Kettlebells are metal balls with handles and their history traces back at least 300 years. They got back to the mainstream fitness culture slowly something like 10 years ago but it was not until the rise of youtube that the phenomenom really took off. Probably because only then you could actually see what the hell people were talking about when they said ”swing that weight, baby!”. Of course you could buy DVDs and books from web stores but with youtube it was all free and instant to you screen. I think the main reason is that a lot of people had got used to so called standard weight training, which means that you flex one muscle to move a weigtht. That’s easy to illustrate by a drawing or text, but a snatch or swing has more 3D elements or so to speak. Many muscle groups must work together to achieve something.
Also, many people train with kettlebells at their homes, so a virtual group of likeminded lifters cannot necessarily be found just going to the local gym. It’s more likely that the local gym uses the bells only for geroup training sessions or no one there really knows what to do with them. It’s even more likely that this happens if you’re into Girevoy Sport, the sport of competitive kettlebell lifting. So, the internet and social media helps the trainee to find tips and information on kettlebell training and even about events, competitions etc. It may seem unimportant but I’ve found lots of motivation to my own training when finding others who like the same stuff.
I think it’s a cool thing, we (kettlebell lifters around the world), lift at our garages or yards and then write it up to blogs, twitter, facebook and can see that others do the same things. We can arrange virtual competitions like the Cross World Girevoy Sport event and challenge others. All of this would have been impossible ten years ago. If you try to find info on Girevoy Sport or kettlebells from your local library, newspapers or bookstore, you’re pretty much out of luck. But, go to social media sites and you can discuss with or follow some pretty advanced lifters like Catherine Imes and Valentin Ergorov.
Try these twitter searches and try to find other kettlebell enthusiasts:
http://search.twitter.com/search?q=kahvakuula (kettlebell in finnish)
Try the same searches in youtube, flickr, friendfeed and facebook and see what you can find!