Kettlebells have a rich international history. Kettlebell training as we know it today stems from Russia. KB's have been utilized for athletic and warrior training throughout the world. There is speculation that kettlebells were used by Greek athletes and gladiators thousands of years ago. There is now evidence that legendary fighting monks of the famed Shaolin Temple used granite padlocks as a training tool to enhance their kung fu fighting skills. Padlocks are rectangular looking kettlebells also known as Chinese Kettlebells.
Kettlebells were the training tool of choice for the early 1900's strongmen. The early bodybuilding and muscle building manuals and weight sets all had kettlebells. In the mid nineteen hundreds handles to transform dumbbells to kettlebells came with all weight lifting sets. That's how Bruce Lee began using them. The handles came with the barbell set that he ordered. As per the book “Bruce Lee, The Art of Expressing the Human Body” Lee trained his back muscles with the KB attachments.
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.
Today top American athletes, police departments, the military and martial artist are training with KB's to stay on top of their food chain. We predict that the gym of the future will not be cramped with body part specific machines, thread mills, stationary bikes or even aerobic classes. We believe that the futuristic gyms will be functional and look more like the gyms of the early twentieth century with kettlebells, Indian Clubs, medicine balls, ropes to climb and room to move and train. Anta's Fitness and Self Defense is the future of fitness, what's old is new again.