So many of you asked – and were so polite! – that there was no way I could not do a kettlebell experiment. If you are addicted to candy-colored balls of iron with little handles or were one of the fortunate recipients of all the kettlebell giveaways in the fitosphere (thanks TA for the verbiage!), then September is your month! Or, if you are just looking for the perfect accessory to go with all your cute coordinated workout gear, then these will be perfect! They look just like a twee purse. If your purse weighs 20 pounds, that is.
Y’all are smart. According to the latest fitness buzz, kettlebells are one of the best bangs for your fitness buck. They are purported to give a better workout in a shorter amount of time than anything else. The Russians have sworn by them for years and we all know how tough Russians are. I mean, you’ve seen Hunt For Red October, right??
After locating some more kettlebells (read: begging favors off all my fitness minded friends – thank you, Don & Jim!) and promising to guard the little puppies like the expensive pets they are, I have come up with the format for September’s Experiment:
The Great Kettlebell Experiment
1. In all future kettlebell posts, I will write the word “kettlebell” exactly once. Thereafter it will be referred to in its abbreviated form: “KB” or “tinkerbell” if I am referring to my little red one. This is important because every time I write the word “kettlebell” it looks more and more wrong. I’m losing brain cells over this and I really can’t afford that kind of excess.
2. Here is a nice basic list of some KB moves I will be using. Read them, stare lovingly at the pictures, give the man in the funny beanie a fond nickname – but whatever you do, learn them. For you over achievers, here’s a more comprehensive list.
3. Since I’m not following a specific KB plan – people want money for those and I am nothing if not cheap – I will be posting a KB Workout of the Week on here. It will go up Sunday evening along with links to the exercises (if they are not on the above list). Seeing as I am no KB expert, I will be taking the workouts from various sources which I will cite, mostly so you can blame them and not me if you are so sore you can’t pee the next day.
4. Everything I’ve read says to keep the KB workout under 30 minutes. Some even say 20 minutes. These workouts are short. Which means they are also very intense. So plan to give it your all for the whole time. There is often little or no resting between sets and your heart should be pumping the entire time. If you aren’t dripping sweat then you are doing it wrong.
5. I realize that many of you do not have KBs. The Gym Buddies and I actually only have 1 15-lb (tinkerbell!) and 2 40-lb bells. (Yeah, I know. If anyone reading this has more they’d like to donate to the cause, let me know ASAP.) So I’m going to let you in on a little secret: dumbbells work almost as well as the KBs. For some exercises, in fact, they work exactly the same. Just be careful with the swinging; don’t let go! So do not fret my fellow poor people. If you have access to a set of dumbbells then you can do this Experiment too.
6. No matter the Workout of the Week, you should warm up with a couple of minutes of single- and double-arm KB swings.
7. The Gym Buddies and I will be doing the KB workouts as prescribed but will also continue our favorite forms of cardio like TurboKick, Zumba, boot camp and Hip Hop. Lecture me about cardio if it will make you feel better but that stuff makes me happy and I am not giving it up.
8. I know that any of you old enough to live through the ’80’s and actually remember them will cringe at my final suggestion but trust me on this one: buy wristbands. That’s right, I’m talking about those fuzzy lil’ terry cloth nubs of awesomeness that made you the baddest moonwalker on the playground. They will help with the wrist thumpage. Oh yeah – and take your watch off too.
If any of you have a fave KB workout you’d like to see featured or have questions, just drop me a line!
You read to get started? Here is your first KB Workout of the Week, courtesy of bodybuilding.com. (Note: links to the actual exercises do not work on my site and I’m too tired to mess with Java scripting tonight so if you want to see the instructions – and I highly recommend it – click thru to Bodybuilding’s site on the first link of this paragraph and check ’em out.)
With a goal of adding mass and functional strength, pairing modified German Volume Training with kettlebells delivers a truly grueling workout.
0-30 seconds rest
0-60 seconds rest
Alternate between Day 1 and Day 2 with at least a full day of recovery in between workouts. Perform Exercise 1, rest 0-30 seconds, Exercise 2, rest 0-60 seconds, repeated cycle. Aim for a 4 second eccentric and 2 second concentric, increase TUT for increased difficulty.