Joe Daniels

Built like a tank (naturally) Joe Kettlebell Daniels

Hello all Caveman and Cavewomen out there, this week I interviewed Joe Daniels from Swing This Kettlebell, you might have seen him in this Youtube video where he displays his awesome feat of strength

I like the complex a lot, I’ll give it a go, not with the same weight, but certainly do the best I can, if you try this complex, post your feedback below. Without further a due.


Name: Joe Daniels
Age: 36
Weight: 212


Awesome physique, you’re built like a tank, is some of it hereditary or did you work for every inch of that?

Thank you. I was a pretty small kid that loved to play outside and I worked with my father growing up building homes and landscaping.  I was always active outside. Had a good balance of playing some video games here and there but outside was always my love. I started lifting weights in highschool, playing football etc as something to do.  I quit for a while in college and when I was 23 I started again to have better goals than partying . I focused on nutrition, eating better, not smoking or drinking all the time and started training with weights again while listening to loud music. Someone bet me I couldn’t do a bodybuilding competition, I ended up competing up to the national level for 5 years. My body seems to build mass pretty fast and I really focus on injury prevention. I feel it takes a lot of recuperation tactics for someone who trains without the use of PEDS.


How did you achieve your physique? What are your go-to exercises and equipment?

I never really liked the feeling of machines coming from a hard working labor job with lots of building carrying and wheelbarrows, balance and strength is very important to me. I love dumbbells and unilateral balancing body weight training.  Ive always been very unconventional when it comes to exercise.

Here are a few of my favourite things. Mountain biking, hiking,  Renegade Rows, heavy kettlebell snatches. Long Cycle (clean and jerk),  deadlift, Bulgarian split squats, front squats, atlas stone lifts and heavy sled pushes.  I could go on forever but  those are my favourites.


How long did it take you to get to where you are now with your physique?

i competed for 4 years from 2005 till 2009 in the NPC bodybuilding going back and forth from welterweight to middleweight, usually up to 174 lbs or so..   I lifted for 2 years exactly to the day consistently before competing for the first time.  Once I was done I started toying with kettlebell training to help my shoulder feel better and enhance my mountain biking. I have used kettlebells, sandbags, maces, ropes,  slacklines and balance tools since then on top of powerlifting / structural building barbell work.  Not a fan of olympic lifting  as I feel its doesn’t have the best Risk Vs Reward ratio for everyone, so I choose competition kettlebell sport for my power and endurance work as it is MEANT to be repetitious.


How much of your physique is nutrition, how much do you eat, a cow a day?

I go through phases, some higher carbs in the summer and active times, I rarely count macros or food but just a general sense.  If I’m biking 20 miles 3 x times per week i’ll have lots of carbs during that time. If it’s winter and I’m only lifting weights, for strength, I have more fats and protein.  I keep around 8-10% body fat.   I like whiskey a couple drinks per week but i’ll also fast from it and have 0 drinks for a month as a mental challenge. Same as food. I may go vegetarian or pescatarian for a month because, why not? I find it as a good brain challenge.   I’d average around 2800 -3000 calories if I were to guess.


What got you into kettlebell training, is there something specific that you can remember?

I liked the strength Mike Mahler exhibited with heavy kettlebells. I like the smooth control Steve Cotter showed. I loved how challenging they were to me.  I love angle training and kettlebells are wonderful for that.


When did you get serious with Kettlebell Sport? And are you a GS convert now or still doing other stuff?

I’ve competed several times in kettlebell sport in the US.   I’ll never just be a GS athlete and I train entirely unconventionally for it as well.  I rotate between being highly in love with snatch and then long cycle.  I love to be on bikes no matter where, road, city or trail.


How do you feel about all this bitching that some people do “GS is better than Hardstyle”, “Hardstyle is better than GS”?

I could care less.  They all have their pros and cons.  Take what you like from any of it and make your training program to suit yourself.  Most of the argument really is based on who can sell certifications……


I’m sure you’ve had people ask you this question before, if they don’t ask, I’m sure they think it, so lets get it out of the way .. Have you ever touched steroids? BOOM! And would you tell us if you had?

I have never touched steroids or illegal performance enhancers. Have I thought about it??  Yes.

