Gear Review: RKC Kettlebell

RKC Kettlebell Review

Introduction:

The kettlebell has had a rollercoaster ride in the fitness world.  Riding on the fame and popularity of Pavel Tsatsouline’s cult of personality, the kettlebell went from obscure tool entering a niche market, gradually to a mainstay and for many the end-all-be-all of training.  In past years it seems to have settled, taking a reasonable place as an accessory and conditioning tool, taking silver medal to the barbell.

At Fatal Fitness we follow the “Pareto Principle” aka the “80/20” Rule.  We whittle things down to what is most effective, most useful, and discard everything else.  When it comes to kettlebells we will not be like dragondoor and demand a bushido-like devotion to the perfection of the swing.  Instead, we focus in on basics and what use of the kettlebell fits in best with our purposes, and has a great effect.  For us, that is the kettlebell snatch.  One of the best methods of developing work capacity is kettlebell snatching whether in high-reps or in intervals.  This is how our KB’s get used, how they get beat up, and how they are measured.


Dragondoor RKC kettlebell:

Russian Kettlebell - 24kg (53 lbs.)
$118.75
Dragon Door Publications

 

RATING: A-

Dragondoor is the yardstick by which kettlebells are measured.  Love them or hate them, the RKC crowd is responsible for bringing the KB to where it is in the US today.  It’s ironic then that their kettlebell is made in China. 

Covered with an “e-coat” (probably just a fancy term for the standard powdercoat), the KB is designed for “hard style.”  That is, short, very, very intense efforts of swings and snatches.  The RKC KB is relatively tough.  We’ve used ours indoors and outdoors for years.  They’ve gotten dropped on asphalt, dirt, grass and snow.  They last, although they are not invincible.  Eventually even that magic “e-coat” will develop wear and tear, and your KB will start to rust. 

 

After a solid summer of use and abuse, getting dropped in the mud, sweated on, rained on, and banging around in the back of my truck.  The white you see is chalk.  

After a solid summer of use and abuse, getting dropped in the mud, sweated on, rained on, and banging around in the back of my truck.  The white you see is chalk.  

High rep snatching with this bell is an ordeal- when training the KB snatch, be prepared to have chalk and lotion at hand, and swallow your pride as you apply lotion liberally.  I have seen others hands torn wide open because of the friction these bells place on your hands.  Your forearms will also take a beating, though as you become accustomed to the kettlebells rotating and hitting your arms, you will gradually develop your form to limit this.

Some rust starting to appear.  It is not invincible.  None of the rust has impeded its usefulness as of yet.

Some rust starting to appear.  It is not invincible.  None of the rust has impeded its usefulness as of yet.

The RKC bell is very pricey, but definitely quality.  

Posted on March 19, 2014 and filed under Gear Review.