kettlebell training has exploded in popularity. This phenomenon has reached the point now where the humble iron kettlebell has become the symbol for functional strength training among average Joes and super athletes across the United States and the world. In the sphere of MMA, UFC color commentator and kettlebell enthusiast Joe Rogan has embraced the knowledge of pioneering fitness coaches Mark Cheng and Steve Maxwell to launch kettlebells and subsequent workout videos as key complainants of his jointly owned company Onnit, which has drafted in the likes of weight management and physical performance expert Mike Dolce to demonstrate kettlebell techniques. The conditioning requirements of the professional mixed martial artist are so great that a carefully designed strength and conditioning program is essential to building durability while supplementing sparring and grappling sessions as athletes develop their explosive power, ability to use oxygen and resistance to lactic acid build up. The ballistic movements associated with kettlebell use ultimately develop a strong, lean, mobile body that boasts the necessary coordination for effective competing in MMA. The kettlebell lends itself to a wide variety of exercises including jerks, clean and jerks, and snatches that train the body as a single unit. While there are dozens of variations that can be found on most standard fitness apps, a comprehensive list of techniques can be found here. The versatility of the kettlebell is matched by its relative inexpensiveness as a single block of iron with unrivalled durability, making it a wise addition to any home gym. The tool’s unique shape, which mimics a cannonball with a handle on the top, also enables the user to develop their balance, dexterity and grip strength. A more complete outline of the benefits of kettlebell training to can be found in this study performed by The American Council of Exercise. Measuring the regime’s efficiency for burning calories and developing conditioning in a limited timeframe, the study concluded that a twenty minute kettlebell workout consisting of full bod motions burned 20 calories a minute through a combination of aerobic and anaerobic effort.