Strength training implements, similar to modern kettlebells, have been used in various cultures, including China, Greece, and India, throughout history.
Beginning in the 18th century, traders and farmers utilized girevoy, in their contemporary form, as tools for measuring the weight of dry goods. Realizing the incredible strength gained from handling these weights, gireviks began developing folk games, in which they juggled girevoys and were judged on the maximum number of their lifts. In 1885, Russian doctor Vladislav Kraevsky began distilling these games into a series of exercises used to build muscle strength and endurance, culminating in a 20th century explosion of kettlebell usage all over Europe and the United States.
Kettlebell sport really took shape in the late eighties when gireviks began employing time limits in their competitions, providing them the necessary boundaries for developing competitive strategies and for judging competitions. Prior to this, competitors could perform lifts indefinitely and frequently expect arguments establishing the victor.
Today, more than just a symbol of Russian athleticism, kettlebells have returned to their well-earned place at the forefront of strength training and competition. At Texas Kettlebell Academy, we pride ourselves in this on-going tradition and look forward to bringing it to our athletes.