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Old 01-04-2011, 07:48 PM   #1
Timothy Gilday
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RKC versus AKC (kettlebell training)

Like many perhaps, I was first introduced to kettlebells a couple of years ago when I began CrossFit at my affiliate. Although my exposure was limited primarily to swings during certain wods, I did have the chance to perfect my form and become familiar with these tools.

Recently, my wife, who is also an enthusiastic CrossFit'er as well has become pregnant again (yeah!), so I decided to purchase some home equipment. I have picked some used RKC kettlebells originally from Dragondoor and a 26kg pro grade Fedorenko. I like both but after doing further research and deciding I would like for kb's to become a larger part of my routine I have come to a crossroads as to which style to build upon. RKC (Pavel) or AKC (Fedorenko)?

I understand the concept behind AKC bells being the same size but it seems that CF users gravitate towards classic RKC bells and certifications. Am I correct? Any suggestions or experience would be greatly appreciated.
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Last edited by Timothy Gilday : 01-04-2011 at 08:02 PM.
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Old 01-04-2011, 10:38 PM   #2
Andrew Bell
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Re: RKC versus AKC (kettlebell training)

People around here will tell you to buy the cheapest ones you can find just about. I like the looks of the Fedorenko's and plan to get a pair of matching 16kg bells from them soon.

Go with the ones you WANT, that's what I'm doing.
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Old 01-05-2011, 10:49 AM   #3
Brian Behn
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Re: RKC versus AKC (kettlebell training)

For two handed swings use anything.
For renegade rows use anything.
For TGU's use anything.

When you start doing high rep snatch/jerk workout is when the advantages of the competition kettlebells comes through.

Style- The truth here is...who cares. Do what works, pick and chose and use both in your workouts. The RKC is really a bunch of hype with their "Russian Comrade" shtick. The RKC hard style has its uses, but for the most part it is not conducive to high rep snatches. The RKC kettlebells are also ridiculously overpriced as are there seminars, $2000 for a two day seminar seems a bit steep if you ask me.
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Old 01-05-2011, 11:11 AM   #4
Justin McGinley
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Re: RKC versus AKC (kettlebell training)

I'm a huge advocate of the RKC "hard-style" techniques. The tension and "pop" they encourage really speaks to me as a coach and as an athlete. At my affiliate I program a lot of "Russian" swings done RKC hard style, and we often use goblet squats and TGUs as part of out warm-ups/skill work.

I'd advise you to use whatever KBs feel comfortable(it's just a ball on a handle, don't over think it), spend more time swinging (and less time snatching) and also really take the time to dial in your TGU technique.

If you can find one, go to a seminar hosted by one of the higher level RKC guys(Dr. Cheng, Dan John, Martone, etc). It'll be a lot cheaper than the $2500 you'll spend to become an RKC, and you'll obtain a solid amount of technique improvement.
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Old 01-05-2011, 05:38 PM   #5
Timothy Gilday
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Re: RKC versus AKC (kettlebell training)

Thanks for the feedback guys.

Andrew, the DD look and feel solid so I am happy with them. However, if a bell can look cool, the Fedorenko's in hand certainly do.

Brian, I agree. I suppose I'll find out myself as I increase my workload.

Thanks, Justin. I would like to explore both styles. I suppose the answer is I can do each with either style kb. A local affiliate has a $99 4-hour workshop that may be usefull the next time they schedule it.
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Old 01-06-2011, 09:33 AM   #6
Andrew Bell
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Re: RKC versus AKC (kettlebell training)

Tim,
How do the Fedorenko's feel in your hand compared to other makes like Ader? THAT is what I am most interested in about the Fedorenko's, they look like they wont tear my hands up any more than they already are.
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Old 01-06-2011, 03:34 PM   #7
Timothy Gilday
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Re: RKC versus AKC (kettlebell training)

Andrew,
It feels great. I have a large hand and I like the diameter of it. Very similar to the others in that respect. I have used Ader (classic, not their pro grade) and the width of the AKC pro grade feels very similar to both Ader and the Dragondoor RKC's I have. Perhaps because they are both cast iron and have some type of coating they feel more slick than the Fedorenko. There is a more tactile, dry type of feel to the alloy steel. Very smooth though. Also, compared to the RKC which have a slight arc to the handle, the pro grade is flat. I noticed that and of course the large size of the bell most of all. This being the first week with them I have not worked a long enough session to truly gauge how it will treat my hands.

I am certainly hooked though and will either purchase another 12kg Fedorenko to match or jump directly to a pair of yellow 16kg.
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Old 01-06-2011, 03:39 PM   #8
Timothy Gilday
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Re: RKC versus AKC (kettlebell training)

Btw, I just noticed that in my initial post I wrote 26kg. I meant 12kg / 26lb Fedorenko.
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Old 01-06-2011, 09:01 PM   #9
Andrew Bell
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Re: RKC versus AKC (kettlebell training)

Thanks for posting that!! I have a pair of 60lb bells I got on closeout on Black Friday and LOVE the stuff I have been coming up with for them. I want a pair of 16kgs now so I can do some press work and snatch work in longer work sets.

My favorite wod so far with the 60lb bells is:

run 1 mile
rest 3 minutes, then:
5 rounds of 20 seconds on, 20 seconds off:
kb swing (60lb)
kb cleans (split the 20 seconds to 10 seconds with each arm)
push ups (feet elevated)
suitcase deadlifts (uses both bells)
kb high pulls (use one kb and both hands and only half way down the thigh to the knee)

rest 5 minutes then Tabata planks

It's a GREAT conditioning wod!!
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Old 01-07-2011, 07:20 AM   #10
adam adkins
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Re: RKC versus AKC (kettlebell training)

KB are based on quality. The level of quality you need is based upon how you are going to use them. If you are just going to do American Style swings within a chipper then your quality requirement is very low. If your training is going to be more involved than just Am. Swings you will need to be sure the handle is burr free (virtually all decent made kbs will be) and have appropriate handle thickness (different brands have different thickness). If you are going to throw them or drop them the need to be very high quality. Other than that there isn't much difference. I've used a ton of different ones, like virtually all of them. I own DragonDoor but that is mainly because my mother likes to buy me nice things for christmas and has no idea what to buy me. If someone else is paying I'm getting the best ;-).

As for certs, AKC is more GS-centered. It is a sport in and of itself. Hardstyle is more general conditioning and strength and therefore will have more transferability.

And for your wife, I love Lauren Brooks's stuff. She's an RKC and does a great job putting together a KB workout. Here is her Pregnant KB Workout DVD:

http://kbellqueen.blogspot.com/2009/...rkout-dvd.html WFS.

Last edited by adam adkins : 01-07-2011 at 07:22 AM.
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