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The Lancaster Kettlebell

I’ve been away visiting family over Christmas and have thoroughly enjoyed the time.

Of course I brought a Kettlebell with me, a single 24kg competition bell. I didn’t plan on doing much training but I did squeeze in a couple of short workouts with it.

While over in Lancaster in the North west corner of England where my Folks currently live, myself and the wife took a wander into town. Lancaster is an old town, originally a Roman settlement, with a whole load of history much of which is centred on the old Market in the town centre. It’s one aspect of this market that caught my eye.

Outside one of the entrances is a small display of traditional weights:

“English” Kettlebells

Here’s a close up of the big one:

The inscription isn’t too clear in the picture, but the date on it is 1827. There’s a plaque beside them explain that these are 19th century Standard Lancaster Weights.

It seems that the recent “fad” of kettlebells is neither “new” nor exclusively Russian. Kettlebells, or Standard Lancaster Weights are as old as the hills and have a far more varied history than most other training tools available today. Everytime you lift a kettle, you are repeating history, emulating the powerful men and women who have gone before and who would be appalled at the present state of mental and physical weakness that abounds in today’s society.

Over the last 22 years of training I’ve always felt a greater affinity with my Kettles than I ever did with a pair of runners or a barbell, maybe I’m getting sentimental in my old age, but it is clear to see from these 19th century weights that the humble, simple kettle has changed little in the last 200 years.

Neither have the people who lift them.

See you all bright-eyed and ready for some serious “Lancaster Standard Weight training”, kicking off on the 6th Jan.

Don’t forget:

New class for 2011: Kettle AM – Morning Kettlebell training to get your day off to the best start. Next Boot Camp – January 31st, it’s all but booked up, so get in touch asap.


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