This past weekend I was teaching a kettlebell workshop in a club that had more amenities than my own home. During a break I was speaking with a trainer, who asked me what kind of facility I worked in. I briefly explained that ours was studio space that consisted of mostly kettlebells, dumbbells, medicine balls, lots of rings and pull up bars, and few odd tools that make training a little fun and different. We don't have any machines.
He looked at me in utter confusion. The first thing he said was, "How do people get strong if you don't have cable machines?"
I paused for a second to make sure his question was serious...it was. I couldn't believe it, or could I? Here I was in one of the most beautiful and fully equipped gyms in the world and I was being asked how people get strong without machines.
I first want to clarify that I am not totally against all cable machines, but I certainly don't think they are the answer to everything, and I most certainly do not believe in their ability to make one the strongest they have ever been. So my reply, was, "Our philosophy is that the body moves through everyday movements as a whole so we train it that way. Rarely do we perform isolation movements, and we can create/encourage/motivate strong and conditioned bodies within all of our training programs."
Still I got a look of disbelief. Then, remembering the equipment that I just listed, he asked, "Well what do you for cardio if you don't have treadmills?"
Again, I had to pause to make sure he was serious, and he was. Again, I almost couldn't believe it. I mean I was there teaching him how to use kettlebells. We'd been "hands on" for an entire day, and were two hours in to the second.
So I again discussed the benefits of kettlebell training, I talked about using intervals instead of 60 minute treadmill sessions. I talked about the inadequacy of the recombent bike and the elliptical. I invited him to workout with me, he declined, and still looked at me in disbelief. All the while, I had demonstrated just about every single kettlebell lift with the 24kg bell.
I guess you can't break them all. I'm the strongest, most well rounded athlete/person I've ever been, through years of competitive swimming, soccor, track, and now jiu-jitsu. I left the converstation a little disappointed, and even when he walked past me after 15 mintues into my workout he still didn't believe.