Trainer Parag Mhetre lists the benefits of the kettlebell at a recent workshop in the city
For Parag Mhetre, the kettlebell is a synonym for physical training. Bowled over by this cannonball-shaped exercise tool during workouts in the United States, he began to craft a new career. The new focus forced Mhetre, a mechanical engineer with a Masters in Business Administration, to make a lot of changes and return to the ‘classroom’. Mhetre went through a series of international certifications in kettlebell training, started Energy Kettlebell Fitness Academy (energy24x7.com), created moulds for kettlebells and partnered in efforts by a company to sell around six tonnes of kettlebells. He also travels extensively to hold kettlebell workshops.
Last weekend, he conducted a workshop at Day-1 Personal Training in Neelangarai, where he demonstrated the versatility of this tool. “It is thumbs down to barbells and dumbbells!” said Mhetre and showed through a set of exercises how the kettlebell unites cardiovascular and strength training and metabolic conditioning and thereby obviates the need for a shopping list of exercise equipment.
Kris Hariharan of Day-1 Personal Training explained how the kettlebell shared certain features with the dumbbell, but was far superior to it: “As a dumbbell is built on a balance-load system, muscles are exercised in isolation. In contrast, during the use of a kettlebell, which is defined by a point-load system, the body becomes one unit.”
Popular in Russia
“The fact that a sport is built around the kettlebell is part of its charm,” said Mhetre and went on to describe its popularity in Russia, where it is known as Girevoy Sport.
In competitions of the highest order, kettlebells weighing 32 kg or more are employed. “But kettlebells are for everyone, including children,” he said. “Beginners can practise with kettlebells weighing anywhere from 4 kg to 12 kg. Women are generally comfortable with kettlebells in the 8 kg to 12 kg range, and men with those in the 12 kg to 20 kg range.”
Mhetre also dwelt on the dangers posed by the injudicious use of kettlebells and the importance of training. The warning comes from a man who trained at the World Kettlebell Club in Chicago and has completed level one and level two of kettlebell teacher training and received certifications from the International Kettlebell Fitness Federation.