What a Difference A Year Can Make

January 01, 2015 1 Comment

From zero to more than I could have imagined.

A little history… back in 2013, I was recently out of a failed start-up, part-time employed and my car and only asset had recently sold… all that remained were my buddy Kai (a German Shepherd Dog;) a unique inability to give up and a passion for fitness.

When I started sandbag training, I was coming from an endurance sports background.  I was a swimmer through high school that led to triathlons and eventually placing as an amateur.  I was lean and light with a limited capacity for moving heavy weight.

I found sandbag training very useful, but limiting.  I preferred the size and amazing versatility of my iron kettlebell.  The only problem was I started traveling for work and could not pack the “bell” with me.

So, out of necessity, I merged the two weight training concepts into one and developed the Portable Kettlebell, or what I referred to as the kettlebell sandbag!

It was a kettlebell that could be filled upto 40 pounds for weight training, then easily emptied and packed for travel. Or if in the car, I could just leave it on the floorboard and not worry about it sliding around or becoming a projectile at traffic stops!

With the Portable Kettlebell (PKB™), I learned, and eventually could practice cleans, presses, squats, snatches, windmills and deadlifts ANYWHERE, ANYTIME. It allowed me to do more than just body-weight exercises, while being able to easily add or subtract weight.

Of course it helps if you have sand readily available, but you can use just about any solid filler (pea gravel, dirt, rocks, etc.) And if you have the TANK water bladder, than you can use water!

The PKB™ was also softer on my forearm and floors, and most importantly I was able to train using an unstable load. In other words, not only does the sand shift inside the PKB™ ever so slightly but so does the bag itself due to the webbing-handle construction. 

Unstable load training makes certain muscles (stabilizers) work harder and more efficiently to stabilize the weight – giving you more bang for your buck with less weight when compared to iron.

Yup, that´s right, it´s harder to manipulate and train with 30 pounds of sand than with 30 pounds of iron!

I was able to put on muscle and increase my weight carrying capacity faster and more conveniently than ever.  In one month, I put on 8 pounds of muscle! I explain how in my a previous post, What is the Kettlebell Sandbag (con’t)?

Today the Portable Kettlebell is not only my training tool, but it is my livelihood :)  I would love to hear your thoughts and experiences on what’s worked for you while traveling.  Below are a couple of question we tend to hear a lot when it comes to fitness on-the-go. 

Feel free to comment on this post or join the conversation on Facebook or Twitter.

- Do you pack anything in particular or just rely on body-weight exercises?

- How do you keep a nutritional routine in place while on the move?

In my next post, I’ll share how the Portable Kettlebell turned heads with the Marine Corps Special Operations Command (MARSOC) and how their use of an adjustable, portable and unstable weight like the PKB™ can also be implemented into your workouts!

Until then, 


Yours in training,

John and Team PKB™

1 Response


January 06, 2015

As a Kettlebell sport athlete and coach, I was skeptical, but after working with it, I’ve become a HUGE fan of the PKB. It’s by far the best tool I’ve found for training people who are new to the Kettlebell sport lifts. A lot of inexperienced athletes will bang up their forearms & shoulders for a while until they understand the technique- and that’s only if they stick with it through all the bumps & bruises! The unique design of the PBK allows athletes to practice proper form in the beginning without suffering the impact of steel or iron. The shape and balance of the PBK makes it super easy for new kettlebell sport athletes to transition to an iron or steel Kettlebell once proper techniques are established. The list of awesome is long on this product, not just for Kettlebell sport training- you gotta try it!!

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