A Kettlebell love affair

Thinking about my recent posts, both here and elsewhere, I wondered if I was turning into a one-trick-pony. There’s a running theme of deciding to do something and then having to run the gauntlet of my catastrophic thinking, before doing the thing and actually liking it a little. This is not every experience. Often my monkey mind is quite in control of itself.

Kettlebells would be a good example of that. Kettlebells were yet another example of a new favourite thing.  I became obsessed. I had to have one. I could not be content with the gym ones. I needed one at home so that it could change my life. A cannon ball with a handle can do that, I predicted. So I got one. This one. She’s beautiful. Cast iron. Powdercoated.  A luxury model.

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My first kettlebell

 

 

And I loved it

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It became a favourite accessory. My cast iron parrot.

This great plan evolved where I would do 10,000 swings over 10 weeks. This started off really well but about 1400 swings i was a little over it. I bought a smaller bell and continued. It soon became apparent that this was a ridiculous challenge and completely at odds with my plans to be mediocre.So instead I joined a bunch of people for six weeks of kettlebell classes at the gym. Suddenly it was my favourite thing again. Learning how to do it with the correct technique, I soon got stronger. I was going to need a bigger bell.

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So now I had my own little family of them and I wanted to practice every day. Snatches, high pulls, squats, swings and presses all became part of my repertoire. I’ve never really been one for owning my own fitness equipment but these have been well worth it. As Vannessa, our trainer said…if you were to be in a cell by yourself this would be your equipment of choice (obviously I have spent too much time around prisons as I considered that you’d need to be in solitary, and not be of risk of harm to yourself).

For people wanting to take it up, a trainer would be highly recommended because these simple, compound give great benefit but can also do great harm if not done well. If you really can’t get a trainer then Coach Karen from Girls Gone Strong, is a great resource and has plenty of instructional videos. Otherwise, my second go to is Breaking Muscle as they are very sensible about kettlebells too.

Being sensible is vitally important. I can’t do overhead swings as I don’t have the shoulder mobility to swing above my head with such a narrow grip. So single arm overheads like snatches and presses work for me. A coach will give you all the cues so you can experience good pain not bad pain. Bruising is not a necessity, and if I’m getting bruised then its a sign I need to sharpen my technique. Similarly, when my back gets grumbly then I’m probably not standing up quick enough with my quads and glutes or not pulling to early with the swing.

Kettlebells have been one of my favourite fitness discoveries. It leaves people feeling powerful and little badass. I love to lift and box and do crazy, heart pounding stuff, but for now, the cannon ball with a handle is at the top of all things.

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KB Swing

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Bottom a snatch

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Starting a Turkish Get Up

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Half way there on the TGU

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Stay focused

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