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Kettlebells History


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. Bruce Lee's co-star in Enter the Dragon John Saxon and his top Jeet Kune Do expert Dan Inosantos are both currently training with kettlebells due to Lee's influence in the mid 70's.

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 MMA fighters and martial artist are training with KB's to stay on top of their food chain. We predicted in this website in 2004 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, tires, sledge hammers, ropes to climb and room to move and train. today more and more training centers around the world are opening with this in mind. Anta's Fitness and Self Defense is the future of fitness, what's old is new again.Call us today for a free introductory class or a free consultation for a private class at 305 599-3649 or e-mail us at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .


Anta's Fitness and Self Defense a functional training center fully equipped with kettlebells, rings, Indian clubs, climbing ropes, Battling Ropes, heavy bags, sandbags, medicine balls, chains, tires, sledgehammers, plyo boxes, pullup bars and more.

Anta's Fitness and Self Defense a functional training gym

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10721 NW 58th Street
Doral, FL 33178

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(305) 599-3649

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