Level 9 Valued Member
Pavel did those comparisons (IMO) with the general population in mind.
Apples and oranges are not the same, but they are similar (about the same size; both healthy contents in form of vitamins, fiber etc.)
Let's make up an example:
- Apples are swings, oranges are DLs.
- In this made up cenario the orange seeds are more expensive than apple seeds (you get 2-3 or more KBs for the prize of a barbell+plates, even if you go for used stuff).
- Both trees grow at about the same rate, the orange tree bears its fruits just slightly before the apple tree (it takes more time to teach the swing than the DL, but KB DLs are also part of the learning process to perform swings, so the the difference between both is almost not there)
- Both trees are the same size (swings and DLs require the same amount of space)
- You can only eat oranges up to a certain point before you get sick, the amount of apples you can eat before getting sick is much, much higher (there are exceptions, but the general rule is that DLs need more recovery than swings and especially very heavy DLs take more out of you than they give)
You get some kind of cage with limited space (only for one tree), 50 pets in it and a limited amount of money.
Your task is to feed those pets and make their life as enjoyable as possible (by using the spare money after the seed purchase).
Would you go for apples or oranges?
I think the clear answer for most of you would be apples.
In a perfect world you'd have unlimited space to build as much trees as you like (a very big gym) an infinite amount of money (all the tools you can imagine to go into said gym) and the pets enjoy life without spending more money (a body with perfect mobility, flexibility, no health issues, etc.).
In that world you wouldn't need to decide between apples and oranges and go for as much of both as you want.
Sadly our world is not perfect. The general population has to deal with all kinds of limitations - limited money, limited space, limited time, limited body ability. If you're looking for the best possible results with the minimum effective dosis while navigating all those limitations you come up with different "best exercises" than in a perfect world.
I love both the DL and the swing, but in this imperfect world (Earth in the 21th century) I also would chose the swing as the best hip hinge.
And yes in this imperfect world I would also chose the Zercher squat over e.g. the back squat or front squat.
In general, I agree with you.
However, if we have a look at the typical member of the audience of Pavel's books or the members and readers of this website, I would be so bold to claim that the absolute minority of the people in these two groups live in absolute poverty or in such a remote location, that they do not, with relatively minor expenses, ever have access to both a barbell and a kettlebell. Like Pavel himself said in PTTP: "hard core basics come cheap".
So I do not really see the sense in picking only the other exercise and that's why I see it as silly.