When I decided to get myself together in January this year, I didn’t go hard like I usually do. I avoided that approach as it inevitably ends in me falling off of the wagon due to burnout. I’d regain about 10-12 pounds and would then get my a@#$ back in gear, with resultant yo-yoing every year. (A word to the wise, it’s a lot easier to stay in shape then it is to get back into it. This fact becomes truer and more self-evident the older you get.)
So, this time around, I really took my time losing the weight. I didn’t eat “clean” every weekend. I love desserts, particularly buttercream. No, not cake, though I don’t mind that. I’ve had them both a few times over the last 6 months;). I didn’t work-out for 2 to 2 1/2 hours 5-6 days a week. I didn’t work out for an entire week 2 weeks ago. I didn’t hit the gym hardcore for daily weight and cardio sessions. In fact, I completely switched up what I’d been doing the last two decades of my life (off and on). I was a person who thought she could NEVER exercise at home. My whole mindset was, “Once I get home, that’s it, I’m done!” But finding the time to pack my gym bag every morning before work, along with my lunch bag and lugging it in and out of the house, in and out of the gym and the time added due to travel, changing at the gym, unpacking, etc. had become tedious.
Then, in January, I saw this KinkyShea Healthy and Fitness post on CurlyNikki.com about exercising with Kettlebells. Coincidentally, my mother had given me a small 3 pound kettlebell for Christmas, but I knew nothing about using it. The article said that kettlebell enthusiasts claimed that this cast iron bell was all one needed to increase strength, endurance and aerobic capacity in a limited amount of time. The thing is, tests proved it! My interest was piqued by the potential efficiency and comprehensiveness of kettlebell workouts. So, I wanted to learn more. And I did. In February, I purchased a 10 lb. bell from Marshall’s and Angie Miller’s Kettlebell Bootcamp DVD from Walmart. I also purchased some exercise mats and a cheap DVD player from Amazon and set up a little home gym in the unfinished half of my basement.
My first three kettlebell workouts had me laid out on the floor and sitting in a chair huffing and puffing. I couldn’t even make it through the entire workout the first time. I had to just sit and watch a couple of the segments while I warded off a heart attack!! 30 minutes after my first, half-aborted kettlebell workout, I finally caught my breath! It wasn’t that much better the second and third go-rounds! But that fourth workout? The workout after I went away on vacation and went to the local gyms and felt like I was killing it on the treadmill after struggling with running for three months? Yeah, that following workout? I knew I was ready to graduate to a 15 lb. bell. I made this fact be known to my good friends and, for my birthday in March, I received the Bob Harber GoFit 15 lb. contour bell. NICE!!!!
Well, the rest is history. I’ve been working out in my basement ever since with my kettlebell, the Powerbody Brazil Butt Lift DVD series and the treadmill (which, prior to this year, was used the number of times I can count on one hand). I also incorporate hot yoga (which I LOVE) at a nearby yoga studio 2 days a week. I’ve been mixing up the Angie Miller DVD routine with Bob Harper’s shorter, 30 minute tutorial (which is still intense, especially after interval training on the treadmill). I have definitely seen rapid improvements in my strength, endurance and aerobic capacity with regular kettlebell workouts (2-3 days a week). However, I have come to realize that Angie Miller’s form is not the best when it comes to swings (she leans over when the torso should remain straight as when doing squats). So, I’ve done a little research and want to purchase the highly rated Lauren Brooks’ Ultimate Body Sculpt and Conditioning with Kettlebells DVD. It’s been sitting in my Amazon cart for FOREVER! But, think I’ll purchase it once I do the Rugged Maniac on July 9th and am not running as much.
Have you tried exercising with Kettlebells? If so, what has your experience been like?
(Check out My Current Regimen if you want to learn more about my diet and exercise regimen.)