Nowadays, kettlebells are becoming recognized as a versatile method of achieving one’s goals in physical fitness. However, there is insufficient literature on the techniques and intricacies of this very effective piece of fitness equipment. That’s where Taco Fleur’s new book, entitled ‘Kettlebell Training Fundamentals’, comes in. Taco is a man who is interested not just in being fit and healthy, but in digging deep and assimilating the underlying principles that are involved. As someone who has more than 12 years of experience with his own kettlebell training, and has also spent a long time training others, he is ideally suited to demystify the most important aspects of kettlebell training for the beginner. ‘Beginner’ here means beginner to kettlebells, and not necessarily to the fitness world, since there is scope even those who have spent many years training in other methodologies to go wrong when starting with kettlebells. The reason is that the philosophy of kettlebell training is different from that of other modalities. Besides, it has its own idiosyncrasies, and terms employed in the context of kettlebells, even when named the same as with other methods, are often very different when it comes to execution (e.g. hook grip for the kettlebell is different from that of the barbell, although the name is the same).
In this book it is very evident that Taco has made painstaking efforts to think from the perspective of the newcomer, and taken nothing for granted. Pretty much every question you might have, if you are new to kettlebells, is answered here. Not only answered, but the reasoning behind it is explained in detail, with explanations that go into biomechanics and human physiology, with appropriate diagrams where relevant, so that technical terms (such as those relating to muscular anatomy, or to the physics of the trajectory of the kettlebell while performing exercises) are easily understood. You will learn not only the what, but also the why, and the how, and the when. Taco gently guides you along the way, starting from why you would even want to train with kettlebells, to selecting your first kettlebell, to the selection of exercises, to the warmup sequence, to the performance of exercises, to the progressions. Another thing I liked very much was the detailed section on the various grips of the kettlebell. This section is amazingly detailed, and to my knowledge this is the first work with such an analysis of this aspect of the kettlebell. There are tons of photos and step-by-step explanations, and links to videos where such would be more effective than written explanations. If you get injured, Taco provides a very helpful guide to understand from the specific pain you experience (such as in the shoulder, or in the forearm), what could be wrong with your technique of lifting.
Finally, Taco is evidently passionate about kettlebells, but not infatuated with them without reason. He is honest and tells us why he likes them, and at the same time he also keeps up practice with other disciplines, such as martial arts, CrossFit, etc. Thus he has a holistic view of fitness, and is not just an expert on this particular tool. You will learn a lot from his book. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.