If you are unfamiliar with kettle bells you may not believe me when I say they are an excellent form of weight-training since they don’t look like any of the traditional weights you’re used to seeing in your local gym. Kettle bells resemble a cannon ball with a handle, and at first look you may find yourself wondering, “What in the world am I supposed to do with this thing?!”

Before you write them off, let me give you a list of traditional hardware that kettle bells replace: barbells, dumbbells, belts for weighted pull-ups and dips, thick bars, lever bars, medicine balls, grip devices and cardio equipment.

Kettle bells are believed to have been invented in Russia in the 1700’s. For centuries they have been used for sports, competitions and even for training the Soviet army. Even though they have been widely used in Russia, they haven’t been very popular in the United States until now. In 2001, Pavel Tsatsouline created the first kettle bell instructor certification program in the USA, the Russian Kettlebell Challenge or RKC.

According to Gibson Hein, a Level II RKC Instructor, Russian kettle bell training, “is definitely becoming a more popular alternative among both amateur and professional level athletes and continues to grow in influence today.”

You may be wondering why this is relevant to you–the college student. Whether you are determined to work off that “Freshman Fifteen” or you simply enjoy working out, (really, I hear some people do…), kettle bell training is perfect for your busy academic life. With the proper instruction, kettle bells can be used by anyone, anywhere. All you need is a few kettle bells ranging in weights you can manage and you are set to go.

According to Hein, “A kettle bell workout can range from as little as 10 to 45 minutes depending on your fitness level.” So, if you have a busy week, pencil in a few 10-minute workouts and save the longer work outs for when you have extra time. It is completely up to you, and since you can do it at home it takes even less time and stress out of your day. “Kettle bell training would be appealing to a college student,” Hein says, “because it can save precious time and allow them to focus on their studies as opposed to spending several hours in the gym each week.” Plus, they hardly take up any space in your dorm room or apartment!

What’s the best part about it? It’s FUN! Kettle bell swings get your blood pumping and your heart rate up, and strength moves like goblet squats and presses will give you toned definition. With just a few kettle bells the workout possibilities are virtually endless. So what are you waiting for? Find an instructor in your area and try them today!


Lianne Dubick is a senior at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, NM. She plans on attending veterinary school after graduating with her Bachelor’s degree in Animal Science. Lianne also works at the school part-time and is very involved in other organizations on campus and in the community. She firmly believes in making the most of your time in college and being actively involved in everything that interests you. In her free time, Lianne enjoys hiking, camping, and relaxing with friends. Lianne joined NSCS as a sophomore and became the Vice President of Public Relations for her chapter. She quickly fell in love with NSCS and the opportunities it provides its members and eventually became the President of her chapter. During this time she polished her leadership skills and met many amazing new friends. During her year as a member of the NLC, Lianne is excited to meet new people and work with them to make NSCS chapters the best they can possibly be.