Today I received another email from famous Brooks Kubik Dinosaur Training email subscription, called Old School Iron!
What surprised me was the following Brook’s sentence,
”In fact, there are photos of some famous old gyms from the 1880 to 1920 period where the equipment consists entirely of globe barbells, a couple of globe dumbbells, and some kettlebells and ring weights. Nothing else.”
After reading numerous materials published by Dragon Door and other resources, I was under strong impression that kettlebells were introduced to USA by Pavel Tsatsouline about 12 years ago and were virtually unknown before. It turned out Brooks were right: I fell a victim of Dragon Door infomercial. While kettlebells weren’t common in Europe and US for last 70 years or so (bad-to-the-health commercial weight lifting machines mostly replaced functional bodyweight and free weight training there), they were known even in the beginning of 20-s Century.
The Kettlebells USA site says,
”Kettlebells were used extensively by old time strongmen such as Arthur Saxon, Sig Klein, Clevio Massimo and The Mighty Apollo. They were once a common staple in American gyms and training academies and were often called “Ring Weights”.”
And it proves its words by this great sequence of historic photographs.
In fact, a title page of The Text Book of Weightlifting by Arthur Saxon pictures him doing a kettlebell exercise.
Anta’s Fitness & Self Defense site says,
”In the early 1900's musclemen, bodybuilders and strong men of Europe, Canada and America like Arthur Saxon, Sig Klein, Louis Cyr and Eugen Sandow, to name a few all trained with kettlebells just like the Russian strongmen and athletes. Yet, while KB's disappeared in the West they began to flourish in the former Soviet Union. Everyone from common people, to the military, to Olympic athletes trained with kettlebells. In 1948 the first kettlebell competition took place in Russia. Later it became Russia's National sport. For more information on Russian Kettlebell history read “The Russian Kettlebell Challenge, Xtreme Fitness for Hard Living Comrades” by Pavel Tsatsouline.”
The Christian Science Monitor, The strongman 'kettlebell' makes a comeback at the gym
Winnipeg Free Press, Saved by the kettlebell
YouTube, A Brief History of Kettlebells - Kettlebell Training
KombatKettlebells, WHAT IS A KETTLEBELL?
Soviet Force – Kettlebells History
Powercore Fitness, The History of the Kettlebell
LiveStrong Com, Kettlebell History