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KettleStack Review - Build Your Own Kettlebells With this Kettlebell equipment


 

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KettleStack Review

Home -> Fitness Equipment Reviews -> KettleStacks

Have you wanted to try out Kettlebell training but been stopped by the high prices of buying a set? This unique piece of equipment will help you make your own for a fraction of the price!

KettleStack Review


The Kettlebell is one the oldest and newest pieces of strength training equipment that you'll come across in weight training these days.

What do I mean by that?

The Kettlebell has been around for a LONG time (the first mention of the Kettlebell in history is in a Russian dictionary in 1704!).

But the Kettlebell is also one of the "newest" pieces of training equipment as it's been rediscovered by trainers looking not only for a competitive edge, but for unique ways to build strength and fitness.


What is a Kettlebell?

For those not familiar with Kettlebells, it is basically a cast-iron weight shaped very much like a kettle. The weight is on the bottom with the handle on top. This makes the application of resistance FAR different than that of the standard dumbell.

Kettlebell training can provide an excellent total-body workout using movements that cannot be duplicated with standard dumbells or barbells, though you can perform many of the common dumbell and barbell exercises with the Kettlebell. At the end of this review, I will include links to some excellent Kettlebell-related sites if you're interested in more information on Kettlebell training.


What is the "KettleStack?"

In a nutshell, the "KettleStack" is a "do-it-yourself" Kettlebell. Like "do-it-yourself" dumbells of the same idea, you can add and remove your own weights to build your own Kettlebells. The "KettleStack" is, at its simplest, a thick plastic handle with a steel center post to place your weight plates on. It's an elegant design and simple to use!

The "KettleStack" is also built SOLID. You won't have any problems with breakdown or deforming parts with this equipment. It's well built and will last a lifetime!


What Are The Advantages Over Regular Kettlebells?

The main advantage to this piece of equipment over a regular Kettlebell (which is a single, solid piece of cast-iron) is price. For the price of a small, single, standard Kettlebell (especially if you have to order online and pay shipping), you can get a "KettleStack" and make a far wider range of Kettlebell weights.

The next advantage is storage. In the same space you could store two regular Kettlebells (or dumbells), you can store the "KettleStack." This makes it ideal for space-limited settings. In fact, the "KettleStack" offers a further advantage in that its much lighter weight means you can store it almost anywhere!

The third major advantage lies in your ability to change weights with it. For example, you can use it with as little weight as you want (even 5 to 10 pounds) or as much weight as you can fit on it. Plus, the excellent design of the "KettleStack" means you can not only add weights in the center of the central post but on the outside as well - you can also shape the weights to make round bells! This makes it far more versatile than the standard, one-weight Kettlebell.


What Are The Disadvantages Compared To Regular Kettlebells?

The "KettleStack," while being extremely cost-effective and adaptable, does have its disadvantages.

As with adjustable dumbells, it takes time to change the weights to make your Kettlebells. This process is made simple and reasonably quick with an Allen wrench (included) but, generally speaking, you'll probably want to stick with the same weight for most of the sets of the particular exercise you're using them with.

The second thing you'll need to be aware of is that you'll need to have your own Standard (small holes in the center) weight plates in order to use the "KettleStacks." This shouldn't be a big problem as weight plates can be found relatively cheaply at most sporting goods stores or even garage sales.


Is the "KettleStack" an Effective Alternative To Regular Kettlebell Training?

In order to fully gauge the effectiveness of the "KettleStack" compared to regular Kettlebells, I made a "KettleStack" with 25 pounds and held it in one hand. In the other hand, I used a regular, solid 25 pound Kettlebell. This allowed me to make a direct "hand-to-hand" comparison while doing a number of Kettlebell exercises. The weight and balance were exactly the same, allowing for a very direct comparison.

When doing single-arm exercises, I did one set with the "KettleStack" then one set with the regular Kettlebell.

Here's what I found:

The "KettleStack" performed very well and very comparably on the majority of the Kettlebell exercises that I did. With few exceptions, I found I couldn't feel any significant difference in the quality or effectiveness of the exercises.

I did notice a difference when doing exercises where the Kettlebell comes in contact with your body during the exercise (for example, the overhead Kettlebell press for the shoulder). The difference in the construction did change the mechanics of the exercise somewhat but not enough to make it uncomfortable or ineffective - it still performed quite well. This difference in feel becomes more apparent as you use larger weight plates with the "KettleStack."

It's interesting to note that there were actually exercises where the "KettleStack" performed BETTER than the standard Kettlebell! The prime example of this was the Kettlebell curl. When curling a regular Kettlebell (performed essentially like a regular dumbell curl), the ball section hangs down until, at the top, it rests against your forearm.

When using the "KettleStack" (I used four 10-lb plates in this test), the greater size of the plates contacted my forearm earlier in the up phase of the movement, adding excellent leverage/resistance to the top half of the curl that can't be duplicated with the dumbell or regular Kettlebell.

This extra resistance resulted in tremendous, continuous tension on the bicep through the full range of motion of the curl.


So is the "KettleStack" an effective alternative to regular Kettlebells?

The answer to that question is a qualified "yes." It's a very effective alternative though it does have a few characteristics that may change the way you work with the "KettleStacks" compared to regular Kettlebells.


Conclusion:

If you're interested in giving Kettlebell training a try, the "KettleStack" is a very cost-effective, space-saving alternative to solid Kettlebells. You will be able to perform a wide variety of Kettlebell exercises without any problem.

All in all, the "KettleStack" is a very good piece of equipment for what it sets out to do and would be a valuable addition to a home gym or simply for someone looking for some basic, versatile equipment to work with at home. It's not really a piece I would recommend for a commercial gym due to the requirements of Allen wrench plates changes, but it could certainly be made available if your gym members want Kettlebells and you don't have the budget to get solid ones.

Bottom line: it's good equipment and well worth the price!


If you're interested in more detailed information on Kettlebell training, I highly recommend the following sites:

http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/bbinfo.php?page=Kettlebells

http://www.dragondoor.com/articler/mode2/Kettlebells

http://www.mikemahler.com/articles.html

 

To learn more about the KettleStack kettlebells and
to get a pair for yourself, please click here.

Definitely check out the manufacturers website to see how the "KettleStacks"
work and the kind of exercises you can do with them!


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