Some things just don’t make sense. Like The New Kids On The Block much-hyped comeback song “Summertime.” I mean the girl in the song is walking the beach in “flip flops, half shirt, short shorts, mini skirt.” Who wears short shorts AND a mini skirt? Was it a skort? If so, why didn’t one of the Joeys just sing “skort”? Granted, skorts are generally for preschoolers who can’t be trusted to keep their panties covered (Hush, Madonna, I said preschoolers) but do singers not actually think about their lyrics before they sing them? Also, NKOTB, I realize you’ve been out of the boy-band loop for a couple of decades but a) half shirts are not cool anymore and b) nobody calls them half shirts anymore. Seriously, every time I listen to that song I get dumber. (Unlike the M.I.A. song “Paper Planes” – that one FREAKED me out the first time I heard it but then I read the backstory and now I just love it more with every gunshot.)
You know what else doesn’t make any sense? My results for the Great Kettlebell Experiment this month. I’ll get to those in a minute though.
What I Liked
1. KBs are very versatile. You can use them to do traditional lifts or you can swing them to get your cardiovascular system involved. At first I couldn’t really see a benefit to using them over the dumbbells but as the month went on, I began to see that they really do offer a different element to your workout. Especially once I figured out proper swinging form.
2. There’s a lot of bang for your buck there. If I were investing in a home gym, these babies would be the first thing I’d buy. I’d get a set of 15’s, 25’s and 50’s. It’s easy to make a tight little weight/cardio circuit with just a few of the KBs.
3. They are easier to grip than a traditional dumbbell. I loved them for doing things like the farmer’s carry and lunges while Gym Buddy Allison adored the windmill.
4. The cool factor. First off, they’re just cute. Like wee purses. That could take a man’s head off. Second, everyone at the gym wanted to see them. I even talked a few non Gym Buddies into trying them! Anne did it and after 5 minutes commented, “Wow, they really shake things up. I would definitely do this again.” Third, they inspire all kinds of cute names. One trainer kept asking me how my “cowbells” were going. “Kettleball” was also a favorite.
What I Didn’t Like
1. The wrist thunk. But Gym Buddy Allison bought me supercool Nike sweatbands which did help some. And working on my form helped with that as well.
2. Steep learning curve. And this isn’t particular to kettlebells but there really is a technique needed and it was hard to catch on from YouTube and the Internet alone, almighty sources of iffy knowledge they are.
And here’s where it gets weird.
Bodyfat Percentage: +2%
ALL measurements except calves: +1/2 inch (my waist might’ve even gone up a whole inch, hard to tell with the measuring tape.)
Weight: +3 lbs (negating my loss last month)
For how hard I worked, I was very surprised to have gained everywhere. I have a few theories about why this happened. Feel free to chime in if you have any additional insight for me.
1. I was doing it wrong. It really would have been a better experiment if I had been able to take a real KB class and learn from an instructor who could correct my form and set the pace. Alas, this was not an option at my gym.
2. I kept my workout volume high. Remember all that crazy cardio I did in August? Well, I didn’t really drop much of it. I just added the KB routines on top of all the running, kickboxing and dancing. In fact, I made myself minorly crazy in the process (more on that when I announce October’s Great Fitness Experiment).
3. My nutrition has been off. It’s been a tough month emotionally. I’m not going to lie to you. I’ve hit the sugar hard. Plus I had wicked PMS that lasted ten days for a period that only lasted two days. Um, yeah.
Under normal circumstances, these kinds of results would make me inclined to write off KBs as a fad. But I think, honestly, the failure this time around was with me and not the workout. I did enjoy working out with TinkerBell and The Berthas. I would use KBs again. Just maybe with more instruction, less crazy and at a time when my life isn’t exploding.
How did it go for the rest of you? Didn’t try this one? Then what’s your take on the M.I.A. song??
Tune in tomorrow for October’s Great Fitness Experiment.