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*
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?
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?