in: Fitness, Health & Fitness, Podcast

• Last updated: September 29, 2021

Podcast #295: Kettlebells and the Psychology of Training

We’re big fans of the kettlebell here at the Art of Manliness. It’s a great piece of gym equipment that builds both strength and cardiovascular conditioning. Today on the show, I talk to StrongFirst kettlebell coach Craig Marker about the wonders of these little cannonballs with handles. Mark digs deep into the research done by the Soviets back in the 70s and 80s that shows why kettlebells are an effective tool for building explosive power, and how kettlebell training can improve your deadlift, help you jump higher, and even lead you to becoming a better ballerina (if that’s your thing). 

We then segue our conversation to talking about training in general and the mistakes beginners make when starting with a strength program. Mark then makes the case that in addition to our regular workouts, we should live our lives like it’s the 1940s if we want to see improved health and happiness. 

We end our conversation talking a bit about Craig’s day job as a psychology professor at Mercer University and how his training as a psychologist has helped him improve his coaching and fitness training. He even shares a little trick you can play on your brain to lift more weight or run faster. 

Show Highlights

  • Craig’s background as a psychologist, statistician, and strength coach
  • How can kettlebell training supplement your other fitness goals?
  • What size kettlebell a man should start with
  • Craig’s philosophy of barbell programming
  • Balancing volume and intensity in your fitness and lifting regimen
  • The importance of individual differences in creating a training program
  • Is HIIT training really necessary for everyone?
  • Tips on reading fitness and nutrition studies, and how to decide if a new idea or routine will be worth it
  • Why you should maintain consistency in your fitness programming
  • Why Craig advocates working out and eating like it’s the 1940s
  • Little things you can do during the course of your day to stay fit
  • How Craig’s psychology work impacts the way he coaches strength training
  • How much of our training and physical effort is mental?
  • Why you should regularly review and reflect on your training regimen
  • The placebo effect in physical performance
  • Tips for overcoming your performance anxiety

Resources/People/Articles Mentioned in Podcast

Be sure to read Craig’s articles over on Breaking Muscle. He hits a lot of topics and they’re all well-researched and written. (In fact, Breaking Muscle itself is a great site. One of my favorite training places on the web.)

Connect With Craig Marker

Craig’s website

Craig on Breaking Muscle

Craig on StrongFirst

Craig’s research website

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Read the Transcript

Coming soon!

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