Kettle Whaaaat?

For those of you that follow me on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, you may have seen noticed this picture I posted on Friday.

Say hello to my little friend.

Say hello to my little friend.

Let me introduce you to Big Blue, my newest tool to help me reach my core / upper body strength goal.  Yep, I named my kettlebell.   Thanks to my friend Stacey, I’m now the proud owner of a 15lb piece of pain inducing, muscle making cast iron free weight.  Yippee!!

After owning up to my 100 Push Challenge flop I wasn’t ready to give up on my goal of increasing up core and upper body strength.  Nobody puts Baby in a corner.

Don’t ask why I just randomly quoted Dirty Dancing.  It seemed appropriate to me.  But I digress…

I remember the first time I heard someone talking about doing a kettlebell workout, it was about two years ago and all I could picture was a huge cow bell.  For the life of me I couldn’t figure out why anyone would want to swing a cow bell around as a workout.  Oh, Gina.  *sigh*

Yeah, I'm not ashamed to say this is what came to mind when I first learned about kettlebells.

Yeah, I’m not ashamed to say this is what came to mind when I first learned about kettlebells. Whoops….

Fast forward to me getting back into shape and the light bulb comes on… Oh, you mean it’s not actually a cow bell?  And it’s not just for upper body strength?  Cool!  I’ve actually been wanting one of these torture devices for about a year now but every time I thought about buying one I needed new shoes, or I registered for a race, or bought workout clothes, err, you get the point. So when Stacey offered to give me her’s I jumped at the opportunity.  SAHWEET!!  I love freeeeee.

I took my new prize home and immediately started googling.  I’m a dork and like to know the history behind things, how they work, why they work, etc… so I did some research on kettlebells.  Turns out they’re not new at all, just to me.  They were developed in Russia in the 1700s and were used as part of their army training programs well into the 20th century.  Cool right?


Russian stamp featuring a kettlebell.
Source: Wikipedia

And kettlebells aren’t just for building upper body / core strength.  They’re actually a really great total body workout tool.  I quickly found out that it’s one of the most versatile pieces of equipment you can have at home.  The versatility should make my hubby the minimalist happy because it means less equipment he has to try to find a space for.

After checking out the history  and benefits, I naturally wanted to give it a try.  I turned to the best free video resource out there….Youtube….and found a workout video that looked doable.  It was only 12 minutes long and had you do a 3 sets of shoulder presses, kettlebell swings, bicep curls, and clean and presses.  Sounds easy right?


The first 120 seconds went well.  I’m like this is cool, challenging, but cool.  I finished the first set.  During the 2nd set I started to feel the burn and by the time I finished the 2nd set, my body was full on, OMGeeee, what the heck are you doing to me?! I didn’t do the third set but I was really happy with my workout. Plus it gives me something to work towards.  If you’re curious to check out the video I used, here is the link.

And then, because I’m a total glutton for punishment, I did 6 miles of speed work immediately after my kettlebell workout.  Hello Yassos!  My goal is to run a sub 2 at my next 1/2 in February (2 weeks before the Rock-n-Roll marathon) so I need to start focusing more on speed.  All-in-all, I’m really excited about incorporating the kettlebell into my routine.  I plan to do it twice a week along with using the weight machines at the gym once a week.  After the beating I gave it last night, my body hates me today, but doggoneit I’m making good on my upper body strength goals!

Question:  Have you ever done a kettlebell workout? What’s your favorite way to strength train?


35 thoughts on “Kettle Whaaaat?

  1. I have done a kettlebell workout and love them. I’m focusing more on strength for my 1/2 in March so I am incorporating them into my workouts more. I have done the Lady Spartacus workouts and they are killer!

  2. We’ve used kettle bells at swimming before and it’s SUCH a good workout. I’m not a big fan of strength training at all but these were actually borderline fun for me haha

    • I bet it would be great for swim. I can’t believe your not a big fan of strength training; obviously, I’m the queen of it. 😉 *cough cough, stand back for the lightening bolt*. I’m totally excited to try new things with them but I have to admit that I’m foreseeing some sort of kettlebell to the head type incident in my future… lol

  3. I use kettlebells with my trainer and every now and then for a good ol’ CrossFit workout! They rock! Good luck using them for your workouts too! Cheers!

  4. I was totally intimidated with my first kettle all work out! It wasn’t until
    I started Crossfit that I learned to properly use them and stopped disliking them so much ;). I’d love to have one at home but like you said, there is ALWAYS something else I need instead!

  5. I’m scared to death of the kettlebell workout!!!! I haven’t tried using one ever. I’ve been too intimidated….. New goal getter challenge set for me, maybe?!? ;0)

    • Yes, ma’am! Sub 2 we’ve got our sights locked on you. Have fun with your Yassos.

      PS – I’m pretty sure I won’t be doing 100 swings anytime soon. How about 25 to start with? 😉

  6. I have never heard of anyone hating of kettle ball workouts so this is a bit exciting to read. I’ve never personally tried them but they always look like a killer workout!

    • Of course you were into kettlebell workouts… 😉 What haven’t you done? (Other than write that book yet.) Thanks for the link, Carrie. I just checked it out and am going to give it a shot. I’m kind of scared because it says 8-10lb bell and mine is 15lbs. I might have to work my way up to that level.

  7. I’ll be honest, kettlebells freak me out! I usually prefer weight machines instead of free weights, but I have been using an 8-pound kettlebell to do a lower back strength move, and it hurts sooooo good.

  8. They have kettlebell classes at the gym I take yoga classes at and I’ve been considering dropping in on one soon! Sounds like a great workout! Love the russian stamp pict!

    P.S. Any reason why you didn’t name your kettle bell ‘Bluebell’ because 1. its blue and 2. you had this notion of cow bells and bluebell seems to be a quintissential cow name…

  9. I have yet to splurge on a kettlebell, though I’ve heard such great things! Like you, I always need new shoes or to register for the next race and running always tends to come first! I have been using a barbell for a while and love it, but I wouldn’t mind switching up my strength training routine!

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