My Bell is Bigger than Your Bell!

I was surfing through Google Images for a good kettlebell swing picture and couldn’t find any I liked, so I had my brother take this one today.

Pretty sweet if I must say so. The 203lb KB is big, but this picture makes it look even bigger due to forced perspective.

If you’re a fitness writer and need a cool KB swing pic to embed in a blog or article, feel free to use this one.

Or you could use this one of Lance Armstrong which is decent:

Moving on, I’m a huge fan of HAKS (heavy ass kettlebell swings).

I’m getting better at them and they’ve actually changed my deadlift form around. From a Sports Science perspective it’s incredibly intriguing!

Here’s a vid from earlier tonight of me doing 20 reps with the 203 pounder:

Have a great week fitness peeps!

27 Comments

  • Ted says:

    Speaking of Armstrong, in Germany it’s all over the news (PEDs etc.). How is the coverage where you guys are from?

    • Michael Terry says:

      Oh, it’s all over the news. Silly stuff. This hurts cycling as much as Lance. Not a single person in the world thinks the second place rider wasn’t also taking PEDs, but no one’s going to put nearly the same energy into trying to prove it, now, are they?

    • Bret says:

      Yep, it’s all over. I will share my thoughts in an upcoming random thoughts post.

  • Even says:

    In what way has your DL form changed?

  • Teresa M says:

    Great job on swings of such a big bell! On a few, you had more backward lean than might be smart. But overall, these looked much better than the set of 8 you posted a couple (few?) weeks ago.

  • PJN says:

    Just to nitpick: according to the several form videos you posted the other day, the bell is returning too low. I know that is because it it very heavy, but perhaps it is too heavy for safe execution?

    • Bret says:

      I don’t know PJN, I don’t think you can use the same form with the heavy kb’s as the light kb’s. It’s not like the bell can “flip” around (or rotate) when you’re using the 203pounder. So I see them as two different animals. I guess in time we’ll see if I keep improving. And I don’t find this to be unsafe in the slightest degree. Having performed heavy deads for 15 yrs, these don’t phase me. When I first started swinging it I felt it a bit in the bottom of the movement, but not anymore. Thoughts?

  • I love it, keep the swing experiments coming. The bell will return lower because it is much bigger, the center of mass on that beast is probably 4″ lower than a 53!!! I saw in the article you did for T-nation you had your own research on vertical and horizontal force plate measuring. Did you publish any of it your have more details posted elsewhere? I am doing a research review and would love to get some more #’s. Keep up the great work!

    • Bret says:

      Shawn, thanks dude! I have not published it anywhere as it’s just n = 1. And the TNation article gave all the details I have. Are you going to publish your article in a journal? There’s plenty of research out there now to warrant a review.

  • Raptor says:

    I do my swings with a more vertical torso and pushing my hips back and DOWN a bit at the same time… what’s your opinion on this type of swinging?

    • Bret says:

      I think that’s a more squat style swing. Ideally I’d need a video. Watch the instructional video I posted last week with Keats Snideman. Try them that way and I think you’ll like them more over time. Squat style still works well, but I like that way more. Cheers!

  • Laurie says:

    Does it look low because your arms seems so long?

    • Bret says:

      My arms aren’t long comparatively though. It looks low because 1) the bell is huge, 2) it doesn’t “flip” around like a smaller bell does, and 3) I let it sink back and down – the path is more curvilinear than common swings which are more arced.

      I don’t know if anyone can swing the 203pounder with the same form as a 70pounder. I might get there over time…we’ll see!

  • Eric says:

    awesome! The biggest bell i’ve seen here in Denver is 158lbs, I need to find one of these monsters! Also, love the tutorials you posted on swings a couple weeks ago, finally had an opportunity to watch them today. Dan John is hillarious as a teacher.

  • Jim says:

    I think your form looks great for such a heavy load. I’d be interested to know if your jumping power (both horizonatl and vertical) has increased since you started doing such heavy swinges.

    • Bret says:

      Thank you Jim! I appreciate that. Unfortunately I didn’t test my jumping power (well, I did last year in Auckland but I’ve lost 15 pounds since then so the variables aren’t controlled). ūüôĀ

      This would make for a good study though!

  • Frank says:

    Bret,
    I am surprised that you are promoting these swings. The form is awful. Forward knee flexion is a huge part of the movement here where it is hardly seen at all with a good swing.

    I bet you feel your glutes working here and it’s more of a testament to everything else you have done and do to keep your body working well than this actually being any good for anything at all. It’s like saying you felt your glutes alot when you picked up a honda fit by the back bumper so you continue to do it even though it makes no sense at all.

    You read so much and have conversations all the time with biomechanists and kineisiologists, what kind of good patterning can this possibly be promoting?

    I know this is a very negative comment but I do have constructive intentions.

    • Bret says:

      Frank,

      Yes, I move the knees forward. I still catch the weight with my hips (not my knees) with the vector being a blend of axial/anteroposterior (not pure axial).

      Therefore the load will be more on the hips and not the knees. I don’t even feel my quads working when I do these. I could show this through inverse dynamics if I had the laboratories for it, but I don’t.

      Until then, we can agree to disagree (or you can take my word for it that this still works the hips a ton and not so much the knees).

      Furthermore, I think you have to shift your weight forward and backward when using such heavy loads or else you lose your balance and fall over.

      BC

  • Ash says:

    Have you used the plateau blaster? It’s made by stronger grip. It’s a swing handle that you can load with olympic plates, so you can make the “bell” as heavy as you want. They also make a version that comes apart that makes it easy to transport.

  • There is an interesting dicussion on elitetrack.com about KB swings compared to Olympic Lifts. I think you should check it out, as you could provide some great discussion with your experience and thoughts.

    http://www.elitetrack.com/forums/viewthread/11028

  • Ash says:

    I got a hungarian core blaster, and I like it. I just wish it were shorter, or that I was taller. I’m only 5’6, so when I load it really heavy, I’m up to 196lbs right now, sometimes it hits the floor.

  • Jack Woodrup says:

    I know this is an old video Bret but I was wondering how you were going with the 200 pounder now? I would love to see an updated video to compare your form after quite a few months doing them. Without doubt your glutes, upper back, etc will be stronger and more powerful and it would be interesting to see the progression or change if any.

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