Sig Klein ~ Kettlebells!

Posted on Wednesday, August 10th, 2011 by John Wood
Sig Klein was talkin’ kettlebell training decades ago. He had kettlebells in his gym… he featured kettlebells in his training courses… he wrote articles about kettlebells in Strength and Health… Yet you don’t hear ol’ Sig’s name pop up much in modern kettlebell literature… Some of the experts need to do a little more homework.

Hans Steyrer: The Bavarian Hercules

Posted on Tuesday, August 9th, 2011 by John Wood
Hans Steyrer
Hans Steyrer: The Bavarian Hercules
“The Bavarian Hercules” Hans Steyrer is shown here with his signature lift: a one-finger lift of a heavy stone block, usually 500 pounds or more, combined with a muscle-out of a 50-pound kettlebell. Either one of these feats would be impressive by themselves, but doing them both at the same time put Steyrer in a league by himself. It should also be noted that Steyrer was the very first strongman ever photographed using kettlebells (at least to our knowledge.) This was around 1880 or so

Block Weights!

Posted on Monday, August 8th, 2011 by John Wood
Strongman Block Weight
Block Weights
The oldtime strongmen lifted just about any weight they could get their hands on. Shown here is a block weight, an obvious precursor to the kettlebell. Block weights (also sometimes referred to as scale weights) were originally used for measurement purposes though eventually many strongmen began to lift them for strength and show.

I suspect that many of the oldtime strongmen noticed these weights sitting backstage at the theaters where they performed (where they were used as ballast to counterweight theatre props etc) and decided to start using them to lift. Block weights are awkward to lift, making movements such as cleans and presses a much bigger challenge, even at comparatively “light” weights. Block weights also make excellent “handles” for pushups and handstands.

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