I got into training to help my body and mind, not be addicted to certain things . Even legal things like alcohol and smoking etc can have harmful side effects if abused. Why would I want to add something else into the mix?    I train to be better for MYSELF not others. One of the reasons I don’t compete as often as most people do. I love to coach people to excel without injuring themselves. I like to coach the ego to take a step back.

One thing I do frequently that most people don’t understand is Flotation Therapy or Floating. Floating, in a nutshell is  using near 1000 lbs of epsom salt in an open pool or tank that has 10 inches of water. The solution becomes so saturated with salt that you float effortlessly on your back without having to use any muscle for sympathetic reaction.  You can float in complete darkness and quietness, since the water is heated to around your skin temperature, after a while you have very little stimulation coming in, at that point your brain begins to shift its priority away from fight or flight (sympathetic nervous system) to recuperative and  healing effects of the parasympathetic nervous system . This is what is SUPPOSED to happen during sleep but many people are so far away from getting real sleep anymore.

Floating helps with the nervous systems response to dealing with stress , allows muscle tension to decrease and joint pressures to decrease.  It allows a focus on ones MIND and SELF as there is very little stimulation from the outside world coming in.  It is good for hard training recuperation, depression, anxiety and PTSD help.   There is plenty of research out there and I also own a float center in Northern KY USA  named Think Tank Flotation and Wellness.

This technique has helped me to become a better kettlebell athlete and all around human.    And yet it is VERY misunderstood by most.

Joe Daniels


Your thoughts on shoes and GS?

I made a video about shoes and kettlebell sport because I like to talk about things that no one else thinks about or feels is worth mentioning.   Improper movement in the ankle can move all the way up the chain.  If you don’t understand what’s happening on the foundation how can you be sure what’s going on above is right???    The right shoe has to help you not hinder you.  Don’t buy anything just because it was marketed to you with flashy colors etc.  Because the world champion uses a shoe do you think it will be the best for you if your foot is half an inch wider ??    Learn about YOUR movement and then build upon that. I like to train barefoot for a few sets on certain exercises and lighter weights so I can REALLY feel whats happening in my biomechanics.


Tell us about your proudest moments (apart from getting married and having a baby)? And do you have anything planned for the future, something big like beating or setting a record?

While not married anymore, I’m definitely proud of having my little girl.  Raising a child is extremely tough challenging and rewarding at the same time. I’d like to achieve Master of Sport someday in kettlebell sport but if it doesn’t happen I’m not going to hurt myself trying. I just don’t care about comparing myself to others. I’d rather be very fit to spend weeks out in nature with my loved ones and little girl on extensive trips to incredible places in the world before mankind totally screws it up.


If you could only do three exercises for the rest of your life, what would they be, with what and why?

  1. Renegade Row – Wonderful anterior and anti rotational exercise great for balancing out mountain biking strengths.
  2. Turkish Getup – Incredible Full body everything exercise.
  3. Double Kettlebell Clean and jerk  (Long Cycle) – Perfect blend of hip extension and explosive overhead work that focuses on absorption of weight for time.  To me this builds strength and control for every aspect of life.


What workout on the Cavemantraining channel speaks to you and why?

Anything with kettlebell flips as I LOVE FLIPS for the focus and nervous system reaction…..


What is your favourite video on your own youtube channel and why?

I love this for barbell back training my ROLLING ROW

and I love this one for  showing everyone my clean and snatch form…


To those people out there who still think that kettlebells are dangerous, what have you got to say to them?

Well, they ARE dangerous. Same as Barbells, Dumbbells, Cars, Alcohol, Pizza ovens, But when taught properly from a high level experienced coach they are one of the safest forms of weight training around as they enable you to be so much more conscious of your  movement and body in it’s environment.

Also it seems a lot of people who tend so say kettlebells are dangerous are the ones that have learned of the internet. Even with the high level coaches such as ourselves making great videos on form and safety



Thank you Joe, go check out some of Joe’s stuff below and leave your comments below or on our facebook, maybe you even have a question for Joe?


Joe’s book
Master The Kettlebell Press

Joe’s personal website

Joe’s Flotation  Stress Relief Business

Joe’s kettlebell stuff pictures

Joe’s stress relief stuff pictures

Joe’s art stuff

Joe’s YOUTUBE  lifestyle videos

Joe’s online kettlebell  fundamental training help for beginners



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